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The railway man (2013)

Adapted from: The railway man by Eric Lomax
Length: 116 min

Summary: A former British officer, who was tortured by the Japanese during WWII, still suffers from this this experience decades later. His wife spurs him on to go back to Japan, where he discovers the man responsible for his torture is still alive.

Familiar faces (from period drama): Colin Firth (does it need saying ;-) ), Nicole Kidman (Australia)

Watch this if:
- You're looking for a well-written WWII drama
- You want to be impressed by the amazing strength people can have

Don't watch this if:
- You don't want to watch intense cruelty and violence

Best part: The ending (no elaboration because spoilers)

My opinion: This is a very impressive movie about a very terrible subject. It moved me to tears more than once. Both Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are very convincing in their roles, but the main kudos goes to Jeremy Irvine, for playing the younger (WWII) version of Firth's character. I think this movie tells a story that needs to be told and known more widely in a respectful manner. This movie will stay with you for a long time after watching.

The Passing Bells (2014)

Adapted from: no adaptation
Length: 5x30 min

Summary: Follows two young boys, one British and one German, through the ordeals of WWI from 1914-1918

Familiar faces (from period drama): nope

Watch this if:
- You're very interested in stories of WWI

Don't watch this if:
- You're looking for something truly new and original
- You're allergic to melodrama

Best part: When Tommy's pregnant wife Joanna is lovingly taken up by his family.

My opinion: This production, made for the WWI centenary of 2014, is maybe just one 'trench-drama' too many. I fear I've become a bit burned-out on these kind of stories. I did like how The Passing Bells showed that the war was very similar for soldiers from both sides. Although, with all of the actors speaking English, I actually missed that one of the boys was supposed to be German for a while (oops...). The ending was very over-the-top, I thought and really took away some of my appreciation for this miniseries.

Mr Turner (2014)

Adapted from: no adaptation, based on the life of J.W.M. Turner (1775-1851)
Length: 150 min

Summary: A look at the later life of the famous British landscape painter J.W.M. Turner: his loving relationship with his father, the attachment he forms to his landlady and the often tumultous relationships with other painters of the era.

Familiar faces (from period drama): Timothy Spall (Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend), Lesley Manville (North&South), Dorothy Atkinson (Call the Midwife)

Watch this if:
- You have two hours to spare and nothing better lying around

Don't watch this if:
- You don't want to watch movies with old men forcing themselves onto women

Best part: Turner's relationship with his father.

My opinion: Booooring... Really, this movie was a whole lot too long for the actual storyline, which was basically 'Turner painting and annoying people around him'. I really like Turner's paintings (though mainly his early work), he's a talented artist, but maybe just not a person interesting enough to make a movie of more than 2 hours about. It never became clear to me what Mrs. Booth saw in him either and I would have liked some more insight on that, as she was a big part of the movie and of Turner's life.
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