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Hugh M. Hefner
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A documentary about the soul of American music. The film follows the recording of a new album featuring legends from Stax records and Memphis mentoring and passing on their musical magic to stars and artists of today.
Enjoyable Irish film although it runs far too long
I saw a screening of this film in the Irish Film Institute and the only actor I knew in it was Fionnuala Flanagan who played Mrs Mills in The Others. However it was supposed to be good so I went anyway.
The film's story is that Flanagan plays the elderly mother to a group of grown-up children that are utterly horrible human beings one way or another. They actually decide to do something nice for their mother and remodel her house while she's out. Unfortunately she reveals that her old mattress that they threw out contained all her life savings - nearly a million. Thus the hunt for the lost mattress begins. Things escalate even further when the youngest son (Pat Shortt) makes an announcement on the radio and it turns into a nationwide sensation.
The film's main bad points are that it runs far too long. It's clear that there are several scenes in the film that are there just to pad out the running time. They have nothing really to do with the main plot and if you removed them, they wouldn't affect the film at all. Among these are an extended sequence where the youngest son believes he has won the lottery only to discover the grandmother and granddaughter have fooled him with Sky plus TV. Also a scene where they throw the mother an 80th birthday party complete with a stripper. The scenes are funny but do nothing for the film and they're obvious filler so watching them becomes tiring. You want them to be over so you can go back to the actual plot.
The film does have good points, notably in its cast. Flanagan and Shortt work well together as the two main draws. Flanagan is a breath of fresh air from the traditional cranky yet sassy stereotypical Irish old lady. However the best performance from the film is the actress who plays the teenage granddaughter. The girl had very good comic timing and seemed very natural on camera. She's definitely one to watch out for, though hopefully Fair City is out of the question. The rest of the cast were all nice and witty too.
The film was well written and well made. I was surprised to find out that some scenes were filmed in Sweden. You'd never be able to tell though. The film's music was also very nice. It really complimented the whole thing and made it an enjoyable experience.
So in short it was a nice little well-made film. However it was let down by the obvious padding which came across as lazy writing.
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