Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and stars James McAvoy, Betty Buckley and Anya Taylor-Joy and tells the story of a diagnosed patient who suffers from MPD (multiple personality disorder) enabling him to enhance the power of 23 different personalities. After one of the personalities kidnaps three girls they must try to escape before the frightful 24th personality emerges.
After a rather mediocre few years, one can safely say that Split is a huge comeback for Shyamalan and very much puts him back in the game. We are all treated to a very layered film that develops as we are engulfed in this psychological thriller that thankfully doesn't rely on loud climatic music and jump scares to be as unsettling as it is. McAvoy draws all attention to him as he takes on a bundle of characters that pleasing contrast to one another, the film never feels over crowded by the abundance of McAvoy, they briskly take your through the different personalities and then stick to significant ones that play a larger role throughout the rest of the film. Impressively McAvoy doesn't need any significant costumes to get into character, his performance is strikingly obvious enough to differ from other personalities and as an audience we see him take on so many different roles, yet gives each one a completely different significance in the right moments. Buckley played as a nice little distraction from the main event that occurs in the film, however doesn't lead the focus of the film away but allows for some incredibly effective character development for not only McAvoy and his many personalities but also for Buckley as we see her importance shine through. For a first time experience of actress Anya Taylor-Joy she did a beautiful job as a extremely broken teenage who is built up from so many different layers and depths of emotion. As we see how she develops, and opens up throughout her time in captivity.
As the core of this film, the ingeniously original idea displayed by Shyamalan allows the concept of McAvoy's multiple personalities to branch off into a full length feature film, fantastically creating a whole universe that revolves around this one idea. Whilst at times the film can loose it's pace during more slow burning scenes, Shyamalan demonstrates the ability to create such a structured world surrounding this one character. However sometimes it feels as if the film has all these tools to create something amazing, but doesn't always know what to do with them. A lot of the time the film falls victim to being slightly inaccurate, quite a few of the scenes in the film were too long and noticeably dragged on a bit, they somewhat don't add any significance to the plot. However Split charmingly builds suspense with it's slow, erie score and wonderfully angled camera shots, however there is the argument that the film could have been even more frightening than it was with a little more tension. The final act marks the film's fastest pace yet, things finally tie together beautifully as we are ultimately shown the truly unforeseen extent of Kevin's disorder, tension is certainly at it's highest and fans of a certain film will, to say the least, be blow away by Shyamalan's spectacular ending. The choice of ending adds so much more originality to the film allowing it carry out it's most successful trait which it has done throughout, that being it's strikingly different concept. Gladly, it doesn't fall victim to hollywood ending tropes and clichés and gives us a more alternative ending, that post inspection is incredibly well done.
In the end, Split is a really enjoyable experience that adds a lot more originality to the genre. Whilst slow paced in a good way but sometimes not and sometimes feeling a little confused, not knowing completely what to do with itself. Satisfyingly creepy and stunningly acted from all parts.
I am going to give Split:
As the 2017 Academy Awards are just beyond the horizon, and yesterday they announced the nominations, I decided to revamp my list and list my personal picks for who should win from the Oscars 2017.
Best Animated Picture
Best Visual Effects
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Jackie is directed Pablo Larraín and stars Natalie Portman as Jacqueline Kennedy who we see post the assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy, as she struggles to cope after these traumatic times, we see her over the course of weeks as she regains hope that of which she has lost.
As the subject matter is fitting due to the newly elected president of the United States, Jackie was a chance for us to look back decades down the line of presidential history and visit the untold story of how First Lady Jackie Kennedy coped though the toughest of times. This was my first experience watching a film shot in 16mm camera and It honestly was quite the experience. One thing we can take from modern cinema is that bio-pics, when done in the right way, can be astonishing just like past works such as Deepwater Horizon, The Kings Speech and The Theory of Everything. It is safe to say that Jackie is a quick and easy choice to make in terms of adding to the archives of biographical dramas. Dark, Chilling and Suspenseful, Jackie feels like an authentic relic that has been hidden away for years but has finally been rediscovered by modern day audiences. A film that could quite easily of been self indulgent as it oozes style and finesse, turned out to presented itself in a rather elegantly natural fashion rather than boasting of it's impressive cinematography. However the cinematography is strikingly one of the best parts to this film, it melts into the screen as the radiant colours of Jackie's outfits contrast between the intensely murky grave yard and the clear walls of the White House. Every scene has a noticeable purpose for being shot that certain way and the new 60's technicolour felt just what the film needed.
Whilst the film is about Jackie following the death of John F. Kennedy; not once does it take focus off what it's truly about which is of course Jackie. Although the film revolves around said event, it is truly about the mental struggle of Jackie and we are never shown otherwise, it is her and only her throughout. This is clearly helped by the stunning performance of Portman, she caries the entire film alone, although it has other characters, everything is about Jackie and the reason this film was certainly not as slow as it could have been was due to Portman's beautiful performance which should definitely be acknowledged for an Oscar nomination, quite possibly an Oscar win. Not only the camera work or the fantastic acting but the score was absolutely breathtaking. Although at times the loud musical accompaniment of eerie violins feels a tad out of place in the odd scene, the majority of scenes in which it is used are perfectly unsettling allowing the film to take a more dark and sinister turn whilst adding to the films more climatic moments. The film has a predominantly marvellous script, every line spoken in the film had such meaning and is ever so simply clever, it feels more professional knowing that the subject matter is so mature and it has a healthy script to fall back on to.
In the end Jackie is an unsettling, suspenseful, look into the mind of a broken woman as she is put under the spotlight. Stunningly acted and chillingly shot. Jackie is an authentic treasure that adds to the list of biographical dramas. Just like La La Land, Jackie is quite possibly another one of the best films I have ever seen due to it's strong female lead that carries a film with such style and purpose, offering us stuff of which we haven't seen explored yet in the genre.
I am going to give Jackie:
La La Land is directed Damien Chazelle and stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and is about A jazz pianist who falls for a aspiring actress in modern day California.
In an erie that consists of pop culture, Wi-Fi and The Kardashians it's rare to find something other than the latest iPhone that truly blows you away. La La Land is a rare exception of a film that whole heartedly transports like no other thing can.
La La Land is an absolute breath of fresh air; it takes us on a journey through a bygone erie that is brilliantly reimagined in a refreshing a new way thanks to Chazelle. With nods to original Hollywood classics and glimmers of past musicals, La La Land sees a new generation of the genre being renewed for modern day audiences as it pumps life back into the Musical theme. Being able to stand out on it's own with a completely original soundtrack that screams at you to start tapping your toes and shaking your hands. However the 'Musical' element isn't overused and certainly never feels out of place, every song in the film fits perfectly with the tone and the atmosphere of the characters and the story.
Gosling is brilliantly strong minded as a fantasising, smooth talking pianist. As is Emma Stone who is definitely oscar worthy as she take on the role of a beautiful, struggling young actress who much like Gosling dreams of a life she has always wished for; the two of them were inseparable as a couple, the chemistry was so strong between them and they both carry the film fantastically. The two are characterised by their dreams - One of the most impressive parts about this films is it's cinematography; for the entire two hour duration of the film there is not one shot that doesn't have it's own striking feature, the way bright, bold colours were used not only to represent the energetic buzz of Los Angels but to match characters outfits and to match the tone of the film during certain scenes. Even side shots that follow characters down the street and scenes fading into another ooze style and grace, and are too huge nods to how classic film used to be shot.
So it has it's acting, it's music and it's stunning visuals but put all that aside and you truly notice how many strong messages La La Land choses to touch on. It's originality compliments itself as it depicts the brutal honesty of the film industry in Hollywood but certainly not in a grotesquely negative way, it simply raises points that nobody has mentioned before and somewhat opens your eyes to see what's really important. We are taken on a journey not to not only see these two people fall in love but we truly see them mature and blossom as young adults. The most striking feature about La La Land is it's ability to really unite people in a world that at times seems so divided. The overall message of the film is joyful but it certainly doesn't lie to you. It is truthful but it delivers with such positivity and elegance. No matter what, not only in the film but outside the film as well, I have seen people of all different types come together with each other to see this film. It's just so powerful to see a film bring people of all ages together like no other film has done.
Overall, La La Land is pitch perfect on every account, it delivers with such charm and grace, it's beautifully stylistic cinematography gives the film so much purpose. It raises important messages and in the right moments bursts into scenes of song, dance and Technicolor. This film can be enjoyed by anyone, if your a fan of Musicals, Romance, Comedy or Drama. One can confidently say that they do not make films like this anymore, La La Land is one of the best films in modern cinema today and one of my new personal favourite movies of all time.
I am going to give La La Land:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.