The Post, Coco, The Commuter The Film Review


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The Post, Coco, The Commuter

Mark Kermode joins Jane Hill to talk about the week's cinema and DVD releases, including The Post, Coco and The Commuter.


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Now it is The Film Review.

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A warm welcome to The Film Review on

BBC News. To take us through this

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week's cinema releases is Mark

Kermode. What have you been watching

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this week?

Very exciting week. We

have the post-starring Tom Hanks and

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Meryl Streep. Koko, the new

animation from Pixar. And the

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commuter, the new Liam Neeson action

vehicle.

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Is about journalism. Did you like

it?

I really did, it's a newsroom

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thriller about the revelations of

the Pentagon papers and a report

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which basically said that successive

US administrations had misled the

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country about the Vietnam War.

Largely set in 1971, Tom Hanks plays

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the editor of the Washington Post.

He's eager for a scoop. Meryl Streep

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is Catherine Kate Graham, publisher

of the Washington post. It's going

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to the stock exchange so its

finances are slightly precarious.

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When the White House that an

injunction on the New York Times

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after they publish some of the

Pentagon papers, Ben Bradley wants

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to publish, but Meryl Streep says,

hang on, there are reasons we can't

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do this, not least of all that it

might endanger the paper. Here is a

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clip.

Do you have the papers?

Not

yet.

Oh gosh, oh gosh, because you

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know the position that would put me

in. We have language in the

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prospectus.

I know they can change

their mind. I know what is at stake.

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You know, the only couple I knew

that both Kennedy and LBJ ordered to

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socialise with was you and your

husband, and you own the town paper.

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It's just the way things worked.

Politicians and the press, they

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trusted each other so they could go

to the same dinner party and drink

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cocktails and tell jokes while there

was a war raging in Vietnam.

I don't

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know what we're talking about, I'm

not predicting linden.

The man who

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commissioned the study, he's one of

about a dozen party guests out on

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your...

And protecting the paper.

The thing I like about this film is

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it has a number of intertwining

stories, one is the story of Kate

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Graham finding her own voice. She

surrounded by men in boardrooms at

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the beginning, she doesn't really

speak, she slightly like a fish out

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of water. During the course of this

she has to step up to the walk and

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decide what is the right thing to

do. Second thing is, it runs almost

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like a prequel to all the Presidents

men. The end of this film runs right

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into the beginning of all the

Presidents a film I was really

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affected by in the 1970s when it

came out. I was a kid when I saw it

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and loved it. Great period detail,

sequences in the printing presses of

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the Washington Post. We're looking

at the hot metal machinery, the old

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machines. I love all that stuff.

Most importantly, it's a really

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contemporary story. That in 19 221.

Yes, the period detail is great, the

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performances are great, Meryl Streep

and Tom Hanks are fantastic, the

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whole ensemble cast is great. This

is a contemporary story about in

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this particular case, a corrupt

president in the White House

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attempting to stop the press from

expressing you know, the right of

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free speech. You look at that and

look at what's happening today in

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the world in which the press is

under attack, all the stuff about

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fake news. We have the so-called

fake News awards recently. It is a

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film almost like a call to arms for

the press. The independent press.

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From a free press, to truth to

power. It's interesting what

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Spielberg has done is to take a

period piece and tell the story

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straight. It's not twisted in any

way at all. And tell it in a way

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which makes it seem urgently

contemporary in terms of gender

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politics, newspaper politics, in

terms of the way it talks about the

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necessity for a free speech and good

reporting, good factual reporting,

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to keep check on authorities. I've

seen the film twice now and would

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happily go back and see it a third

time.

You don't need to be

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interested in journalism or the

issues you've just raised to like it

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as a film?

I think it helps and I

certainly know some people who

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aren't interested in those things

and that bit of history has eight

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why would you go and see it? You see

it because it is a personal drama

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about those two characters but also

something that leads you very much

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by the hand. It does assume from the

beginning you might not know this

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stuff, so it gives you a primer. It

starts you in a battlefield and it

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leads you and tells you all you need

to know. I would encourage anyone to

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go and see it because I think it is

a film that is timely though it is a

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period piece. I think you don't have

to be specifically interested in

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that war or the Pentagon papers

journalism to find it a gripping

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drama. The performances are just

great.

Animated film is your second

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choice.

It really good one, Coco,

the new film from Pixar, set at the

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Mexican day of the dead festivities.

Miguel longs to be a musician but

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his family have banned music because

his great-grandfather years ago

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chose music over family. There is no

more music in the family any more.

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On the magical day of the dead, Fate

takes a hand in the land of the

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dead. I thought this was

terrifically entertaining and very,

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very touching. On the one hand it

has lovely animation and slapstick

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sequences and all the stuff you

would expect from a Pixar vehicle.

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More importantly, it has great

songs, great music. But if dealing

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with some very difficult subjects.

With dementia, memory, with death

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and life. It's dealing with loss.

It's dealing with the way people

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live on as long as they live on in

our memory. And also the way songs

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and music will linger in our minds

sometimes, if anybody has had any

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experience of people with dementia,

music somehow cuts through. There

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are moments that will make you weep,

moments that will make you laugh. In

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the end it'll make you cheer. If you

liked this film, you see it and you

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like it, and I think you will do,

there is another film from a few

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years ago from 2014, book of life,

which got overlooked. It does have

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thematic depth, they make a nice

companion. Go and get 2-1 on DVD

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because it's a different film but

there are great similarities and

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they are both terrific. -- blonde

gets Book of Life on DVD.

The

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premise of the story is quite

gripping, The Commuter, does it

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deliver?

Liam Neeson is a ex-cop

working as an insurance salesman. He

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loses his job, doing his commute, he

needs money because he has to pay

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for his kids tuition. Suddenly the

for meagre turns up and says, I want

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to define some for me. I can't tell

you who they are or what they look

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like but if you do it there will be

a reward. Here is a clip.

Someone on

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this train does not belong. All you

have to do is find them, that's it.

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This person is carrying a bag. You

don't do what it looks like but

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inside that bag is something they

have stolen. This person goes by the

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name of Tim two, not a real name.

They will be on this train until

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Coldspring. -- name of Prin. If you

find that bag, the hundred thousand

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dollars is yours. Don't leave the

train before finding the bag, don't

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tell anybody about this offer,

simple.

I thought this was

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hypothetical.

It's just a little

thing, shouldn't be too hard for a

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ex-cop.

How did you know?

That's me.

You're being serious, right?

You

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have until next stop to decide. What

kind of person are you?

Intriguing

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setup. Strangers on a train, she has

this, find the person, can't tell

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you why, there will be reward.

Hitchcock thrillers, you set up

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those rules. The rules have to make

sense, you have to obey them. What

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happens, it has an interesting

premise can set it up and 20 minutes

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in it goes, none of this makes sense

and we don't care. It throws the

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rules out the window. Why would he

do it? That is thrown out. It gets

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back into Liam Neeson walking around

the train punching people. The most

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frustrating thing is when you see

that clip you think it's the

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intriguing... What's going on? It's

literally 20 minutes in the film

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goes... I don't care. I don't think

these rules add up to anything, the

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whole scenario doesn't make any...

Shall we just have him punching

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somebody? The first punching

sequence and then you go, OK, fine,

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it is to two on the train. -- it is

Taken on a train. It reminds you,

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what happened to that really

interesting idea you throughout the

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window? OK, fine, moving swiftly on.

Not a patch on the film of the week

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but three billboards, which I have

not... I thought about it every

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single day since I saw it, which is

interesting in itself.

Brilliant

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performance by fences McDormand who

has a strong chance of winning the

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Best actress Oscar. Martin MacDonald

who wrote and directed has done a

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really terrific... Made a

tragicomedy that is comic and

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genuinely tragic. I know it is

divisive, some take against it and

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don't get on at all, but I laughed

in the bits that are funny, but I

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also cried because I think it really

deals with tragedy. It really deals

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with loss. It's really well filmed.

There are moments in it that are

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almost transcendent, they are about,

like with Coco, life and death. The

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Chaucerian ear for obscenity that

Martin McDonagh rings true, did you

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love it?

With hindsight I loved it,

I wasn't sure as I was watching but

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I think the script is terrific and

it's really stayed with me in a

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positive way. Don't take somebody

who doesn't like swearing.

That goes

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without saying.

That's the only

caveat, isn't it, it's a very

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striking film. DVD?

I am not a

witch. It turned out in the

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outstanding debut category at the

Baftas. Terry Le'Veon Bell is given

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the chance to accept life as a witch

or turn into a goat. The director

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has done a brilliant job. It was a

really remarkable feature, something

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which, yes, it's funny, satirical,

but also about misogyny and magic.

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One of those films, again, sometimes

you're watching it and don't know

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whether to laugh or cry and end up

doing both. It's really well worth

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checking out.

Thank you, Mark, an

intriguing week. Many more like that

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to come because building to awards

season. Plenty to come. A reminder

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before we go you will find all of

the film News and reviews from

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across the BBC on the website. You

can find all our previous programmes

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on the iPlayer as well. A cracking

week. Enjoy your cinema going.

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Thanks for being with us. Goodbye.

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