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Love, Rosie



love-rosieReleased: 17 October 2014 (USA)

22 October 2014 (UK)

Director: Christian Ditter

Stars: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin

Boy – Alex.

Girl – Rosie.

Boy meets girl, girl meets boy. All at a young age, to be more precise, at 5.

They grow up together, gradually developing in intriguing teenagers and the next time we get to see them, Rosie’s 18 birthday has come. Like all teenagers, they celebrate the new milestone and, after more than a few drinks, they end up getting closer than they have up til that point. However, Rosie manages to forget the whole night, because of the amount of ingested alcohol and a tiny accident.

Moving forward, another milestone is presented – the prom, to which initially they were supposed to go together, as friends, but each of them ends up going, with what seems at the moment, the people they have fallen for. The night does not lack incidents and if for Alex losing his virginity was a no brainer, we can’t say the same about Rosie.

9 months later, Katie is born and Rosie’s life changes completely. Alex however is sticking to his initial plan and investing all his efforts in his career, far away, in Boston, without any clue of what is happening to his best friend. He confronts her a few months later when he comes home for a short visit and gets to meet Katie.

Even if they keep in touch, from this point on their lives somehow separate.

Alex is training in Boston, where he manages to meet someone and get into a stable relationship. After some time, and a child that proves not be his, he realises that his picture perfect was not exactly how it might have seemed at a first glance.

Rosie started working and not counting as much on her parents’ support. Her baby daddy shows up one day and, in the end, he manages to charm her again, this time into marrying him. However, she is on a daily basis reminded of her relationship with Alex, as Katie and her new best friend tend to spend a lot of time together.

After Rosie’s dad passing, things seems to start to change, but again, life interferes and they don’t manage to fully connect. And, as Rosie separates from her husband, the final scene with him being quite an amusing one, Alex decides to get married to his high-school sweetheart. Rosie finds out one week before the actual wedding, after discovering a love letter from Alex that her former husband has hid from her. She attends the wedding, heartbroken, and goes back home where she tries to piece up together her life.

She ends up accomplishing her teenage dream of having her own hotel and the last moments of the film show us the palpable version of that dream. By her side are her dear ones: Katie, her good friend Ruby, her mother and her first guest.

Lily Collins as Rosie and Sam Claflin as Alex give an impressive performance and have a very good on screen chemistry. The role of her parents and her new good friend Ruby make us realise how much it matters for a few close to heart people to be there for you when you most need it. Rosie is a full of life woman that doesn’t seem to be crushed by no matter what comes her way. Alex is the perfect portrayal of the protective pillar every woman wants in her life.

The story is a well-known one to each of us. It puts an emphasis on timing, which can either seal or break the deal. Life is a series of moments that can bring us together or separate us. It is a series of unpredictable events which make us grow and change. And, with this movie, we get the chance to see them all: the innocence of childhood, the struggle of the teenage years, the acceptance of what can’t be changed and making the best you can out of what you have, the sorrow of losing a dear one and the power to keep pushing and to fight for what your heart truly desires. It is not the story of a girl that met a boy, but the story of their beautiful imperfect lives.

Rosie and Alex present us with a timeless plot, one that no matter how you will put it, and how many times you will repeat it, will still catch your eye. Why? Because it is full of the hope we all need on a day to day basis.

Editor-in-Chief of Movie Marker. Likes: Scorsese, Spielberg and Tarantino Dislikes: The film 'Open Water' I mean, what was that all about?

Movie Reviews

Bad Times at the El Royale ★★★★

Bad Times at the El Royale feels like a throwback to Tarantino in all his 90’s pomp.



Director: Drew Goddard

Stars: Dakota Johnson, Cynthia Erivo, Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Lewis Pullman

Released: 12th October 2018 (UK)

Bad Times at the El Royale has seemingly fallen foul of the particularly hectic October release schedule in the U.K. As Venom and A Star is Born dominate the box-office and with the London Film Festival in full swing, El Royale has not received the recognition it deserves.

Boasting an impressive cast, Bad Times at the El Royale follows seven strangers whose stories intertwine at the El Royale hotel in Lake Tahoe. As each person’s agenda for being at the El Royale is revealed, tensions inevitably rises and the characters collide.

From the get-go, El Royale feels like a throwback to Tarantino in all his 90’s pomp. Director Drew Goddard, no stranger to managing madness following his debut A Cabin in the Woods, has crafted an immersive, intricately linked murder-mystery that feels like a grindhouse version of Cluedo. The violence is garish but necessary, the dialogue is short and snappy and the characters are most importantly, interesting. The hardest part of any film with so many moving parts, is making the audience actually bond with those involved. Goddard, who also wrote the screenplay, has nailed this – giving enough back-story for each, whilst holding enough back to keep us learning more.

Between Jeff Bridge’s bad-ass priest, Dakota Johnson’s kill-happy hippy and Chris Hemsworth’s dancing cult-leader, the wider cast have somehow managed to create a credible on-screen dynamic, despite the stark character contrasts. Cynthia Erivo’s soulful singer Darlene is the obvious standout and her interactions with Bridge’s Father Flynn provide some of the most film’s most satisfying scenes. Lewis Pullman’s unassuming concierge Miles is another strong performance deserving of a mention.

The film swaggers along accompanied by its killer soundtrack, which plays a crucial part in the films tonal change from chapter to chapter. It’s dark and violent, yet at times it’s engaging and even emotional. The sharp edits that mash-up the timeline don’t over-complicate the plot, but accentuate the frenzied feeling that Goddard is creating as we head towards the plot’s crescendo.

As expected there are some areas where a film with so much going on inevitably suffers. Jon Hamm’s Seymour is arguably the biggest victim of this, with his character perhaps not utilised as much as it could have been. The film also feels a little too fleshed out in parts, lingering on some of the less necessary aspects and leaving one or two plotlines unexplored as a result.

Bad Times at the El Royale really does feel like a Tarantino movie and that’s no mean feat, Goddard has taken his own style and applied tried and tested techniques to create a compelling, genuinely exciting movie and one that deserves to be enjoyed by a wider audience.


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Movie Reviews

LFF 2018 Review – Arctic ★★★★



Released: 5 December 2018

Directed by: Joe Penna

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Maria Thelma Smáradóttir

Reviewed by: Lauren Tina Brady

An expanse of white as far as the eye can see, gently sloping mountains in the horizon, a polar bear pads silently across the snow, pausing briefly to gaze back at the watching man across the valley.

At first Arctic reads as a classic survival narrative; the basic man vs. nature conundrum. I’d recently seen The Mountain Between Us, which draws some very obvious similarities; plane crash, hostile snowy environment, a great expanse needing to be crossed for a chance of survival. However, unlike relying on the pairing of Kate Winslet and Idris Elba for context,  Arctic’s dialogue is bare. This is largely due to the fact that there is only the protagonist for the first third of the film, played by Mads Mikkelsen.

At first it appears to lull you into that false sense of security of knowing exactly how this works out; he sticks to a routine of catching fish, laying out black rocks spelling ‘help’ against the snow and signalling for nearby aircraft. However, crucially, we don’t know who he is. He speaks very little, in both Danish and English. He offers no information to help us piece together a backstory and remains an enigma throughout, which feels fresh. The character becomes more than a person; he becomes the flicker of hope for survival, the spectrum of emotions that occur in the darkest of hours.

There is plenty of drama to keep us on the edge of our seats; he has a chance of escape quite early on – a small helicopter has spotted him and attempts to make it’s way towards him in strong winds leading to a crash. There are two people on board; one is killed with the other, a woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), who survives but is badly hurt and must be cared for. Suddenly the odds of both surviving are halved; the danger is intensified.

Here is a tale of endurance over survival. This is where Mikkelsen excels; he digs deep to portray every possible emotion through a gruelling and ice-cold journey. He is silent but his face says everything. I laughed in delight, I wept quietly. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing this role.

It’s a feat for Joe Penna, directing his feature film debut. See it for Mikkelsen, stay for the sensitive direction and the stunning cinematography.

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Movie Reviews

LFF 2018 Review – Museum ★★★★



Director: Alonso Ruizpalacios

Stars: Gael García Bernal, Leonardo Ortizgris, Alfredo Castro

Released: London Film Festival 2018

It’s Christmas Day, 1985. College dropouts Juan Nunez and Benjamin Wilson are ready to pull off an audacious heist that will have authorities searching for professional art thieves for years. Based on a true story, Alonso Ruizpalacios’ film sees the duo attempt to steal 140 priceless artefacts from the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year, Museum explores the mindsets of two would be criminals with nothing to lose.

The tale is narrated by Wilson, played with subtle compassion by Leonardo Ortizgris. Wilson’s role is much like Nick’s in The Great Gatsby, an opinionated and somewhat loyally biased eye through which Juan is diluted. Played by Gael Garcia Bernal, Juan is the film’s focus, a Mexican Cool Hand Luke drifting through his young adulthood. In the hands of another actor, Juan may have come off as entitled, lazy even, but Bernal’s performance layers the character with sympathetic naivety and relatable desire. A perennially youthful, multifaceted actor, Bernal paints buckets of emotion into every micro-expression.

The crime takes place after Christmas dinner, a lively family affair that sees Juan alienated and berated. At first, the silence is reminiscent of the hanging scene from Mission: Impossible; the tension equally palpable. But soon the action changes, pared back to a static style similar to the panels of a comic book. It is a technique repeated throughout the film, the continuity broken up into freeze frames that are not quite motionless, still alive with a touch of movement. Reducing these scenes to a childlike fantasy, Ruizpalacios succeeds in creating the ultimate sense of idyllic, youthful adventure.

Something often ignored in heist films is the aftermath, when the thieves must deal with the fallout of their decisions. Museum’s second act focuses on this aspect, allowing the introduction of an English art dealer, played by the superb Simon Russell Beale. Uncertainty builds from the start of their meeting, as the camera endlessly pans until Juan’s misguided perceptions come crashing down around him. In a script littered with intelligence and comedy, it is a pleasant surprise to see the characters’ raw emotion become the focal point.

Ruizpalacios seems content to pose questions that hang wispily in the air, unanswered: questions of cultural ownership, of morality and greed. He is more interested in the character study at the heart of this story, of a man who commits a crime out of boredom, a sense of nihilism or a desire for adventure, or perhaps a little of all three. It is a fresh idea in a crowded genre, making for a film that is impressive but never quite brilliant, a wonderful adventure that doesn’t aim to blow minds. But does that matter? As Juan says and Wilson relays: “Why let the truth ruin a good story?”, a sentiment Ruizpalacios takes quite literally. Luckily for him, Museum is without a doubt a good story.

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