Tag Archives: Ciarán Hinds

Movie Review – The Woman in Black (2012)

Film: The Woman in Black
Released: 2012
Director: James Watkins
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds

Synopsis:
Based on the novel, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals.

What I thought of it:
I was brought up on Hammer Horror films, so it’s wonderful to see the greatest of the British horror production companies so firmly back on track with the latest film version of this novel. I’ve spent my entire life trying to find a film that will really scare me. Along the way I’ve found plenty that have made me jump, but none that have completely creeped me out. This, however, came very close. The best test of this came when I went to get a snack from the kitchen and felt like I was being watched from the darkened corridor… and nobody was there!

This is Radcliffe’s real coming of age – with this film, he’s leaving behind Harry Potter and schoolboy roles to take on a more adult one and, on the whole, it works very well for him. He still looks and sounds rather young to be playing a father, but he acquitted himself very well and I look forward to seeing where he goes next.

Having watched the made-for-television version (1989) in the latter half of last year, it was still fresh in my mind and I hoped that this remake would live up to my expectations, both of the earlier version and the promise shown in the trailer. It didn’t let me down. This is a genuinely creepy film that has some spine-tingling moments and several “made you jump!” shots too (I counted three times that I caught myself physically jerk, and that has to be some kind of a record for me!).

Ciarán Hinds is always a pleasure to watch – I’ve never seen him turn in a bad performance and he can make the worst material better just by being there on the screen. He certainly wasn’t wasted here and when he has really good material with which to work, he really shines – Hinds really should be marked as one of our national treasures.

One of my greatest worries was that we’d get a cop-out, Hollywood-ised ending, but I promise you, my fears were (mostly) ungrounded, so I must applaud the director for not frittering away a great ghost story for the feel-good factor.

And on a final note, I really must read the book because I’ve now seen TWO cracking adaptations and am just dying to check out the source material!

Hubby’s review HERE.

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Movie Review – Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

Film: Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy
Released: 2011
Director: Tomas Alfredson
Stars: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds, Kathy Burke, Benedict Cumberbatch

Synopsis:
In the early 1970s during the Cold War, the head of British Intelligence, Control, resigns after an operation in Budapest, Hungary goes badly wrong. It transpires that Control believed one of four senior figures in the service was in fact a Russian agent – a mole – and the Hungary operation was an attempt to identify which of them it was. Smiley had been forced into retirement by the departure of Control, but is asked by a senior government figure to investigate a story told to him by a rogue agent, Ricky Tarr, that there was a mole. Smiley considers that the failure of the Hungary operation and the continuing success of Operation Witchcraft (an apparent source of significant Soviet intelligence) confirms this, and takes up the task of finding him. Through the efforts of Peter Guillam, Smiley obtains information that eventually leads him to Jim Prideaux, the agent at the heart of the Hungary fiasco. He is then able to put together the pieces of the puzzle, which lead him to the identity of the mole and the true intent of Operation Witchcraft.

What I thought of it:
I don’t know if it was just that I was very tired, but I found this adaptation of John Le Carre’s famous cold war spy novel incredibly confusing. There’s absolutely no doubt that the cast is superb and they all gave phenomenal perfomances, but the plot seemed ot be all over the place with little coherance. I do, however, plan to watch the old TV series and read the book in the hope that I’ll have that “Aha!” moment where everything clicks into place and I ralise I dozed off during some crucial plot revelation that would have made the whole thing make some kind of sense. As it was, come the end of the film, my immediate thought was, “This is how thick people must feel when they watch CSI,” because I’m so used to being one step ahead with this kind of thing. Perhaps if I watch it again when I am not half asleep, I’ll get more out of it.

I can see there being a few Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for performances for this ensemble cast, but it will miss out on the bigger prizes like Best Film and Best Director.

My hubby’s review HERE.

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