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The Gathering Storm (2002)
Where does Finney end and Churchill begin?
This is Albert Finney's defining film role. I have never seen Churchill portrayed in a movie so I cannot compare what I have seen here to anyone else's attempts. However, Churchill is now, in my mind, as portrayed in this excellent made-for-TV-film. HBO have hit the nail on the head with this one and the historical accuracy shows how incredible the events leading up to WW2 actually were. We enter the personal life of arguably the most famous Briton ever. By the end, we find out why the country loved this man so much.
He is brash, he was clever, and he was right. Annoying to give in to such a arrogant man but he fully deserved it. Albert Finney brings a performance to the screen as equally compelling as De Niro's la Motta, or Pacino's Scarface. Finney is masterful in his performance and I can find no flaws. Clemmie, Vanessa Redgrave, provides a brilliant portrayal of a equally engrossing suffering wife and pleasant cameos by Ronnie Barker, Jim Broadbent and Derek Jacobi add superb pedigree to an already perfect film. There I said it, this film is flawless, magnificent and a joy to watch over and over.
Release the child within!
A little apprehension before, throughly amused after. Without knowing any plot details or even heard of the Lemony Snicket books, I found myself watching a genuinely original film. The sensation of attending a kids-focused movie engrossed me as it did indeed bring out the child from within. I thought all of the way through that Jude Law was talking to ME, narrating through his character, a ghastly nightmare tale that kept me wanting to know the next bit.
The movie flowed wonderfully from scene to scene, aided admirably by Thomas Newman's beautiful score, with the actors each providing memorable performances. However, Jim Carrey steals the show, his Count Olaf wonderfully eccentric but deviously evil at all times. The appearances by Billy Connolly and Meryl Streep bring authority to the screen in the wake of a clown-like Carrey, and the children perform well. The toddler will steal the show and is hilarious in places where peril prevails.
Overall this film is must for an 8 to 14 year old but go in a expect a tale that will take you back to your childhood, scare you in places, amuse in others, but overall you'll leave wishing that innocence still existed and that all stories could be as believable as this one.