Nanny McPhee

  • Directors: Kirk Jones
  • Producers: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Emma Thompson, Books, Christianna Brand
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Imelda Staunton, Kelly Macdonald, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Holly Gibbs

Taking place in 19th century England, widower and undertaker 41-year-old Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has seven children: 12-year-old Simon (Thomas Sangster), 10-year-old Tora (Eliza Bennett), 9-year-old Lily (Jennifer Rae Daykin), 8-year-old Eric (Raphaël Coleman), 7-year-old Sebastian (Samuel Honywood ), 5-year-old Christianna (Holly Gibbs) and 1-year-old Aggie (Hebe Barnes and Zinnia Barnes). He loves his children very much, but spends little time with them, unable to handle raising them all on his own. The children have had a series of seventeen nannies, whom they systematically drive out; it is a point of pride for them to get rid of each nanny as fast as possible. They also terrorize the cook, Mrs. Blatherwick (Imelda Staunton) but are cared for and loved by Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald), the young scullery maid.

Cedric attempts to hire another nanny from the agency that sent the past seventeen nannies, but the agency refuses him, as the children have sent the past nannies away, terrorized. Desperate to find another nanny, Cedric heeds the advice of a mysterious voice from the house, which says, “the person you need is Nanny McPhee.” After a series of mysterious events, an unusual and hideous woman named Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives at Brown home, introducing herself as a “government nanny”. With discipline and magic, she transforms the family’s lives. In the process, she herself transforms from ugly to beautiful. The children, led by Simon, attempt to play their tricks on her, but gradually start to respect her and ask her for advice. They change into responsible people, helping their hapless father in solving the family problems, and making Nanny McPhee less and less needed. (The storyline is, at this point, very similar to Mary Poppins).

Interestingly, not all of the lessons are for the children. In addition, the last one can vary depending on interpretation.

Trainspotting

  • Directors: Danny Boyle
  • Producers: Andrew Macdonald
  • Writers: Novel, Irvine Welsh, Screenplay, John Hodge
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald

Set in Edinburgh, the film begins with a narration from Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) while he and his friend Spud (Ewen Bremner) run down Princes Street pursued by security guards. Renton states that unlike people who “choose life” (i.e. a traditional family lifestyle with children, financial stability and material possessions), he and his friends have opted out of career-based pursuits that society deems worthwhile, preferring to live in a blissful, directionless heroin-addled mess. We are introduced to his friends: smooth player Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), awkward hanger-on Spud (Ewen Bremner), clean-cut footballer Tommy (Kevin McKidd) and violent sociopath Francis Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Sick Boy, Spud and Renton are all heroin addicts, while Tommy and Begbie openly criticise heroin use. In the second scene, Renton decides to quit heroin. He buys opium rectal suppositories which he uses right away, but has to retrieve them from a filthy toilet when he is struck with diarrhea. After this ‘final hit’ he locks himself into a room to undergo withdrawal.

After quitting heroin, Renton still struggles. His “friendship” with Begbie is illustrated when Begbie casually throws his pint glass off a bar balcony, injuring a woman and causing a violent brawl. Renton later joins his friends and goes to a dance club in pursuit of sex. Spud gets drunk and is dragged home by his girlfriend, Gail. When Gail tries to have sex, Spud passes out and defecates all over her bed. Tommy goes home with his girlfriend Lizzy but this results in a violent argument when they discover that a sex tape they had made of themselves has gone missing (in an earlier scene we saw Renton steal the tape). Tommy mistakenly believes he accidentally returned the video to the rental store — this eventually causes Lizzy to break up with him.

Early the next morning, Renton pulls the bag of money away from a sleeping Begbie. Spud wakes up and sees this happening but remains silent as Renton leaves. Narrating, Renton vows to live the stable, traditional life he described at the beginning of the film as he walks through London in the sunrise. When Begbie awakes and discovers the money is missing, he smashes apart the room in a rage — the last time we see him, police are banging on his door and he is pulling out a knife. In the final scene, Spud later finds £2000 left for him by Renton in a locker.[7][8]

No Country for Old Men

  • Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Producers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Scott Rudin
  • Writers: Novel, Cormac McCarthy, Screenplay, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald

West Texas in June 1980 is desolate, wide-open country, and Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) laments the increasing violence in a region where he, like his late father before him, has risen to the office of sheriff.

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) strangles a sheriff’s deputy with his own handcuffs, steals his patrol car, pulls over another vehicle and murders the driver with a cattle gun.

Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), hunting near the Rio Grande, discovers a group of corpses, vehicles and a lone dying Mexican, the aftermath of a heroin deal gone awry. He also finds two million dollars in a satchel not far from the massacre and drives home. Moss cannot sleep and returns with water for the dying man, but he’s set upon by a pair in a jeep who chase him into the river. Moss barely escapes, his boots lost and his truck abandoned.

Chigurh tours the crime scene with a pair of well-dressed gangsters. He grabs Moss’s truck’s registration plate, receives their transponder, and kills them.

Moss fears the money’s owners will trace his truck in the morning and insists that his wife Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald) stay with her mother in Odessa, Texas. Chigurh arrives as predicted and breaks into the Moss trailer using his cattle gun, finding nothing of use but a bottle of milk and the latest phone bill.

Now retired, Bell shares with his wife Loretta (Tess Harper) two disquieting dreams. In the first, he lost “some money” that his late father had given him; in the second, his father rode past him on a snowy mountain pass, going ahead to make a fire in the surrounding cold darkness. Whenever Bell got there, he knew his father would be waiting.