Sunday 1 February 2015

Film Reviews: Olly Alexander

I can't deny it, this is pretty much an ode to Olly Alexander dressed up as a series of film reviews. But what can I say, I'm slightly obsessed.

God Save the Girl:

This film was found after too many hours spent sifting through Netflix. I knew nothing about it and yes I was a bit surprised when Eve, played by the beautiful Emily Browning, started singing. I now know that the film was based on the Belle and Sebastian songs from the God Save The Girl project. The songs were written with the intention of being used in a film and as such they very effectively tell a story.

I suppose I would describe the film as a coming of age musical set in Glasgow, focused on the character of Eve who is battling an eating disorder whilst trying to make music alongside her new found friends, James and Cassie. There is an earthiness to the film that keeps it very down to earth despite the impromptu singing and occasional dance routine. At times it was a bit sickly sweet, but you know what, in my eyes, that only added to the charm of it.

The acting was natural and didn't feel too scripted or forced. The three main characters; Eve, James and Cassie, each added something different to the story and complemented each other beautifully. There seemed to be genuine chemistry between them and I believed their friendship as well as the sparks of romance that appeared every now and then.

The soundtrack is flawless and in danger of being overplayed, a mistake I am going to carry on making until I am sick of it. Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray all have very different voices but I liked the variety they offered.

I feel as though this is the sort of film that you will either love or hate, but if you love it, you really will LOVE it. 

The Dish and the Spoon:

I'm not going to lie, Olly Alexander may have been the only reason I decided to watch this film but he was one of a number of reasons I enjoyed it. It's a boy meets girl sort of story but with a twist, it is quirky and dirty and there are snippets of friendship and bittersweet love muddled in with misery and anger. It follows Rose who is caught up in rage following the infidelity of her husband, she is out on a mission to find the mistress and in the process stumbles across a teen boy from the UK. This boy who isn't given a name is caught up in Rose's mission and together they embark on an adventure fuelled by revenge.

It took me half an hour to realise that the boy hadn't been given a name. He was elusive, mysterious, and a man of few words. He gave a number of stories from his childhood, were any of them true? We will never know. I liked how as a character he remained an unknown, but despite this he really added to the film, his quiet and quirky personality contrasting with the blind rage of Rose. 

Pain, rejection, anger, mood swings, emotions all dealt with brilliantly by Rose, the emotion was raw and real and the film benefited greatly from the acting of both Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander. For the majority of the film it was carried alone by these two characters and I never felt as though more were required. I enjoyed the simplicity of it, the plot lacked complexity but rather focused on portraying emotion.

I went into this film blind, I had no expectations or preconceived thoughts. I have since found out that there are very mixed reviews on it, some raving, others, not so much. But you know what, I loved it. Some argue that it has a somewhat lacking storyline but as far as I am concerned it is carried by two amazing characters played by two amazing people so I can forgive any of its minor faults.

The Riot Club:

I have already written a review of The Riot Club which can be found here.

I have a love hate relationship with this film, I hate the premise of it, an elite dining club reminiscent of the Bullingdon club. But the acting is brilliant and each and everyone of the actors and actresses do a brilliant job of portraying the lurid and distasteful side of wealth and status.

Years & Years:

So, there you have my three favourite films featuring Olly Alexander. But his talents don't end there, he is also the lead singer for the band Years & Years which I am all too quickly becoming obsessed with. As I write this, Take Shelter if my favourite of their songs but they also did a brilliant cover of Haim's Don't Save Me which you should all go an listen to! Now!

Please let me know if you have seen any of these films!


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