Tag Archive: melissa leo

Red State (2011)

Red State (2011) 

Directed by Kevin Smith

Starring John Goodman, Mellissa Leo and Michael Parks




Straight away with this film you can tell that it is directed, written and edited by Kevin Smith himself. The opening scene is very much in the mould of Clerks is the style of acting and camera shot. The film does seem quite confusing and relies heavily on the script.

The film is about 3 young college friends who find a lady on the internet to go and have sex with. Things take a turn for the worse and they end up drugged and waking up in a church with some religious nuts wanting to rid the world of people like them. From there it goes a bit here and there.

Michael Parks and John Goodman have some very long solo speeches/conversations in the film that seem to go on that bit too long. It’s not that i didn’t enjoy the film but i did find myself being slightly bored in places and it’s as if Mr Smith was trying a bit too hard. He should stick with comedy films and bring us another Clerks or Mallrats that combine real life and relationships with humour.

If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith this film is different to anything else he has done so just prepare yourself for less laughs however i would say it is worth a watch, although maybe not at the cinema.


Film Fact

The film was shot in sequence and Kevin Smith edited each days shooting on the same day. He was able to show the crew a rough cut just two days after they had wrapped up all the filming.



The Fighter

The Fighter (2010)

Directed by David O.Russell

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams


The Fighter is based on the real story of boxer Micky Ward, and his brother and ex-boxer Dicky Ekland, and how he started in the professional boxing scene. The brothers are faced with many challenges which they have to face together and on their own which include dealing with each other, their family, relationships and drug addiction.

Christian Bale’s performance as the crazy and drug addicted Dicky Ekland was fantastic. He acted the role so well and you can see his likeness to the real Dicky during the end credits when he shows up saying thank you. His performance was noticed by the Academy Awards as he picked up the ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role’
award, which was very much deserved.

The combination of Mark Wahlberg as Micky and Amy as his girlfriend Charlene worked well as they played off of each other. Charlene is the rock that Micky needed during all the problems with his family trying to take control of his life and his brother Dicky’s drug problem and going to jail.

Melissa Leo plays the role of Micky and Dicky’s mother Alice Ward. Her performance as a stern and bossy, yet just wanting the best for her children, mother is fantastic. She puts real heart into the role and you really believe her performance. Melissa Leo also picked up an Academy Award for her role, the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role’, which once again was very much deserved.

What makes this film great is the realism that each actor gives to their character, especially Bale, Adams and Leo. What helped achieve this were the real Micky and Dicky, amongst others, helping build the characters before and during filming. Bale spent so much time with the real Dicky as to perfectly match his mannerisms and give the performance of his life.

I would recommend this film to everyone. Do not think of this as a boxing film. Take it as a drama based on the real lives of a family and their struggles that are fantastically played out by actors.



Film Fact

The film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Writing, Original Screenplay – Winning 2 of them.