Spotlight (4 1/2 Stars)

‘They knew and they let it happen’

A long anticipated film for me did not disappoint. Spotlight is based on Spotlight team at the Boston Globe, who won the 2003 Pulitzer prize for their series of articles uncovering the child abuse scandal perpetrated by priests within the Catholic Church.

The cast perform beautifully together in this drama that has punch. It is gritty, realistic. The touches that highlight the hand shake and turn the other cheek to avoid rocking the boat atmosphere is nicely done. The film is also very appropriate, touching on a highly sensitive subject in a dignified way. As Sacha (Rachel McAdams) says in the film, Spotlight told this story, but importantly told it right.

By the end of the film my blood ran cold as the impact on the abuse and how it superseded not only Boston, but America as well was well executed.

This film deserves every one of it’s six Oscar and three BAFTA nominations.

The Hunger Games (4 1/2 Stars)


If you’ve never read the books before then the film begins with a very dramatic black scene with white text where it outlines the plot of the film. It begins with the Treaty of the Treason – a very formal document that spells out in simple terms that during the Reaping a boy and a girl from each district and aged between 12-18 will be selected to participate in the Hunger Games, where they will fight to the death until there is a lone survivor. It’s very clinical and neat…and intensely horrific at the same time.

The film introduces a new world with a new set of rules, if you’re not aware of the books you’re not aware of the history, although there are a few clues – such as there were 13 districts, yet only 12 districts enter the Hunger Games. There are in essence two worlds, the districts and the Capitol. I love the contrast of the 1940s vibe from the clothing of the districts, particularly in 12, compared to the über modern and opulent Capitol. The Capital fails to understand the human cost of the games, they are just power hungry and enjoy the sport, like the rich upper elite of the Romans who held power over the Gladiators.

Yet, you are forced into a impossible situation, if you want to live you have to play the game. But at what cost? What does winning mean for you for your sole? Can you play the game to survive but also remain true to yourself?

The Gift (4 1/2 Stars)

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) have just made a big move from Chicago back to Simon’s home suburb in Los Angeles, for reasons that manifest themselves within the film. Whilst shopping for new decoration for their new place, Simon bumps into a old acquaintance from school, Gordo (Joel Edgerton). Gordo recognises Simon instantly…Simon does not. Being polite Robyn invites Gordo into their lives and it quickly becomes apparent that Gordo is not all he seems and with repeatedly leaving gifts, Simon reverts back to an old nickname…Gordo the Werido. However it is painfully obvious to Robyn that Gordo and Simon have a history…one that makes Robyn question who she really married.

This film is brilliant. I think the advert let this one down, it gave away alot of the storyline to begin with and there were bits of the film I was anticipating and got right throughout. However dispite the spoilers (which are akin to those next week on such tv show) I thought the ending to the film was fantastic. There was a gripping suspense as you watch the final scenes play out and it leaves you with the questions…can you ever truely know who you’ve married? and more importantly – would you tell her?