Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, Nathalie Cox, John Lloyd Fillingham, Pollyanna McIntosh, Luke Mably, Jimi Mistry, Chuk Iwuji, Colin Salmon, Chris Carey / Fiction / English
A life or death test. A blank exam paper. A race against time...
Stuart Hazeldine is one of a select number of UK-based screenwriters who write for major Hollywood studios. In 2007, he achieved great success with the remake of blockbuster sci-fi The Day the Earth Stood Still, followed by a rewrite of the supernatural thriller Knowing (2006) starring Nicolas Cage. Exam marks his feature directing debut, following the 20-minute short film Christian that he wrote and directed in 2005.
#1/ Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 08:07 GMTSaw this last night and really enjoyed it. There are lots and lots of influences and it's a good bit of fun spotting them all! Overall it is a very powerful Directorial debut and the first feature for a truly excellent cast. Well done to all concerned. You should be rightly proud.
#2/ Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 13:21 GMTReally enjoyed this last night! As David says above, there's quite a lot of fairly obvious influences but the cast is great, it's shot all very well but has maybe a slightly too cutesy feel-good ending. Looking forward to future films from all envolved!
#3/ Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 13:35 GMTAn interesting film that certainly has a lot to recommend it: good acting, entertaining interplay between the characters and a neat little ending. However I felt there was something lacking and can not quite put my finger on what that is. An impressive debut all the same.
#4/ Saturday 20 June, 2009 / 16:00 GMTYeah, looking back on it , I think the ending was a bit clunky and happened a little too fast but that notwithstanding it was a compelling piece of cinema and will launch a number of successful careers.
#5/ Monday 22 June, 2009 / 10:08 GMTThanks all for your comments. Stu and I were really happy with how the night went, and super chuffed that we have had such a positive response. The festival have chosen to run the film again as part of their "Best of the Fest" on Sunday June 28th at 20:15 so if you have friends of family that couldn't make Friday, let them know that there is another chance to catch our movie. Thanks again all, Gareth, Producer "Exam".
#6 / Monday 13 July, 2009 / 22:33 GMTDefinitely one for The Apprentice fans – an enjoyable and absorbing, but ultimately unsatisfying and throwaway ride. Although I am not sure it was supposed to, the film really doesn’t bear any level of scrutiny; the candidates are too compliant and quick to jump to conclusions (for example, the pill searching) and the ‘bolshy, brash git’ character manages to both die and then recover to perfect health in double-quick, cartoon-only time.
I liked the tongue-in-cheek credulity with which the contestants set about trashing the room before starting on each other, and the final twist at least offered some small level of superficially pleasing emotional pay-off. But as someone who normally needs his wife to explain the plot after the end of each film, even I thought the identity of the ‘mysterious’ CEO was pretty obvious from an early stage. And one final question – why ‘no’ rather than ‘yes’?
Like a lightweight and trashy whizz on an Alton Towers rollercoaster, the premise looked interesting but then somewhat flattered to deceive. An almost-instantaneously-forgettable 6/10
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