Out Now – 5th December 2014

Me Myself and Mum

Penguins of Madagascar
Like the rats in the Muppet films the penguins serve as amusing minor characters in the otherwise unremarkable Madagascar series. While entertaining in small doses it remains to be seen whether these comedy birds can hold their own in a film. I just hope John Lewis have had the forethought to place their Christmas ad in front of every screening. Synergy!

Men, Women & Children
Jason Reitman’s latest has performed terribly in America and quite rightly so. This film about the horrors of the internet is patronising, fear mongering, and boring. I did not enjoy.

Get Santa
It’s hard to get annoyed by a family friendly Christmas film starring Jim Broadbent as an imprisoned Santa who brings a father and son closer together. That said I don’t feel the need to watch this one. Ever.

Black Sea
Jude Law in a submarine.

St. Vincent
A comedy starring Bill Murray! I love Bill Murray! Not in the way the rest of you do though. Our love is special.

Me, Myself and Mum
Easily the best comedy I have seen in a long, long time. The autobiographical story of French comedian Guillaume Gallienne’s relationship with his mother, his childhood, and his search for a sexual identity. Gallienne plays both himself and his mother in a fantastically convincing manner a million miles away from how a British comedy would utilise a man in drag. I loved it and so will you.

Bonobo
British comedy drama in which a mother and daughter spend a day with a commune who live their lives based on the behaviours of the bonobo ape. Expect lots of nudity and a monkey if you’re lucky.

The Pyramid
Western horror set in Egypt. Expect low budget scares and questionable casual racism. Oh, and that guy from The Inbetweeners.

Eastern Boys
Erotic thriller about a French businessman and the Eastern European hustler he takes home with him. Love! Intrigue! Europe!

The Grandmaster
“The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.”

Action Jackson
Let’s not get bogged down in the plot. Let’s just appreciate how fun it is to say the title out loud.

Montana
A Serbian assassin takes on a teenage apprentice as he fights a crime lord in London’s East End in the BBC’s most ludicrous episode of EastEnders ever.

Mea culpa
An acknowledgement of one’s fault or error.

Hello Carter
This is embarrassing. I saw Hello Carter a year ago at the London Film Festival and was so unaffected by it that I forgot to write a review. Not terrible but not one that I actually remember watching either.

Infrequently Asked Questions 2013

Michael Fassbender Pianist

Following the success of last year’s Infrequently Asked Questions I have decided to repeat the exercise in the hopes of satisfying lost Googlers. The concept is simple, I trawl through all the search terms from 2013 that lead to this site and answer any questions people had that they would not have found the answer to on Mild Concern. The only questions I will ignore are people looking for various actors in a state of undress; there is a limit to what I will do for hits.

As with last year the most popular search query was people searching for nude pictures of Michael Fassbender, pictures that sound very similar to how you might describe the above picture… For the full stats on that particular search term see the pie chart at the end of this post.

Did the actors play their instruments in A Late Quartet? The cast studied their instruments to at least look like they were playing them but no, it is not their playing that you hear in the film.

Anyone know the sunglasses Giovanni Ribisi wore in Gangster Squad? Not entirely sure but he is the face of Barton Perreira eyewear. Apparently.

Are there snakes in The Hunger Games? Look carefully in the credits and you’ll find Jonwilder Lee Bartlett credited as “snake wrangler”. But can I remember any snakes? No.

Does After Porn Ends show nudity? Yes. You all asked this last year. IT IS A FILM ABOUT PORN STARS!!!

Does Claire wear a wig in Lost? Not at first but in flashbacks she certainly does and from memory she wears one on the island in later years. Sometimes an actress cuts her hair. Things happen.

How much swearing is in Philomena? Let’s ask the BBFC: “There are two uses of strong language (‘f**k’). Milder language includes the terms ‘bloody’, ‘crap’; ‘fecking’, ‘shit’, ‘shite’ and ‘tits’.”

How much of Philomena is based on fact? Most of it. Philomena is a real woman who was forced to give up her son and did not mention it for fifty years. She was also helped by Martin Sixsmith and they did indeed discover the thing that they discovered in the film. (No spoilers here.) The only thing that was fabricated was that in real life Philomena did not make the trip to America with Martin but followed his progress through phone calls.

Do you need to see Avengers Assemble before seeing Thor: The Dark World? Not really no. So long as you know that Thor is from another world, has an evil brother, and pines for Natalie Portman who is living on Earth then you’re all set.

Natalie Portman Thor wellies? Not so much a question but an oddly frequent request. Here you go perverts:

Portman Wellies

Do you like Doctor Who? Yes thanks, as does Kat, but we didn’t care much for the latest Christmas special. Stephen loathes it though if you’d prefer a balanced view.

Why do people like Doctor Who so much? It is scary, funny, and has a lot of heart. Also, Jenna Coleman is hot.

I don’t get Doctor Who He’s a centuries old alien who travels through time in a spaceship the shape of a police telephone box. The box is massive on the inside and he only has a limited number of lives which was recently reset due to receiving new regeneration energy via a rift in space from his home plant. He likes to travel with an assistant who is normally young, female, attractive and human. What’s not to get?

What is premise of How I Met Your Mother? I’ll take this slow for you. A man. Is telling his kids. How he met their mother. Admittedly he takes his sweet time but it’s not that hard to understand. Maybe they confused you by writing the title in the second person?

Is Lily in How I Met Your Mother bisexual? From the HIMYM wiki: “Lily could be bisexual, this could be proven as she said in one episode that she wants to have a lesbian experience, and that she told Robin she had a great ass. She also admitted to having some romantic dreams about Robin. It stated that whenever she drink martinis she wants to make out with Robin and she has dreams about her when she’s pregnant.”

What are Tim Burton’s Batman movies? Batman and Batman Returns. Now let me introduce you to IMDb, it will save us both some time.

Was The Strangers movie connected to The Cabin in the Woods? Not any more than every other horror film ever made. In many ways The Cabin in the Woods provides an alternative way to watch The Strangers in a non-canon way and those masks are awfully similar…

The Cabin in the Woods The Strangers

What team does Nicholas Hoult support? You asked this last year and I still don’t know. I have tweeted him to ask so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Where does Nicholas Hoult stay at in California? How would I know and why do you care? Stop trying to stalk Nicholas Hoult and get yourself a nice boyfriend instead.

What’s new pussycat? Not much thanks.

What’s the film called that was released on boxing day in 2012? How specific! Grabbers, Jack Reacher, Midnight’s Children, Parental Guidance, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Zaytoun.

What has happened to Cameron Crowe? Since you asked last year he has written and directed a film starring Emma Stone, Bradley Cooper, and Rachel McAdams. I’m hoping for another Almost Famous and not another We Bought a Zoo.

What certificate is Pulp Fiction? 18 for strong violence, sex references and hard drug use.

Who did Jon Cryer play in Clarissa Explains it AllHe was never in it but a lot of people seem to think he looks like a grown up Ferguson.

Who are Matt Smith’s parents? There’s a Doctor Who pun to be had but I will ignore it. You can find his mum on Twitter, she likes “all things Fabulous”.

Who is Edgar Wright dating? Not Anna Kendrick. That’s as deep as my knowledge goes.

Social concern about Jurassic Park? Well the first thing to worry about is the misuse of science. The second is OH MY GOD THE DINOSAURS ARE ALIVE AND TRYING TO EAT MY FACE!!!

Rupert Grint’s acting ability? On average about 6.32 out of 10. Source

rupert grint chart

Why is David Cameron such a prick? His upbringing perhaps? Or something to do with having to live with that face 24/7.

Why does Mama DVD have no extras? They’ve put them all on the Blu-Ray to try to make you buy that instead. That aside the film is AWFUL so why are you even buying it?

He loves me he loves me not He loves you!

Is there an alpha gibbon? Yes.

Dancing as a metaphore for freedom in 1984 Footloose First of all that is not how you spell metaphor. Second of all… yes. Footloose is clearly a subtle adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984.

Is Simon Bird in Plebs? No. The lead actor is Tom Rosenthal who stars in Friday Night Dinner with Simon Bird so you were close.

Lead female in Philomena? Seriously?! Who is the lead in Philomena?! Dame Judi Dench you ignorant fool!

Movie with yellow Volkswagen Well Little Miss Sunshine and Footloose both feature a prominent yellow VW. Were either of those what you were thinking?

When is Me Myself and Mum in general release in the UK? Still no idea which is a shame as it was the best film I saw last year. You can get it on DVD though.

Who was Andy Dick’s character in Laputa: Castle in the Sky? He voiced Henri. For future reference let me introduce you to the Internet Movie Database. You’ll love it.

I thought I’d finish by answering a question nobody asked; just what proportion of search terms related to Michael Fassbender’s appendage? The answer is below:

Me, Myself and Mum – LFF Film Review

Me Myself and Mum

In one of the first few scenes of Me, Myself and Mum a ripple of laughter rolled across the audience slowly over a period of at least a minute as people, one by one, realised that Guillaume Gallienne is not just playing a childhood version of himself but also playing the reclining figure of his mother on the bed. Unlike you often get wtih actors in drag, like Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy, Gallienne is not so much playing a caricature of his mother but embodying her from head to toe.

The reason Gallienne is playing a version of himself and his mother is that Me, Myself and Mum is an autobiographical French comedy, adapted from the comedian’s stage show, that charts his upbringing as he is treated like the girl of the family alongside two much more blokey brothers. Seeing his mother as a role model Gallienne spends his childhood trying to emulate her every mannerism and aspires to grow up to be a woman just like her. His mirroring of her is so convincing that both his grandmother and his father mistake him for their daughter and wife on occasion. Whilst his family assume Gallienne is gay he sees himself simply as being a straight female and the truth is something altogether more ordinary.

Lots of films at the festival, especially the French output, explore sexuality in a hard-hitting and emotional way but Me, Myself and Mum is unique in exploring sexuality and gender in a manner that is fun as well as touching. Fun is far too often overlooked as a key ingredient in a great film. From start to finish myself and the rest of the audience were laughing riotously in that uncontrolled manner than comes when a film is bringing you nothing but joy. There are many ways of examining the human condition and I think this fantastically funny comedy is by far my favourite way to go about it.

Writing, directing, and starring in a film about his own search for identity Gallienne has an admirable sense of humour about what could be seen as a slightly troubled upbringing. When you are laughing at Gallienne’s antics onscreen you feel confident that he is laughing right along with you. He acts his dual roles with distinction and panache and has a very considered directing style that allows the film to zip along as scene transitions are playfully and carefully thought out.

Having as it does a theme of sexuality and personal identity I think it might be too easy to dismiss Me, Myself and Mum as a film with a message that might seem a little too worthy to be enjoyable. Let me make it clear that this is by far the funniest film I have seen this year, let alone at the festival. We see Gallienne travel through Spain and England and see lovingly stylised versions of the countries through the eyes of a young Frenchman. We watch a young man tries to explore the gay scene only to be rejected at an orgy for not being Arab. We see some frankly bizarrely emotional scenes take place before a mother and son in which both are played by the same actor. This film has a lot to offer in its neat 85 minutes.

Infinitely surprising Me, Myself and Mum is an exquisite and fun piece of cinema and I implore you to seek it out. The film gently teaches us not to judge anyone based on appearance whilst giving you the biggest laugh you’ve had in a good long while.

BFI London Film Festival 2013

Me, Myself and Mum is in UK cinemas from 4th December 2014.