Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Jude Law

QuickView: The Holiday (2006)

The Holiday

“Iris, in the movies, we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason, you’re behaving like the best friend.”

Arthur Abbott

The Holiday lulled me into a false sense of security with its subjectively shot opening that perfectly captures the self-inflicted pain of unrequited love (albeit leaning on an explanatory voiceover rather than trusting the audience). From there, it falls into the predictable rhythms of Anglo-American romantic drama, with a weak script elevated by a good cast. Amanda and Graham’s relationship is the most compelling as it is given sufficient time to blossom, though it is difficult to empathise with Cameron Diaz’s Amanda after she physically assaults her ex during their breakup and never seems at all heartbroken. Kate Winslet’s disarmingly vulnerable performance as Iris is the film’s strongest, but with her time divided between the colleague she is escaping and an elderly retired screenwriter she befriends in LA, we never spend long enough to become invested in her relationship with Miles, despite the film running long at well over two hours. In truth, The Holiday is no more (or less) a Christmas movie than Die Hard, simply being set at that time of year. As a breakup movie, I can certainly see its appeal, showing its leads ultimately move on with minimal effort, simply by virtue of physical distance and encounters with pleasant strangers.


QuickView: Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel poster

“I have nothing to prove to you.”

Carol Danvers

Those words during a fight late in the film ring like a challenge to detractors who feel threatened by female-led blockbusters. What Captain Marvel ably proves is what most already knew — that the Marvel superhero formula works just as well with a female lead — making it maddening that it has taken until the penultimate film of the decade-long three-phase MCU project to release one. Unfortunately fatigue is setting in with that formula and, where Black Panther shook things up by raising the bar for social and cultural exploration in a comicbook movie, Captain Marvel is largely content to play it safe in a sea of 90s nostalgia. The musical choices from the era are notable, with female fronted acts like Garbage and No Doubt setting a fun and rebellious tone to match Danvers’ own. Brie Larsen is great, though hamstrung slightly by an origin story which has Danvers slowly piecing together her memories so that her personality does not really crystallise until late in the film. The classic superhero action is fun as ever despite virtually non-existent stakes once her incredible powers are fully unleashed.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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