Tag Archives: Jennifer Ehle

MI:5 (2015) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

MI 5.png

Director: Bharat Nalluri
Writers: Jonathan Brackley (screenplay), Sam Vincent (screenplay)
Stars: Kit Harington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle

Plot: When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.
Running Time: 1 hour 44 Minutes
IMDB Score: 6.2

Why I Watched It: I had seen some of the TV show, couldn’t call myself a fan but saw it and knew of it and of course the cast.

Random Thoughts: So it’s also known as Spooks: The Greater Good, so there you go. It’s odd Peter Firth is really the lead but Kit Harington gets top billing and just a side note Harington’s character wasn’t in the TV show. Skipped the show went right to the movie.

What I Liked: I’m a sucker for a good spy story and the one thing you should know going in there’s more talking than action here, British spies love to talk and brood. A spy story like this is much like a con man movie where you don’t know who to believe here in the spy movie someone is always working someone for good or bad reasons. At the center is Peter Firth to call him an anti-hero would be kind he’s kind of a man who’s willing to do anything but for the greater good or at least that’s his hope. He’ll sacrifice anyone for the end goal and he’s a great character played by a very good actor. He’s fun to watch maybe not to root for but he’s a very good screen presence.

So it’s a twisty spy plot and it’s very twisty and it’s the old who can you trust who is the mole, we’ve seen it before but I have to say the British do this genre in their sleep I think it’s because it’s so wordy and so character driven. The acting is pretty good here no weak link though I will say Harington does kind of stick out, he’s not bad he’s just not the right actor for the role, they needed someone a little more world weary and a little more charismatic.

Now I said there’s more talk than action but there is some and it’s filmed well again we’re going for suspense not thrills here and it works. The plot is complicated, some would say overly, but it holds together and they keep the pace going pretty well. No don’t the film is carried more by the character and plot than action.

What I Didn’t Like: Hate to say it but it did feel like a TV movie rather than a big screen one that’s why adding Harington didn’t work cause he’s mostly a TV actor, I know Game Of Thrones is more than a show we all know you’ve told us before.

The one plot point that didn’t work for me was the big is Firth’s character good or bad, they blame him for stuff but in the end it doesn’t matter cause he’s pretty bad even if he wasn’t the bad guy, they kind of missed the point of the character not only having ice for veins but he could give a care what people think he’s running the show.
As I said the plot is complicated and very wordy but I kind of forgive that but they do throw a bunch of spy cliches at us and at times it felt tired, guess what I’m saying is there’s nothing new here, they didn’t twist the genre they kind of followed the blue print.

Final Thoughts: I liked it for the most part but again a British spy movie is in my wheelhouse but I do think it’s worth a watch just for Peter Firth.

Rating: 6/10

Little Men (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

LITTLE MEN

Director: Ira Sachs
Writers: Ira Sachs,  Mauricio Zacharias
Stars: Greg Kinnear,  Jennifer Ehle,  Paulina García, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri

The movie begins with the Jardine family moving to Brooklyn from their home in Manhatten. Brian (Greg Kinnear), Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) and their son Jake (Theo Taplitz) This is because Brian’s Father has passed away and they’ve decided to move into his home.

Jake, who is a young artist becomes friends with Tony Calvelli (Michael Barbieri) son of Leonor Calvelli (Paulina García) who runs the downstairs dress shop. Jake and Tony become best buddies, but when a dispute with the dress shop’s rent crops up with the Jardine’s considering raising the rent between Jake and Tony’s family the story becomes unraveled and their friendship is put to the test.

Greg Kinnear who I’m used to playing comic characters who are usually sarcastic and cutting plays Brian the father to Jake who is torn between what he and his sister are due in their inheritance and the effect this dispute has on his sons friendship with Tony. Kinnear is great as a frustrated actor who is doing local theatre and hasn’t done any film production in a long time. Brian is in a difficult position as his sister is pushing him to deal with the dress shop problem.

Jennifer Ehle who I recently watched and reviewed in The Fundamentals of Caring (2016) plays Brian’s wife Kathy who has built up a friendship with Leono. Ehle is convincing as the conflicted wife and friend in this situation but I felt Ehle was a little under used as her character came across as someone who didn’t want to get involved and I think this is why “The Sister (played by Talia Balsam) character was introduced as the film doesn’t want to portray all of the Jardine’s as monsters.

Paulina García as Leonor is a great actress and plays the role well as a strong and proud woman. Leonor lets the audience know and understand she was on good relations with Brian’s Father before his passing and explains to the Jardine’s that Brian’s father never had a problem with rent with him. You have to sympathise with Leonor who has ran the dress shop for years and although doesn’t exactly make that much money, it was enough for her to raise her son Tony and aided in them leading a simple life.

The star of the movie (or one of them at least) is Theo Taplitz playing Jake. You get the sense right from the beginning that Jake is in that awkward stage of his teenage years and finds making friends difficult. Luckily he meets Tony who share similar interests and creativity and as the movie roles on Taplitz comes into his own. Particularly in in a heartfelt scene when pleading with his dad to reconsider evicting Leonor and Tony from the shop. It was here Taplitz really nailed the scene and breaking down in front of his family you realise what a talented actor he is for someone who is young and has a great career in front of him.

The other Star (and equally the other Star) is Michael Barbieri who plays Tony the son of Leonor and is the same age as Jake but is more streetwise and sharper in contrast to Jakes more quietly confident character. Tony wants to become an actor when he is older and studies drama. There is an excellent and funny scene in his drama class with his teacher who ad lib for about three minutes, throwing random sentences to each other which is really interesting and funny to watch to see who cracks first. Michael Barbieri is a confident young actor like Theo Taplitz has a great future ahead of him. He reminds me of Ralph Machio when he was starting out in the industry with that Latin swagger about him and razor like wit.

Writers Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias have taken a simple scenario and reached into the impact and consequences of adults making decisions which have an impact on their children and how they handle it. I also felt the writers helped show the audience in these situations that the children make sense of these complications on their outlook on life and remind us a younger persons thought process and how adults sometimes complicate life, so I have to compliment on how they handled it. Little Men won the Grand Special Prize at the Deauville Film Festival (2016)

Little Men runs in at 85 minutes and I feel this is long enough considering the subject matter. The movie as a whole had a blend of humour and drama and full credit to  Ira Sachs the  director / co-writer. But I felt the movies end just fizzles out and feels unresolved as the end scene is hinting that a time has passed and Jake now has longer hair is looking more the artist.

He travels to a museum with some classmates on an art assignment and in the distance he hears Tony talking to some friends. It is clear at this point that as the months have rolled on and with Tony and his family moving out, their friendship quickly dissipates. There is no “hello” or catching up. There is barely resolution which I felt was the only dip in what was a short but tidy movie.