London Film Festival – Trumbo & Beasts of No Nation reviews

odeonSo, I visited London. Didn’t get to see Benedict Cumberbatch as Hamlet but I did see some other celebrities. Domnhall Gleeson was photographed, I guess for some magazine based on the styling, in Soho in some random street corner and stars were taking part to premieres of films. I went to see two films; Beasts of No Nation and Trumbo. The first one had its first LFF screening on Thursday 6th of October and I happened to be in that screening that was also the UK premiere. That meant that the lead actor, Abraham Attah, the writer of the original book, Uzodinma Iweala, AND the director, whom I’ve mentioned before, Cary Fukunaga, were also present. No complaints there.beasts-of-no-nation

BEASTS OF NO NATION (2015)

Directed by Cary Fukunaga

Written by Cary Fukunaga & Uzodinma Iweala

Starring Abraham Attah & Idris Elba

Synopsis (IMDb): A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.

Beasts of No Nation is 10 years old passion project for Mr. Fukunaga but it’s as relevant today at it was 10 years ago which is really sad. Fukunaga said in introduction that this film should be felt more than watched and I agree. There are no huge special effects or something extraordinary how it looks or anything that hasn’t been made before. But as Fukunaga said, he wants to make films that can change the views. There isn’t really a message in Beasts of No Nation but no one can watch this film and not somehow get moved by it. Or you are able to do so, I would be concerned.

Abraham Attah is amazing as Agu. According to his own words, he was just playing football when Fukunaga came to tell him and others that there’s an audition. He thought it was for playing football. This is the very first time the Ghanaian boy is acting but he’s simply great. And he even said that it wasn’t hard to do. That’s natural talent then.

caryfukunaga_beastsofnonation

And if Attah is great, so is always good Elba. He plummets in the skin of the commander of the group of child soldiers. And what is the most brilliant in his work, the character, even he is basically the base of the bad, is never inhuman. I think I actually kind of liked him. And that’s scary if anything. I do hope he’ll get an Oscar nomination for the role. As well as Attah, he is that good.

Besides directing, Fukunaga also wrote the script and shot the film himself. The imagery looks beautiful. One would not think that when surrounded by that kind of nature, man would still be capable of such horrible things. I also enjoyed the music, it carried the film and popped out in good ways. The story could have been richer or maybe more dramatic but on the other hand, I appreciate it that Fukunaga kept it small as now everything you see, feels, unfortunately, very true.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

Beasts of No Nation will be out in Netflix on October 16th world-wide! Watch it!

trumbo

TRUMBO (2015)

Directed by Jay Roach

Written by John McNamara & Bruce Cook

Starring Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning,  Louis C.K., John Goodman & Helen Mirren

Synopsis: The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he is blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist.

I actually liked Trumbo more than Beasts of No Nation and it makes me feel horrible. Trumbo does have a proper true story that it is based on but it’s all gone and it’s horribly entertaining and I laughed a lot. “Beasts” is just so much more important. Guess at least the fact that I feel bad tells that Beasts managed to have an effect on me. But back to Trumbo…

First of all, give Cranston an Oscar nom! He is Trumbo. Love him. Helen Mirren was quite over-the-top like I heard but she’s just so good that it doesn’t matter. I also enjoyed performances of Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Roger Bart, David James Elliott, Dean O’Gorman etc. You get the picture, everyone is good. I don’t really have any complaints about this film. Except that. It’s a bit too perfect. It looks like the era before WWII. Clean and steady. The film itself starts right about there but ends much later.

After my stupid complaint, I have to say that I would probably gladly watch this film right now even though I just saw it. It’s very good. And interesting. It looks fab, the script is worth of an Oscar nomination; it’s hilarious but at the same time I did have tears in my eyes. And to a European, it’s kind of always funny to make fun of “true Americans”, in this case I especially enjoyed jokes about John Wayne, he’s so over-rated.

See this film. It’s good. No idea when it opens anywhere.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)

And back to the fact that I didn’t see Benedict Cumberbatch. But I got the second best thing. Or the first. Can’t make up my mind. Anyway, I did see Tom Hiddleston:

tomhiddleston

And loads of hearts to him, he seems as genuinely lovely guy that you get from his appearances anywhere. He stayed there for ages to talk to the fans, taking photos and signing autographs. And o’boy, he’s tall! ❤

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