Quickfire Film Reviews| The Vanishing, Fargo, Suite Française

Quickfire film reviews, well it’s in the title, isn’t it?
I’m speedily reviewing old releases, re-watches, and films I didn’t particularly enjoy.

The Vanishing (dir. George Sluizer)
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis

This is my kind of horror film.
Not poltergeists, guts, or gore, just an incredible slow burn that puts you in the place of the protagonist, Jeff: desperate to know what happened to Diane Shaver. Jeff Bridges chills as the eerie villain of the film, gripped by a sort of God-Complex – a big leap from his villainous stint as Marvel’s Obadiah Stane – and matches up to Kiefer Sutherland’s visceral performance. There is a deeply uncomfortable atmosphere running through the film which makes this horror so compelling, and has a very satisfying climax, with the plot taking a chilling turn, in the third act. And simply great to see a kick-ass and sleuth-like female character in Rita whose arc was the most satisfying to watch!

Fargo (dir. Joel Coen)
Starring: Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy

With this crime thriller cum dark comedy, you can’t help but imagine this being a great inspiration to the likes of Martin McDonagh. Whether intentional or not, the best part of this film for me was its genre-blending foray into comedy – the satire on police procedural systems getting some big laughs from me and the running joke surrounding the dialect of Minnesota hitting just enough “Oh yah”s to have me chuckling throughout.
This film sports a stellar cast; this is Buscemi at the best I’ve ever seen him, and McDormand is wonderful in this Oscar-winning performance, finding the balance of perceptive, calm, and somewhat naive in her way of always seeking the best in people.
Where I felt the film lacked, however, was in its climax. It felt almost nonexistent; the characters never came together, there was no moment of real tension, and the end credits rolled before I even realised we were finished!

Suite Française (dir. Saul Dibb)
Starring: Michelle Williams, Ruth Wilson, Matthias Schoenaerts

There’s a great bleakness in this film, coming from its colouring and overall cinematography. This works so well in bringing out the sombre nature of the story, which sadly never pronounces itself as anything more than a mismatch of various subplots, unlike other WW2 dramas. Moreover, it feels slightly undecided on its stance on certain aspects of the film (ie. In the presentation of various French-German relationships) but not so much that it spoilt the viewing. It had a lot of potential, made all the more clear by the compelling performances from Michelle Williams, Ruth Williams, and Sam Riley, as well as its wonderful score by Rael Jones; I can’t wait to add some of the pieces to my playlist!

Have you seen any of these films?
Let me know what you thought of them in the comments!

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