Tag: historical drama
Aguirre, the Wrath of God – Film Review
I felt like something different, and this deeply strange and haunting 1972 film by Werner Herzog about the doomed 16th-century expedition into the Peruvian rain forest definitely hit the spot. It’s the kind of film that you’re never sure you liked in the conventional sense, but one that gets under your skin.
The Duchess – Film Review
A handsome if somewhat slight period drama based on the life of Georgiana Cavendish, the Duchess of Devonshire and the great-great-great-great aunt of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Lives of Others – Film Review
An engrossing Oscar-winning German thriller about spying, fear and oppression in the East Germany, in the fittingly Orwellian year of 1984.
Downfall – Film Review
I finally got around to watching this dark and gripping 2004 German drama about the last days of Hitler and the Third Reich. Realistic, hard-hitting, impeccably crafted, meticulously researched and detailed, Downfall is easily one of the best historical war films I’ve seen.
A Royal Affair – Film Review
I continued my recent Danish streak with this historical film about adultery and Enlightenment in the 18th century Denmark, which succeeds both as a sweeping romance and a tense political drama.
Farewell, My Queen – Film Review
The royal palace of Versailles and its doomed queen Marie Antoinette get a new perspective in this French film, which covers the last fraught days of the monarchy through the eyes of a young woman serving as the queen’s official reader. While ultimately somewhat slight, the movie’s eavesdropping-on-history approach is compelling, and gains a lot from being shot at the real location.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – Film Review
Another gem brought to my attention by the History Buffs YouTube channel. Directed by Peter Weir and adapted from nautical historical novels by Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander unfortunately didn’t make enough money to become a series, which is a shame. Maybe the long unwieldy name put people off; as far as terrible film titles go it’s no Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War, but unless you’re a fan of the books it doesn’t really sound like an exciting proposition, which is probably why I skipped the theatrical release myself.
Apocalypto – Film Review
I came across this one thanks to the most excellent History Buffs YouTube series, a show dedicated to reviewing historical movies run by a British guy called Nick Hodges. Nick is not a fan of Mel Gibson movies to put it mildly and he panned Apocalypto mercilessly for its many gross historical inaccuracies and the overall misrepresentation of the Mayan culture, with Gibson rolling his Mayans and his Aztecs into one. While his criticisms seemed legitimate, I’m way more forgiving towards the movies fudging historical facts for drama, and the film looked visually interesting at the very least. Besides, who else out there is making movies about a pre-Columbian civilisation shot exclusively in the Mayan dialect? I’ll take my Mayan movies where I can get them.
Jackie – Film Review
Not your conventional biopic, Jackie mostly focuses on one specific period in its subject’s life, the days following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when Jacqueline Kennedy became the world’s most famous widow. As a framework for the film, it uses a fictionalised encounter between Jackie and a journalist (Billy Crudup) who comes to interview her soon after she packs her bags and leaves the White House. The interview is somewhat tense; the journalist’s attitude is not necessarily reverential and Jackie displays candour and calculation in equal measure.