Archive for the British film Category

Oscar movies as substitute for burnout

Posted in bioflick, British film, Oscars on February 7, 2011 by leaflens

Or in short, here’s what 30 pesos can buy you when you’re on the brink of near beyond frustration: a multiple Oscar-nominated film copy.

With isaw.


d. Tom Hooper

c. Colin Firth, Helena Bonham   Carter, Goeffrey Rush, Guy Pearce

Pitch: True story of King George VI when he was still known as the Duke of York pre-Hitler era when he was still struggling with a stammering speech problem.

Catch: Are you sure this is a British film???? There’s humor but it’s not dry! Winner! So no catch!

One thing I really don’t like watching is films about the Royal Family of England. Not that I’m disinterested in their lives but seriously, I don’t get moved immediately by stories about people who have it (somewhat) easy in life. In a manner of speaking.

But snippets of their lives presented in a cleverly creative and quiet but poignant matter differ. I love them. Take the film The Queen. I skipped seeing that even if it was also nominated for the Oscars before. But catching it on cable one lazy day last year, I appreciated how the story was able to focus on such a very interesting time in the royal people’s lives, and how they reacted to it — in this case, the death of Princess Diana and how the Queen Mother and PM Tony Blair handled the situation. Grabe galing! Simple yet straight to the point storytelling, good pacing, well-acted of course, and good overall helming by the director.

In this film, it’s the same. Imagine a would-be king facing the latest in technology which is radio, and having a stammering speech problem. Until he became king pa. Great ready formula for major conflict right there.  Add to that that he had to make wartime speeches during his reign as king. Can you say “goal obstacles?” Hanep. Plus, the layers of discussion this film provides! Which could segue into meaningful discourses on how politicians and similar public figures of great importance manage different forms of media and all. Very interesting indeed.

But such is the heart of this movie: you can relate to the “ordinariness” or the “everyday problem” of this grand character. Or even “better” is you feel you are above him at least in that one aspect. And you can’t help but feel for the guy and root for him to succeed, even if he is the king of England.

I grew up as a super-quiet introverted person well until I turned legal in college, so it’s actually a surprise for most people to learn that fact about me when they see and hear me speak with ease now. But I had a similar problem before. Not that I stammer but I am super-shy that I don’t know how to modulate my voice, and I am always such a loser in class recitations. And imagine the horrors during my third year in college when we were required to take Comm 3, a speech class. I took a Filipino version of that class, Komm 3, thinking that I will be able to negotiate giving a speech in front of a class of 20 quite manageable because it’s in Filipino.  But no, turns out my stage fright is as worse a plague to me as my childhood asthma. So I dropped the course. Eventually of course, I had to retake it and took the English version, and the teacher was better in coaching us how to speak out of our shells. Yes,  survived and passed that class eventually, but with great near-death agony.

So imagine the tension of the build-up this movie had in me when it was unfolding, up to the very first time the king had to deliver his first wartime speech. It was such a very simple situation but its preparation was so cleverly built up during the first act and the whole of second act so by the time we reach the climax, we were so ready for it. A success of great scriptwriting and great acting-directing helped enormously by a good pulse in editing. Now that’s how film techniques work together to build a great story and elicit meaning. Simple genius.

So see the list of nominations it garnered this year and we’ll see what happens next at the end of this month. Ayus! I think this has a big chance. So many good films competing this year. Have to watch some of them pa.

Okay roll credits then!



Posted in British film, Oscars, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 6, 2008 by leaflens


originally posted at


s. from the novel by zoe heller

c. dame judy dench, cate blanchett

pitch: a veteran closeted lesbian high school teacher uses a younger new teacher’s scandalous affair with a student to curry favors in her favor

catch: putangina ang homophobic!



bwisit! bwisit ito! nakakairita! arrgghh! sayang ang talents. pero iyon ang ipinagtataka ko: bakit pumayag ang talents na lumabas dito?????????

the film is about hidden scandals, usually frowned upon by society. cate’s character is an art teacher in a high school and currently undergoing a seven-year itch sa marriage niya with an older man. si dame judy naman is a closeted lesbian pero alam naman ng lahat ba, yung ganun. she had a previous run-in with another teacher na, it turns out in the end, naging stalkerish ang moda niya at the girl had to issue a restraining order pa sa kanya. tapos heto na naman siya, na-focus-an niya ng affection yung new art teacher na halos i-blackmail niya emotionally pero pa-underground ang dating when the art teacher had a sexual love affair with an underage student. haggard! i’m sure hetero ang sumulat ng novel na ito, and not once binanggit nila ang posibilidad ng sexuality chever ng closeted older teacher. nakakainis kasi napaka-homophobic lang ng buong set-up, not to say na walang lesbyanang closeta man o hindi na mangba-blackmail ng ganun sa isang babae para maging emotionally indebted sa kanya yung gelay. maraming ganyan diyan sus i can name names hahahaha. pero that’s not the point. the point is, sobrang condemned na agad ang character ni judy in the beginning, kahit na cate’s character was “punished” for punishing the closeted lesbian, pero iffy pa rin ang whole situation, kasi the older teacher ends up beginning something na maaaring ganun ulit sa isang complete stranger in the end. aaaaah basta! ayoko ito. buset. kakainis. argh. sayang talent! asar.

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