Movies Silently is hosting the Swashathon or the Swashbuckler Blogathon, and I could not pass this opportunity by to review Randall Wallace’s “The Man In the Iron Mask” (1998). As many of you would know, today is also Bastille Day or la Fête nationale in France, which provides for another excuse to delve into a film portraying France. Here, despite many critics’ allegations that “The Man In the Iron Mask” is laughable, flimsy and disrespects the novel by Alexandre Dumas it is based on, the film is actually an enjoyable ride from start to finish. If the audience does not take this film too seriously, and allow themselves to be carried away by the plot, action and the humour, they are in for a treat. The visuals are delightful, the music composed by Nick Glennie-Smith is great, and the film has a cast many directors would “die for”: Leonardo DiCaprio (“Revolutionary Road” (2008)), John Malkovich (“The Portrait of a Lady” (1996)), Jeremy Irons (“The Correspondence” (2016)), Gabriel Byrne (“I, Anna” (2012)) and Gerard Depardieu.
Story: Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith “The Price of Salt“, “Carol” is a romantic drama set in the 1950s in New York. It is about a young department-store clerk, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), and her “forbidden” relationship with a much older affluent woman, Carol (Cate Blanchett), who goes through a bitter divorce.
Director: Todd Haynes.
Leads: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
Analysis: The film has to be outstanding regarding its directing and acting merits. “Carol” competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2015, where Mara won the Best Actress Award (shared), and the film also topped the Golden Globe nominations. Highsmith’s novels enjoyed quite a success on screen, for example, both Anthony Minghella’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999) and Hossein Amini’s “The Two Faces of January” (2014) were reviewed positively by critics; and the in-depth exploration of same-sex relationships on screen is becoming quite a trend, for example, see “Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013) and “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014). Overall, no fault found so far.
Conclusion: “Carol” promises to be a touching film, full of inexplicable emotion and depth. A definite must-watch.
Predicted score: 10/10 Continue reading “Previews: “Carol”, “Experimenter” and “By the Sea””