The History Boys
I didn’t believe a single second of this film. I didn’t believe in the teachers, the headmaster and the boys. I didn’t believe it was set in the eighties or in Yorkshire. I didn’t believe that only one of the boys was sexually experienced. I didn’t believe that the boys would tolerate the leching of Hector or the singing of Posner. I didn’t want to believe in its portray of homosexuals particularly in the final revelation that Posner becomes a teacher and manages that “without touching the boys”.
Mores certainly have changed in the 70 odd years since this was made. Loretta Young and Jean Harlow were completely miscast and this was made more obvious because they could have played each other’s roles perfectly. Robert Williams was very appealing and I wondered why I hadn’t heard of him: he died of peritonitis days after this film’s première. So Jean and Robert failed to see out the thirties while Loretta saw out the century. I can't say I liked it much mainly because of the wrongness of the two female leads so it lacked a bit of vim and vigour.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase
I liked this a lot but it just failed to be a great film mainly due to an uneven pace and a couple of odd scenes like the bald Slighcarp in the bath which didn't go anywhere. The cast were superb with the two girls (both with very short careers) particularly good because they were resourceful, brave, sassy and funny. The set design of the laundry and the steam-powered vehicle at the climax were brilliant. The real snow and wolves gave the film an eerie quality. And who British of a certain age doesn't say "Connie's back!" as soon as they read Stephanie Beacham's name?
Run Lola Run
A tremendous work of film technique including animation and a smattering of video gaming ("You failed your mission. Try again?") but ultimately it's a film about a woman trying to save a character I don't have any sympathy for.
A pretentious Love Story and, let's face it, that is the only way to make Love Story palatable. I was under the impression that this was written by Darren Aronofsky for his partner, Rachel Weisz, so I spent a lot of the film whining about how passive she was: a dying woman who has accepted her fate, a queen who spends a lot of time behind screens and as a tree. It turns out it wasn't written for her but it's still not exciting. However, she was excellent as Izzi and had oodles of chemistry with Hugh Jackman (he can kiss me in the bath anytime). Jackman, himself, was much better than his turn as Wolverine had prepared me for: he made me cry...