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11 April 2010 @ 04:41 pm
The best way to spend a Sunday morning... (written in haste)

...watching a movie that moves you to tears, at a reduced price to boot! ;) This morning I went to "Nowhere Boy", a biopic about John Lennon, beginning at the very start of his musical interests until his departure for Hamburg, where the career of The Beatles really begins.

The story of his young life isn't exactly a sad one in every respect but not a happy one either. One that lacks the warmth and love every child needs: he was raised by his aunt, a rather introverted woman who simply cannot or doesn't want to show her emotions, and an uncle who's great fun, but dies unexpectedly. His biological mother is kept away from him for reasons the movie will reveal later. Scenes that had a great impact on me... Anyway, John's an adolescent like any other boy... naughty tricks, macho like behaviour, alcohol, cigarettes (boy, people seemingly smoked all the time in those days!), girls... etc. when he - against his aunt's wishes - secretly gets in touch with his real mother again, his love for rock 'n roll is born, and he finds out how much music means to him. While doing really bad at school, getting suspended all the time, rather writing poetry and drawing than paying attention during history class, he's at one point determined to form a group. Through friends he gets acquainted with Paul McCartney and, later, with George Harrison... Well, the rest is history.

What I particularly liked about the movie was the perfect late Fifties and early Sixties atmosphere. The aunt and the mother, an elder and younger sister, symbolize a sort of transition between the rather rigid Fifties and the more cheerful Sixties, the boy Lennon being torn between these two women, so between two eras. The atmosphere of the era is rendered so well, the social circumstances, the city of Liverpool, the accent... I could almost smell it all! Not so surprisingly though, I was a child myself at the time. Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff as the aunt and mother respectively do an amazing job (well, I didn't expect anything less), as does Aaron Johnson who plays John Lennon. The looks, the emotions, the voice... fabulous, and that for such a young actor. Thomas Sangster as Paul McCartney couldn't have been cast better and that counts also for David Morrissey as the partner of John's mother.

The movie has drama, quite a bit of it, and what happens to his mum is quite shocking and unexpected if you don't know her history, but it never becomes melodramatic or sentimental, and there's ample opportunity for smiles.

Warning: don't expect this to be a Beatles movie. It isn't, it's about John Lennon as a teenager. I specifically say this, otherwise one could become disappointed. The other Beatles characters are not really explored. However, if you think John Lennon interesting enough - as I - this movie is a must see. :D

On a side note: John Lennon died December 8, 1980, exactly 30 years ago, on my father's 61st birthday. :( But for my sisters and me it was wonderful to see this movie together with our father. :)

official trailer
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Watched a fabulous French psychological thriller this weekend. La tourneuse de pages" (The Page Turner) about the vengeance of a very talented girl who's refused for the conservatory due to the fact that one of the committee members (a famous female pianist) distracts her and she starts missing notes. Amazing how a director can make a movie in which there's very little dialogue but the (permanent) suspense is essentially created by gestures and vague facial expressions. I was totally fascinated, and as in awe as when I watched "Il y a longtemps que je t'aime".

I'm reading Marcel Prousts "A la recherche du temps perdu" at the moment and loving it. It's been a while but my love for French literature is completely back. These passed years I've "traded" it somewhat for English literature, but thanks to Proust I'm totally enchanted again. La plus belle langue du monde! :) The French Proust uses is so beautiful, so perfect and refined and at the same time very transparent. The descriptions are amazing and the dialogues delightful. I can sense the atmosphere so well, see every space and its objects, hear the voices, smell the scents even. Just amazing, and I wonder why I waited so long.

Wish I had more time to review the books I read and movies I watch but I haven't, not at the moment. Too much work. :(
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Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
25 July 2009 @ 08:49 pm
This is a movie to look forward to!

Cemetery Junction, Ricky Gervais first movie.

The teaser alone is hilarious!

Two of my idols, Ralph Fiennes and Ricky Gervais, together in a movie, what a treat. :)
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
24 June 2009 @ 12:23 pm
I'm terribly sorry, dearest daughter of mine, I know you enjoyed this movie, but I couldn't get into it at all. I can only give it two stars out of ten. Generation gap, perhaps? ;) I thought it boring, hardly ever funny and not at all romantic... I mean, we're talking romantic comedy here, right? The predictability of the plot, the lack of chemistry between the main characters, the expressionless, boring Steve Carell... Amazing that a fine, interesting actress such as Juliette Binoche accepted this part.

The story? Well, it's about widower Dan, a columnist and father of three daughters between 12 and 17, who meets the (second) woman of his dreams in a bookshop in the village where his parents live, and where the entire family is assembled for their yearly get together. Unfortunately the woman appears to be the new girlfriend of his brother... How does one deal with that...? I guess you can guess... ;)

Current Mood: blankblank
No reviews, just stars...

Confessions of a Shopaholic **** out of ten.
An occasional laugh and gorgeous fashion, but all in all a perfect example of over-acting and copying of older but much better romantic comedies such as Sex & The City and The Devil Wears Prada. Most original idea: the winking and gesticulating mannequins in the shop windows to induce our heroine to buy...

Rachel Getting Married ******* out of ten
Very good story, perfect acting, but awful camera work. The use of shoulder camera is intentional to make the family gathering look more natural, but I hate it. Makes me feel dizzy. Anne Hathaway is a great acting talent.

Religulous **********
Very interesting documentary by American talk show host and comedian Bill Maher about religion in which he shows the arrogance, intolerance and contempt of smaller and larger groups of believers (for whom belief is synonymous with fact) towards those who think differently, and who feel the need to impose their often hate mongering ideas upon others. I was as amused as I was appalled.

On my 'to see' list:

- Happy Go Lucky
- Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona
- Sunshine Cleaning

Robin Kaye - Too Hot to Handle ********
For the lovers of romance a wonderful new novel - and sequel to "Romeo, Romeo" that recently won an award - by a dear friend from across the Atlantic Ocean. Good plot, great characters and lovely humor set in the greatest city of the US, New York. I can't wait for the next sequel featuring Becca and Ritch. I wholeheartedly recommend it, but watch out... it's hot, almost too hot to handle. ;)

Currently reading (yes, all at the same time LOL):

Doris Lessing - The Golden Notebook
Anna Enquist - Contrapunt
Marcel Proust - Du côté de chez Swann
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Current Mood: chipperchipper
30 May 2009 @ 10:00 am
Yesterday evening after a fun dinner at Vapiano we spontaneously checked to see if there was a movie worth going to in the cinema at the other end of the square (the one where I watched P&P with fiorelina). We already went to "The Reader" (it pleased me that it was still on!), and didn't feel like going to "Duplicity" since I'm one of those few people who isn't particularly fond of Clive Owens and is not that keen on Julia Roberts either nowadays, so we chose "Coco avant Chanel" with Audrey Tautou. Hm... a bit disappointing actually. Bernard was bored, the man at my other side was sleeping and I had to yawn an awful lot... The movie is about Chanel's earlier years before she became one of France's fashion icons. In fact she wasn't much more than a courtesan, being kept by a rich chatelain. I'm not judging that, it's perfectly understandable. Her sister and she were orphans and they had nowhere to go when grown up. They sang (badly) in cafés and during the day they worked as seamstresses. In the end she manages to start her own hat atelier with borrowed money from her lover Arthur Capel, "Boy", who will later die in a car accident.

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29 May 2009 @ 04:35 pm
...the 1985 adaptation. Read the book again recently, and watched both movie adaptations. Can't help it, I can't get enough of this sweet little gem of English literature about coming of age of a girl from a bourgeois fin de siècle English background...

Actually I like both adaptations very much. they're both fairly true to the book - at least they catch the spirit of it well, except for the ridiculous end of the 2007 adaptation in which IMHO Andrew Davies took too many, highly unnecessary liberties. When I watch it, I don't watch the end. Of course, Andrew Davies always makes sure his adaptations get sexed up as well... *rolls eyes*

As far as the cast is concerned I liked both Lucy's (Helena Bonham-Carter in 1985 and Elaine Cassidy in 2007) equally much, they were adorable, but thought Maggie Smith a much better Charlotte than Sophie Thompson, Judi Dench a better Ms. Lavish and, surprise, surprise (perhaps)... Laurence Fox a much better Cecil Vyse than Daniel Day-Lewis (of whom I'm a great fan normally) in the 1985 adaptation. Unfortunately he had too much stage-like mannerisms, that annoyed me somewhat. Fox played his part of a supercilious dandy in a more natural, easy going way. As for George Emerson, they were both lovely, but Rafe Spell is visually less appealing than Julian Sands in the 1985 adaptation. As for the fathers Emerson, both were wonderful, but I prefer Denholm Elliott to Timoth Spall, in reality Rafe's father, which shows actually. :) The other characters we're equally fine (particularly Rupert Graves as Freddy) although I had a slight preference for the 1985 Misses Alan. :) Last but not least... a lot more frontal male nudity in the 1985 adaptation... ;)

Anyway, I made numerous stills for your and my own enjoyment. :) Read more...Collapse )
Current Mood: calmcalm
Just lovely! Ok, perhaps the movie didn't have great depth, here and there there were historical inaccuracies, the score wasn't altogether to my taste, and sometimes there's too much fast forwarding particularly during the last minutes of the movie that are filled with somewhat annoying inter-titles. But nothing could spoil my enjoyment: the story about Victoria's adolescence and the early years of her marriage with Prince Albert was enchanting, the acting wonderful - what a great cast! -, the cinematography fabulous, the decor and costumes amazing... Since the movie finishes after the birth of their first child, and they had nine together, I already crave for a sequel. :)

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26 May 2009 @ 07:55 pm
Since I hardly slept last night due to thunder, rain and storm I took it easy today and only worked this morning. In the afternoon I watched the 1939 version of WH with Laurence Olivier. Worthwhile watching only for LO, the script sucks as badly as the 2009 version. So, to feel good again, I watched the 1992 adaptation with Juliette Binoche and Ralph Fiennes - my favourite - immediately after... LOL

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25 May 2009 @ 06:28 pm
Since Wuthering Heights is one of the most interesting novels of the Romantic Movement I've ever read, I'm obviously very curious when a new movie adaptation sees the light. So, I was all eyes and ears when the first episode of two was on Belgian TV last Saturday (or was it Friday?) Anyway, I watched it...

I was disappointed. The shots of the landscape were beautiful, certainly, the interiors were fine, the music too, as well as the cast (although...). No, it's the script! It sucks. I really don't mind it when script writers take liberties. That's normal and most of the time necessary, but in this case this powerful story about an extraordinary, intense and passionate, life transgressing love between two young persons - wild and untamed as the landscape in which the story takes place - becomes a sloppy hard to follow mess in which the story bounces back and forth all the time. Apart from that, important scenes from the book are simply left out, such as Cathy's death bed, and the visitor to whom Ellen tells the story. Such a shame. When I read it, I am that visitor, I want to be him and... shiver... :))

This poor script reminded me of Andrew Davies utterly absurd script (at least partly) for the 2007 adaptation of "A Room With a View". Unnecessary changes which do not improve the story in any way. As far as the cast is concerned, Tom Hardy as Heathcliff is too beautiful; his face, his mouth are too soft. He simply doesn't come across as the bitter revengeful cruel man he's supposed to be. And Cathy, played by the beautiful Charlotte Riley, is too sweet, too kind. She lacks this wildness and ruthlessness of the Cathy in the book.

Pity, the makers turned this little disturbing mystery of world literature into a rather cheap simple historical romance that's easy on the 21st century eye. But perhaps that's exactly what the viewer wants, who knows?

I'll probably won't skip the second episode, I'm curious enough, but I already long to re-watch the 1992 adaptation with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche and the fabulous 1998 one with Robert Cavanah and Orla Brady.