Wednesday, 26 October 2011

LFF 2011 Reviewdump #5:
A Dangerous Method / Anonymous / This Must Be The Place

Here it is then: the final dump. It's been a mostly pleasurable experience but it's time to wipe, flush and put the seat down on this year's London Film Festival. Some kind of retrospective of the event might be forthcoming in the next few days, but in the meantime enjoy these final reviews if at all possible, and leave a window open on your way out.

A Dangerous Method
The third film in David Cronenberg's Mortensen Trilogy sees Lord Viggo playing Sigmund Freud, who goes round telling everyone that all their neuroses stem from their unconscious sexual desires while he spends every single shot sucking on a long, fat cigar. Do you see? DO YOU?

Sometimes, though, a cigar is just a cigar, and A Dangerous Method sadly offers little else beyond Michael Fassbender looking perplexed and Keira Knightley playing a mental patient in a way that makes Brad Pitt's interpretation in Twelve Monkeys look like a masterclass in restraint. Cronenberg's trademark visceral violence is here limited to a superficial nick with a letter-opener, with the director opting instead for a dialogue-heavy examination of famed psychologist Carl Jung's Freud-feud and his attempt to repress his natural urges to bend Knightley over the sofa and spank her till her freaky nipples pop out.

While it's always a pleasure to watch Fass, Morty and Vincent Cassel throw their acting shapes all over the screen, and Keira Knightley gives another critic-silencing performance (her chin-thrusting mad act is uncomfortable to watch, but only as uncomfortable as it would be to watch someone in that condition), I can't find much more to recommend this to any non-psychoanalysis fans in the house. I'm not sure what that says about me but I expect it's got something to do with my mother. Thu 27

Did Rhys Ifans write everything that's credited to William Shakespeare? Possibly. Was it all part of a cunning plan to influence the lineage of the British monarchy? Maybe. Was Queen Elizabeth as hot as Joely Richardson in her youth? Apparently. Much more than that I can't tell you, because when everyone's wearing identical ruffs and haircuts and the year 1600 looks uncannily similar to the year 1560 and everyone's called by at least two different names and Ifans and Jamie Campbell Bower look nothing like each other despite playing the same character then it's easy to get baffled right out of the story. Never mind Roland Emmerich, I'm sure there's still a popular tourist destination you haven't blown the shit out of. How about Stratford-upon-Avon? Wed 26, Thu 27
[Alternative one-word review]

This Must Be The Place
If there's another film at this year's LFF that looks as good as this one, I'd like to see it. In fact I'd like to hang it on my wall and stare at it for the rest of my mortal days, because This Must Be The Place, directed by Paolo Sorrentino and shot by punchline-to-a-saucy-Italian-seaside-postcard Luca Bigazzi, is the most stunning-looking thing at the festival that isn't encasing Sandra Hebron's calves.

While it would be unfair to call it a case of style over substance, there is a danger that the cinematography might be the most memorable thing about the film. It depends how low your irritation threshold is where characters who appear to be the love manchild of Forrest Gump and Tim Burton are concerned, because Sean Penn, though excellent, trod dangerously close to the limits for me. And even though it's much funnier than expected, it does try a bit too hard to be wacky at times, coming off more wilfully obtuse just because it can. Still, it's a coming-of-age tale with a difference and contains the greatest filmed performance of the titular Talking Heads song I've ever seen. And I've seen two of them. Wed 26, Thu 27


  1. did it not annoy you how kk was doing an accent throughout the film and the rest of them didnt bother?

  2. I noticed it but it didn't annoy me. I was too busy covering my eyes whenever her nipples popped out to say hello.

  3. jervaise brooke hamster6 November 2011 at 18:02

    I want to bugger Keira Knightley.

  4. The Incredible Suit10 November 2011 at 00:13

    So do i.

  5. If you're going to impersonate me, at least capitalise your 'I's.

  6. jervaise brooke hamster7 December 2011 at 00:35

    You should spend less time concerning yourself with good grammar and more time concerning yourself with getting your knob up the bums of gorgeous sexy young girls ! ! !.

  7. Christian Bale in the last Batman movie would be more likely to spank Knightely Knightly Nightly than either the too young Jung or the fraudulant Freud. This was no Freudian slip, it was a slide down the moist shaft into the hairy bowels of forgotten dark matter.