45 Years (2015)

  • Director – Andrew Haigh
  • Starring – Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtney
  • Writer – David Constantine (short story ‘In Another Country’) and Andrew Haigh (adaption)
  • Year – 2015
  • Running Time – 95 mins

45 Years Letter

We all have shoeboxes stuffed away in the attic or tucked into the back of a draw which contain the memories of relationships gone by; letters, trinkets, ticket stubs and such like.  These shoeboxes of life, as the Bare Naked Ladies called them, are important as although the relationships may have ended this doesn’t invalidate the experiences shared or the time spent together.  Previous relationships are part of our DNA and have played a key role in leading us to where we are today.  However while we shouldn’t forget or ignore them, we would do well to be mindful that they can, at times, be confronting to others and potentially damaging to our own status quo.

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From the Archives: Calvary (2014)

With apologies for a slight cheat, but some family commitments have got in the way of this week’s planned post, so instead, here is one from the archives – Calvary (2014).

  • Director – John Michael McDonagh 
  • Starring – Bredan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Domhnall Gleeson
  • Writer – John Michael McDonagh
  • Year – 2014
  • Running Time – 101 Minutes

Calvary-Gleeson

Right from the very first line of Calvary it is abundantly clear the direction that writer/director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard) is heading. With him, we travel on a short, but eventual trip, to spend eight dark and bleak, though at times hilarious, days in Sligo, a small town in Ireland.

Here we are introduced to Father James Levelle (Brenden Gleeson), the local troubled-priest, who whilst holding confession, hears the chilling news that his confessor plans to kill him the following Sunday, therefore giving him eight days to get his house in order. Whilst this could have been the premise for the latest Taken film, instead what we get is a note-perfect, darkly black and emotive character drama, focusing on the inner workings of a small town Irish community. (more…)

Brooklyn

  • Director – John Crowley
  • Starring – Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent
  • Writer – Colm Toibin (novel) Nick Hornby (screenplay)
  • Year – 2015
  • Running Time – 112 mins

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Home is where the heart is.

Over the last 15 years, I have had the immense good fortune of living in six different countries. At the start of this journey I was a young single man, and now as I look around at what seems to be our most permanent of recent destinations, I find myself married, mortgaged and with a young family. This journey has taught me many valuable lessons, though perhaps one more important than most, that home is where the heart is.

Throughout the early years of this journey, the distance came quite easily to me. Seized by the sense of adventure, I shamefully admit that thoughts rarely turned to home. I was grateful for the professional structures around me, which gave me a constant connection back to the UK, but also the reassuring knowledge that I was never more than three years away from a potentially permanent return. This travel lark was fun, but you know, it wasn’t forever.

As the years passed and locations changed, marriage and children brought me emotionally, though not physically, closer to the UK. Trips home were more regular as was the hosting of family visitors, who were finally happy that we were living in a country they actually wanted to visit.

However, after over a decade of living three years at a time, as a family, we felt the need for some permanence and an urge to put down some roots. We had a straight choice between the UK and Australia, though, in reality, it was a foregone conclusion. So we said a permanent goodbye to Blighty and boarded our latest and probably last long-haul flight for a while, and headed down under.

In my head, I had imagined the moment of arriving in Australia many times. I assumed it would be similar to all previous touchdowns in far-flung locations, a mixture of excitement and apprehension; however, this time was different. As the wheels squeaked into the Sydney sunshine, my first thought was ‘I’m a long way from home.’

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Best of 2015: The Davids

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2015 was an enormous year at the box office and produced four of the biggest films of all time in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron and almost inexplicitly, Furious 7.

These were all big, bold and brash and perhaps with the exception of Ultron, all kinds of fun. However amongst these Goliaths they were also a few Davids who dared to be different, who stood out from the crowd and captured the heart of this little man.

So here are the 2015 Davids, five films from 2015 in no particular order, which for numerous reasons failed to capture an audience at the box office, but deserve to be seen by more people. We have two satires, a short film, a character drama and one to sit back, crack a beer and tap your foot to.

Some of these will no doubt find their way onto my 2015 Top Ten List, which should be dropping in the near future, but some will not, though they are all worthy of your time. I urge you seek them out and give them a go.

So without further ado, here’s to all the Davids out there, this ones for you.

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