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Anna

Anna

Genders: Thriller, Drama

Director: Jorge Dorado

Writer: Guy Holmes

Actors: Indira Varma, Taissa Farmiga, Mark Strong, Brian Cox

Year: 2014
Run time: N/A
IMDB score: 6.3
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Anna

Genders: Thriller, Drama

Imdb Score: 6.3

Runtime: N/A

Released: 06 Jun 2014

Director: Jorge Dorado

Writer: Guy Holmes

Actors: Indira Varma, Taissa Farmiga, Mark Strong, Brian Cox

Company: Vertical Entertainment

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

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Brazilian Portuguese subtitles Anna2 years ago
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Trailer


Review

The most "British" American suspense/mystery drama you are ever likely to see...

7/10 First let's get the whole "dynasty" issue out of the way. These days in Hollywood, more care and attention is spent launching the careers of offspring/sibling than at any other point in film history. For example, in other reviews, I commented negatively on Will Smith's courageous attempts to turn his son into the next de Niro. Not going to happen, sorry Will.. This is a different story. Taissa Farmiga has got spark, she's got grit, she's got glow. This is a dynasty that just might find some traction.

Next let's talk about the science because most people won't even know there actually is science. The original title of the film was Mindscape which was borrowed/stolen from the scientific work of the same name by Dr.'s Targ and Puthoff, based on their work done at SRI in the 80s. Using double-blind protocols, their work established for the first time the scientific validity of the RV phenomenon, even though the media mocked them for years afterwards. In other words, the science for this film is not necessarily from Crazytown. That's helpful to know.

As for the film itself, it is surprisingly engaging given its very strange pedigree. Directed by a Spanish director, the film has not one but three major British talents --- Mark Strong, Brian Cox and Indira Varma-- all going "accentless" just for this production.

Overall, this film is also unusual in that it faithfully demonstrates the stoic and disciplined direction one generally associates with British TV drama -- although clearly intended for US audiences. The above comment is actually not a criticism at all, but (to be fair) US viewers may find the pacing slow. It isn't. It is just very, very, controlled.

Mark Strong's character is the "glue" that keeps the film together This requires him to be simpatico with the audience, and he is. Ironically, the actual script requires Strong's character to "have trouble staying grounded" (quote), yet it is precisely Strong's ability to ground the film that keeps it flowing.

As for the story itself, to go into detail would likely spoil it. I would really really like to tell you that the theme behind it is new but it simply isn't. (If you are a curious cinephile, look up the 2003 production LIFE OF David GALE.)

Bottom line: good clean fun. But what this film will be remembered for is young Farmiga.

one year ago

meh

5/10 Based on the reviews of this movie that I read on this site, I went into this film with high hopes. 90 minutes later,I was truly perplexed as to what all the buzz was about. Maybe films today are so bad that even "average" rates as "very good"? Well, I don't know, and while the film was not a total waste of time, it had little to offer,and was not as half as interesting as the reviews had lead me to believe it would be. The good: The beginning of the movie is very well set up: the movie takes place in the not too distant future where there are people who have the ability to recover and view the memories of others. The protagonist of the movie is a broken down memory reader in need of money and so he goes back to his old employer in search of a job.He is given a "simple" assignment: get a very precocious teenager to eat. But said teenager is *very* smart and not what she appears to be... Both the male lead (the returning memory recovery expert) and female lead ("Anna",the teenager) are played very well. The bad: Very convoluted plot, which devised to make the movie intriguing,in the end was a little over the top and maybe too clever for its own good. The ugly: The ending. Much ado about nothing. I was surprised that after all the complex twists and turns in the move it all came down to (what was in my opinion) an ending that is simple but unfortunately didn't really make much sense.

one year ago

Very Interesting Thriller!

8/10 This movie has a 6.4 rating as of May 2014 which is slightly too low I think. I give it a 7.5 out of 10. I have noticed that thrillers, unless they are great thrillers like The Usual Suspects etc.. are scored very low because of two reasons. Firstly thrillers are general slow paced at first and build suspense and tension. Some people lose interest quickly. Secondly, some people just don't get it. Due to the audience not following the dynamics of the thriller they score it low.

The title Anna is a better title than Mindscape in my opinion because the story is a personal story about the character Anna and the main character's memory of his past love also named Anna.

The main concept of Anna is not original and there are little things in the movies that require you to suspend belief etc etc etc...like all movies it is not perfect...but I really enjoyed the movie..I think the acting was great from Mark Strong and the support cast..I didn't know that the young girl, played by Taissa Farmiga, is the younger sister of Vera Farmiga. She is excellent.

I think the story was predictable and I would have done something slightly different to make it less predictable but I can't explain further without spoiling. Having said that I still really enjoyed the movie. It is much better than most thrillers out there, some with much bigger budgets.

Some reviewers have posted on the message board that they didn't like the details..I loved the details, this is what elevates the movie above most..it may not always be believable but Hey! we are watching a movie about a guy who can enter peoples memories, what was everyone expecting...

It is a really interesting thriller that is well acted and despite being predictable it has a very clever plot versus underlying plot script...I recommend it above the majority of thrillers out there....great work!

one year ago

Good...not great like it could be.

6/10 The plot of Anna is a lot like the movie Inception or Dreamscape. So, in that sense, the basic story idea isn't 100% original. It's set in the near future where there are apparently investigators called remote viewers or memory detectives who are much like psychotherapists who can actually enter the memories of people to determine what has happened. This can be useful in a therapeutic sense but can also be used to determine someone's guilt or innocence. John (Mark Strong) is one of these folks who can enter folks' memories and this is made more difficult due to some of his own troubling memories.

John's latest case is Anna (Taissa Farmiga)—a teenager who is unusually bright and perceptive—but who also might just be a sociopath. However, in viewing Anna's memories, John feels for the girl and thinks that perhaps folks are conspiring to have her committed to an institution when she is quite sane. Why? She's an heiress and her step-father might be setting her up to steal her fortune. But, through the course of the film it becomes more and more difficult for John to trust all the memories of Anna's that he's seen—and she might have some sort of strange hidden agenda. What's REALLY going on? And, by the end of the film, this might STILL be a question you are asking yourself.

This is a movie you best watch while you are 100% percent focused. The ending, in particular, is confusing and might benefit from repeated viewing. I did this and understood what the filmmakers were trying to do—but also noticed some plot problems at the same time. In particular, the film hinges on a panicked phone call John gets late at night from Anna. It sounds like someone is being killed! John does NOT phone the police. He does NOT take along anyone as a witness and he just blindly walks into what turns out to be a trap. Yet, at the same time, he's supposed to be a very smart and competent man! If you can ignore this serious confound, the film is pretty exciting as well as very well acted. Strong, in particular, is really good in the lead, as is Farmiga. In fact, the acting is the best aspect of the film. Despite these being relatively unknown names, the actors did a really fine job. The music also was quite fitting and tense. If only the film's plot problem near the end was cleaned up a bit, I would have given it a higher score. But what good is a mystery-suspense film when there is such an obvious plot problem? The film is interesting and worth seeing but not exactly a must-see for me.

one year ago

Atmospheric, but doesn't make much sense

4/10 Again: Many spoilers ahead.

At first, I kind of liked this movie - the two lead characters are well played, and so is their relationship as it develops through the meandering memories and the developments in the supposedly real world. It's adequately somber. The twists towards the end were a bit obvious in my opinion - of course she was luring him to the house and setting him up, and of course these were his memories, with the distant guy watching in precisely the way the main character explains at the beginning.

Unfortunately, once you start to think about the plot, it falls apart.

He's a detective, yet he doesn't really look at any of the clues he has taken home (e.g., the yearbook) in any depth until after the case is practically closed. Nice evidence board decoration he had on the wall - he should have perhaps drawn one up for this case too. And when called, he does this oh so old stupid movie mistake of rushing in without telling anybody. When will movie writers finally stop using that?

Her side is even worse. There were signs of her interacting with the outside world, e.g., her drawing of stairs where he believes to have seen her. Was she able to occasionally escape? Apart from that, nothing of her whole back-story was explained; did she or did she not commit any crimes? Had she just been at the wrong place in the wrong time? How much was fabricated by her, how much was honest? What was with that "Mousey" confusion? Who was lying about what now? And finally: If she wanted to be assumed dead to get away from her parents, didn't sending the picture refute that purpose entirely? What is she living on now anyway? If running away was all she wanted, she evidently didn't need this convoluted plan to do so. When our main guy arrived at the house, the doors were already wide open.

I guess you can explain some of those aspects away with "those were just his memories of her memories", but frankly, I think that's just an excuse for a script which was too obsessed with its twists.

one year ago