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Non-Review Review: What Richard Did

The latest film from Lenny Abrahamson is a solid slow boil moral and psychological drama. It treads well-worn ground, exploring the relationship between guilt and entitlement, but does so in a relatively charming way, navigated by Abrahamson’s solid direction and a great central performance from Jack Reynor. However, it’s hard not see this as a variation on a familiar story, one we’ve seen rendered in an American and a British context quite often. Malcolm Campbell’s overly melodramatic script never quite manages to ground to film in a particularly Irish setting, despite the posh Blackrock background and the occasionally recognisable landmark. Even the title change, eschewing the novel’s Bad Day in Blackrock for a more generic What Richard Did seems to try to broaden the scope of the film, losing a lot of the more potentially fascinating avenues that could be explored.

More than his ego is bruised…

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Non-Review Review: Chicken With Plums

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012.

As the follow-up to Persepolis, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that there’s a lot of expectations around Marjane Satrapi’s follow-up, Chicken With Plums. The second in her trilogy of graphic novels, Chicken With Plums might fall a bit short of the heights that its predecessor reached, but there’s no denying that Satrapi and her co-director, Vincent Paronnaud, have composed a truly beautiful film. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Chicken With Plums might be the most beautiful film that you will see this year – a bold statement for late February. There are some very fundamental problems with the movie, most stemming from the fact that it can never decide if it’s a story or a collection of anecdotes, but it’s held together by superb artistic direction and a charming central performance from Mathieu Amalric.

A man at peace, but with inner violin...

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