Entries in Jodie Whittaker (3)

Sunday
Jan202019

AN EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX // A FILM REVIEW OF "ADULT LIFE SKILLS"

BY MATEO MORENO

(note: The majority of this review was first published on Sat April 23rd 2016 when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival)

 

In 2016, I had the pleasure of seeing ADULT LIFE SKILLS at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, I eagerly awaited a US release, but to no avail. It was released in the UK that summer but never had a US distributor - until now. It will now get a limited theatrical release and then will be available to stream, with a Blu-Ray release set for March. Below you'll find my original review, which I still 100% stand behind.

 


Anna (Jodie Whittaker, fresh off of her first season as "The Doctor") is fast approaching 30. This is not a good thing. At least, not for Anna. She's stuck in a rut, unable to move forward at all. She lives in a shed outside her mother's house. What she does excel at is mastering the art of doing nothing. And making funny online videos, like a space expedition using only her thumbs with faces drawn on. Her mother and grandmother (Lorraine Ashbourne and Eileen Davies) don't quite know what to do with her but they both know that enough is enough. Truly young Anna needs an emotional push into some adultish-ness, to learn some ADULT LIFE SKILLS.

 

Based on her BAFTA-nominated short film Emotional Fusebox, Rachel Tunnard's sweet oddball film is by far the charmer of the fest. Anna has suffered some sort of loss, though at the beginning of the film we're not quite sure what it is. So she slogs on day to day making weird videos and refuses to actually grow up. Her life begins to get a bit of a jolt when a young boy from next door (Ozzy Myers) starts coming around after his own mother gets put in the hospital. Strangely drawn to her, he someone understands her and begins to look up to her. Anna's best mate Fiona, played by Rachael Deering, comes back into town to spend time with her, make her laugh, push her into happiness. But something continues to hold her back and it's something that her family, the little boy next door, her friend, nor her neighbor Brendan with a sweet crush on her (Brett Goldstein) can fix by themselves. They're going to need help. They're going to need Anna to come back.

 

 

ADULT LIFE SKILLS is a strange, odd, endearing, hilarious and heartfelt. It's the emotional fusebox that I needed on a Friday night and I hope you visit Anna's strange little shed yourself very soon. You'll be glad you did.

 

MATEO'S GRADE: A

DIRECTED BY Rachel Tunnard STARRING Jodie Whittaker, Lorraine Ashbourne, Brett Goldstein, Rachael Deering, Eileen Davies, Alice Lowe, Edward Hogg, Ozzy Myers. Now playing in select cinemas and available on demand.
Saturday
Apr232016

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2016 // A REVIEW OF "ADULT LIFE SKILLS"

BY MATEO MORENO

Anna (Jodie Whittaker) is fast approaching 30. This is not a good thing. At least, not for Anna. She's stuck in a rut, unable to move forward at all. She lives in a shed outside he mother's house. What she does excel at is mastering the art of doing nothing. And making funny online videos, like a space expedition using only her thumbs with faces drawn on. Her mother and grandmother (Lorraine Ashbourne and Eileen Davies) don't quite know what to do with her but they both know that enough is enough. Truly young Anna needs an emotional push into some adultish-ness, to learn some ADULT LIFE SKILLS.

Based on her BAFTA-nominated short film Emotional Fusebox, Rachel Tunnard's sweet oddball film is by far the charmer of the fest. Anna has suffered some sort of loss, though at the beginning of the film we're not quite sure what it is. So she slogs on day to day making weird videos and refuses to actually grow up. Her life begins to get a bit of a jolt when a young boy from next door (Ozzy Myers) starts coming around after his own mother gets put in the hospital. Strangely drawn to her, he someone understands her and begins to look up to her. Anna's best mate Fiona, played by Rachael Deering, comes back into town to spend time with her, make her laugh, push her into happiness. But something continues to hold her back and it's something that her family, the little boy next door, her friend, nor her neighbor Brendan with a sweet crush on her (Brett Goldstein) can fix by themselves. They're going to need help. They're going to need Anna to come back.

Tunnard’s direction (from her own screenplay) is swiftly assured. It takes its time rolling out Anna's story and allows you to always be on Anna's side, no matter how stubborn she's being (well, almost always). The script is fresh & funny, deftly original and very, very funny. Jodie Whittaker is wonderful in the lead role, both equally funny and broken. Her Peter Pan syndrome becomes more & more relatable the more time you spend with her. The film can only work if her control is on point and it is. Though her character is not at all self assured, her performance certainly is. Rachael Deering turns in a performance that makes you wish she was your best mate. She's just as odd as Anna and knows exactly how to make her laugh. Her performance is supportive and strong. The entire ensemble is quite good in each way, from the marks of Lorraine Ashbourne & Eileen Davies' lovingly turns of support to the quirkiness of Brett Goldstein's oddball, loving neighbor to a sweet introductory performance from Ozzy Myers. Also of note is a strong performance in small but pivotal role from Edward Hogg as... well you'll need to see it to find out. And see it you should.

ADULT LIFE SKILLS is my favorite film of the entire fest, and it may be yours too. It's strange, odd, endearing, hilarious and heartfelt. It's the emotional fusebox that I needed on a Friday night and I hope you visit Anna's strange little shed yourself very soon. You'll be glad you did.

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Rachel Tunnard STARRING Jodie Whittaker, Lorraine Ashbourne, Brett Goldstein, Rachael Deering, Eileen Davies, Alice Lowe, Edward Hogg, Ozzy Myers

MATEO'S VERDICT: MUST SEE

FINAL THOUGHTS: A true oddball gem, and my favorite of the fest.

 

MATEO MORENO is an actor, writer, and a playwright. His plays Happily After Tonight, Bohemian Valentine, & Within Our Walls have been produced in NY and beyond (TBG Theatre, NY International Fringe Festival, Planet Connections Festivity, Boomerang Theatre, and FOHS Theatre). He most recently co-stared in the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway play City of Glass at The New Ohio Theatre and appeared in the workshop of Uzume at LaMama. Next he will be seen in An Unseen Visitor at Symphony Space. Mateo is also part of Athena Theatre's 2016 Playwrighting Group. He lives in Brooklyn.

Monday
Aug012011

Vexing & Ninjas // A Review of Attack The Block

BY ELLIOT JOSEPH

Got to start by giving a massive big up to director and writer Joe Cornish, who after being mugged in much the same way as this film starts out, decided to put together this movie tracking the lives of a South London gang as they battle aliens.

When Moses (John Boyega) and his hoodie friends (Hoodie is a reference to British Youth who wear hoods as disguises to cause some mayhem) decide to merc (mug) a woman and kill a random falling baby alien on fireworks night, they had no idea they would start a battle for their turf and lives.  This truly is a unique take on the sci-fi genre that meshes comedy and action with those suspenseful moments from a real South London housing estate perspective.

What Joe Cornish has created is something with very sincere dialogue and a real sense of keeping the audience engaged.  I now cannot wait to see what he has done with Tin Tin.

The film does have some translation problems for a contemporary American audience and my main beef (problem) with Attack the Block is how it will translate with the new London slang, which is very heavy.  Half the jokes I found myself chuckling at went way over most of the movie going audiences’ shoulders.

This shouldn’t stop anyone from checking it out, ya get me?  There were great cameos from Nick Frost (Simon Pegg’s other half) as a drug dealing, National Geographic watching simpleton, along with two nine-year-olds that are desperate for their nicknames to be aptly named props and mayhem.

What can be said is that there is a very strong underlying message from our chief protagonist, Moses, and that is of consequence and actions and how once this is realized people can truly act selflessly to rectify mistakes.

This is a funny, inventive and very quirky British comedy.  If these boys would have stayed at home and played FIFA on the Xbox, they would have never saved the world, innit.

Directed and Written by Joe Cornish  Starring John Boyega, Jodie Whittaker and Alex Esmail.  Rated R.

 

Elliot’s Grade: B

What BVEW Viewers Might Like: A very different take on a comedy adventure of urban London battling aliens. Good writing, solid performances and pace.

Bottom Line: The slang is sometimes very fast paced, however this is a great movie with a very rich message and lots of heart.