Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Bad luck to everyone hoping to watch this anywhere in the North East of England. A late spurt of creativity and desire to tell touching, innovative stories for Emma Thompson sees a rewarding drama thrown everywhere but the former steel mills and coal mines. Thanks for that, Cornerstone Films. Perhaps the blame lies with distributors hoping to hold out another six screening rooms for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But Benedict Cumberbatch does not have a lapse of faith in his judgement or sexuality as Doctor Strange, but Emma Thompson does as Nancy Stokes, a woman who hopes to figure out what good sex is. Don’t we all?
Origins are not always necessary. We learn much about a character or culture through prequels, stories of sub-plot characters and villainous interludes with misunderstood characters who wreak havoc wherever they crop up. It is down to the origin, then, to display them as a character that is not just inherently evil, but one that an audience can confer with. We do not need these stories to appreciate them or understand, because a good villain will do that in their shared experiences with the hero. Behind a villain is not always a good story of evil intent, and such a process comes true with Cruella, a standalone spin-off for the eponymous 101 Dalmatians villain.
Although I bought it years ago, I will never forget the weak smile and comment the cashier made to me when purchasing Last Chance Harvey on Blu-Ray. “Filling the shelves out?”. Certainly. Fifty British pennies do not take you far in this life, not anymore. What other reason would I be compelled to purchase a romantic comedy from the late 2000s for? Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson certainly spurred some recollection of quality. Their inclusion as titular Harvey and love interest Kate sparks the same reaction I received when I visited Alnwick Castle and watched a troupe of Harry Potter fans conduct broomstick training. Recoiling horror at the event, but immediate interest in discovering why it was happening, for I knew the source material.
For those that know me, they also know of my disdain for entertainment. More specifically, my lack of appreciation and care for Disney. Princesses losing slippers, animals ruling everything as far as the eye can see, it didn’t appeal to me back then, and it most certainly doesn’t appeal to me now. I’m too jaded and old and set in my horribly pessimistic ways to find any light or silver lining in Disney’s products now, I’m too old for that stuff, outgrowing it long before I’d even watched it. I enjoy being up on this pedestal, flinging rotting fruit and shade at those of you out there who enjoy Disney, but I feel we may be united in our acceptance of Treasure Planet, and the good it did for a genre stuck between a rock and a hard place.
Commendable as he may be in just about anything he appears in, Daniel Day-Lewis’ talents as an on-screen performer are excelled exponentially by films that everyone agrees are great, but few, I feel, have actually seen. My circle of friends agree Day-Lewis is a grand actor, a man who put the intricacies of performances to great use, striving for exceptional work in every outing he provided. There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread are his best-cited works, and I’ve met few people in my life that took the time to watch My Left Foot, or this, In the Name of the Father a second collaboration between Day-Lewis and director Jim Sheridan.