Byzantium: "My Story Can Never Be Told"

Director: Neil Jordan
Writer:    Moira Buffini
Starring: Saoirse Ronan
               Gemma Arterton
               Daniel Mays
               Caleb Landry Jones
               Sam Riley
               Warren Brown
               Johnny Lee Miller
Rating:    ****

Release Date: 31/05/2013

I am sick of vampire movies. There I said it... Since Twilight decided to infest both big and small screens all over the world, there has been an unbearable abundance of these bloodsucking movies taking over film and television. However, every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case the silver lining is Byzantium.

The film follows two vampires, two women who 200 years ago were mother and daughter, until they were turned into oversized leeches. Now in present day, Eleanor and Clara (Ronan & Arterton) posing as sisters, and a constantly hopping from town to town as they try and escape there past lives. Of course their lives come at a great price, and as teenage Eleanor begins to settle down and find love it becomes apparent that she will never be able to live a normal life.

Gemma Arterton
With her Clara purely searching for blood and men, Eleanor is forced to cover her mothers tracks despite wanting to be honest. Unfortunately all secrets come out eventually, and Clara and Eleanor are fighting for survival when their dangerous pasts finally catch up with them. 

The largest flaw with the Twilight Saga was the poor acting, Kristen Stewart not only being the worst, but also her character Bella Swan was an altogether drip. However in this film women are the rulers, they are the fighters and they drive this intensely emotional movie. I could not have cast this movie to be perfectly honest, and the two stars punch there way through the film with grace and determination.

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Gemma Arterton's work, from her early days in St Trinians, to her gritty and raw performance in The Disappearance of Alice Creed; I have been closely observing her career, and it just continues to improve and grow (I am of course choosing to ignore Hansel and Gretl...). Here she proves that not only can she play the all-action, butt-kicking and unafraid characters, but she can also be vulnerable and emotionally raw, she combines what she does best and lays it all out on the table.

Saoirse Ronan
Saoirse Ronan is exactly the same, If you have seen Hanna you know that girl knows how to fight, and at the same time she knows exactly how to tug on the heart strings. She brings her angsty and coming-of-age edge to the film and portrays the lost and lonely Elanor with eloquence and heart.

The film has a gritty and dramatic vibe to it, and director Neil Jordan has made the film feel very raw and real, which helps bring the characters out of the screen even more. The stars performances are high energy and genuine, and alongside Arterton and Ronan there is a fantastic supporting cast that fit their roles superbly well.

Byzantium - Trailer