Tag: Naomi Watts

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | While We’re Young (2015)

While We're Young

“For the first time in my life I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a child imitating an adult.”

In the mid 90s, Noah Baumbach was an indie director making thoughtful, little movies that festival type crowds loved, but the mainstream didn’t even know existed.  Then he went missing for a few years before reappearing as Wes Anderson’s writing partner on The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.  With the help of Anderson as a producer, Baumbach jumped back in the directing ring with the acclaimed The Squid and the Whale, and has been pumping quality, thoughtful, little movies on the regular ever since.  The critical, financial and awards pinnacle was a movie I found pretty underwhelming, Frances Ha.  But not underwhelming enough to mean I wasn’t stoked to see what he did next, with While We’re Young.


Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a New York married couple in the early stages of middle age, and they’re starting to feel it.  Josh is a successful documentary film maker, but he’s been stuck on his current project for almost a decade.  Cornelia is a successful producer in her professional life, but when her best friend (Maria Dizzla as Marina) has a baby, she starts to find her personal life lacking. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | While We’re Young (2015)

While We're Young

“For the first time in my life I’ve stopped thinking of myself as a child imitating an adult.”

In the mid 90s, Noah Baumbach was an indie director making thoughtful, little movies that festival type crowds loved, but the mainstream didn’t even know existed.  Then he went missing for a few years before reappearing as Wes Anderson’s writing partner on The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.  With the help of Anderson as a producer, Baumbach jumped back in the directing ring with the acclaimed The Squid and the Whale, and has been pumping quality, thoughtful, little movies on the regular ever since.  The critical, financial and awards pinnacle was a movie I found pretty underwhelming, Frances Ha.  But not underwhelming enough to mean I wasn’t stoked to see what he did next, with While We’re Young.


Josh (Ben Stiller) and Cornelia (Naomi Watts) are a New York married couple in the early stages of middle age, and they’re starting to feel it.  Josh is a successful documentary film maker, but he’s been stuck on his current project for almost a decade.  Cornelia is a successful producer in her professional life, but when her best friend (Maria Dizzla as Marina) has a baby, she starts to find her personal life lacking. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Birdman (2014)

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“People, they love blood. They love action. Not this talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.”

It’s that time of year when Oscar style moves are coming thick and fast. There are prestige biopics, like The Theory of Everything, Selma and The Imitation Game. There’s intellectual, character stuff like Boyhood. And then there’s the token weird one. The movie that’s a little experimental and trying something different.   This year it’s also the Oscar movie I’ve been most excited about and the first one I can remember getting Oscar buzz months and months ago. This year, that weird experiment is Birdman.


Two decades ago, Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton) was the star of a mega budget superhero franchise. After refusing to star in Birdman 4, he has slipped further and further into obscurity. Now, in an attempt to find legitimacy and reinvigorate his career, this time as a serious thespian, he’s mounting a Broadway play. A play he’s written, is starring in, is directing and producing. The day before their first preview performance, one of his cast is injured, and Riggan needs a replacement. His leading lady (Naomi Watts as Lesley) suggests her friend / sometimes lover, Mike (Edward Norton). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | St Vincent (2014)

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“We don’t bump the ugly parts no more, so don’t ask.”

Modern day Bill Murray has settled into a definite rhythm. He makes middle to highbrow stuff (with the occasional train wreck), where he gets to be the best thing in it. He gets juicy roles that, on paper, look like they should lead to Oscar nominations, but rarely do. He obviously only makes what tickles his fancy. On paper St Vincent would have looked like a sure fire Oscar contender and fancy tickler. In practice, it’s a better than average, middle brow, feel good drama.


Vin (Bill Murray) has life down to a science. He drinks too much, he gambles too much, he hides form his bookie, he bangs a local Russian stripper (Naomi Watts as Daka) who’s unborn baby may or not be his, and he’s broke. When his new neighbour Maggie (Melissa MCarthy) knocks down a tree that lands on his car and breaks his fence, he sees it has a quick cash grab. When Maggie’s son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), arrives on Vin’s doorstep one day because he’s locked out of his house and his mum works long hours, Vin decides to cash in even more, becoming Oliver’s babysitter. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Funny Games (2007)

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I was trying to figure out how to write about this movie without giving a single thing away.  It’s all about impact, it’s all about shock, it’s all about pushing buttons and provocation.  But then I realised I knew the story pretty well and thought I was more than prepared for it going in, and it still hit me like a freight train.  So while I’ll do my best not to giveaway any specifics or spoilers, I actually think having some idea of what to expect with Funny Games might be a necessity, because if you went in totally blind, it could be a bit too much.

A shot for shot remake of his own Austrian film from a decade earlier, Michael Heneke has something to say about film audiences, and he’s not trying to be subtle about it.  The perfect family of Naomi Watts (Ann), Tim Roth (George) and their son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) are on their way to their gorgeous, lakeside summer house.  Straight from the opening titles, Heneke shows you’re in for something different with Funny Games.

Soon after arriving, there’s a knock at the door from Brad Corbet’s Peter, an awkward, shy teenager in tennis whites and gloves who seems just a little off.  At first polite, Watts becomes more and more on edge until they are joined by Paul, played by Michael Pitt.  The ultra politeness of the two is immediately disturbing and only becomes more so when Pitt breaks Roth’s leg with a golf club.

Now the story of Funny Games really kicks into gear.  The two boys in white make a bet with the family that they will not be alive by the next morning and begin a game of some physical, mostly emotional, torture.  That’s when you need to strap yourself in and get ready for a pretty confronting hour or so, because Heneke has a point that he really wants to make.

I have a feeling Heneke hates film violence.  Or, at least, he hates voyeuristic film violence.  With Funny Games, it’s like he’s fulfilling some sort of sick fantasy of us, the audience, then when it becomes too much and we try to look away, he rubs our nose in it and makes the violence that much more confronting.  He’s not trying to be subtle with this message either.  Pitt breaks the fourth wall and addresses the camera more than once, almost asking the audience to justify how they could possibly be entertained by this.  Even the one truly heroic moment is immediately thrown back in the audience’s face.

Funny Games is not an easy movie to watch, but that’s the whole point.  It’s not torture porn like the Saw movies, because it actually has something to say.  Speaking of torture porn, it also made me think of Wolf Creek.  My reaction after seeing that film was, I really liked it, but I never wanted it see it again.  I almost feel the same way about Funny Games, the difference is, Wolf Creek was all surface and tried to be nothing more than violent horror.  Funny Games has a strong point of view and whether or not you agree with that point of view, you’ll be thinking about it for a long time after it’s over.

Funny Games
Directed By – Michael Haneke
Written By – Michael Haneke