The Counsellor

Oh lord, The Counsellor is an awful film. Cormac McCarthy wrote it, for God’s sake, and he’s one of my favourite authors ever ever ever. (If you haven’t read his Blood Meridian….well, you should is all I’m saying.) But his own script here – about a sleazy lawyer who gets in over his head when a drug deal goes wrong – is just dreadful: bloated, plodding, pompous, overblown and stodgy.


Several tens of minutes of dialogue – where they talk about women or recount jokes – should have been stripped from the film, the sex scenes are excruciating, and all of the actors, ALL of them, seem like they’ve realised, too late and with a bit of a shock, that this Ridley Scott – Cormac McCarthy vehicle is a cringe-making embarrassment. The Counsellor does look spectacular though – and it filmed all over the place, a lot in England, which surprised me. I think Alicante stood in for Mexico.

Broken Embraces

I know I’m supposed to love Pedro Almodovar, and I’m meant to have a man-crush on Penelope Cruth. But with Broken Embraces, honestly, I just can bring myself to. It is of course a beautifully made masterpiece of happy beginnings that implode erratically, of loves and jealousies and secrets and simmering Spanish passions in a film that is, typically, passion-less; here blind filmmaker Mateo Blanco revisits the story behind the loss of his sight, and his tangled love-triangle with an actress and a Chilean gazillionaire.

Yet even the Almodovar touch and the Cruth delivery can’t save it from being choppy, uneven and frankly a bit boring. Some of the “action” takes place on the black sands of Lanzarote.