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Archives for : Tom Wilkinson

Quick Reviews: “Tracks” & “Good People”


Rated: PG-13

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Lily Pearl

Directed By: John Curran

Written By: Marion Nelson (Screenplay), Robyn Davidson (Novel)

Rating: 3.5/5

I guess by now, we can expect that at least one film a year will be about someone’s struggling, isolated travels.  Though, unlike Life of Pi and All Is Lost, Robyn Davidson’s (Wasikowska) rough journey was by choice. Tracks follows the true story of Davidson as she treks 1,700 miles across the Australian desert with four camels and her faithful dog.  Since National Geographic ends up sponsoring her trip, Robyn agrees to the monthly drop-in of the magazine’s pestering photographer Rick Solman (Adam Driver), who must take pictures of her progress.

Unfortunately, this film does lack a certain amount of excitement that we would expect from most dangerous adventures.  Nevertheless, Tracks portrays an authentic voyage that is heightened by its stunning cinematography and the brilliant performances led by Wasikowska and Driver.


Good People

Rated: R

Starring: James Franco, Kate Hudson, Tom Wilkinson

Directed By: Henrik Ruben Genz

Written By: Kelly Masterson (Screenplay), Marcus Sakey (Novel)

Rating: 3/5

What good has ever come to people who find large sums of money in the movies?  None you say?  Well you’re right!  And that redundant premise that we have so often seen follows just as predictably in Henrik Ruben Genz’s thriller, Good People.

Tom and Anna Reed (Franco and Hudson), a young American couple, fall into serious debt while renovating Anna’s home in London.  As they begin to accept their losses of having a dream home and finally starting a family, they discover the dead body of their tenant who lives below them and the bag of cash worth $400,000 that he stashed away.  Since no one comes forward to claim the cash, Tom and Anna agree to only spend money that they need.  Unaware that this loot was stolen from a deadly enemy, they are now the crook’s latest target.

Good People is as formulaic as they come.  There are no twist or turns.  However, the story manages to stay engaging the whole way through and ends with a climactic, suspenseful conclusion.  Even though this movie probably won’t even get a bleep on the cinematic radar, Good People does pass for a solid rental.

Good People and Tracks are currently playing in select theaters on September 26.

Movie Review: “Belle” is a Beautiful Tale Told by a Radiant Cast

In this day and age, if you’re young, beautiful, smart, and wealthy, you are the whole package!  Parents want to show you off, and boys are lining up to be with you.  But, in late 18th-century England all that money and poise meant nothing if your skin wasn’t the right color.

If you know the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, well then you already know how this film will end. And even if you don’t know the tale, you can make a pretty good assumption of what will happen.  Luckily the strong cast, led by the incredibly talented Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Larry Crowne), gives enough of a spell-binding performance to make us completely enthralled in this story.

After 12 Years A Slave, you may not want to endure another oppression piece.  Don’t worry; Belle is a much lighter true story with no images of physical abuse or even derogatory language.  This is actually a film the whole family can see.

Belle is a romantic drama about Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of Royal Navy officer Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) and an African slave, who was brought to England by her father after he discovered he had a child with his former lover who was of African descent.  He then left Dido in the care of her great-uncle,  Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson), the Lord Chief Justice (the highest chief justice in the land) and his wife (Emily Watson) while Lindsay returned to his Royal Navy service.

At first the two are taken aback by the idea of raising Dido, especially since they are already caring for her cousin, Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Godson).  It isn’t long before the couple fall in love with Dido and treat her as if she were their own daughter.  The only difference is she is excluded from certain events that Elizabeth is allowed to attend, and she can not to eat dinner with the family when guests are in attendance.  So yeah…basically she’s living the dream life.  The funny thing is; Dido’s father has left her his entire inheritance so she is rich!  She doesn’t need a man to take care of her, unlike her cousin who desperately is seeking a wealthy husband.  Elizabeth’s father has left her nothing; therefore she is “penniless,” which apparently was a major turn off to guys back then.  It’s not exactly something Elizabeth wants to publicize to her top choice suitor (Tom Felton) either.

Dido, on the other hand, has different conflicts to deal with once a romantic relationship develops between her and an outspoken young lawyer, John Davinier (Sam Reid).  A union that Lord Mansfield strongly disapproves of because he feels Dido is of higher class, even though Davinier is his legal apprentice.  Their romance is sweet and best of all, it isn’t rushed.  It is easy to root for this couple from the moment they first meet.

I don’t think they could have picked a more perfect cast.  Gugu Mbatha-Raw is phenomenal, and I am certain we will be seeing plenty more of her beauty gracing the silver screen.  I do hope that Tom Felton will eventually clean up and be given a character that isn’t absolutely despised or disgusting.  A leading man role is just not looking very promising for him.

For a period piece, Belle moves fast.  There is no pointless dialogue or dragged out scenes.  It is an uplifting film that connects you with its tender love story and prevailing message of strength, courage, and proudly accepting who you are and what you believe.

Rating: 3.5/5

Belle hits theaters May 9.

Belle Official Trailer HD

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