FilmWonk Podcast – Episode #121 – “Una” (dir. Benedict Andrews)

Poster for "Una"

In this week’s podcast, Glenn and Daniel, along with returning guest Erika, dive into a difficult and timely film (43:59).

Content warning: This drama depicts an illegal, predatory sexual relationship between an adult and a minor child, as well as explicit discussion of that relationship many years after it is over. Our review contains candid discussion of the film and its handling of this subject matter. Listener discretion is advised.

FilmWonk rating: 8/10 (Erika), 7/10 (Daniel), 8/10 (Glenn)

Show notes:

  • Music for this episode is selections from the film’s score by Jed Kerzel.
  • We briefly chatted about the 2005 film Hard Candy, and I described it as an entertaining thriller, but essentially a vigilante fantasy. Since this episode was recorded, actress Ellen Page (who portrayed a 14-year-old in the film, but was 17 when it was filmed) released a Facebook post describing her own experiences with sexual harassment on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand and elsewhere. It’s well worth a read.
  • Also worth a read:
  • CORRECTION: We slightly understated the grossness of Woody Allen‘s new film, A Rainy Day in New York, which features a sexual relationship between a 44-year-old actor (played by Jude Law) and a 15-year-old actress (played by 19-year-old Elle Fanning). We incorrectly gave the fictional actress’ age as 17. The release date on this one is TBD, but we’ll go ahead and say now that we do not plan to review it.

Listen above, or download: Una (right-click, save as, or click/tap to play on a non-flash browser)

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FilmWonk Podcast – David Michôd’s “Animal Kingdom”

In this episode of the FilmWonk podcast, Glenn and Daniel review David Michôd’s “Animal Kingdom”, starring Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver, Sullivan Stapleton, James Frecheville, and Guy Pearce. (20:00)

[may contain some NSFW language]

FilmWonk rating: 8.5 out of 10

    Show notes:

  • Spoilers begin at 10:30/20:00.
  • Music for this episode is a selection from the brilliantly bleak and haunting Animal Kingdom score, from composer Antony Partos.
  • Addition [SPOILER FOR REAL LIFE]: We allude to this, but don’t actually mention the police shootings near the beginning of the film, which were loosely based on the Walsh Street police shootings that occurred in Melbourne in 1988.
  • Additional thought regarding Michôd’s claustrophobic direction: As the film went on, the tight camera shots constantly ratcheted up the tension by acting as a framing device for the characters’ vulnerability. The closer the character sits to the edges of the frame as the film goes on, the more likely it seems that at any moment, they could be shot dead from off-screen.
  • Animal Kingdom is out now in limited release, expanding to more theaters each week. Click here to find out when it’ll be playing in your city.
  • If you’re so inclined, stick around at the end for a blooper!

Listen above, or download: Animal Kingdom (right-click, save as)