I’m a big fan of Andrew Garfield.  OK, to be honest I didn’t really know (at all, whatsoever) who he was until about six months ago, and so I could be grouped amongst the comic fangirls who fell in love with him because he played Peter Parker…but nevertheless, I am a big fan.

Judge all you want, but until I saw the trailer I had more important things to do with my time (if memory serves me, I think I was going through a James Franco stage during Summer…)  But alas, now my eyes have been opened and I can appreciate Andrew Garfield, not only for his acting abilities and good looks, but also the fun fact that he has the same name as a cartoon cat who loves lasagna.  Mmm… lasagna.

Andrew Garfield was born on the 20th of August (whoops. Happy Birthday for a week ago) 1983…making him, believe it or not, 29.  He’s one of those lucky individuals who is able to have a duel citizenship, calling himself a ‘British American’; so basically he was born in Los Angeles, got the heck out of there to move to Surrey, England…only to move back there years later.  Oh, the irony.

Garfield’s acting career started off in British television, where he appeared in shows Sugar Rush and Doctor Who.  His first film was Lions for Lambs and Boy A, but it wasn’t until Never Let Me Go that he got his fair share of the screen.

Garfield met his current girlfriend, actress Emma Stone, when they were filming The Amazing Spiderman together.  Pah.  They’ve also supposedly recently gotten a place together.  And while I should hate her on principle, she’s so hilarious and they’re so cute together I just want to give them a hug.  Is that weird?

Moving on.  Below is a list of the last three films that Andrew Garfield has done:

Never Let Me Go (2010):

Handy hint: don’t watch this film if you’re in a bad mood.  Set in a dystopian future where clones are created to be used for organ harvesting,we are introduced to a trio of friends; Kathy, Tommy and Ruth.  We learn that these clones, while human beings with souls and emotions, are conceived to be used as organ donors when they hit their mid-twenties; and they continue to provide organs until they die, or ‘completion’.  We follow the three in three acts; from their childhood at boarding school Hailsham; to when they are living as adults in The Cottages; and in the final stages of their lives.

This film is depressing as hell.  You spend the film either wanting to punch Keira Knightley (Ruth) in the face because of her manipulative behaviour (plus you know, it’s Keira Knightley), to hoping for a future that can’t exist between Kathy (Carey Mulligan)  and Tommy (Andrew Garfield).  And also, at times, wanting to punch Tommy in the face because he allows himself to be manipulated by Ruth.

And that’s just the love triangle perspective.  Imagine a world where you know when you’re going to die…and it’s not that far away.  No kids, no travelling, no career.  You can fall in love, but it’s another clone (because that’s who you interact with) and if they don’t see you die while you’re young, then you’ll see them die.  And of course, since it’s through organ donation, the process will be painful, long and terrifying.

The joy.

What I liked about this film was the concept of how far we, as humans, would go to survive.  While cloning humans is something that is still strictly forbidden in any scientific aspect, we are finding new ways to create organs.  And if we had the chance to live longer and healthier lives, would we?  Would we sacrifice ‘people’ we don’t know so that human civilisation can avoid life-threatening diseases, like cancer, as a whole?

Never Let Me Go was based on a novel of the same name by Kazuo Ishiguro and directed by Mark Romanek on a $15 million budget.  The look of the film is very basic, but includes some beautiful symbolism, particularly in the final scene with Carey Mulligan.

Personally I thought that Mulligan was a stand-out for this film, which isn’t surprising considering she had wanted to play the role of Kathy ever since she read the book.  I felt that Garfield played his character convincingly, but there were moments that were cringe-worthy.  When he begins screaming uncontrollably, I felt the urge to look away, and I wasn’t connected with his emotions.  However, I felt he was able to play Tommy, in all of his naivety, quite accurately, and I didn’t second-guess the motivations behind his actions.

The Social Network (201o):

I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the premise of this film when it came out.  Facebook?  I already get enough of it whether I like it or not, and going to the cinemas is a way of avoiding it.  You really expect me to sit through a 2 hour film with Facebook as the subject matter?  Pah.

Well…I was an idiot.  Probably still am, because let’s be honest, I’ll probably be doing this in 12 months for another film I boycotted (except I still stand by the fact that Magic Mike is a stupid premise for a film).  Anyway.  The Social Network stars Jesse Eisenberg as the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg; Andrew Garfield as Facebook’s CFO, Eduardo Saverin; Justin Timberlake as the creator of the Napster, Sean Parker, and Armie Hammer as the Winklevoss twins.  The film is non-linear, is it goes from a present day court-case to the past.

Zuckerberg is getting sued by two parties at the same time.  Saverin is suing him for $600 million dollars, for unfairly diluting his shares when the company was incorporated.  The Winklevoss twins are suing him for stealing their idea for a social networking site within Harvard.

The flashbacks tell us how Zuckerberg’s idea and the evolution of Facebook occurred; from the original website, Face Mash (which allowed students to rank Harvard girls against each other), to the concept of a social networking site that allowed people to find out who was single, what their interests were etc.  As the website grows in popularity we watch as Sean Parker is introduced and what his influence on the company was, and the friendship between Zuckerberg and Saverin become tested, and eventually destroyed, within the process.

The best thing about this film is that it is easy-to-follow.  I know nothing about business, and yet I wasn’t confused by the plot at all.  I’ve never heard of the term ‘diluted shares’ before, yet even I realised that Saverin had been fucked over.  And this clarity of the plot is due to excellent writing.  Not only is it easy-to-follow but it’s witty, entertaining and allows you to connect with the characters.

Secondly, I thought the acting in The Social Network was flawless.  Eisenberg captured the essence of Zuckerberg perfectly; a computer nerd who, despite being incredibly unpopular, has the smug self-assurance that he is better than everyone else because of his IQ.

Andrew Garfield was spot-on.  Leading into this film, I wondered how they were going to create a storyline out of the fight over Facebook.  Of course Zuckerberg created Facebook, why is this even an issue? Yet, once again, I was wrong.  Garfield plays Saverin in a way that we are both frustrated by his actions, yet are also on his side.  I spent the whole film wanting Saverin and Zuckerberg to kiss and make-up, but when there is the final twist (although is it a twist if it’s common knowledge?) I had to side with Saverin; he may not have created Facebook, but he sure did provide the start-up funds.

The Social Network has grossed about $225 million altogether, and received numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.  Saying that, both Zuckerberg and Saverin have been displeased by the idea of the film being produced, particularly since many of the facts are inaccurate.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012):

While it may not have the same credentials as his previous two films, the advantage of The Amazing Spider-Man is that it had a massive budget, and a massive fan base.  Instant world-wide celebrity anyone?

While it seemed a bit pointless to re-boot a trilogy that was only completed in the last decade, The Amazing Spider-Man still managed to rake in around $697 million, making it the most financially successful re-boot ever.

Andrew Garfield plays Peter Parker; a loner at school, who means well, but also doesn’t seem to care enough to make an effort with his peers.  He does have a crush on Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) though; partially because she’s cute and wears nerd-sexy clothes to school (thigh high socks anyone?), but also because she’s awesome at science and loves to beat up bullies.

The story unfolds when Peter finds an old briefcase of his long estranged father, which leads him to Oscorp.  When Peter investigates, he meets the one-armed Dr Curt Connors who is using spider and lizard genes to try and create limb regeneration.  Only problem is, while visiting him, Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider and turns into Spider-Man.

Then, since we need a villain, Connors creates a serum that allows his arm to grow back…but also turns him into a giant, evil lizard man.  And, since Peter is now Spider-Man, he also lands the girl.

Sorry for any unpredictable spoilers.

What I loved about this film was the cinematography and graphics used; Marc Webb took advantage of the $200 million budget and he used it well.  I thought the chemistry between Garfield and Stone was realistic (well duh) but also really just…nice.  Overall, Garfield played Parker’s character well, making him less of a nerd, and more of an outsider (since most of us have felt that way once or twice in high school).  However, his acting abilities when it comes to crying are definitely…sub-par.  And the idea of a giant lizard for a villain was truly laughable, and not particularly creative.  When you compare Lizard Man Connors to some other villains, a la Bane or The Joker, you kinda wonder why Parker didn’t spend more time hooking up with Stacy and less time fighting him.

The film has an anticipated two sequels, with the second scheduled to be released May 2nd, 2014.

What do you think of Andrew Garfield?  Do you think he’s a good actor?  Attractive?  Interesting?  Just for fun, check out the below video of Andrew dealing with the paparazzi…and then tell me you don’t like him.  Thoughts?