I think that the film is a love-letter to Edinburgh and I guess that former Edinburgh folk world wide will flock to see the movie. My only criticism is that there did not seem to be as much use of Leith locations as the title would suggest (yes Edinburgh is beautiful and parts of Leith are disappointing). At the very least would have expected the actors to go to one Hibs game, I like the ones where they get beaten by Hearts, rather than just see a game on a pub TV.
The actors seemed to try to get the local lingo - oddly no "aye, right..." or "i know yer faither" (classic put downs in that part of the world). Jane Horrocks tried (noted use of 'the morn' for tomorrow) but I thought her accent never really seemed to settle. More could have been made of the story of the disabled serviceman and the cheeky nephew, I think.
The use of the Proclaimers music is excellent and set well within the story - the best scene was the opening scene in the Armoured Personnel Carrier before you knew who was who and the arrival of the lads in Edinburgh.
Well, it is brilliant. I have seen films about prisons and prisoners and there is always hope of remission, here there is none, this is the ultimate horror. The film is an exploration of the ultimate horror being alive and dead at the same time. Only able to communicate with his eye and blinking, Bauby tells you about his life. The story of how he learnt to communicate is inspiring, the amazing patient dedication of the people around him, the way we can hear his thoughts but no one else can are fantastic ways of building empathy with Bauby and his living horror. The phone calls with his absent lover and his father are moving. Life is precious and this film makes that point very clearly.
Its starting point is a character who is detached and lives a peripatetic life in an almost clutter free apartment. The film explores the character and his motivations and those of the other school teachers at a failing school.I found the film engrossing as the realistic messy lifestyles it documented developed depth through the 97 minutes. Statements were made, bubbles burst and hidden secrets revealed. It is gripping too, how will it end, will the lives and problems all be sorted? No signposts just a gripping story.
You will enjoy this movie, it stays with you as you leave the theatre and it makes you ask questions - how did things get this bad.
The story arc of the main character is a little more predictable - think the "little corporal" or Col Gadaffi; but you wonder why films like this cannot show people rising above their circumstances rather than being consumed by them - know your place! I think a person who expects power and respect from others is more likely to get megalomania when he gets more of it and not understand limits, than one for whom it is a new experience - think bankers bonuses!
That said, the way the film was pulled together was excellent and the grey rainy feel added to the dark brooding nature of the story. Some plot holes (editing?) but this is film I would recommend to anyone - its brilliant.
The mad mullah character was brilliant - by casting a white man in this role I think the director was trying to get a white audience to understand these characters are in 'our' terms. He neatly brought across the pointlessness of suicide bombing and the heavy handed attitude of the state - brilliant piece of film making.
I loved the scenes in Siberia with the flies (midges in Scotland and Mossies in Spain always find me and I know how they felt).
The great trick that the director pulled off was the subtly contrast the claustrophobia of the camp and the work parties with the epic distances and landscape that they had to cross to reach safety.
I would have preferred a film more like "sin city" which acknowledged it was a cartoon world and kept the world that the characters inhabited less real and more styllized. I loved the title sequence at the end - it was here that the film it could have been was most on view. Basically a TV movie with good special effects.
I went to see this as a filler, Boy - was I wrong. This is a truly great movie. I felt a lump in my throat by the end and was totally absorbed by its pace and story. George V speech to Bertie about monarchy was brilliant - Prince Charles take note. It had no saggy bits. It really captured inter-war London, the odd accents of the time and the class distinctions. The tone of the filming was excellent - the colours were reminiscent of paintings by the Camden group of artists. The now thankfully historic heavy fogs and smogs and the grime of the streets.
I thought the acting was superb and HBC actually made the Queen mum seem real - a little more restrained about the present Queen. The King comes across as fine chap standing up to his advisers and overcoming his fears to lead the country in its most dangerous time.
There are some good gags - Greyfriars Bobby episode in the grave yard was brilliant (though' in Ashford Kent - the less sophisticated audience missed it) several laugh out loud moments elsewhere and a good cast that hammed up their roles brilliantly. I thought Simon Pegg did well to find some humanity in his character. Andy Serkis was wonderfully amoral.
Not sure if real Edinburgh locations were used but the 'all girl macbeth' was a nod to the festival and some locations (George IV bridge) looked real. The lanes I was less sure about but l loved the fact it was the early 19th Century in its earthy glory.
Not sure if this was aimed at fat middle aged blokes - but it worked for me, my worries were groundless: the comedy and drama survived from the story (maybe Posy Simmonds should create more novels that can be filmed). The casting was excellent and Roger Allam gave a fantastic performance, Tamsin Greg was brilliant as usual and Gemma Arterton was a revelation in the lead role. The Drumming sequence with 'Ben' in the cottage was particularly brilliant. It was good with its 'loser' characters (and I thought, maybe they should have weekends to help civil servants write inspiring briefing for uninspiring Ministers)
I am amazed at the negative reviews on the site, I do not think that that the film tried to be more than it was and yes it was set in an idyllic English village - that was the point. Maybe these reviewers should be more careful at the multiplex and are more at home with rubbish like the "Expendibles". Not clear about the link to 'Cold Confort Farm' made by another reviewer this is clearly a different style of story about modern people in the modern countryside.
There was superb characterisation by a first rate cast in a subversive story that played with the stock characters that stories in English villages always have and made some real points about what is happening in these communities and about peoples lives and how selfish actions and jokey 'messing' can have big consequences in other people's lives.
Go and see this movie.
The way that the protagonists prospered or did not after the fall of communism also had a ring of truth. the apparatchiks of freedom would be the apparatchiks of totalitarianism. I hope that this is/was picked up by the Oscars and not in the best foreign language category, judging by its run in London, its more mainstream and more important that the recent crop of Gulf movies to emerge from Hollywood.
Whats happened in Germany, they are now producing the best films in Europe! what i also liked was that I felt I was there. The dull civil service aspect and fear of saying the wrong thing were brought out really well.
If i had ever been tempted to be a secret agent,It would be this one.
Did I enjoy it, that is more difficult to say, I was not entirely satisfied with the ending and realized that I needed to see it again to piece together the meaning of the third rose. I think I will end up buying it on DVD though just to see if I got everything. It reminds me a little of a movie I saw about Marcel Proust (time regained?)- this was reminded me of sprawling 1970's Italian films. One way you can tell if a film is good, does it remain with you outside the cinema, this one does. I found myself running over its themes on the way home.
Maybe the producer/directer watched too many of those stiff dull British films about the time we ran the place, then accidentally replaced all the Indian Indians with Americans in wigs and beards? There are good movies to be made about Indian experience (none of them from Bollywood - judging by the few I have seen). This movie was not a good movie about India - it was not a good movie, it had no point, no middle and the end was sentimental pfaff. I was pleased that I had a cineworld pass, had I paid £10.00 to see this, I would be demanding my money back.