Previews: “Queen of Katwe”, “Sully” and “The Light between Oceans”

 Queen of Katwe (2016)Queen of Katwe Poster

“…in chess, the small one can become the big one…” (from the trailer “Queen of Katwe”)

Story: The movie is the upcoming Disney-produced drama based on the real story of Phiona Mutesi (played by the newcomer Madina Nalwanga), a 10-year old Ugandan chess prodigy, who, against all odds, becomes a Woman Candidate Master after World Chess Olympiads. Brought up in the slums of Katwe, an area in the city of Kampala, Uganda, young Phiona endures a daily routine of trying to survive when she discovers a game named “chess”, which turns her life upside down. Encouraged and supported by her mother (Lupita Nyong’o) and couch (David Oyelowo), Phiona quickly becomes a young chess sensation in her country, participating in international competitions abroad.

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“12 Years a Slave” Review

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12 Years a Slave (2013)

Coming from Steve McQueen, ‘12 Years a Slave’ can now be comfortably described as this year’s cinematic sensation. The film, based on a self-autobiographical novel by Solomon Northup, recounting true events, tells the story of a black free man, who lives a happy life with his family in Saratoga, New York in 1841. After he is tricked, kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South, his life turns up-side-down and a once brilliant musician and an educated family man is now forced to endure the unjust hard life of a slave in Louisiana. The film is very truthful to Northump’s novel, and is filled with so much realism and outstanding acting/directing, that putting this into perspective, when Brad Pitt’s character, Bass, a Canadian carpenter, starts talking about freedom and black people’s rights at the very end of the film, we may find it hard to believe a word he says – so engrossed we have become in the political and social ideology of that time, and in black people’s lives on a plantation in Louisiana in 1840s. This is no exaggeration.

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Preview: “12 Years a Slave”

12-years-a-slave-poster-405x600

’12 Years a Slave’ is a new film by Steve McQueen, the director who also brought us ‘Hunger’ (2008) and ‘Shame(2011). The film is based on a true story of a free black man from New York, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was abducted and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film portrays Solomon’s journey to regain his freedom, escaping a cruel plantation owner, Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), while at the same time striking up friendships with such people as a Canadian carpenter and outspoken abolitionist, Mr Bass (Brad Pitt). According to many polls around the world, Steve McQueen’s ‘12 Years a Slave’ is an early frontrunner for the Oscar Award 2014, along with Lee Daniels’ ‘The Butler’, David O. Russell’s ‘American Hustle’ and the Coen Brothers’ ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

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“Jane Eyre” Review

Jane Eyre (2011)

‘Jane Eyre’ is a recent adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel of the same name, starring Mia Wasikowska (‘Alice in Wonderland’ (2010)) as Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender (‘Hunger’ (2008)) as Mr. Rochester and Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. This film adaptation, although not as good as Aldous Huxley and Robert Stevenson’s 1944 version, is still better than the 1996 version starring William Hurt and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The plot, I hope, is familiar to all. Jane Eyre, after a rather traumatic Dickensian childhood, becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, a place of mysterious happenings, whose cold and brooding master, Mr. Rochester, perhaps presents the greatest puzzle for the heroine.

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“Shame” Review

Shame (2011)

Directed by Steve McQueen (‘Hunger’ (2008)) and starring Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’ is a bold, beautifully shot film about a high-paid office worker in New York, Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender), who suffers from sex addiction. While Brandon is able to shuffle work and (his idea of) play reasonably successfully on a daily basis, his routine starts to spin out of control, and his life priorities are put to the test, when his younger sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan), decides to pay him a visit and stay for a few days in his apartment.

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‘Shame’ Soundtrack

“A Dangerous Method” Review

A Dangerous Method (2011)

With ‘A Dangerous Method’, Cronenberg sets out a plan to immerse the audience into the world of passionate forbidden love and clever intellectual discourse on a fascinating topic of human psychiatry. The film follows a complicated working relationship between two of the most prominent psychoanalysts of the 20th century, Professor Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Dr Jung (Michael Fassbender), as well as shows Dr Jung’s sophisticated affair with his hysterical Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). 

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