films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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My Beautiful Laundrette

1985 / 97m - UK
My Beautiful Laundrette poster

Somewhat pedestrian drama. I'm sure some of the themes were a bit more eye-opening back then (the culture shock, the LGBTQ angle), take that away and there's not all that much left. Frear's direction is way too functional and the performances are a bit too stilted for a drama, but it's not the worst classic either.

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Omar is a young Pakistani boy. His uncle is giving him the opportunity to run his laundrette. Omar is excited and hires Johnny to clean up the place. Johnny is somewhat of an outcast, who doesn't fit in with either the white and Asian communities in London. Omar doesn't care though, and he develops a crush on Johnny.

The characters are pretty nice, the pacing is decent and the film isn't too depressing. On the other hand, the drama didn't really move me, the direction is bland and the film lacks any truly memorable scenes. Not all that great, but it's better than Frear's American films I've seen, so that's at least something.

High Fidelity

2000 / 113m - USA
Comedy, Romance
High Fidelity poster

The Grifters

1990 / 110m - USA
Crime, Thriller
The Grifters poster

Stephen Frears has yet to impress me. The Grifters sees his tackling a more crime-based story, but the film fails to stand out in any way. It doesn't help that Cusack is there again, it's one of the few actors I really can't stand, but it's really Frears's saltless direction that lets the film down.

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Roy is a small-time hustler who ends up in the hospital after a failed con. His mother works at the race tracks and meddles with the results, Roy's new girlfriend is also a con artist who makes good use of her body to trick men. Roy's mother and girlfriend don't get along too well, which is a real pain in the ass for Roy.

The performances aren't great, the cinematography and the score are dim and the plot isn't all that interesting. It doesn't help that the film is almost two hours long either. It's pretty generic genre fluff, I'm not entirely sure where the film got its reputation from, but it sure didn't stand the test of time.

Lay the Favorite

2012 / 94m - USA
Comedy, Romance
Lay the Favorite poster