Side Effects

Whatever you think this film is going to be about, it isn’t.

Starting in the apparently murky world of prescription drugs and the psychiatrist’s office, the storyline weaves in and out of several other murky worlds until it eventually arrives somewhere totally different.  Leaving me with my mind boggled, and a general feeling of “what just happened there …?”

It was generally entertaining, with just the right amount of swagger from Jude Law, but spoilt by some overacting and a severe up-do from Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Watch with an open mind, leave with an open mouth.

Cloud Atlas

Not quite sure where to start with this! As I understand it, the underlying theme is that we are all connected somehow, and this thread is presented visually by using an ensemble cast of actors in various costumes, prosthetics and make up to play an array of characters in six different episodes over a time span of hundreds of years.  The six episodes are intercut, so that you have to work reasonably hard to keep hold of each of the narratives.

With the exception of the comedy knock-about storyline in the retirement home (which I didn’t warm to when reading the book, either), each story is interesting and entertaining, with some good turns from Hugh Grant (yes, the very same!) and the ever-wonderful Ben Wishaw.  Tom Hanks was a bit all over the place and Halle Berry was, well, interesting.

I’m not sure that the six stories wove together cohesively enough to make the film work as a whole, but I found it engagingly bonkers.

Kiseki – I Wish

Sweet story of two brothers, one living with his wannabe rock-star father, the other with his mother and grandparents following parental separation.

They’re so desperate for the family to be reunited that they move heaven and earth to be at the point where two new bullet trains pass each other, as they’ve heard miracles can happen if you wish on the passing of the trains.

Whilst the parents are being childish and irresponsible, the brothers and their friends get on with managing their own time, money and plans to try to make their dreams come true.

Loved this view of childhood by director Hirokazu Koreeda.