Film Round-Up: Belfast, Ron’s Gone Wrong and The French Dispatch
Let’s review some movies.
Buddy grows up in Belfast as sectarian troubles start to affect his life. Nostalgia is an interesting thing. This film is Kenneth Branagh delving into his childhood back in the capital city of Northern Ireland. This means we have the juxtaposition of an idyllic working class childhood with playing out in the streets where the entire town seems to be your family combined with riots and hatred that you struggle to understand as a child. This, alongside the choice to make the film black and white, works really well in this movie. It really does feel like a slice of life and emulates social realism classics to its benefit throughout. And showing the troubles through the eyes of a child who just wants to have his family around him and maybe talk to his crush makes it all feel even more tragic. I’m not sure the film gets onto much new ground and the plot seems to stall towards the end so it can get over the 90 minute mark but it’s still very good.
Ron’s Gone Wrong
Barney is a loner as he is the only one at school who doesn’t have a B Bot. He does eventually get one, but it malfunctions so Barney has to teach it how to be a friend. This sort of film is why I do mini reviews because there is very little to discuss. This is a decent movie. It moves at a decent pace, the jokes are solid for kids and the obvious metaphor the B Bots are for tablets and phones is done ok in a sort of ‘kid’s first metaphor’ kind of way. It is nothing groundbreaking and I doubt parents will remember this for much longer after the credits end. There’s many better kids films if all of the family need entertaining. The only major flaw is that the film is a bit too long and it feels like it’s stretching to try and get a longer runtime. But other than that, just a decent but unremarkable kids film.
The French Dispatch
The editor of The French Dispatch magazine passes away and his last wish is for the publication to end. Welcome to Wes Anderson: The Movie. He is a beloved director, though his style is so unique it can take a while to get used to it. I completely understand if you don’t like his films because you just don’t get on with his vision. And if you aren’t a fan of Wes Anderson and his idiosyncrasies, this is not the film to change your mind as he is completely full on. Because this film is really just a collection of short films with the theme of them being stories in this magazine, it allows Anderson to not temper any of his style in order to fit a narrative, because he can be as odd as you like in 25 minute short bursts. I liked all the short films in this movie, though I admit none really made me fall in love like the best Anderson movies do. I miss the larger narratives because Anderson imbues them with so much heart but here it sometimes misses that beat because they all go at such a rapid test. This is still very creative and cool, but I’d much rather revisit The Grand Budapest Hotel than The French Dispatch.