Carnage

Very rarely on my cinema days do I get the chance to see a film with a friend but for this film a friend decides to ignore my halitosis and be my guest.

Now I’m not sure if I've told you where I go to watch my films but it's called Westfield Cinema Deluxe and it's a brilliant complex, I’d even go as far to say that it is the most complete cinema complex I have ever been to anywhere in the world.

If you go into the "Directors Lounge" which is a little pricey but you can either go to their well stocked bar before the film or order your food in advance and have it delivered into the cinema to your seat!

Because I have no money, I tend to go to the Westfield Pound shop and get 4 bottles of water for a £1 then I go to the food court and get KFC chicken n' chips for either £1.99 or if I’m feeling like splashing out then I’ll get the £2.99 deal and give the attendant £3 and say "keep the change" (oh to be generous!!!).

But, I digress....

So Grace (my friend) and I take our seats to watch Carnage and to be honest, I knew very little about the film but now I’ve watched it, let me tell you a bit about it....

The Director Roman Polanski has an interesting story which I think you need to know if you don't know.

He was married to Sharon Tate in the 60s, who was killed by the followers of Charles Manson who realising she was pregnant had removed the baby from her stomach with a knife. 40 years later Mr Manson (is this where Marilyn Manson got his name from?) is still in prison seeking release because he says he is a reformed character (but people, I digress...)

Carnage revolves around four characters which are, Jody Foster (director of last years "The Beaver" featuring Mel Gibson), Kate Winslet (6x Oscar nominee), Christoph Waltz (Inglorious B's) and John C Reilly (Stepbrothers with Will Farrell).

Jody in the film is married to John Reilly and Kate is married to Christoph and the entire film is set in Jody and John'sBrooklynNYapartment which although it doesn't have matching furniture is the bomb!

Talking about the apartment, the entire film takes place in the apartment which when you consider there’s no matching furniture and the film is set just in the apartment, the question I want to know is why did it cost $25m to make? Answer, WAGES (of sin)!!!

Now you know I mentioned previously about Polanski's "past", well in his past he was convicted of having sex with a minor (no, not a bloke who digs for coal peeps) and he fled "The land of the free" because he was looking at a prison sentence.

Due to this fact, he resides in countries that do not have an extradition treaty with The USA so even though the apartment appears to be in Brooklyn NY, it is filmed in Paris, France where he apparently lives (the French are so accommodating don't you think?)

I will separate my views about the man and comment more on his work me thinks....

Now the reason for them all meeting up in the apartment is because Kate and Christoph's son has knocked out the front teeth of the other couple's son.

The start of the film you see John and Jody writing a letter which is conciliatory and the other couple being amicable but even in this early stage of the film you can see that the couples' are trying not to show the cracks in their respective relationships.

So, the wording of the letter has been agreed by all, the cake/Apple and Pear Cobbler has been eaten, hands shaken and one of the couples is about to enter the lift to leave, when Jody who's holding it all down makes a comment which causes a reaction which then causes them all to enter the home again and "thus it all begins!"

For the next 1hr 30mins you see the real "them" come out.  No more shackles based on being a couple to hold anyone back plus add 18year old single malt scotch to the equation and you have "Kaa-Bomb!!!"

My film buddy Grace was laughing her head off and we discussed the question "do couples really argue like this in public?"

I have to point out it isn't just pointless comments but as the drink flows then so does the real thoughts.

It's a very clever and well written film and I have to say that when I saw the credits coming up at the end, I had to look at my watch because it felt as if the film was only on for a short time...

Go see it before it gets taken off and replaced by "Man on a Ledge"

The Descendants

Come on, hands up who doesn't love Brother George Clooney? I think I've seen all of Clooney's films of 2011 and loved them all and this one ain't no different.

I reckon George saw the script and thought "if I do this, I will be nominated again for an Oscar and if I keep getting nominated, I will surpass Meryl Streep's figure of 17!"

Ok, on with the plot....

George plays Matt King a family man with a wife and 2 daughters.  His day job is that of a Lawyer and because he's more focused on his job, he doesn't really notice the disintegration of his marriage and his lack of positive influence on his 2 daughters (one seems to be about 10 and the other about 17ish).

Matt is also the head of his extended family’s trust which owns 25,000 acres of prime land inAmerica's 50th state.  They need to sell their land within 7years or it loses its trust status.

Now for a potential spoiler alert, so ignore this paragraph if you don’t want to know anything about what happens in the film...

On top of all this, behind the scenes Matt's wife is "running up and down wit man!" which leads to tragic events (end of potential spoiler).

This isn't a film for those who like a lot of action; rather it is for those who like their dramas with great acting and involving stories.

Talking about great acting, Matt's eldest daughter Alexandra (who's played by Shailene Woodley) is difficult and her behaviour gets so bad that Matt and his wife Elizabeth (Patricia Haste) decide to put her in a boarding school but during a "heart to heart" Matt discovers her secret which ultimately is the reason for her descent into substance abuse.

I have to also state that the most challenging role has to be Elizabeth’s due to the difficulty in playing her part correctly (there, I've said too much!)

I also have to say that the daughter's boyfriend Sid (Nick Krause) initially seems like a jerk but as the film goes on, you get the feeling both in words and deeds that he understands more than he appears to.

Do watch this film if you don’t necessarily like happy endings; rather you want to see how a difficult situation and subject matter is dealt with.

Ps, George Clooney won't win this years Oscar, that's going to the Lead in "The Artist" but he will come close in the chasing pack which should have featured Uggie (did you see what I did there?) 

Article by @gmanzen / 6th February 2012

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