Yesterday I took a saunter over to Rochester so visit the cinema. I’d been looking at what’s on during the week and there wasn’t a huge amount that impressed me. But, I decided to go and see an historical drama. I don’t really like any form of period dramas. The idea that someone has scripted what *might* have happened and been said really bothers me. It moves those imaginations into the common collective about what really happened. It seems that these sorts of things are really popular with The Crown on Netflix and other things always being watched on classic television. I don’t mind fiction period drama as much, although I’m still not keen, because you can say what you want, it’s your story.
I noted that the tide was pretty low as I arrived at the cinema. Lots of the mud bank on the west of the river was showing and the boats seemed below average protuberance. As is usual I rated the film on IMDB, there’s a system so perhaps you should read this communication which explains that.
— Ian Parish (@iparish) January 19, 2019
While watching I normally fixate on three or four things and try to remember them to write here. This isn’t perfect and I often forget what I was going to say. I guess I could take a note book into the theatre but I’m quite convinced that would be rude and somewhat professional, I don’t want to raise these reviews of movies to a level where object criticism could be placed at me. These reviews are mine they don’t represent any form of global ratings. If you know me then they probably make sense, if you don’t then your experiences of a movie could be vastly different to mine.
For the first thirty minutes or so of this film I didn’t even think about what to write here. That probably means the film was pretty good. If it was terrible I would have been pondering my context of this communication for a long time. I wasn’t really sure where this film was meant to be set or when Queen Anne reigned over us. A quick Wikipedia reading left me to understand that the action takes place at Kensington Palace and she was queen at the start of the 18th century. I am slightly worried that this communication will descend into a rant about society, hierarchy and the feudal system but I will do my best. You can read previous film reviews to see what I mean.
My short summary about this movie would be thus:
More lesbianism than I was expecting.
There should be other things to say about this film and so I shall put them here. I had three main points to say once I left the environs of the cinema. Firstly, not knowing anything about the movie on the way in I was slightly surprised at the level of lesbianism contained within.
Next, there were quite a few establishing shots where a fish eye lens was used, which in itself is fine but then they moved the camera and it felt like watching a VR film somehow and if the shot had gone on much longer I think I would have felt slightly sick.
The next thing that surprised me, but I guess shouldn’t have, was the fair usage of the word “cunt”. I am not bothered by usage of this word and it is interesting knowing the general reaction of the populace now compared to what was probably common usage three hundred years ago.
This film was probably more “arty” than it needed to be. There were plenty of lingering, holding shots that could be different and I guess the director wanted to make a statement. I’m not sure what the intention was but a statement was made. At times the soundtrack consisted of quiet repetitive sounds that slowly increased and stayed in the scene minutes more than would normally be expected. This was slightly irritating and a purely artistic choice, possibly one that I would not have made. It made it feel quite “my first art film”.
A quick read of Wikipedia about Queen Anne and you can see how much of this film is fiction. How much of it is speculation rather than being a well sourced historical film. I would rather have an as-close-as-possible film than this, but I guess it made a good story. Queen Anne is a fascinating subject and more complex than could be shown on film. I will state that Olivia Coleman was stunning and her facial acting in one scene was outstanding, you can read the emotions and thoughts of this queen perfectly, it was all so subtle.
This is the second film with Rachel Weisz in period costume that I have seen in the last year. I don’t think that’s enough for a trend but given I didn’t know she was in the film I think I’m excused.
A lot of the filming was done at Hatfield House, which I have never been to see, but my mate’s mum used to work there so I’m claiming a personal connection to that. It turns out that Abigail Masham is buried in a village near where I grew up, High Laver, and so I think I will visit the grave and see the church as it turns out that John Locke is buried there too.