Boyhood (2014, Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke): SPOILER Episode 42

January 25, 2018
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"I just thought there would be more than this..." 

It’s the end of series six and the Spoiler team are going out on a high by looking at Richard Linklater’s experimental coming-of-age drama ‘Boyhood’. With a two hour plus film covering a twelve year timespan to get through, Andy and Rachael try desperately to make Paul come to terms with the fact that Linklater chose to open the soundtrack with Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’. With this stumbling block successfully traversed, the team get to grips with ‘Boyhood’s daunting scope, with Andy finding the film to be a valuable historical document of an era and Rachael asserting that, far from being about nothing as its harshest critics have suggested, ‘Boyhood’ is about everything. Paul declares Ethan Hawke’s performance to be a revelation, sparking a barrage of recommendations from long-term Hawke-fans Rachael and Andy, and Patricia Arquette is recognised by everyone as “quietly brilliant”. Andy sets about fixing Ethan Hawke’s failed attempt to put together a coherent compilation of solo Beatles songs and the relative merits of ‘Mull of Kintyre’ and ‘We All Stand Together’ are debated. Rachael condemns the repetitive trope of the alcoholic husband, while Paul, as a parent himself, sympathises with the paraphrased quote “Get in the car and cut the horse-poo atttitude”.

Elsewhere, Andy looks back at his love affair with indie cinema and attempts to define the elusive term ‘independent’.

This week’s scale: Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ or Doves’ ‘The Cedar Room’

Amelie (2001, Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz): SPOILER Episode 41

January 11, 2018
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"At least you'll never be a vegetable. Even artichokes have hearts!” 

The Spoiler team are dusting off their best GCSE French as this week we take a look at Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s quirky romantic comedy ‘Amelie’ starring Audrey Tautou and Mathieu Kassovitz. While this is one of Rachael’s favourite films of all time, the rest of the team might take a little more convincing. With Paul on the fence once more, whose side will he ultimately come down upon? Will it be Rachael’s side, where the allure of Parisian apartments and café culture looms large and there is ample room to project our fantasies and desires onto the lead characters? Or will Andy’s talk of non-entity romantic leads, kitten photographs and too many subplots coax Paul into his slightly more withered garden of doubt? Would Audrey Tautou have been better suited to silent cinema than the talkies? Is talking about Princess Diana as controversial as upsetting cat owners? Did art take over to stop this film from becoming a masterpiece (whatever the hell that means!)? We tackle all these burning issues as well as answering the ultimate question: kissing on the eyes… romantic or ooky?

Elsewhere, inspired by ‘Amelie’s enrapturing effect on her, Rachael counts down her top 5 feelgood French films to lift your spirits on those rainy days of the soul.

This week’s scale: Tres bien or Tres mal