The Road

The Road takes a serious look on the Post Apocalyptic genre, I must say when I finished watching the movie I could not stop thinking about it for a couple of days. It was directed by the same person who directed The Proposition, John Hill Coat he has not done a lot of stuff but the little he has done definitely is amazing. The Road stars the brilliant Viggo Mortensen as the lead role also Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall and the son who excellently played by Kodi Smit-McPhee.

The Road was originally a book written by Cormac Mcarthy and as it was poplular it then was produced into a film, another film that was originally written by C. McCarthy was No Country For Old Men. That film is simply amazing and I also hope to do a review on soon. Now in the opening scene of the film you see the father teaching his son how to kill himself with a Gun, when watching you are pulled in but in a wry sort of way because you actually do not what is going on especially for those who have not read the book or seen any trailers.

In the opening scene of the movie you see the father teaching his son how to kill himself, you suddenly realise that this film is a serious one and has great potential in draining you emotionally. As the film progresses you realise that it is not the case. I must say now that there are no twists in this film, you are simply just following the journey of a man and his son. Although it is quite clear that the world is in turmoil you’re never shown or told how it happens. It is quite clear though whatever it is has taken many many lives, and now people are out for themselves.

Early on you are also introduced to his wife as well and you notice straight away that she is not coping well with what has been happening. She is worried about what the other families have been doing to survive and hopes she will not have to do the same but she is not agreement with her husband’s approach. Which is to be patient and wait. They find out that there could be help in the South of where they are situated and so the father decides they will make the journey there, and through out the rest of the film we watch them make their way there.

It is not often that a film is produced and focuses on cannibalism, mental illness, hope, suicide and trust and delivers this much quality. The film really        concentrates on the effects of post apocalyptic matters and helps the audience conjure up an idea of what it would be really like. Sometimes films go off on tangents or turn into science fiction movie. This film does neither of these things and takes a look at we take for granted and allows us to appreciate it a littl bit more.

The acting in this film is some of the best I have seen in recent films, you really can feel what the characters are feeling. Viggo Mortensen does well to lead the audience into this journey they are embarking on, and also has the ability to put you in his shoes. This is what I think was done so brilliantly well that you almost felt like whenever they were making decision or feeling a certain emotion you were in the same boat too. Throughout the whole film you really just want to get into the head of the father.

For this film I think it is very interesting that they do not tell you what happened to the earth, because usually in post apocalyptic movies it is the basis of every movie you find out what happened to the earth. I think there was a very good reason for this though, so the writer/producer could get the audience to seriously think about the end of humanity and what it really means. The film is constantly making you think deeply and creating questions in your mind about the end of the world and what would you do? This style of production also allows the film to have a long lasting memory about the film long after you have watched the film.

All round I think it is a very important film to be watched, one that has a long lasting effect on you. The film is also a great example of book turned movie success.


Star Trek

“You should watch Star Trek?”, “Star Trek is best”, “We are proud to be trekkies”, “Trek conventions are the coolest things ever”. Ever since I became an avid film & TV geek, those quotes were all I heard, so many people love this show with a passion. For some people it is their lives and to be brutally honest I have never hated or liked the show I have just never watched the show. I have known little things about the show about what makes the show famous. And for many many year it has been shown on TV all around the world.

So then it was told that the film was coming out and I thought WOW not because of the film because of the hype, for this science fiction people were had genuine excitement for this film there were some people who were on the fenc’e about it but literally all the people I knew wanted to watch the film. For me I needed some convincing, some would say forcing. I am no good with science fiction the only show I watch is Dr. Who, I think I like the character style of the Doctor that is why I love the show so much. I saw the trailer for Star Trek and I did think it was very very good, I saw the second trailer and I saw Simon Pegg. My friend was also behind me going “You are going to watch that whether you like it or not”.

So the day came and I was still on the wall and the film started, I was absolutely amazed by the film by the end I was thing ‘Does this make me a trekkie now?’ The film was one of the best I have seen I even thought it was better that wolverine and that was a good film also. I think what surprised me most was the fact that they were able to balance the Science Fiction and action was very good. The acting surprised me even more because comedic actors were playing serious roles including John Choo, Simon Pegg and Tyler Perry. The lead Chris Pine did a very good job in this film you believed his character and he made the film highly enjoyable. JJ Abrams directed very well for this film I believe some people were worried about his capabilities to deliver a good film worthy for the Star Trek Fans until the trailer was released.

I really enjoyed this film and I was very surprised, I believe that this film will appeal to people whether they like Star Trek or not. Whilst you are watching this film, you sometimes forget that you are watching a Science Fiction film. Go Watch this film you will definitely enjoy it.


Frost/Nixon about one of the most controversial political issues in the US involving President Richard Nixon & David Frost. (Played by Frank Langella & Michael Sheen). Involving burglary, lies, and deceit, President Nixon made a decision that would destroy his career as a President. The acting and the direction of this film has no faults whatsoever. This film was directed by Ron Howard, I thought he did a more than excellent job with this film. With a subject of this calibre it was important that the film delivered and it definitely did.

The director Ron Howard had previously directed The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13, all three films did very well and generated a lot of interest when released. He has also acted in Arrested Development, Frasier and Happy Days, I feel though that Frost/Nixon is one of the biggest projects he had even with his past experience. He has done so much in TV and he it seems he has learnt a lot from it and it shows in this film. The direction of this film is cleverly done, the scenes are not too long and the information come in bite-size chunks so you can digest them. Parts of them film you could imagine that it would happen exactly like that in real life.

The acting in this film was excellent and was very truthful to the characters, when you can see the real people in the actor’s face then you know the acting is very good. Frank Langella was most impressive because after the film I felt like I knew Nixon, the mannerisms, facial expressions and speech felt so real. I can also imagine that President Nixon was a hard character to play, it look like there was more to him than met the eye, and Langella got that across well. Michael Sheen did well in this film, I like the way at the start of the film his character had a care free attitude and then when he realizes the magnitude of his situation his determination just bursts out. Michael Sheen plays this kind of character well, the film crew did well to pick him for the character.

Watergate scandal is all about a series of American Political scandals in the term of President Nixon which lead to his resignation as President. The scandals started when five men were arrested for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. Investigations took place and it was revealed by the press that the burglary was organized by Nixon and his men, along with other criminal acts including campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper taxaudits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. After two years of mounting evidence it was found out that Nixon had kept recorded conversations, with him discussing criminal acts and trying to cover up the break ins. With this strong evidence against him ten after the information goes public he resigned as the President of the United States.

The story goes further though because although he had resigned the people of USA wanted Nixon to admit to the crimes he had committed. This is where the films starts from, now Nixon was living in his house all alone and he also wanted to be seen as a good person in the eyes of the US people.  Then came David Frost who had no experience in political issues but was very successful in terms of TV, and he saw an opportunity to raise his profile by interviewing President Nixon. Nixon got the idea that he could manipulate and use his authority and over-throw Frost to make himself seem he was a good person. It became a battle of wills and through out the film you see the events leading up to interview and the end result.

I really do like the way they deliver this film it is like anything else the back-story is slipped in well and the current story is easy to follow. I imagine the writers had to cut some of the story and I think they did well to decide what info to scrap and keep. The attention to detail in terms of dialogue was very interesting to notice. You could pick many many quotes from this movie. I also recently watched the W. Bush film and compared to this film it is not very good, even on it own. I suppose the film does not have the sincerity that Frost/Nixon, it just captures you and gives you a sense of involvement in the matter. The acting plays a big role to bring out the role of the characters, you feel you are live in the time.

I recommend this film to everyone, because I think it is important for many of us to understand the whole matter and trying to grasp it by other means maybe hard for some. Those that are not fans of book reading then watching this film maybe the best way to understand the matter.

Grey’s Anatomy


This show started 2005 in replacement for Boston Legal, inspired by the classic medial textbook “Grey’s Anatomy. The television show is shown on ABC which also shows popular programs such as Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Scrubs. The show revolves around Dr. Meredith Grey and the lives of her friends. This show has been nominated and won quite a lot of awards, it continues to as well. Grey’s Anatomy is shown on abc and is also shown on Living TV (Sky), abc also have great shows like Scrubs and Ugly Betty.

Winning two golden and having another 29 awards you know this show has some quality to it. The story-lines of the show go from strength to strength, never failing to impress. The show is about Meredith Grey who’s mother was an outstanding Doctor and she now in her first year her internship. The show then follows the ups and downs of M. Grey and the lives of her friends. In the first season you see her making friends and you see her familiarizing herself with her surroundings. As the seasons go on you see her friends learn many lessons in their personal life and in their medical lives. 

Meredith Grey is played by Ellen Pompeo she does well portraying the character and seems to be very consistent, this was the first time I had see her in anything. She has not been anything I can say was a hit, but I can definitely say that Grey’s Anatomy is her breakthrough in her acting career. In my opinion Sandra Oh (Christina Yang) and Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres) are the two actresses that stand out for me. The presence on screen can be commanding and also soothing, the ability is really shown in this show. They both are consistent and embody the character they. Where as Christina is head smart and very determined and passionate about everything she does, Callie is head strong and sometimes can be vulnerable but very passionate with her patients. I think thats where the main difference is Callie has so much compassion for her patients and it seems as if she puts herself in their boots. Christina is is very committed to being the best at everything she does, she makes sure she is always studying and also getting the best surgeries. Although there is no direct competition I thought it would be an interesting comparison. Another actor that I enjoy on screen is Isaiah Washington he has a very strong male dominance on screen, his character is very interesting as he treats surgery is like art. Gives it time and care. The last character I would like to mention is Miranda Bailey she is played by Chandra Wilson, she is head of the residents and I feel she is very very dominant as a female character. She plays the role that can put the fear in the the interns and she really does play her character well, the character she plays is also having to balance work with problems at home. 

As a medical drama Grey’s Anatomy does well, trying to communicate the medical terms to the audience is excellently done. The show is can constantly keep a very medical vibe without making it all about the interns and their lives. There is a very good balance. I love the way medical shows are able to intertwine the lives of the doctors and patients, Grey’s Anatomy do this very well showing how human the doctors are; showing how the real world affects them. With all that the one thing that makes me love this show is the the message they leave. Now they could leave the show they way it is and entrtain with the weird and wonderful life of Meredith Grey but the show always gives me something to think about. It makes the show quite interesting to talk about as well. Although sometimes I feel a lot of it is based on love it seems realistic for the type of drama it is and where it is set. Some of the episodes are inspirational to me and it really leaves a message for me to ponder on. The show tackles mainstream issues in a very different way. 

I feel Grey’s Anatomy is one of the best medical shows and illustrates how interesting medical has become. The show also is able to make serious issues seem very light hearted. It is definitely a show everyone should check out because another good thing about the show is that fits in with a very diverse audience. The directors and the writers have done a great job of making the show as consistent as possible and being able to keep the audience interested. With medical drams it is very hard because they main premise of them is to save the lives of sick patients, so the audience rely on the sub plot to keep them interested. To be honest they have also been able to keep the premise of the show very interesting. It has five seasons but it is well worth the watch.

White Sands

When you have William Defoe and Samuel L Jackson you know you have a cracker of a film, and what a cracker of a film this is. There is enough action, wit and twists to make your head turn. The film is directed by Roger Donaldson who has done Thirteen Days, Bank Job and Now Way Out. He has not done great great films and to be honest neither is White Sands. I just really really enjoyed the film I think, thats the main thing for me. Not only with film having great direction it had some great actors, with Samuel L Jackson who has been in many including Pulp Fiction, Die Hard 3 and unbreakable. William Defoe also has recently been in Spiderman which was a big success in the box office and I particuarly liked (apart from Spiderman 3).

The film is about a cop who is based in an area where deaths usually do not occur and one suddenly appears in his district he is called Ray played by Defoe. A suitcase with half a million dollars is also found next to his body seems like a suicide but he is the typical resilient cop and when he find a foreign object in the bag of money it peaks his interest. Taking the viewers on a roller-coaster of lies, deceit, love and death. I do like the story line a lot and I would not be surprised if other films have taken ideas from this movie. It is just the way it is able to keep you watching the whole way through is something with so many twists and turns you will have to watch it twice to understand. That is one thing I do like this is the kind of movie you could re-watch over and over. It has that level of entertainment so you do not have to do a lot of work. It is the opposite to watching LA Confidential, which is hard the first time you watch it.

I like a lot of the wit and general speech used in this film it was all very consitent and the film was very straight to the point too. It helped you know where you are in the film, like there is a part where where Ray finds a body in a car and then the scene changes and you see a man listening on them on what he thinks is them having sex. Some people will have been a bit confused what was going on and the fact that they had not seen the characters discussing this. I think though that this is what some of the modern films are missing a little, a little less conversation and little more action. It makes great entertainment! Not a lot of unique camera work was used in this film, but I suppose for its time you would not be expecting any. I do like this fact though they tried their best give the viewers a bigger picture and not try to cut parts off.

I like this film a lot because it reminds me of all those movies I am watching at the moment where they are try to get a good mix of action, twists and smart story line. To be honest most of the modern films go off the mark completely and the story lines seem to whither after a while. The forget to look back at the classics and this film I think is a great film. I recommend this film to anyone who likes action and like a few twists. The twists maybe not be that big and the action may not be that great but I do think there is a great balance and there is just enough.

Iron Giant

I was pleasantly surprised by this film, I was quite suprised because nobody had told me anything about it, and I had never heard of it before. This was a blind one for me (It was on the of a movie club on Simply Syndicated Forums). The film was directed by brad bird who has also written Ratatouille, The Incredibles and a few episodes on The Simpsons. I really liked Ratatouille and The Incredibles and it was only until I saw Iron Giant that I knew he had done those other films. He has not done a lot of work but what he has done I think are really good. He has an upcoming film called 1906 which seems promising. He seems to be the kind of writer to take his time with his films, considering the time he has been working.

Iron Giant is about a boy who finds an innocent robot who wants to be destroyed as quickly as possible by typical FBI Agent. I like the way it is a big mystery where the giant came from and is all my word of mouth that the thing even exists. The film actually follows the boy and how he finds the robot and his journey with him throughout the film. Throughout the whole film he is teaching the robot about the way humans live and he also tries to understand it too and teaching the giant some good as well. You also get the agent questioning the boy throughout the film and trying to get some evidence that the robot exists. For me the end is quite exciting and very well done.

The direction of the film is very well done, it drags you in quite a lot. The camera work is very nifty for a cartoon giving you interesting views, this also adds to the appeal. With a mixture of neat views and colour, visually the film is right on the money. I do also like the voices used in the film with Eli Marienthal as the boy , Jennifer Aniston as his mother and Vin Diesel as the robot. The voices are nice, consistent and very believable.

The film is a very good to watch for both Family and kids, very entertaining from start to finish. Some very good moments in the film and I was a little sad near the end. You will have to watch the film to see the reason, but it is a very typical cartoon and comes up trumps. Some very big stars voice in this film and do very well in it. The subject of the film is also very perfect and nice to watch overall.

Apocalypse Now

One of the most serious war films I have seen in a long time, it was not afraid to go over and beyond the limit and it was very hard-hitting. Apocalypse now made in 1979 some really big names before they found fame as poular actors. Stars including Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Rovert Duvall, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford and Dennis Hooper. The all went have gone on to produce more amazing cinema. Apocalypse also famous for the quote “I do love the smell of Napalm in the moring” said by Dennis Cooper in the film.

Apocalypse Now was directed by Francis Ford Coppola famous for directing the Godfather Trilogy another masterpiece of cinema, a film that many have to see. He is also a good producer and writer. The direction he took in this film has made me fall in love with his work, it was mostly based on narrative. Sounds and looks amazing thr whole way through. There is a scene in a film where he is in a boat and you see this beautiful view of the lake and you can almost hear all living things in that scene. There are a lot of famous scenes in this film combining lighting with the emotions on the actors face. That does sound odd but looking at the pictures that what I get from them.

Apocalypse now is mainly about Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) who is sent on a secret mission to capture a man called Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, who has become a God amongst a local tribe in Camodia. Along the way you see how Captain Willard feels about war according to his past experiences. To be honest war has not been too kind on him, when watching the film you feel that war has been too real for him that he is out of place when he comes home and is not the same anymore. He actually makes mention of this in the movie, but Coppola does a great job of making you think about it some more.

This film is really is all about war and I dont mean “yeah, let’s blow a few buildings up and have people shooting constantly at eachother”. This film represents the real meaning of war and what it does to the people involved. It gets you thinking about what you think war is about. In my opinion I think war is an action that tells us who is stronger than the other. We at war everyday with ourselves, the war we see on TV everyday is something bigger and more important but nonetheless, its war. What we use to fight war is just as important as fighting it, many countries use money, guns and persistence where others us faith, knowledge and the mind to fight war. This film does a great job of reminding us that you have to have the mindset to win war.

This film is a true masterpiece pushing all the button for an excellent war movie. With some great and memorable scenes it will make you want to watch it again. It makes you think about war and there is good direction from Coppola to help you. There are seens where Willard and Kurts are talking and you are totallyengroosed by the movie the whole way through. This is one of my favourite war movies of all time and it makes me appreciate war a whole lot more.

Shooting Dogs

When you first read the back of this DVD case for this film, you immediately think this is going to be another Hotel Rwanda, with its graphics scenes and emotion throughout Shooting Dogs takes a different look at the Rwandan civil war and tells a story of a teacher  who wanted to make a difference. The film is based on the war fought by two differnt tribes in Rwanda.

It was a civil war that became a genocide, the civil war had been between the Hutu Tribe and the Tutsi Tribe. In 1994, over 800, 000 people died over the course of 100 days. It had turned into a war where families were torn apart and many in hiding, amongst all this atrocoties many believed that God was with them. The hutus dominated them tutsies with guns and machetes. With the support of the french the Hutu  tribe massacred many Tutsies rebels unmercifully and with no remorse.

Like Hotel Rwanda there is a lot of emotion in this film and you do feel empathy for the characters, with Shooting Dogs it seems to be different. There is more understanding for these chracters. Shooting Dogs allows you to grow with these characters and almost become their friends, so to speak. Then whilst the characters are going through their horrible ordeal knowing what will happen at the end you almost weep, literally. The story starts when they find out that the airplane of the Hutu President of Rwanda is shot down. So then the Tutsi population flee from their homes in fear oh the Hutu militia. They all take refuge in the school of the Catholic Priest Christopher and Joe Connor who teaches there. Priest Christopher is played by John Hurt and Joe Connor is played by Hugh Dancy.

The first rwandan characters you meet are Marie (Clare-Hope Ashitey) a girl who loves running she goes to the school and you get an in-sight into her family. You see her father coming to the school to pick her up, during the film when problems escalate her mother gives birth in the school. Whilst this scene was playing in the film it made me think the kind of hope it gives the rwandans when God works in mysterious ways. God has given the gift of life and the family have fortunately been able to witness first hand, amidst these atrocoties where they face uncertain death.

John Hurt does a brilliant job of portraying such a diverse character and sometimes contradictory. He is a priest who wants to find peace within this war, although hard to find he is persistent with his quest. The shows in his diligence to do mass everyday the same time. The teacher is also a different character who is trying to find a solution where there is’nt any. He is a teacher who has not experienced this kind of disaster his emotions start to unfold. His character then starts to mature very quickly and understand what is actually happening and it is not clean cut as it appears to be.

This film is very good in my opinion and is definitely a film that really depicts what happened in Rwanda. Many of the people who lost family or fought the war against the Tutsi, also helped to make this film possible. Rwanda have done very well to come over these incidents and also remember the people they lost.

House M.D.

Grumpy, funny, sarcastic, rude, intelligent yes it can only be one person Dr House. The show is very entertaining to watch with a lot going on, they also able to fit in a lot of information about hospital knowledge. The show is owned by Fox which produces shows like Family Guy, NCIS, Simpsons, 24 and Prison Break. House takes a different approach from other Medical dramas and pushes the limits with what alowed in drama. Some character references although very mild seem abrupt and rude. I think the what seperates House M.D. from other dramas.

Once you have seen most of the episodes for one season you start to realize the gist. House is presented with a peculiar problem with a patient, he uses his team to brainstorm ideas, then he suddenly finds out the cure and is racing against time to fix it. I think what attracts the audience to the TV Show most is the problem with the patient. The problems are usually unthinkable but very serious, and House M.D. is also able to keep the suspense going because another problem will occur during the episode I think thats one of the reasons I love this show in one episode a patient can go through multiple problems and they can amount up to the smallest cure. If you compare for example Grey’s Anatomy to House M.D. usually there is one problem in the show and they spend the whole show trying to solve the problem. After time, you feel like you are parts of the lives of the characters in Grey’s Anatomy. You do not get the same feeling with House M.D., I am not sure yet whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Dr. House is played by the successful actor Hugh Laurie, he does absolutely amazing as this character. The same way I identify Wolverine with Hugh Jackman the same way I identify House with Hugh Laurie. He has been playing the character so well that he has become him and no other actor can take his position. Over time I have been able to associate the mannerisms and the attitude of House with Hugh Laurie. One thing that Hugh Laurie has got right is the american accent because surprisingly he is british. You could never tell when you see him on-screen. Hugh Laurie does blow some people off the screen when he is acting because of how convincing he looks. I think thats what makes it a re-watchable programme. The character who he plays, is very strong and always believes he is right and most of the time he is. He will use strange and most often risky methods to prove he is right. He also has this same zeal and ambition when it concerns a patients life. His co-workers I find at times find it hard to work with him and understand it will take time before you can handle House.

In the hospital he has a friend Dr. Wilson, who he has known for years and if anyone understands House most it is him. Who is played by Robert Sean Leonard. You know the saying “opposites always attract”, this can be said for the relationship of House and Wilson. Wilson is more understanding and has compassion which can be seen by others. Wilson is also in a stable relationship and also just as successful as House. House is alone and you sometimes feel empathy for him, he needs someone that can bear his attitude but also be an equal balance against him.

Omar Epps who plays Dr Foreman who is part of his team, also over the seasons gives an excellent performance. He is mostly known for his role in Love & Basketball I really did like that film and it should be another film to check out. For the first few seasons Dr. Foreman is not taken seriously mostly due to his past, but as time goes on House starts to respect him as a Doctor. Other characters in the show are Dr. Cuddy who is mostly I candy for House. Between there is a mutual respect, Cuddy is the head of the hospital but House is the best Doctor they have.Cuddy is played by Lisa Edelstein. Other main characters are Dr. Cameron and Dr. Chase. (played by Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morisson).

I do really like this show and I cannot wait for Season 5, if you have not seen an episode you should it is on Five US at the moment. It is a great little TV Show there to let you question life at times.

An American Crime

This one definitely slipped by me, I had no idea it even existed. Ellen Page stars in this film, it was released December 2007. It was directed by Tommy O’Haver and written by T. O”Haver and Irene Turner. T. O’Haver previous works includes Get Over It and Ella Enchated, he has not done much and the films he has done are not mainstream. It looks like An American Crime I think is his best work and I am surprised he has not got any more work lined up.

Going too in-depth into the story of this film will give too much away of the story. The film is filled with suspense and tension, sometimes watching this film feels horrifying. O’Haver style in this film reminds me a bit of the style used to make Funny Games directed by Michael Haneke. You never see the violents acts going on but hear the reactions and it makes you cringe almost everytime. In my opinion the style was used very well in this film, it was not better than Haneke’s but it is as equally as effective. It makes you think the scene will change but no, you have to sit and endure the sounds made. Thankfully in this film it does not last long but it still makes you feel empathy for the character. When you watch the first few minutes you immediately realise this film is a recollection of events that have occured, they are being recollected in a courtthouse.

The film layout was done in segments so, a lawyer would ask a question and then an event that occured will be shown. Although this is very easy watching, some people have said that it does not allow you to get a real connection with the characters. In my opinion I thought it was fine the way it was done, it made no difference I could still identify with all characters. This film was based on a true story, In the 50s and the 60s Sylvia Marie was tortured by Gertrude Baniszewski and her children. Sylvia’s parents were carnival workers so she they her and her sister with Mrs. Baniszweski for 3 months.

Ellen Page played Sylvie Likens I think she did a brilliant job, Ellen Page has also recently starred in Juno, Stone Angel and Smart People. I thought for 2007 this was here best performance, I felt sorry for through out the whole time. She showed true emotion and you almost thought that is the kind of emotion you would expect from this kind of victimisation. Hayley McFarland who plays Sylvia’s sister is excellent as the emotional and concerning sister. She has big eyes so the emotion pulls through very easily and you can always tell what she is feeling. The first time they are abused you can tell that she will not be able to handle the pain and ellen page’s character is more strong and hopes everyday that their pain will end.

Paula Baniszewski who is played by Ari Graynor, is a very interesting character. She is the cause of the abuse of Sylvia Likens, but I think there will be mixed opinions whether there is any empathy felt for this character. This is because although she is the cause of the abuse she wanted only revenge and her life is not the best with a boyfriend who is married and with a baby on the way. She then realises her mistake and is forced to witness the harrowing acts of her mother. Her relationship with her mother starts to detioriate and you start to feel sorry for her (but this is very late on in the film).

Gertrude Baniszewski is played by Catherine Keener who is a very successful actor, featuring in films like 40 Old Virgin, Into the Wild and Capote. She was very convincing throughout the film, the first thing you find out about her is that she likes men younger than her and has 4 children with different fathers. The family in general is not doing too good with money so she relies on her eldest daughter to bring in funds. She starts to abouse Sylvia when she finds out that Sylvia’s parents have not paid Ms. Baniszewski for looking after their children.  She is then unreliably informed by her daughter that Sylvia is spreading lies, so it then continues from there and she is abused horrifically. Catherine Keener did a good job and it was important her role came across well too.

All in all i think this film is brilliant but it does challenge you emotionally and it makes you wonder. Sylvia’s  torture was described by the prosecutor in Baniszewski’s trial as “the most terrible crime ever committed in the state of Indiana. In the film you could also tell, also for its time I think it was unheard of because the sheer torment the girl went through. Must see movie.

Create a free website or blog at