EIFF Day 6
Another busy one today with three Press & Industry screenings and an Empire Magazine Hero Hangout featuring none other than Elijah Wood. Press screenings for today were the Simon Helberg & Jocelyn Towne directed We’ll Never Have Paris, the Paul Harrill directed Something, Anything and lastly the Leigh Janiak directed Honeymoon.
Simon Helberg play Quinn, a nervous and socially awkward guy -no this isn’t Howard Wolowitz the movie- who is ready to propose to his long term girlfriend Devon (Melanie Lynskey) but starts to have doubts when his attractive colleague Kelsey (Maggie Grace) starts expressing interest in him. He makes some mistakes and pushes Devon away before realising what he wants and follows her to Paris in an effort to win her back.
Really enjoyed this, as comedies go it was really funny throughout with an engaging cast of characters. Helberg is very likeable as Quinn and certainly made me root for his success despite the fact that the things he does to ruin his relationship are insanely stupid. Zachary Quinto’s Jameson was a highlight for me as his character was just so off the wall and weird that he was really entertaining to watch. Alfred Molina’s short role as Quinn’s father Terry was also great. All in all, a nice little story with plenty of laughs.
Following a miscarriage, newlywed Peggy (Ashley Shelton) -or Margaret as she would later prefer to be known- leaves her husband and goes on a personal journey to find out what’s truly important in her life. This internal journey changes her fundamentally so that she no longer fits into her old life.
This film holds the candle as being the first I saw at the Edinburgh International Film Festival that I didn’t like. I thought the story was long and dull with a vacuous and uninteresting lead character who seemed to have very little in the way of redeeming features. Due to her life of almost complete solitude she doesn’t spend much of the film talking to anyone so it basically boils down to a collection of scenes featuring Peggy moving from place to place looking sad and seemingly desiring to be pitied. The message of the film seemed to be something along the lines of materialism being a burden on someone but it comes across poorly since she casts off some of her possessions and expensive jewellery but not others. Apparently she “needs” a gold necklace in her life. It could have been interesting if the film had dealt with the emotional pain of losing a child and how that distances her from her family and friends but that was far from what we get her. I can’t recommend that anyone sees this.
Newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) are having their honeymoon in her family’s secluded county cottage. All seems idyllic at first but one night Paul finds Bea wandering alone in the woods which begins a series of strange events and odd behaviour suggesting that something sinister is going on.
I won’t say that this is particularly good but when it comes to horror I have seen far worse. Paul and Bea are insufferably annoying in the seemingly endless establishing scenes of them being a lovey-dovey honeymooning couple. Very little useful information is given about either of them in these scenes so they amount to little more than declarations of love and acting like horny teenagers. Things get a little better when she starts acting out of sorts but not by much, we still have to suffer more scenes of the couple doing coupley things. Like many horror films the sinister backdrop is introduced as a mystery and goes through the list of horror tropes in misguided attempts to scare. We get unexplained lights and noises, people acting strangely, shadowy figures and so on. I actually don’t feel that there is enough of these and they come too late in the story to have any kind of lasting impact. The other annoyance is that the mystery isn’t actually solved to any satisfying degree which makes me wonder if there’s a plan for sequels, horrible horrible sequels. If you like this sort of horror then you’ll probably like this but it’s nothing groundbreaking and is barely watchable.
I’ve had quite an Elijah Wood sort of week it seems, three sightings of the man in three days which is not bad going. Still never really managed to speak to him myself but heard a lot of cool things.
Empire’s Chris Hewitt was again on hand to host the event and managed to keep things moving at a good clip. He asked many good insightful questions that allowed Elijah to reflect on his varied career. I really enjoyed hearing him talk about Back to the Future II, I love that film a lot and to hear about his experience being in that film and on that set was just fascinating. He echoed the jokes about how much invention needs to happen over the next year since the date featured happens next October.
We were told a lot about his love for music and how he likes to approach his roles as well as being supplied with a great anecdote concerning his Lord of the Rings audition tape which just sounds hilarious. Apparently Vin Diesel and Kylie Minogue auditioned for roles in those films as well as many others. Interesting piece of trivia I didn’t know.
The vast spectrum of his career came up including but not limited to his experience making Deep Impact, Sin City and The Faculty, all of which were fascinating to listen to. Sadly no anecdotes were shared about working on The Spyro games or the Disney animated series Tron: Uprising, not even a whisper about Spy Kids 3-D but one thing was made clear, he is a clever guy who works hard and persistently challenges himself to do new and exciting things with his career so that he isn’t really pigeon holed as anything. His determination and enthusiasm shines through really well, if any of us had a tenth of his enthusiasm we might rule the world. Loved to hear the guy speak, such an engaging presence.