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Paradise Hills

Country: Spain, Language: English, 95 mins

  • Director: Alice Waddington
  • Writer: Nacho Vigalondo; Brian DeLeeuw; Alice Waddington
  • Producer: Adrián Guerra; Núria Valls; Marta Sánchez

CGiii Comment

Alice Waddington's debut feature...and, quite possibly, her finale. Now, that's how to kill two birds with one stone!

So...what went wrong? Just about everything. Beginning with...Paradise Hills is the epitome of: Style over substance. Indeed, it looks good [in places]...the wardrobe department definitely dug their heels in and went full-belt down the flouncy [yet quirky] lane...they did a pretty good job. And, that's it for the compliments.

The acting...oh dear and without exception, all the male actors are atrocious. Now, that could have been an intended ploy by the director...bearing in mind that the [metaphorical] feminist wave splashes all over this film. Subtlety is not Ms Waddington's strong point!

So...there's the [cheery] fat girl, the [moody] asian girl, the [lesbian] latino girl and the all-American [bisexual?] white girl...yip, blatant box-ticking...all stuck in an ultra-posh rehab-cum-finishing school facility. They are there to be 'trained' into being the perfect little princesses for their betrothed princes...or, are they!?!

Oooh it's the stuff fairy tales and nightmares are made of...there's even a passive aggressive [wicked] witch in the form of [a woefully under-utilised] Milla Jovovich. Spooky and sinister, it should have been...spooky and sinister, it ain't!

Why? Because...the writing is dismal. The conflicts are without complexity. The lesbian relationship goes absolutely nowhere. There are no character arcs to speak of...even Milla Jovovich's meltdown is a letdown. As for the great big twist...why did they all look like squeaky-clean Egyptian Mummies!?! There are so many 'whys' - why does the [moody] asian girl always wear headphones that - clearly and audibly - don't work? We'll stop point in asking anymore 'whys' - that was the job for the director to ask herself and the other writers...a job not done!


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The(ir) Blurb...

In this futuristic fairy tale, Uma (Emma Roberts) wakes up in a rose- and tulle-filled boarding school for wayward young women, whose families pay big bucks for their daughters to emerge perfect. On the outside, Uma was engaged against her will to an evil billionaire, but once sent away, she must face questionable therapies and drug-laced dinners. With the love and support of the women in this beautiful prison, she must find a way to escape, or risk being erased.

Cast & Characters

Milla Jovovich as The Duchess;
Eiza Gonzalez as Amarna;
Emma Roberts as Uma;
Awkwafina as Yu;
Danielle Macdonald as Chloe;
Jeremy Irvine as Markus;
Arnaud Valois as Son;
Matthew Mills as Technician II;
Julius Cotter as Senior I;
Hunter Tremayne as Drunk Guest;
Daniel Horvath as Favorite I;
Liliana Cabal as Son's Assistant;
Karina Kolokolchykova as PH Girl;
Gary Anthony Stennette as Reporter;
James Giblin as Junior II;
Julia Stresen-Reuter Ramirez as Young Uma;
Johnny Melville as Reg / Senior II;
Eric Goode as Male Guest;
Joey Sordyl as Favorite II;
Oliver Ritchie as Assistant I