Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (Cinema Review)

Image result for absolutely fabulous the movie 2016

15 – 94mins – 2016


 

P.R. DISASTER, DARLING

Older, saggier, fatter and more deluded than ever, celebrity-circling wannabe fashionista’s Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) have finally blagged their way onto the big screen, 20 years after their BBC sitcom finished, and four years after the heavy-drinking, drug-abusing, fad-chasing catwalk cougars last appeared in a spat of 20th Anniversary specials.

In a bid to sign Kate Moss to her PR company, Edina becomes a tabloid target and social media pariah after accidentally knocking the fashion queen into the Thames. Determined to out-fox the paparazzi and escape the media firestorm, Eddy and Patsy jet off to Cannes in an attempt to live out a glamourous life of luxurious anonymity by marrying rich old flames on their deathbed.

Often crude, outrageous and eye-rollingly embarrassing, but with real heart hidden beneath the layers of frumpy fakery, the film’s biggest draw is its enviable bevvy of celebrity cameos – from Lulu to Christopher Biggins via Gwendoline “Captain Phasma” Christie, it would almost be easier to name people who don’t pop up on the guest-list for a cheeky wink to the audience. As the saying goes: It’s not what you know, but who.

Image result for absolutely fabulous the movie posterEssentially, in bringing Absolutely Fabulous to the movies, co-creator and writer Saunders does right everything that fellow promoted property Mrs. Brown’s Boys Da Movie failed to: it retains the sitcom’s desperate tone and snappy, scandalous laugh-or-gasp taste-testing humour over the course of an hour and half. It doesn’t reinvent the heel, nor will it win over any new fans, but Ab Fab lovers will all agree: Bolly good show, sweetie.

CR@B’s Claw Score: 3 stars

 

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The Moth Diaries (DVD Review)

15 – 79mins – 2011


 

SEX, BLOOD, DEATH… & LESBIANISM

“Sickly sweet but rotten…”

Alabaster-skinned British model Lily Cole (St. Trinians, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) conjures a haunting otherworldly peculiarity which makes her sublimely cast as Ernessa Bloch, the enigmatic new girl with a dark secret at an exclusive all-girls’ boarding school.

Sarah Bolger (Emelie, TV’s The Tudors) plays bright-but-obsessive student Rebecca who grows increasingly concerned at the intense control Ernessa seems to hold over her increasingly-frail best friend, Lucy (Sarah 11.22.63 Gadon). Is the enigmatic flame-haired wraith a coffin-slumbering vampire, or does Rebecca’s jealous simply know no bounds?

Suicide, suspicion, strangely strong shisha, sex and the supernatural are all spun together in this diminutive but evocative conspiratorial horror, based on Rachel Klein’s Y.A. novel. There are some truly impactful standout scenes – including a Carrie-esque dream sequence and a troubling peek inside Ernessa’s dusty room – but the story is compromised by some atrociously heavy-handed editing which brings up numerous plot points (swimming lessons, period pain, inappropriate kiss, outdoor sex) only to mothball any consequences.

There is some poetic flair in paralleling the inexplicable goings on with some of literature’s bloodsucking icons in Mr Davies’ (Scott Underworld Speedman) gothic fiction class, but the abrupt, sketch-like approach to assembling the narrative means The Moth Diaries ultimately fails to take flight. What is scarier than any shocks in this jump-free teen adaptation is that it was directed by the same acute eye as acclaimed thriller American Psycho, Mary Haddon.

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars