Wolfwalkers: Film Review

Wolfwalkers

Given the current climate, there haven’t been many animations released this year so far, or any particularly good ones (I was fond of Onward, just FYI), so Wolfwalkers couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Not only does it give us a much-needed animation fix, it also tells a terrific story.

Wolfwalkers follows Robyn Goodfellowe (Honor Kneafsey), a young English girl who relocates to Ireland with her father Bill (Sean Bean) as he’s been hired to be the Lord Protector’s hunter and to trap all the wolves in the nearby forest. Robyn, who fancies herself as a hunter too, does her own exploring in the woods and befriends Mebh (Eva Whittaker), who is part of a mysterious and feared tribe called Wolfwalkers, who can transform into wolves when they sleep.

It’s rare to see a classic 2D hand-drawn animation in today’s CGI-reliant world, so I was a big fan of the film’s look. It is refreshing, beautiful to look at, and the team at Cartoon Saloon must have an amazing imagination to conjure up certain imagery. I was so impressed by how they brought particular moments to life.

I liked the story enough at first, it seemed like a cool enough idea, but there is a moment in this when things level up and get really interesting and then I was gripped, wondering how it was all going to pan out. It goes from being very good to excellent. There’s drama, there’s laughs, and there’s plenty of action.

The two newcomers are perfectly cast as the lead characters, while I couldn’t imagine anyone else voicing Bean’s role, it was like it was made for him. I also thought Simon McBurney had the most spot-on voice for the Lord Protector.

If you feel comfortable going to a cinema, I can promise that you and your children (if you have them) will both get a lot of pleasure out of Wolfwalkers. It is very entertaining and has a strong story and visuals to boot.

In selected cinemas now and on Apple TV+ from 11th December

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Possessor: LFF Film Review

Possessor

I had heard so much about Brandon Cronenberg‘s second feature Possessor that I figured it was worthwhile paying for a public LFF ticket to see it – and while I can appreciate many things about it, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

The film stars Andrea Riseborough as Tasya Vos, who is a possessor, a contract killer whose consciousness is implanted into another person’s body in order to carry out the assassination. Her boss Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh) gives her her next job – she is to inhabit the body of Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott), who is dating Ava Parse (Tuppence Middleton), the daughter of John (Sean Bean), the head of a huge corporation, for which Colin works. However, Colin cannot be as easily controlled as some of her previous subjects.

Possessor is an incredibly unique film that will stick with you for hours afterwards. Cronenberg has come up with an effing cool idea and it was exciting watching it play out in all its intense, gruesome glory. This film is not for the faint-hearted – it is extremely graphic and violent, there’s plenty of nudity, and some body horror that truly grossed me out. There are also some weird and experimental visual flourishes to help illustrate some of the innner control struggles.

I also loved the initial set-up of the story and the introduction to Tasya and her dual lives – in the real world with her estranged husband Michael (Rossif Sutherland) and their son and this possessor world; the final scene of the movie; and the superb performances from Riseborough and Abbott, with Abbott particularly excelling in the latter half of his story.

However, there is a portion of the film that totally lost me. I didn’t truly understand what was going on and it felt quite chaotic and muddled as it made its approach to the climax. While I loved the closing scene and thought it was a great way to bookmark the story, I was left wanting more answers and some explanation of what the heck just happened. I would have also loved some more backstory about Tasya and the organisation she works for.

I liked Possessor and I certainly appreciate the imagination, the performances, and the cool concept, but I’m just not a big fan of body horror and the ambiguity of not knowing what’s real and what’s not. The story stopped being clear to me as it neared the end and that negated its impact somewhat.

Seen at part of the London Film Festival. In cinemas 27th November

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Wolfwalkers: LFF Film Review

Given the current climate, there haven’t been many animations released this year so far, or any particularly good ones (I was fond of Onward, just FYI), so Wolfwalkers couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Not only does it give us a much-needed animation fix, it also tells a terrific story.

Wolfwalkers follows Robyn Goodfellowe (Honor Kneafsey), a young English girl who relocates to Ireland with her father Bill (Sean Bean) as he’s been hired to be the Lord Protector’s hunter and to trap all the wolves in the nearby forest. Robyn, who fancies herself as a hunter too, does her own exploring in the woods and befriends Mebh (Eva Whittaker), who is part of a mysterious and feared tribe called Wolfwalkers, who can transform into wolves when they sleep.

It’s rare to see a classic 2D hand-drawn animation in today’s CGI-reliant world, so I was a big fan of the film’s look. It is refreshing, beautiful to look at, and the team at Cartoon Saloon must have an amazing imagination to conjure up certain imagery. I was so impressed by how they brought particular moments to life.

I liked the story enough at first, it seemed like a cool enough idea, but there is a moment in this when things level up and get really interesting and then I was gripped, wondering how it was all going to pan out. It goes from being very good to excellent. There’s drama, there’s laughs, and there’s plenty of action.

The two newcomers are perfectly cast as the lead characters, while I couldn’t imagine anyone else voicing Bean’s role, it was like it was made for him. I also thought Simon McBurney had the most spot-on voice for the Lord Protector.

If you feel comfortable going to a cinema, I can promise that you and your children (if you have them) will both get a lot of pleasure out of Wolfwalkers. It is very entertaining and has a strong story and visuals to boot.

In selected cinemas from Monday 28th October and Apple TV+ from 11th December

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Dark River: Film Review

I was intrigued by Dark River and keen to see it for Ruth Wilson‘s performance. She didn’t let me down but the film itself did – it’s very disappointing.

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Dark River: LFF Film Review

For the first time this LFF, I have come away disappointed with a film and that’s because Dark River was not what I expected and just didn’t do as much with an exciting premise as it could have done.

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The Martian: Film Review

mart4

I have been excited for The Martian for such a long time and I even read the book in time for release, and this is even better than Andy Weir’s novel, which is something I NEVER say. My favourite thing about it is the humour – it is possibly one of the funniest sci-fis I have ever seen and the most feel-good film Ridley Scott has ever made.

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