Tag Archives: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Film Review: Mary Magdalene (2018)

This isn’t on my initial must-watch list this month mainly because it’s obviously all religious and stuff. See, I tend to veer away from the crazy topic that is religion. The thing is, its trailer got to me. I loved that they picked Rooney Mara to play the titular role and it’s been ages since I’ve seen Rooney on the big screen.

Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene is one that is almost free of misconception. One that contradicted previous portrayals of Mary of Magdala in pop culture. Mary here is a strong-willed woman with unwavering faith to her God. ‘Shaming’ her family by defying an arranged marriage, Mary decides to leave them and follow Jesus of Nazareth (Joaquin Phoenix).

The film easily cultivated Mara’s greatest strength as she is thoroughly affecting and her eyes speaks to you – no long dialogues necessary.

I loved that we see Phoenix’s Jesus here as more human – grittier in a way. I loved that aspect of humanizing (normalizing) such a divine being.

Tahar Rahim played Judas like an uber-eager puppy invoking sympathy like no other Judas in the past films. Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter was surprisingly too strong here almost to the point of being unlikable. I find it interesting that the usual personality depicted in films’ past got switched here.

As a controversial and mostly misunderstood figure in the bible, the Mary Magdalene that we got here is a symbol of power. It could be an eye-opener for so many devout but perhaps not in the spiritual level. It wasn’t as visually strong nor very thought provoking but it trudge our thoughts about believing and faith in more ways than one.

Director: Garth Davis
Cast: Roonet Mara, Joaquin Pheonix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tahar Rahim, Sarah-Sofie Boussnina, Hadas Yaron, Lubna Azabal, Lior Raz, Ryan Corr, Shira Haas, Uri Gavriel, Charles Babalola, Tawfeek Barhom, Tzachi Halevy, Zohar Shtrauss, Michael Moshonov, Ariane Labed, Giovanni Cirfiera

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Review: 12 Years A Slave (2013)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Adapted from Solomon Northup’s autobiography, 12 Years A Slave chronicles the enduring and most of the time painful memory of Northup’s life into slavery. Born as a freeman, Northup was abducted and was sold as a slave from master to master and eventually grasping the freedom he never thought would come.

Prior to watching the film, I already have a preconceived idea about what’s it going to be. Not a clear one but almost a foreshadowing on how this would turn out – sold into slavery then the lead fought for freedom and that’s it. I was wrong though – blatantly  wrong.

12 Years A Slave may very well be the best movie of all time to capture the heart and soul of that nasty memory of human history where slavery and racial inequality was the most prevalent thing in the world that it’s almost dreamy.  Director Steve McQueen did not back down on letting us see the almost physical and psychological trauma that will engulf his audience. I for one felt a bit uncomfortable watching some of the scenes especially that scene when Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o,) a fellow slave was stripped, tied to a post and was whipped by Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) himself and his second master Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender.) It was just heartbreaking and totally painful to watch.

 Now, speaking of the three, they all provided the right synergy to connect with their audience. Lupita Nyong’o delivered an almost innocent and flawless performance that I find myself overwhelmed by it. Michael Fassbender, the sadistic and drunk second master of Solomon was perfection here! He provided that lethal feel to the character yet at some point, you’d also feel for him.

Chiwetel Ejiofor on the other hand was almost numb to what’s happening with his character that his Solomon was flowing through him. He is him. Ejiofor was translucent and targeted his audience with those eyes – haunting eyes, blaming, begging, piercing eyes. This was a performance so powerful it will break you.

As an afterthought, the film was consistent in providing a drastic storyline that encompasses Solomon’s life to the point that it’s almost nonsensical to ask for more. It was sentimental, yes, but it provides authority. Sure, it’s a total Oscar bait but it’s all worth it. It was a film that is worthy of talk and worthy of endurance amongst all the films to come in later years.

Rating: 9.5 / 10

Director: Steve McQueen
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Adepero Oduye, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard

2014 Oscars – The 86th Academy Awards Full List Of Nominees!

American Hustle and Gravity leads this year's list with 11 nods each!

American Hustle and Gravity leads this year’s list with 11 nods each!

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave

12 Years A Slave garnered 10 as expected!

12 Years A Slave garnered 10 as expected!

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best S Actor

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best S Actress

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Director

Best Animated Feature Film
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises

Animated Film

Best Foreign Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Foreign

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle, Eric Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter

Best Original Score
The Book Thief
Gravity
Her
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

Best Original Song
Alone Yet Not Alone, from Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy, from Despicable Me 2
Let It Go, from Frozen
The Moon Song, from Her
Ordinary Love, from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Cinematography
The Grandmaster
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave

via http://oscar.go.com/nominees – view the full list here!

Review: Salt (2010)

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

Gateway Cinema 9

P171 with D.

Director: Phillip Noyce

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl, Daniel Pierce, Hunt Block, Andre Braugher, Olek Krupa, Cassidy Hinkle, Corey Stoll

Watching Salt was like watching Step Up 3D minus the latter’s bad acting. Yeah. I compared it to Step-Up because like the unbelievably amazing choreography of that film — Salt takes action into another amazing unbelievable level! It’s literally action-packed but not totally brutal to watch.

Plus. It’s Angelina. It’s like watching Wanted all over again. It’s too fast-paced for me and I was so keen watching Angelina kick everyone’s ass that I have totally forgotten the story. I’m not saying it’s forgettable, the action sequences were just way too over the top. For some reasons, it kinda reminds me of the “transgenic” of the TV Series “Dark Angel” where kids were trained to be warriors.

So I’d say it is a mix of Step-Up 3D minus the acting, Wanted minus the story and “Dark Angel” minus the cloning. “Hit Girl” should hang out with Salt! Ratings: 8 / 10