Wednesday, 9 February 2011

London life: Sunday night is movie night

I've written before about how, when we moved up to London from the country, we promised ourselves that on every Sunday night we'd go to the cinema. In spite of an initial poor start to this plan, we've recently seen a few more films.

Last weekend it was Barney's Version, a film which wasn't exactly top of my 'must see' list, but when we eventually got around to booking tickets at the fantastic Everyman Cinema in Hampstead, this film was the only one with seats available for our favourite five pm showing.  

And even though this is not a film that you'd rave about, it's a pleasant way to spend two or so hours. The performances by Dustin Hoffman as Barney's uncouth ex-cop father, and Rosamund Pike, as the love of Barney's life, were particularly good. Paul Giamatti in the title role was also excelled. I loved him as John Adams in the TV series and at first had difficulty in imagining him as a raucous 20-something instead of an honourable American president, but I soon got over that hurdle - the first drunken scene made sure of it.

The story of Barney's Version basically centres around a TV producer, Barney, whose life is characterised by his impulsive nature. Sometimes this is a good thing (when he meets and woos Rosamund Pike) and sometimes it gets him into trouble (he gets married three times). What I was most impressed with was the make-up, however. I don't know anything about it, but to me it was incredible how natural the cast looked as their young, middle-aged and old selves. Usually when an actor is made to look old (or young) on screen, you can spot the silicone (or whatever it is they use) on their faces a mile away, but in this film the young looked young and the old were old very naturally. 

This week I'm not sure we'll manage a Sunday night cinema because I'm going to see three plays before that (including Children's Hour at the Comedy Theatre, which as a fan of Mad Men and Elisabeth Moss I'm very excited about) It means we're out both Friday and Saturday nights. But if we are up for it, I think I'd like to see Brighton Rock this coming Sunday.

Photograph: c.Everett Collection / Rex Features
Another film that's caught my eye is Archipelago. It's not going to be released until 4th of March, but having seen the trailer it looks very Bergmanesque. And this from a British female director! Joanna Hogg's latest film is set in the Scilly Isles and whether it is the bleakness of the cinematography, or the documentary style of her direction, but I really felt I could have been watching a film by the old Swedish master himself. I'm obviously yet to see the whole thing, so watch this space; I'll be reporting back when it's out.

Photo from
Doesn't this picture from the film look like a scene from, say Autumn Sonata by Bergman? 

Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata 1978
There's an interesting interview with Joanna Hogg (in which she looks gorgeous!) in this month's Vogue. I haven't seen her debut film, Unrelated, but I'll be looking out for it on the TV listings, or I might even buy the DVD if it's out.


Looking Fab in your forties said...

I still haven't seen the Kings Speech, I so wont to go to the cinema, but the nearest one is 20 miles away!

Helena Halme said...

It used to take us at least an hour to get to the cinema when we lived in the country - we used to catch up on films when they came out on DVD. Now that we can walk it seems a crime not to go more often. But then I have no garden....xx