Film Reviews 5: “An Education”, “Let the Right One In”, “The Princess Diaries” and 9 others…

the king of comedy robert de niro martin scorsese standup ransom

This fortnight: ‘American Psycho’, ‘An Education’, ‘Deconstructing Harry’, ‘Definitely Maybe’, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, ‘The Invention of Lying’, ‘The King of Comedy’ (pictured above), ‘Let the Right One In’, ‘My Summer of Love’, ‘The Princess Diaries’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘Wonder Boys’.


American Psycho
(2000) – 7/10

Director: Mary Harron
Writers: Mary Harron, Guinevere Turner, Bret Easton Ellis (novel)
Starring: Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto

american psycho christian bale breta easton ellis

By the end, not only am I unsure if the deaths took place, I don’t even know if I saw them. But at least I know a lot more about Phil Collins (not his music, but his murderous tendencies).


An Education
(2009) – 8/10

Director: Lone Scherfig
Writers: Nick Hornby, Lynn Barber (memoir)
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina

an education lone scherfic carey mulligan

A sinister romance, heart strings played with sarcastic French turns of phrase, jazz classics, 1960s dance moves, and a contender for film of the year. Stay in school, kids!


Deconstructing Harry
(1997) – 8/10

Director/Writer: Woody Allen
Starring: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

1997 deconstructing harry woody allen hell devil

Woody Allen attempts to ‘do another Annie Hall’, and fails, unfortunately, but fails better than the many other people who attempted to do the same (I’m looking at you, When Harry Met Sally).


Definitely, Maybe
(2008) – 4/10

Director/Writer: Adam Brooks
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin

definitely maybe

The Guardian called it a ‘thinking woman’s chick flick’, which is an insult to thinking women and chick flicks.


The Devil Wears Prada
(2006) – 6.5/10

Director: David Frankel
Writers: Aline Brosh McKenna, Lauren Weisberger (novel)
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci

the devil wears prada anne hathaway

This film was not like any of my experiences working in an office.


The Invention of Lying
(2009) – 3/10

Directors/Writers: Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Jennifer Garner

the invention of lying ricky gervais louis ck jennifer garner

The invention of celebrity cameos in an unfunny film with a flawed premise that isn’t interesting enough to sustain interest. It did have Barry from Eastenders, though. Oh, and Tina Fey.


The King of Comedy
(1982) – 8.5/10

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Paul D. Zimmerman
Starring: Robert De Nio, Jerry Lewis, Sandra Bernhard

the king of comedy robert de niro martin scorsese standup comedy talk show host

Robert De Niro’s mother should be proud.


Let the Right One in
(2009) – 8.5/10

Director: Tomas Alfredson
Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist
Starring: Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson

let the right one in vampire

A subtle vampire coming-of-age love story based on a book about two lonely children. Except it’s not Twilight, and is actually pretty fantastic – lighting, music, atmosphere, gory scenes and everything else you wanted from Twilight, apart from Robert Pattinson breaking a limb.


My Summer of Love
(2004) – 6.5/10

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Writers: Pawel Pawlikowski, Michael Wynne, Helen Cross (novel)
Starring: Emily Blunt, Natalie Press, Paddy Considine

my summer of love emily blunt

Had nothing to do with autumn.


The Princess Diaries
(2001) – 3/10 or 7/10 (still undecided)

Director: Garry Marshall
Writers: Gina Wendkos, Meg Cabot (novel)
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews

the princess diaries anne hathaway

Just as with Twilight, its best scene is an irreverent example of baseball. Although the display of how princesses play baseball wasn’t quite as fun as Bella icily watching Edward run through some trees to catch a ball, it still made me laugh.


Sherlock Holmes
(2009) – 2/10

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Michael Robert Johnson, Anthony Peckham, Simon Kinberg
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams

sherlick holmes guy ritchie robert downey jr jude law

I saw this at the cinema because Avatar 3D had sold out. I wish I hadn’t.


Wonder Boys
(2000) – 6.5/10

Director: Curtis Hanson
Writers: Steven Kloves, Michael Chabon (novel)
Starring: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jr., Frances McDormand

wonder boys michael douglas novelist typewriter

I was hoping for something reflecting my real life, and instead got a film.

Follow @halfacanyon for more. Unfollow @halfacanyon for less.

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About Nick Chen

26-year-old journalist who's written for places like Total Film, Sight & Sound, Little White Lies, Complex, SFX Magazine, Dazed and Confused, Grolsch Film Works, London Calling, Vice, and a bunch of other places. Why pencils have razors. Based on a book. Screenwriter. Buzz word. London. Twitter: @halfacanyon. Feeling pullovered apart by clothes horses. Lesser known Olsen brother. Multiple instances of words misused contemporaneously.
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