Posts Tagged ‘Romola Garai’


Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as I review three movies in less time than it takes to seat a pickle! Have a look as I race against the clock to tell you about the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!” and the Can Con rom com “French Girl.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CP24 to have a look at the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I join CTV NewsChannel anchor Roger Peterson to talk about the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One Life.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to have a look at the neo noir “Love Lies Bleeding,” the mockumentary “Hey Viktor!,” the Can Con rom com “French Girl” and the drama “One LIfe.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

ONE LIFE: 3 STARS. “given life by the emotional story and performances.”

Chances are good you have seen the extraordinary viral video of elderly London stockbroker Nicolas Winton, given a standing ovation by the grown survivors of the 669 children, mostly Jewish, he rescued from Czechoslovakia before the Nazi occupation closed the borders. Taken from the BBC television show “That’s Life,” it is moving footage that has been viewed millions of times.

“One Life,” a new biopic starring Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Flynn, Jonathan Pryce and Helena Bonham Carter, and now playing in theatres, provides the background of the much-viewed video and the man known as the “British Schindler.”

Based on the book “If It’s Not Impossible…: The Life of Sir Nicholas Winton” by Barbara Winton, the film toggles back-and-forth between 1987 London and 1938 Czechoslovakia. In the contemporary scenes Winton (Hopkins) is in retirement, puttering around a house stuffed with memories, paperwork and artefacts from his past. He continues his charitable work, still haunted that he was not able to save more children, while his wife Grete (Lena Olin) urges him to clear out the ephemera of the past and slow down. “Why would I want to slow down?” he asks.

Played by Flynn in the flashbacks, Winton is on assignment for the British Committee for Refugees From Czechoslovakia. In Prague, taken by the plight of the stranded children he encounters, the hunger and the mortal danger the impending Nazi occupation, he puts into motion the massive relocation of hundreds of children. Through money raising efforts, arranging visas and foster care, he spirits nine trainloads of children, through precarious circumstances, to safety in Britain.

The famous viral video, in which Winton is finally able to see, and maybe for the first time, understand, the results of his work, is recreated to great emotional effect. But even as his status as a national hero grows, he grumbles, “This is not about me.”

As the latter-day Winton, Hopkins gives a quietly powerful performance. It is empathetic work colored by the guilt Winton carried. “I’ve learned to keep my imagination in check,” he says, referring to the children left behind, “so I don’t go raving mad.” In a restrained movie, it is his inner work that bursts forth, making us feel the immense impact of Winton’s work.

“One Life” is a potent story of doing the right thing, trapped in a staid historical biopic, but given life by the emotional story and performances.

THE LAST DAYS ON MARS: 2 STARS. “Roger Corman would have called this ‘Space Zombies'”

2013-09-19-last_days_on_mars-e1379575888561“The Last Days on Mars” is the kind of movie that used to play the bottom -of-the-bill at drive-ins. Set on the red planet, it’s a sci fi thriller that b-movie king Roger Corman would have called “Space Zombies,” with at least two exclamation marks. As it stands, “The Last Days on Mars” might have been more fun if director Ruairi Robinson had embraced drive-in quality of the story and left any illusions of becoming the next Ridley Scott at the concession stand.

An adaptation of Sydney J. Bounds’ short story “The Animators,” the film begins near the end of a long mission on Mars. The exhausted crew—Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas, Romola Garai, Olivia Williams, Johnny Harris, Goran Kostic, Tom Cullen and Yusra Warsama—is tired of being cooped up and itching to get back to earth. Days before their exit a mysterious algae is found growing on an underground supply of H2O. What should be an exciting discovery turns nasty when the two astronauts who perished making the discovery come back to terrorize the remaining crew with some bloody zombie carnage.

It all seems familiar, and it is, so the trick for Robinson was to create characters that we’d care about if they happen to get infected with alien germs and turn into bloodthirsty virus carriers. By and large he manages to up the emotional ante by casting good actors. Schreiber, Koteas, Garai and Williams elevate the b-movie story to something approaching a b-plus-movie, the plus being some real human interact during the scenes where they aren’t turning tail and fleeing hungry zombies.

There is the standard “I’ll-do-anything-to-survive-including-leaving-you-to-be-devoured” character, the hardnosed scientist type, but there’s also an interesting relationship between Schreiber and Garai that brings one of the movie’s best climatic moments.

“The Last Days on Mars” spends a bit too much time in faux Kubrick Mode before switching to full-on Corman style exploitation, but once it clicks over it’ll make your pulse race. The zombies are appropriately angry, there’s some good shocks and by the time the crew is whittled down to the essentials—that’s not a spoiler, this is a total Who’s Gonna Get It Next flick—a good hero and a nasty bad guy, it’s a bit of drive-in style fun.