Saoirse Ronan on ‘Brooklyn’, family & musicals

“Oh God, I do really love Singin’ in the Rain. I loved Gene Kelly so much, and I loved watching him perform.”

The Skinny is chatting with Saoirse Ronan just a few hours before her new film, Brooklyn, has a red carpet launch for its European premiere at this year’s London Film Festival, and we’ve broached the topic of favourite movies from the era of the film’s 1950s setting. “What else did I love?” she continues. “I loved anything with Bette Davis. She was terrific. Maybe that was more late 40s, but she worked into the 50s as well. All About Eve would be 50s and I love All About Eve.”

The question is inspired by Ronan’s character in the film, who goes to see the aforementioned Kelly musical, swoons over Gary Cooper with a friend, and has a conversation about John Ford’s The Quiet Man, released in 1952, the year of Brooklyn’s setting…

Full interview for The Skinny

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Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)

Adapted from Colm Tóibín’s beloved novel, Brooklyn is a refreshingly old-fashioned melodrama with depths that transcend its initial lightweight-looking tearjerker packaging…

Full review for The Skinny

Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)

The latest James Bond film, Spectre, is named for its revival of the sinister SPECTRE organisation, the group behind the source of much of the world’s woes in the series’ earlier entries. That is the objectively true reasoning behind the film’s title. Upon viewing Sam Mendes’ second Bond outing, however, the title takes on a different layer. Spectre is an appropriate title because there’s only a glimmer of a pulse in the film’s 148 minutes…

Full review for Vague Visages

Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro, 2015)

Why do you watch horror? If it’s solely about preying on your primal fears through a high-concept premise, it’s possible you might not get a great deal out of Guillermo Del Toro’s gothic opus Crimson Peak.

If you’re after jump scares, then you’ll probably hate it. If, however, you’re attuned to and appreciative of the ways in which some of the best horror films can not be about boogeyman scares, but instead cover a wide array of different emotional concerns, then proceed with less caution…

Full review for The Skinny

Live from New York! (Bao Nguyen, 2015)

Anyone looking for a really meaty documentary on a still on-the-air television show may be put off when hearing of extensive involvement of the head honchos behind said property. Even more worrying is also finding out that the 40-year portrait of the series only runs 78 minutes (despite what IMDb may tell you), which doesn’t exactly sound like the most ideal length considering that the documentary is about Saturday Night Live, a television show riddled with myriad controversies, success stories and career implosions over those 40 years. If you have a hunch that Live from New York! might play like little more than a hagiographic, superficial skip through self-serving sound-bites, then… well, you’re absolutely right…

Full review for Vague Visages

In the Room (Eric Khoo, 2015)

Love and lust across a century form the backbone of In the Room, the latest film from director Eric Khoo (TatsumiBe with Me). An anthology feature with five main vignettes (titled “Rubber,” Listen,” “Change,” “Search,” and “First Time” in the end credits) and a few recurring revisits to the exploits of characters who have come and gone, the entire film is set within the confines of one Singapore hotel room, bar the occasional meet-cute or tearful lament in the corridor right outside…

Full review for The Film Stage

The Corpse of Anna Fritz (Hèctor Hernández Vicens, 2015)

World famous Spanish actress Anna Fritz (Alba Ribas) has suddenly died. On the night of the death, young mortician Pau (Albert Carbó) takes a photo of the dead celebrity and sends it to his friends, Ivan (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell), who promptly turn up at Pau’s hospital while on their way to a party. After doing some coke by the hospital’s bins, Pau and Ivan think it a good idea to have a look at the body up close in the morgue; the comparatively mature Javi is disturbed by the idea but tags along anyway. Down in the morgue, Ivan feels an apparent need to touch the beautiful starlet, and also observe her fully nude form. Ivan then also feels an apparent need to defile her body. And then so does Pau. And then, ignoring Javi’s disgusted protests, they proceed to do so.

If you’re still reading this review after that initial plot dump, let it be known that the remainder of this piece will not shy away from spoilers, as The Corpse of Anna Fritz, the feature debut of director Hèctor Hernández Vicens, is difficult to discuss without divulging information beyond, say, the 20-minute mark of the film. It is vital to discuss where this film gets at least a little interesting, as the opening 20 minutes which encompass those cited plot points are, frankly, hideous without the context of what follows (and are still a rough enough ride even with the next developments). Ready? Okay…

Full review for Vague Visages

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams