I am way behind on my movie reviews. “Belfast” is Kenneth Branagh’s latest film and it is his most intimate one so far. It is his “Roma”. The autobiographical story takes place in Northern Ireland during the conflict between the Protestants and Catholics. It is told through the eyes of a little boy, played by newcomer Jude Hill, and he is phenomenal. He is an innocent, caught up in the fighting and hate while he tries to live his life as a ten year old boy. His parents argue about moving away from Belfast, their life long home. He is especially close to his grandfather. Well acted, beautifully filmed in black and white and a compelling story, this film will likely be recognized when awards time comes. Jamie Dornan, of Fifty Shades of Gray, plays the father and this role may redefine his career. Caitriona Balfe plays the mother and she is outstanding. The grandparents are played by Judi Dench and Ciaron Hinds. All of these cast members deserve recognition. This film will probably make many of the top ten lists for 2021.
I went to see “Hotel Artemis” because it stars Jodie Foster. I had heard nothing about it prior. The plot takes place in the near future and Foster runs a hospital for criminals. If they are injured and have a membership they are admitted. The action takes place on a night that there is rioting in Los Angeles because the corporation that owns the water supply has cut it off to the masses. Meanwhile a hood and his gang take advantage of the rioting by breaking into a bank. While escaping they are shot and go to the Hotel. Also there are an arms dealer and a hit woman at the hospital. Finally the head of the local underworld, who is also the owner of the hospital needs medical assistance. A lot of other stuff happens. The action doesn’t stop and the atmosphere is kind of modern-noir. Foster plays a woman in her 60’s or 70’s. Very interesting and well executed, this dark study kept my interest and kept me guessing.