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Film4… Can Will Ferrell do subtle. “Everything Must Go” says yes!

22 Dec

Will Ferrell has a new movie out, Anchorman 2, so no surprise that Film4 is screening a mini Will Ferrell film festival  to warm us up with a double header. Tonight the first of the two for one Will Ferrell film fiesta was the 2010 film Everything Must Go.

When you see Will Ferrell name on the credits of the film you are pretty much guaranteed no-hold barred, in your face, over the top, frat boy humour. Well you would in most of his films but not Everything Must Go.

I would say this is probably the best Will Ferrell film I have ever watched. It was a subtle portrayal of a man whose life had suddenly and catastrophically fallen to pieces all around him. He lost his job, his wife and his house all on the same day. Forced to leave in the front yard of his old home with old his possessions, he learns to let go of his past both in a literal and metaphorical sense. A drama rather than a comedy it is a studied portrayal of suburban dysfunction.



Will Ferrell’s performance as a drunken middle aged man whose life should be a suburban dream but is a suburban nightmare is engaging, thoughtful and emotive. Kudos also to Christopher Jordan Wallace (son of the late Rapper Notorious B.I.G) who put in a superb performance as Kenny, a local nieghbourhood kid, who befriends Ferrell and helps him come to terms with his changed life.

Movies on TV…Good Morning Vietnam (Film4)

16 Mar

If you were to ask me to name my ten best films ever, maybe even my five best films ever there will be a spot reserved for Good Morning Vietnam. I can’t say how many times I have watched it but too many times is not  one of the answers I would give.

The film is a tour de force by Robin Williams  who plays Armed Forces DJ Adrian Cronauer. Ably supported by a phenomenal cast which includes Forest Whitaker (Edward Garlick), Bruno Kirby (Lt Hauk), J T Walsh (Sgt Dickerson) and not to forget  Cu Ba Nguyen as the irrepressible Vietnamese  bar owner Jimmy amongst others.

On the surface Good Morning Vietnam is probably deemed to be comedy, a vehicle for Robin Williams to perform his trademark rapid fire humour, but that would be doing it a massive disservice.

The film is much more than that. It is political film touching on the lies, untruths and duplicity that shrouded America’s involvement in Vietnam.

It is a love story with the unrequited love Robin Williams has for his Vietnamese student Trinh.

It is a buddy movie and you can take pick of buddy relationships, Adrian Cronauer and Edward Garlick, Adrian Cronauer and Tuan  (Tung Thanh Tran)  who turns out to be Viet Cong, or even the ‘axis of Evil’ Lt Hauk and Sgt Dickerson.

It is a journey through some of the popular rock and roll, soul and pop  anthems of the 60′s James Brown, Wilson Pickett, The Rivieras,  Perry Como, The Beach Boys and much more.

It is about power and it use and abuse. The power to send thousand of young men into war fought over reason that were at best nebulous. The power to censor to censor the truth and ultimately that the power of the state trunphs the power of an individual.

The film follows Adrian Cronauer’s valiant and ultimately doomed attempt to breath life in to a Military Radio station. There are so many greats moments in the film but this always stands out for me for its poignancy and humour.