movies: easy virtue

easy virtue - let's misbehave!First up, I have to give a big, big, big, big thank you to The Other Andrew for his review of Easy Virtue which caused us to go and see that tonight instead of whatever piece of randomness we had been planning on going to see instead.

Secondly, I don't think I have ever in my life been in such a TINY cinema... seriously... we went to the Palace Nova on Rundle Street (this was on the Palace side) and the movie was been shown in what I think used to be either somebody's office or possibly just part of the walkway that they had blocked off, because it was tiny! Something like 45 seats and very, very "intimate" (Cinema 2 for the record). So that was an experience!

But back to the movie, which was just phenomenal!

We all know that I love that whole 1920's vibe at the best of times... but add that to a movie containing strong female characters (love), awesome music (love), scorchingly good dialogue (double love), beautiful clothes and Prince Caspian (totally way love), and frankly, I'm sold.

I cannot even being to describe how good the writing is on this film... even if Stephan Elliott and his writing partner Sheridan Jobbins supposedly "watered down the acid" of Noel Coward's original play, what you're left with is still some outstanding, witty, bitchy and awesome work. The number of smart, snappy comebacks alone make your head spin (or it would if you weren't so busy laughing).

Even with the best writing in the world, if you don't have an outstanding cast then, really, what's the point. Fortunately Mr Elliott didn't fall down there either. Nobody really puts a foot wrong in this movie... it's almost enough to just list the names without any descriptions of how good they are... these people all know their way around a script. The one person who did surprise me with how bloody good they were though was Jessica Biel... I've only seen her in a couple of things, neither of which were the greatest stretch acting-wise, but in this she is fantastic and very much holds her own against Kristin Scott Thomas (of course it doesn't hurt that she has some of THE best lines in the movie).

The other person who really drew my eye (other than the occasionally shirtless but otherwise snappily attired Ben Barnes) was Kris Marshall, mostly because it's something of a different role than I've seen him in before (still comedy, but a very different character)... he gets a number of great lines, and does some wonderful comedic facial acting. There's definitely a "character actor in the making" there.

Speaking of stand-outs... the music! Not only the music that is appropriate to the period (and also, who knew Ben Barnes could sing so beautifully), but the twist that they put on a couple of songs, most notably the one during the fox hunt and then the song over the end credits both worked brilliantly for me. They do run the risk of throwing you out of the moment, but I didn't find that at all... it just made me love the movie that little bit more. In fact, what it makes me want to do is rush out and buy the soundtrack.

In fact the only thing stopping me from ranking this up there with my small and select club of perfect scores was the ending. Which is not to say that it's not good... it just wasn't what I was expecting and it was just the inference of what would have happened next that felt a little weird to me.

But other than that, thoroughly enjoyable and it's definitely one that Ma and I are going to be squabbling about who's DVD collection it has to live in!

yani's rating: 4 obnoxious Chihuahuas out of 5

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