Reviews written by registered user
emilyblunt

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43 reviews in total 
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Stink! (2015)
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
You're about to hate just about every product you love., 9 December 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Documentary. Emily Blunt of BluntReview says:Please go see this...but be warned, you will then be up all night reading labels…and tossing out lots off stuff. Because Stink! is gonna leave a huge stank.

Watch in wonder as unpronounceable chemicals become "fragrance" – a code word for, well, what ever the hell the manufacturer wants to put in there. It's eye-opening and shocking.

See real people, asked simple questions, morph into shifty-eyed 1940s gangster film double talkers performing an impromptu verbal Cirque du Soleil – simply to avoid disclosing any ingredient, or its actual point for being in something.

The whole documentary thing started after a father bought PJs for his kids. The children could not stand the smell coming off the youth-geared apparel, purchased at a youth-geared franchise. And so began his journey down the rabid rabbit labyrynth of corporate fun in some mental game of Twister.

There's no clever edits to shape a bias. The footage just plays as your popcorn is held in mid-crunch; what is this "butter" that's so so yellow. Spoiler for mankind: the worst offender is scented items; read anything that has scent added. Period. Those hidden ingredients have directly lead to obesity, asthma, cancer…death. And (it this is not a dramatic play) the fragrance has no legal need to have its ingredients listed; they can blend anything, pop it in there, and call it "Apple Scented." Everyone should see Stink! You'll discover there are really, honestly, no safety controls on our products' ingredients. You can absolutely have poison in there and thanks to "proprietary formulas" you are not allowed to know. In fact, under current law, there can be toxins in products and the FDA can not even issue a recall <- this is paraphrased from an actual scene in Stink of a Senate hearing… ....Beware the Phthalates

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Drama - Real Grown Up Unapologetic Drama, 12 August 2015
8/10

Dark dramas can be emotionally disturbing; a relentless ebb and flow of emotional pull and crashing honesty. It must be careful not to bend towards schmaltz or surrealism; the more invested we are as viewers, the stronger the emotional zenith. The caveat for Strangerland is it is not for all. As wonderful a drama as it is. Truth is often hard. Plus, younger audience members will not have had life-experience to grasp the gritty honesty shown. Think Eugene O'Neill. An admirer of Long Day's Journey or Moon for the Misbegotten will adore these emotional workings; its riptide undercurrent and unfinished tableaux.

In plain English? It's wicked dramatic and the teens are not the stars, the grown ups and their keep-from-the-kids emotions are.

Amazing terrible truths are churned upon the screen until your whole being is glued. You are witness to a small family cracking, breaking, imploding, snapping violently and then fold in towards repair.

All this cataclysmic inter-family brouhaha is unfolding in a tiny Australian desert town people kind of made happen – in the way we do. The surrounding land seems none too keen on the intrusion, and feels free to pluck townsfolk away, vanished, at random…or so the local myths go.

And, new to this area is the Parker family (Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, Madison Brown, and Nicholas Hamilton). From frame one, you understand, things are a pinch off – but what. Oddly, the son walks all night as he can not sleep, and the daughter is a tad over-sexual at a minor age of 15. In fact, this demotion of the family to the strangerlands, is due to her recent covert meanderings with her much older sleazstack-ish teacher. The tension left in the affair's wake is as taut as any aerial act's wires.

Lillie (Madison Brown) is a languishing Lolita. Though, boys her age are fair game too. She's very unhappy here. So is her kid brother… The evening after a very metaphoric dust storm hits, igniting the emotional fury ahead both children are no where to be found. And, as this place borders a literal desert, parental panic ensues. The police sort of get on, but the family's past threatens to swallow them all over again. Where are these kids? The cast is superb. Joseph Fiennes, Mr. Parker, is akin to well-aired Justin Isosceles 2010 red. He is a cut of grass-fed grade A mansteak. 'Course, that's just part of his genealogy; Ralph, his elder brother, is aging like a fine Giuseppe Quintarelli amarone. Yet, while yes the Fiennes men's beauty is well thrown about for idle time man-gawking in some circles, the talent of the whole Fiennes clan never ceases to strike awe.

Then there's Mrs. Parker, aka The Goddess of Alabaster, Nicole Kidman. This lady is one helluva talent. The story is not easy and the needs of the script hard. Yet even as she chips apart emotionally before your very eyes, the performance reads as true as taxes and as visceral as a meadow of fresh air-dried linens.

Hugo Weaving shows as the local sheriff and as always bubbles beneath. Hugo is a huge part of the film's realism; he's a nice guy, thrown into really rough situations with varying levels of delicacy needed to keep the balls-in-the-air. Naturally, he's like a professional juggler.

Enjoy – but do so knowing this is no fluffy summer tickle-your senses movie. Strangerland is high drama that needs time to work in.

8 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
This is One Helluva Funny Show, 6 March 2015
10/10

Emily Blunt over at BluntReview (dot) com says: There's a new show on cable's PopTv, called, Schitt's Creek (yes as in up a, but fear not the cellophane pun). Schitt's Creek is one of the funniest, well-written and cast-d, little slice of hilarity audiences have been served up in a decade; look for it, know it, love it. There are no laugh tracks, no high-tech stunts, no studio audience laughing on cue. Just Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy leading, as a Mr. and Mrs. Rose. Okay, a caveat. Those who adored SCTV or any of the comedic renderings in say,a Christopher Guest-style, will adore; Millennials? Not so much.

Story goes…The uber-wealthy, upper-crusty, snobzilla's known as The Rose Family have been recently de-cashed and stripped bare of the 1%-er lifestyle they so enjoyed.

But as the government seized their all the name-brand stuffs, and babbles, the family was left a small long-forgotten investment found deep in their portfolio.

Seems, they'd bought, as a lark, a now deemed worthless town called Schitt's Creek.

That's it. Wealthy folks go to rural setting sans accouterments de riche…and the hilarity starts from frame one episode one. As agents loot the home, the Rose Family, in shock and awe, grab what they can and head to this Schitt's Creek as they've no place else to go.

That's all you need to know. Well, that and Catherine O'Hara (a freakin' comic legend) will make you have after-laughter at often inappropriate times. And, perhaps, that the Levy gene carries with it a funny streak; Eugene's son and daughter shine in the cast (Daniel and Sarah). Daniel, as David Rose, plays the too-hip-for-you-or-your-family with some of the best quips; though, every character gets great zingers - listen closely for best laughs-per-episode volume.

Oh, and as a general "The more you know," avoid eating or drinking when Chris Elliot steals scenes with his "wife" Jennifer Robertson, you could choke; Fondue? Never again. Ever. Just saying. And, the Rose family daughter played by Annie Murphy is spot on; she done do dumb debutante delightfully.

Granted, you need to watch from the start to know what's going on; still wickedly funny on own...but, in a makes-more sense way. The station site has episodes up. Then once you're in sync, seriously, go to the PopTv.com website and enjoy the extra "tours" of some areas in Schitt's.

Hilarious, just hilarious. Enjoy.

6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Series Two Rocks Too, 25 May 2012

BluntReview says:Brains are indeed the new sexy…and Sherlock Series Two delivers multiple, err, pleasures…In fact it's a trifecta for the brain endorphin-wise. You get a heaping helping of raw sexy, mystery and intrigue complete with scary bits, and the finale serves up a gut-wrenching thrill. And Sherlock Series Two's three new films dare to step forward into the Doyle Classics; Scandal in Bohemia, Hound of the Baskervilles and Reichenbach Falls.

Oh, yes, they went there, and the reworks work. Hell, they've even neatly managed to work in the infamous deerstalker! It's hard to top the phenom the whole production crew brought us in the first myth-shifting series. I mean they had to approach concisely the bromance, the modernization and of course nod to all us Holmesians – with our self-righteous eyes looking for any flaw; complete with the "Why I oughttas" awaiting. But, worldwide we were quietly awed then thunderously applauding.

We are brought back in with, 'A Scandal in Belgravia.' Of course the title is obvious. And the "plot" is about royalty and scandalous pictures. Normally a yawn, ah, but not here there Johnny. Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) run around in glorious subplot land as the real focus is on one woman - The Woman - Irene Adler (Lara Pulver). All the series of films thus far has attempted to knock you upside the head with how not gay Watson is, but, have left Sherlock up to one's imagination. Is this man an Elder Virgin or perhaps… But as we shall all discover all the lad needed was an equally brilliant brain-force and some good old-fashioned gorgeous-to-boot looks thrown in and he too can be befuddled by the opposite sex. Purr. Snap. (<- if you know what I'm typing here...and I think that you do) The acting in these sexually-fueled frames is particularly brilliant from the trio; S, J and I. Watch the eys and tells.

Next up is The Hounds of Baskerville. Now how on Earth are they going to manage this work you may harrumph aloud as the film starts. Fear not, they have and quite (as we are coming to expect) brilliantly. Clever is too mundane a word. Brilliant too used. Let's just go ahead and say it. But, here, the word is neither over used or quaint. The film is genius.

Oh there's something going on out there on the moors alright Joe, and you'll have eyes fixed upon the television wondering just what this hound thing is anyway! There are some clues: Baskerville is now a military testing area, and strange people do strange things, the townsfolk don't mind having a dog beast for fiscal intake purposes, and one young man has a long history with the hound….which would have to be either on a third generation, or twenty odd years old and still running about tearing poor moor wanderers apart like an old chewie toy. And, thankfully, there's plenty of foggy atmospheric additions to help your psyche go along for the hunt.

Finally they've attempted, and succeeded, in The Reichenbach Fall re-imagining. This film is so completely thrilling, I forewarn you not to eat prior to viewing or your tummy is sure to burp and bother at you in protest through out.

Moriaty (Andrew Scott) is back and he's even more twisted and riddled up in a conundrum then when we first met him temper-tantruming about at the pool. Moriaty is the Yin to Sherlock's Yang. He almost steals the show – both actor and character. Seething evil and diction the actor is given some of the smarter bits ever caught by a lens. This Scott fellow can act. Yes he can.

The premise, or plot, starts to shape up to be about how once an idea is planted in one's mind there's no uprooting. Kind of like you can not un-hear something. That's really all I can say without slipping the game up.

Be aware R Falls' end is sure to leave you utterly breathless and perhaps stunned with a tear or two rolling down your face….I'm just saying. I can say no more.

Except to say, the characters you've immediately come to know and enjoy are all back and in the crispest of form from Series One; Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), suffering Molly (Loo Brealey) and Lestrade (Rupert Graves).

DVD kit bonuses include a short on behind the scenes where cast and crew share the warmth of reception and show you how they shot a few really swell scenes and audio commentary.

Once again I bow to all in and around the production for a tremendously entertaining few evenings.

Snack recommendations: Pack of cigarettes for Scandal - or a few nicotine patches...frankly, what ever you enjoy post coitus;)

17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Series Two Set Rocks, 25 May 2012

BluntReview says: Brains are indeed the new sexy…and Sherlock Series Two delivers multiple, err, pleasures…In fact it's a trifecta for the brain endorphin-wise. You get a heaping helping of raw sexy, mystery and intrigue complete with scary bits, and the finale serves up a gut-wrenching thrill. And Sherlock Series Two's three new films dare to step forward into the Doyle Classics; Scandal in Bohemia, Hound of the Baskervilles and Reichenbach Falls.

Oh, yes, they went there, and the reworks work. Hell, they've even neatly managed to work in the infamous deerstalker! It's hard to top the phenom the whole production crew brought us in the first myth-shifting series. I mean they had to approach concisely the bromance, the modernization and of course nod to all us Holmesians – with our self-righteous eyes looking for any flaw; complete with the "Why I oughttas" awaiting. But, worldwide we were quietly awed then thunderously applauding.

We are brought back in with, 'A Scandal in Belgravia.' Of course the title is obvious. And the "plot" is about royalty and scandalous pictures. Normally a yawn, ah, but not here there Johnny. Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman) run around in glorious subplot land as the real focus is on one woman - The Woman - Irene Adler (Lara Pulver). All the series of films thus far has attempted to knock you upside the head with how not gay Watson is, but, have left Sherlock up to one's imagination. Is this man an Elder Virgin or perhaps… But as we shall all discover all the lad needed was an equally brilliant brain-force and some good old-fashioned gorgeous-to-boot looks thrown in and he too can be befuddled by the opposite sex. Purr. Snap. (<- if you know what I'm typing here...and I think that you do) The acting in these sexually-fueled frames is particularly brilliant from the trio; S, J and I. Watch the eys and tells.

Next up is The Hounds of Baskerville. Now how on Earth are they going to manage this work you may harrumph aloud as the film starts. Fear not, they have and quite (as we are coming to expect) brilliantly. Clever is too mundane a word. Brilliant too used. Let's just go ahead and say it. But, here, the word is neither over used or quaint. The film is genius.

Oh there's something going on out there on the moors alright Joe, and you'll have eyes fixed upon the television wondering just what this hound thing is anyway! There are some clues: Baskerville is now a military testing area, and strange people do strange things, the townsfolk don't mind having a dog beast for fiscal intake purposes, and one young man has a long history with the hound….which would have to be either on a third generation, or twenty odd years old and still running about tearing poor moor wanderers apart like an old chewie toy. And, thankfully, there's plenty of foggy atmospheric additions to help your psyche go along for the hunt.

Finally they've attempted, and succeeded, in The Reichenbach Fall re-imagining. This film is so completely thrilling, I forewarn you not to eat prior to viewing or your tummy is sure to burp and bother at you in protest through out.

Moriaty (Andrew Scott) is back and he's even more twisted and riddled up in a conundrum then when we first met him temper-tantruming about at the pool. Moriaty is the Yin to Sherlock's Yang. He almost steals the show – both actor and character. Seething evil and diction the actor is given some of the smarter bits ever caught by a lens. This Scott fellow can act. Yes he can.

The premise, or plot, starts to shape up to be about how once an idea is planted in one's mind there's no uprooting. Kind of like you can not un-hear something. That's really all I can say without slipping the game up.

Be aware R Falls' end is sure to leave you utterly breathless and perhaps stunned with a tear or two rolling down your face….I'm just saying. I can say no more.

Except to say, the characters you've immediately come to know and enjoy are all back and in the crispest of form from Series One; Mycroft (Mark Gatiss), Mrs. Hudson (Una Stubbs), suffering Molly (Loo Brealey) and Lestrade (Rupert Graves).

DVD kit bonuses include a short on behind the scenes where cast and crew share the warmth of reception and show you how they shot a few really swell scenes and audio commentary.

Once again I bow to all in and around the production for a tremendously entertaining few evenings.

Snack recommendations: Pack of cigarettes for Scandal - or a few nicotine patches...frankly, what ever you enjoy post coitus;)

The Fields (2011)
26 out of 56 people found the following review useful:
This quiet film is gonna scare the bejeesus out of you, 24 October 2011
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Fields is a perfect thrill-filled horror flick. There's no gore, no screaming soundtrack, and no naked coeds flashing big new implants at you in 3D – so if you're under say 30, you may not appreciate the style. I, personally, feel this was the scariest film I have seen since the original Chainsaw Massacre ruined countless nights of sleep all those years ago.

Corn fields – the fields they reference here – are some how creepy; always have been. Add to that filming when the corn is gone, and the six foot carcasses of stalk line up to create their own Halloween-worthy forest scape…one's imagination can roam into a frenzied Fearland at the mere thought of a crow taking flight.

That being said, the story goes…It's 1973, and young Steven's (Joshua Ormond) parents are having a few problems. His overseers are too busy suspecting and accusing to allow focus to fall on the youngin'. So, off to grandma's house he goes.

His father's parents' place. This quirky duo is a long-married tough sonovabitch sort. Gladys (Cloris Leachman) is eccentric and delightfully foul-mouthed, in that way many of us recall our own grand parents using the forbidden words as colorful adjectives. Hiney (Bev Appleton) is the sweet grandfather – he still has his post-deviling sparkle twinkling in those old eyes of his though.

Their humble farm rests against a corn field; the kind that, while off-putting, beckons for perusal. Naturally little Steven is drawn in like any horror tale's main character…especially when he is told he better not go in there or he'll end up, as his loving grandma likes to point out, black and bloated and dead.

Faster than you can say, "Godzilla has attacked Toyk…" the lad sneaks within.

At this point of the film, you are petrified. All they've done is play some mood-altering music, showed a dysfunctional family's secrets, and reminded you about the Manson trial presently in their headlines.

But, you are there with Steven. He's a curious, smart kid. Still he is a child. He sincerely ponders that this Manson chap could be out and about, taking their exit to get some fresh veggies and whatnots. Sure, Steven is in Pennsylvania, and Manson is behind bars in California - but Steven heard the phrase parole on the radio and that's enough to ignite his nightmares.

Manson aside, something's up, and Steven is tuned in to it. And you're watching all this from his perspective.

The Fields is brilliant. Screenwriter B. Harrison Smith wove a fine freckled fearfest here. Each of the characters is deeply built. Here, you won't find yourself yelling at the kuckudoo-for-brains characters for their stupid reactions; they are scared too - and they listen. You get the feeling the film makers crossed their T's and made sure people in this film were on the ball. From editing, location, clothes, set design – they didn't hand you an, "Oh come on!" moment once.

You genuinely winced and begged Steve to get the hell outta there, and when he visits his "odd" aunt, you skeeve through the whole section of frames. That's the secret of The Fields' success; continued simple empathetic manipulations of the celluloid canvas before you.

Joshua Ormond (Steven) is simply delightful. His face tells the story, and his ability to share fear is incredible; a lot was on this young actor's shoulders and he pulled off an Atlas-style showing. His parents Tara Reid and Faust Checho are spot on as young adults in a strained marriage. Johnson as Hiney is fabulous. And, let's be frank...I don't adore too many actor folks; one of my personal chickbabe idols, Cloris Leachman is one holding the Royal Flush at this high-stakes table of career-making hands. Leachman wields her "Gladys" like she's channeling some lower-middle-class grandma's skeleton-filled closet's soul. And, many of her lines make you bellow aloud towards the screen. Yet, her fear and care for the child are clear as a mosquito tableau in the finest Soviet amber.

Get this. See this. From The Fields' first atmospheric frame you can just tell this quiet film is gonna scare the bejeesus out of you.The people behind the film have grand futures. And, Joshua Ormond will be walking some red shaded carpets soon; let's hope he has a good support system to avoid his own E! True Hollywood Story special.

Snack recommendation: Peppermint tea (to sooth the fear-tension-fueled bile building in your stomach), and a pack of Camels.

9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Swell look at a debatable genre, 29 January 2007
10/10

Bringing Darkness to Light is one of the most in-depth looks at Film Noir that has been made. The production team dug deep into the vaults for the miles of clip footage. And it is great to see scholars and stars debate what film noir even is. To this day some people refuse to call it a genre. Well, this well-done intelligent documentary lets the art-form speak for itself. The doc is part of B rate films - but still a collection worth the clams if you consider yourself a Noir buff. Besides, the James Ellroy interview is worth all the bucks in-tself. Buy it now and enjoy; Film Noir Vol 3 from Warner Bros. (The Keepers of the Past)

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
This is a helluva documentary -worth the box set purchase, 13 December 2006
10/10

One Magnificent Bird is found in the Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection Volume 2. The smart folks at Warner Bros. added all three of their versions of The Maltese Falcon and included an in-depth documentary on The John Huston version. The doc is filled with clips and insights, reminding you just how important (and good) the film, and the book it was drawn from really were.

After watching this wonderfully created piece you will never watch the film about the bird in the same way afterviewing this. There's so much you didn't know. This is why we buy DVD sets. The extras and the things included; which just get better and better as time goes by.

The Maltese Falcon is the film that cemented Bogart as the king of smooth. While Casablanca made him an immortal icon. Bravo.

47 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
The Story of the Weeping Camel provides a universal message of how we all need love to survive delicately laced into the tale of a sad little camel, 4 January 2004

There's a new style of film eking into the film biz called "Narrative Documentary." What? An oxymoron you tutt-tutt silently as you read.Well, yes and no. It describes a documentary that has been embellished with narrative scenes to ultimately create the arc-drama one finds in a feature film with the intelligence of a documentary.

Narrative documentary is truly an appropriate expression for this wonderfully unique and intriguing little gem, The Story of the Weeping Camel.

As you watch the fairly simple tale of a camel that after a grueling birthing of her albino calf, she decides she's not interested in the ideas of motherhood and abandons the newborn to fend for itself.

Sounds positively dull until you start to watch this young mother and the footage the filmmakers gathered and you are pulled in - mesmerized, "How did the film crew get this?" It feels like a documentary, looks like a documentary but then there's the story obviously running along side the remarkable footage that you realize is scripted, storyboarded and a team behind the lens have planned. Amazing.

38 out of 65 people found the following review useful:
The Shipping News is remarkable, stupendous, brilliant, witty and heart warming., 23 December 2001

Headline:The Shipping News sweeps all awards for 2002, the moviegoers cheer, and Spacey and cast snag a round of Oscars.

The Shipping News is about one man discovering himself when he wasn't even looking; when he's all but just given up.

Those familiar with Proulx's visceral scripting of lives -not-so-ordinary-in-reality will be pleasantly coddled as her Shipping News characters are brought to amazing life at the hands of some our time's finest actors; Dame Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett and Kevin Spacey. Each is known for disappearing into their roles, and with the combination of Proulx's perfect characters (misfits) the actors seemed engulfed.

Quoyle (Kevin-- clearing a spot for a few award trinkets as we speak- Spacey) is a sad, nearly nonexistent man. He gets no respect from anyone he holds near and dear. He's a guy you pass on the street and may remark at, if only to notice how sad he appears. His life is nothing spectacular. His story? His story is another kettle of boiling water all together…

His life takes a few dramatic turns as we meet him. His gallivanting wife Petal (Cate Blanchett) has absconded with their young daughter Bunny and his parents have done something equally dramatic. The events find him thrown together with his tough-as-nails Newfoundland born aunt Agnis Hamm (Dame Judi Dench). With his run of luck at the deeper end of long over, she invites him to try a fresh start, up there.

He's got nothing to lose so follows her up to his family's historic birthplace. A barren rock his people called home, only forty odd years ago, called Killick-Claw. Think, middle of nowhere with fantastic cliff and ocean views and the restaurant is the only restaurant. Small, quaint and a perfect place to hide from your troubles and the world.

He and his precocious, and "sensitive," daughter Bunny are adjusting and getting to know their new neighbors on the small hamlet, that appears to never see the season of summer.

Quoyle is experiencing a newfound meaning to life (his life especially)in Newfoundland. He is hired as a small-time reporter for the local rag-mag and community pulse serving paper The Gammy Bird. His writing starts to affect all aspects of his mundane life.

He also meets an equally sad and sullen gal named Wavey (Julianne "Best Actress 2002" Moore). She' s a widow who wears her heart on her sleeve and is weary of starting any new romances. Poor Quoyle.

Mysterious happenings and awakenings start to emerge all around Quoyle as well as a new sense of self, friendships and life. What's it mean?

The Shipping News is old time story telling at it's finest. Newfoundland in itself is a bit of a mystical place to most of us. Proulx creates her story's characters so rich in dimension with that same timeless appeal like a Huck Finn or Nicholas Nickleby, one expects to look them up in the local phone book when in town. But it's the subtle expert performances for subtle yet animated characters make this simply a masterpiece. The award shows are going to be quite redundant this year... A Beautiful Mind and its wonderful cast and performances will be The Shipping News' only competition in the BIG 3 categories - for sure.

Spacey (whom I adore to the point of actually being speechless in front of), brings us, perhaps, his finest performance to date in Quoyle (pronounced coil). Kev reveals Quoyle's soul is wounded and yet his heart, even with all the injustices it has faced in its forty-something years that should be bitter and hard, manages to pound sweet, strong and hopeful. It's an unbelievable performance. Not that I'm surprised…This man is a

scrumptious treat for the senses not unlike like fresh fried Ipswich clams drizzled in tarter sauce with a side of old fashioned delectable helping of New England style cole slaw!

Why's Spacey so great? Is it because he hung with Jack Lemmon in his formative years as an actor? Or because (like myself) he adores the complicated gritty works of Eugene O'Neill? Perhaps, because he makes himself aloof to keep his personality out of his films, thusly making himself completely disappear into the film? Um…yeah. Disagree? Get your own review. K-PAX aside, his work always brilliant, intense, or funny, or light…it's what ever he wants it to be. I'd breed with the man, sure, but I'm also sure I will not be alone in my admiration for his performance here. Sorry, Russell, your also grand and one helluva actor, but your "butt" has been elegantly drop kicked by Cadet Fowler for the mad mad race for Oscar…

Judi Dench is, as always, an inspiration on film.

Julianne Moore (Wavey) worked her plane Jane gorgeous self into a yarn of great depth and feeling. We wanted to make her tea and give her a hug by the end of the film.

Cate "I'm in every movie on the marquee this winter" Blanchett is a chameleon- somebody check her body temperature and dining habits! As Quale's rude, nasty, sluty bimbette squared love interest, Petal, she makes you loath her within the first forty-eight frames.

Petal and Quoyle's offspring, little "Bunny", was played by triplets Alyssa, Kaitlyn, and Lauren Gainer. These gals could give Haley Joel Osment a run for his bubblegum money. They played beside veteran thespians like it was their birthright. You can picture the little dolls finished with their scenes sneaking off to be kids again "please pass the play dough, please, I'm done with my scene mum."

Pete "Kobayashi" Postlewaite plays Quoyle's nemesis at the paper with tons of humor and that smoothness of delivery he's so famous for. Love this man.

Welsh and Sheppard's Pie of a manly man, actor Ryhs Ifans ( Little Nicky, Notting Hill) was adorable as Quoyle's new friend B. Beaufield Nutbeem. It was such a pleasure to see him- on so many different levels.

Director, Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog, Cider House Rules) is famous for quirky studies on the human condition. Here he's strung his cast together like a Newfoundland fisherman's net and draws them so tightly together so as not a syllable of dialog slips away. In lesser hands The Shipping News could have been a sentimental sugar encrusted bakers dozen of stale over done leaden donuts.

There's so many more involved and each deserves accolades for bringing an already warm story to the screen with a remarkable toasty reality that makes you laugh, stir, and wonder… I feel bad for Ron Howard. He finally gets a nod or two and he has to be up against this film.

Snack recommendation: Plain Donuts, fried octopus tentacle sandwiches and tea

Headline: The Shipping News looms over small cinema. Crowds, hearing the buzz, rush to see it opening day! The masses exclaim:" for once a film is better than its hype."

Blunt Aside: Have you noticed the names I've listed; Petal Wavey, Bunny? That's just some of Proulx's magic. She chooses her names in such a way as to metaphorically manipulate your mind without your even knowing it. Even Quoyle has significance. After you see the film (which is mandatory) the names will come gloriously into the light. Trust me.


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