Tag Archives: Rachel Weisz

My Thoughts on: Black Widow (2021)

It feels like an eternity since I watched Avengers: Endgame in the waning days of 2019. So much has happened since then that I genuinely forgot what it felt like to experience a Marvel movie in the theater. And then I sat down to watch Black Widow (after waiting more than a year to see it) and it all came rushing back to me, that thrill that can only come from seeing a Marvel film on the big screen.

Let me start off by saying that Black Widow was absolutely worth the extended wait. Sure, it would’ve been ideal if we’d gotten this story several years ago, or at least before Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but it’s made clear multiple times that this film takes place immediately after Captain America: Civil War, so I’m willing to let it go. At least we finally got a standalone story about Black Widow that takes us deep into her past, and gives us a tantalizing look at how she (and other “widows”) were trained.

If I have one gripe with Black Widow it’s that I really wanted to see more of the Red Room training that goes into creating assassins like Natasha and Yelena. We’re given, as I said, a tantalizing glimpse, but no more. Given what’s implied about this training process, that might be for the best, but I still found myself wanting more.

Other than that, I found myself loving pretty much everything about Black Widow. The chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh is off the charts and is by far one of my favorite parts of this movie. Believe the hype about Pugh’s performance as Yelena Belova, it’s all true. I’m not sure if Yelena is going to be the new Black Widow moving forward, but I could certainly see her stepping into that role in future Marvel films and I wouldn’t complain if that indeed happened. Speaking of chemistry, I really enjoyed the interplay between David Harbour (Red Guardian) and Rachel Weisz. I would happily watch a film that explored the background of these two characters, especially anything that focused more on Red Guardian. I think we all want to see a film that explores THAT story.

Another detail I liked and one that surprised me is how many funny moments there are in this film. Given the serious topics involved, I wasn’t expecting this at all, but I really liked it, it helped to break up the tension, which is always an important element that some movies neglect. After all, if you keep things too fast or too serious all the way through, it can really grate on an audience.

And make no mistake, there are some serious issues touched on in Black Widow, particularly in regards to the treatment of women. I know what I said earlier about wishing this film had come out several years earlier, but given everything that’s happened in recent years (especially the Me Too movement) I think maybe Black Widow came out at the right time after all. The film’s main villain is one of the most disturbing and revolting to appear in the entire MCU and long before he meets his demise you’ll be begging Natasha to finish him off. Speaking of villains, for what it’s worth, I really like Taskmaster’s appearance in this film. I admit I’m not familiar with the character’s comic book origins, but I like how the character was updated for this film.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t briefly mention the film’s score. Lorne Balfe has constructed some gorgeous music to go with Black Widow and what I heard intrigued me enough that a full-on soundtrack review will be forthcoming. My favorite part has to be the music associated with Taskmaster and if you’ve seen the movie you probably know what I’m talking about (my soundtrack review will provide details). And one final note: I like that the movie leaves some plot threads unresolved, because it practically guarantees that we will see some of these characters again.

In conclusion, I loved Black Widow. Marvel has returned to the big screen in style and I urge everyone who hasn’t seen it yet to go see Black Widow in theaters if at all possible, this is a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen.

Let me know what you think about Black Widow in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: The Favourite (2018)

Having not seen any of Yorgos Lanthimos’ work before now, I went into The Favourite excited, but not sure what to expect. The film caught my attention because it’s set during the reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain (1665-1714), a royal that you don’t usually see depicted in film. The film is based on the true story of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and the struggle between two of her court favorites: Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone), her cousin. The film traces Abigail’s rise at court alongside Sarah’s simultaneous fall along with the various intrigues going on at the British court in the early 18th century.

 

The film is undeniably beautiful, both visually and musically (the soundtrack features a number of classical compositions that would have been appropriate for the time period). I love the dresses that Sarah and Abigail wear. I also like the attire Sarah wears whenever she goes shooting or riding (the tricorn hat and the grey coat). Most of the costumes are black, white or shades of grey, and I like that generally muted color palette.

One thing that surprised me is how sexual the film was. I knew there was going to be some romantic intrigue from the previews, but I had no idea (or I wasn’t paying enough attention) that there would be so much between Sarah and the Queen (and later Abigail and the Queen!) Watching Sarah and Abigail each manipulate Anne in their own way leads you to feel nothing but sympathy for the unhappy monarch. Having lost 17 children, all Anne wants is to be loved but she certainly doesn’t get any from Sarah, who at times is downright abusive in her behavior. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel any sympathy for Sarah or not (I certainly didn’t).

the-favourite-750x.jpg

Overall I enjoyed The Favourite very much, but I have some trouble with the ending. Given the story up to that point, the last scene felt like a strange way to end the film and I wasn’t quite sure what message I was supposed to receive from it (though I suspect a rewatch would help to enlighten me). That still didn’t stop me from enjoying the film and I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. Colman, Stone and Weisz fully deserve all of the nominations they’ve received thus far.

What did you think of The Favourite? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂