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The Theory of Everything- Review

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Directed by: James Marsh

“A wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne.”

I have never been a dab hand at science, or anything for that matter. The only really good impression I can do is of a man with no talent. So when buying a ticket to see James Marsh’s the Theory of Everything, I was a trifle concerned. I assumed that even the most layman explanation of one of Stephen Hawkins’s ideas, would’ve left me scratching my head wondering when the staff were going to hand me a Winnie the Pooh colouring book. I braced myself for the moment I would be handed some crayons, and ask politely to wait in the corner, until the biopic of one of the world’s greatest minds had finish. I’m pleased to say that this film is neither baffling, confusing, or boring. It is in fact brilliant.

Based on the life of the great physicist Stephen Hawking, this is a wonderfully put together film, coupled with a phenomenal performance by Eddie Redmayne. It’s a performance that may just seal the deal of an Oscar. Starting in Hawkins’s early school years where he meets his sweetheart Jane, (Felicity Jones) the couple seek to battle Stephens debilitating disease-motor neuron syndrome (MS). Both Redmayne and Jones give a wonderfully evocative and convincing performance that, on numerous occasions, draws heartbreaking light on living with MS. Redmayne acts the role of an MS sufferer so convincingly, that you completely forget he’s an able-bodied actor.

As Stephen Hawkins’s story is told over the years, the film does a sterling job of both outlining his life and his work in a comprehensible and coherent way. There are no moments in the film where the pacing seems to drag. It’s also eager to show the achievements Hawking has made, despite his crippling battle with MS.

Verdict

Whether you already possess a wealth knowledge on Stephen Hawking or not is irrelevant, and wont mar the enjoyment if you (like me) don’t. The filmmaking is solid as are the acting performances, and provides an interesting insight into one of the world’s greatest physicists.

4.8/5

Luke H

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (or at least more accepting of abandonment)

Picklepants cuppa1Hello there! I know I bet you never thought you’d have another update from little old us! All the apologies in the world would not suffice for such a long absence but know that I am truly sorry that you have had such a drought of our amazingly witty, insightful and entertaining writing.

What’s that?

You didn’t even notice?

Wow.

I mean I appreciate the honesty but still.

Well fuck it! I can’t stay mad at you. I will work harder than ever so that things like this never happen again. Mark it in your calendars! 2015 is now THE YEAR OF THE PICKLE! (Don’t worry that’s just a working title.) Aaaaaanyway, this site may start to seem a bit different but please never fret we will still aim to bring you great reviews and discussions but now just in a more accessible way. You may even see more rants here and there. And I don’t mean little shy annoyances but fully fledged rampages!

So without further ado I welcome you to PicklePants. Come in, leave your shoes by the door and I’ll pop the kettle on.

Two Faces of January QUICKPICKLE

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“A very stylish, very well played and enjoyable film, but not a lot in the way of depth.”

 

Two faces of January is Hossein Amini’s directional debut, which can be said to take a lot of inspiration from the Iconic “The Talented Mr. Ripley. “ This profoundly suave and handsome film is a more of a drama than a thriller. It focuses on a husband and wife who, after becoming embroiled in the murder of a private detective, make a fragile alliance with a local scamming tour guide, in a gambit to flee.

 

The film focuses on an affluent, elegant couple named Colette (Kirsten Dunst) and Chester (Viggo Mortensen) MacFarland. After spending the day holidaying in Athens, they retire back to the hotel for the evening only to be approached by a private Investigator. He claims to represent some clients of which invested some money with Chester and demands that the money be returned. After a brief altercation, in which Chester was held at gunpoint, he accidentally kills the PI. This sets in motion a dilemma, in which the couple enlist the help of a local tour guide and scam artist to escape Greece and return to America.

 

The style and setting of the film is done with great poise and sophistication, being a medley of suits, dresses, scotch, cigarettes and iconic landscapes filling the screen. The film does a great job in portraying the early 1940s and 50s very well.

 

Such style is accompanied too by solid acting performances throughout. Mortensen gives a stellar performance of a ruthless, calculating money swindler alongside his convincingly played innocent wife by Dunst. The Tour guide (Oscar Isaac) gives perhaps the most intriguing performance of them all, leaving you unsure as to why he is helping the MacFarland’s escape justice. Is it for financial gain? Is it out of fear? Or is it because he loves Colette?

 

Strangely enough however these solid performances are both the films best friend and worst enemy. Whist they give a convincing portrayal of each character, you can help but notice that the film really doesn’t delve deep into each of the characters enough. Little more than castaway lines are used to make what felt like a slap-dash approach to each of the characters pasts. As an audience, you never really feel like you’re allowed to delve deep into the mind of each of the protagonists, and thus cease to feel as part of the action.

 

Verdict

 

A very stylish, very well played and enjoyable film, but not a lot in the way of depth. Whilst this is determent to the story somewhat, it is by no means a very good first big budget attempt for newcomer director Hossein Amini.

 

3.5/5

Luke