Matilda Movie Review

When I was a child I remember hearing my infant teacher read the BFG to our class. She used different voices and was totally enthralling. Every year I heard another of Dahl’s stories and I began to read them myself. Soon I became a massive Roald Dahl fan.

About ten years ago I went to see the Tim Minchin musical version of Matilda and it blew me away. So I had very high expectations when they announced that Netflix was making a film production of that very musical.

My Thoughts On Matilda

I remember Matilda being released as a book in 1988 and instantly loved it. In my job I regularly read this book and other wonderful stories aloud to a class and they always soak up the witty remarks and hilarious plots.

Emma Thompson as the Trunchbull has gone down really well. She has created a character who is terrifying, awkward and very amusing. Seeing her stomping around whilst singing clever and funny lyrics, dressed as a tall, staunch hammer thrower, makes this film perfect in my eyes.

Newbie child actor, Alisha Weir, is well cast as the lead role of Matilda and fits in well with an already stellar group of actors, including the kind and tuneful teacher, Miss Honey (Lashana Lynch). In keeping with the book, Matilda strikes up a friendship with her local librarian, who occupies a mobile library van in the film version.

Tiktok has gone crazy for one of the dance routines where the kids rampage down the corridors of their school, Crunchem Hall. As a musical, it is great, with a combination of sentimental, energetic and angry songs. Emma sings triumphantly in character and they all perform the lyrics live rather than miming to a prerecorded soundtrack.

In A Nutshell

Without giving too much away, it generally keeps to the original plot, with some additions to make it visually more stunning. The tiny details that Roald used are all there to be spotted and it even references several of his other stories at one point. Look out for a giraffe, a gypsy caravan (no doubt from Danny the Champion of the World) and a sweet nod to the BFG.

This musical is packed with fun, vibrant characters and incredible songs. I totally recommend checking it out at a cinema as it is just brilliant! Please follow my blog for similar future posts about books, films and the environment.

December Climate Change Collective Article

Our friendly group of bloggers have been busy sharing our thoughts about environmental matters. We set up our Climate Change Collective to discuss the changes brought about by Global Warming and intend to make suggestions of useful ways that we can adapt our lives to be more ecofriendly.

This month the Climate Change Collective has been looking at the subject of how global warming impacts upon animals and nature. In Caroline’s article there are many examples of how animals have had to change their breeding habits and ways of life, with more threats than ever to their very existence. Check out her informative blog post and drop a comment with your own thoughts.

I know that Caroline studies environmental science and has a keen interest in conservation and finding ecofriendly ways to go about our lives.

She mentions the plight of the snowshoe hares who change the colour of their coat to blend in with their snowy landscape. Early snow melts have left them exposed to predators sooner which in turn puts their numbers at risk and impacts upon their particular ecosystems.

Changing sea levels and melting ice caps are creating all sorts of problems for animals which roam colder land masses. Polar bears are struggling to hunt without the frozen areas of water that they depend on.

It is incredibly sad how climate change is hurting our wildlife and we all have to take some responsibility for this habitat destruction. Hopefully we can find new ways to reduce pollution and reverse a lot of the damage that has already been done.

Please check out Caroline’s brilliant article and let us know what you are doing to help us become more ecofriendly.

TV Shows I Am Watching And Loving

This was originally posted to my Medium Blog.

As you know, I love nothing more than to sit back on the sofa and absorb a great TV series. Right now I am really enjoying three programs and wanted to share them with you. Please comment if you have heard of them or want to check them out.

Zac comes across some cute Koalas who are sadly vulnerable.

I guess you wouldn’t think of most Hollywood stars as climate change enthusiasts. Often they are known for lifestyles which celebrate excess and encourage travelling around pointlessly. However, I always knew that Zac Efron was educated and tuned in and now he has proven he has a consciousness when it comes to the planet.

Down To Earth – With Zac Efron (Netflix)

The first series was filmed before Covid lockdowns and explores different ecosystems around the world and their vulnerabilities. With his environmentally minded mate, Darin Olien, Zac has explored issues such as conservation, food and pollution.

In the new series, Zac had been stuck in Australia due to Covid restrictions and so made the most of it by investigating various ecological developments there. For example, he discussed the Aboriginal way of maintaining and respecting the wildlife and landscapes. They also saw how Tasmanian Devils are being looked after and bred successfully in a large nature reserve.

Fascinating Findings

The main reason I like this, as an environmental blogger, is that he is very honest about what he sees and his colleague, who is a Vegan and eco-expert, keeps the reporting realistic with shortcomings and all. They try to use less carbon with a hybrid vehicle this time and weigh up each relevant environmental issue carefully, in a fun and friendly way.

I have learned lots about better ways to make clean water, as exemplified in Paris, why food miles are a massive problem and how important rotational crop and livestock can be for the maintaining of soil, which locks in carbon and underpins food chains.

The White Lotus (Now TV/ Sky)

When I first watched this programme in 2021, it was all about an expensive hotel in Hawaii. A bunch of quirky guests lived out their awkward holidays totether, with dramatic and hilarious scenarios. One of the highlights was the appearance of Jennifer Coolidge who is renowned for playing Stifler’s mum in American Pie.

Well, season two sees a whole new cast arrive at a swish hotel in Sicily. Funnily, the only returning characters are Jennifer’s ‘Tanya’ and John Gries’ ‘Greg’. Their continuation in the show is the icing on the cake of what continues to be an exceptionally good drama-comedy.

Two couples are on holiday together but with some antagonism; one girlfriend seemingly jealous of the other couple’s closeness. An elderly man, his TV producer son and grandson are there together with a series of issues that are challenging and funny in equal measures.

I totally recommend watching the premier season but feel that the second one is even better.

Wednesday (Netflix)

Noticing that an Addams Family spin-off had popped up on Netflix as the number one show, I was initially worried that it may be a let down. Soon it was a no brainer that I would have to check it out and find out for myself.

I am glad that I did!

First of all, it stars Jenna Ortega who was impressive as a younger sister in YOU and appeared in the recently brilliant ‘Scream’ movie. Secondly, Christina Ricci was listed as a character (bringing that vital link to the original films in which she acted as Wednesday Addams) and Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) plays the smiley yet stern school headmistress. The final thing that drew me in was the fact that Tim Burton had taken on the directing role.

Anyway, after some misdemeanours at her previous schools, Wednesday has been placed by her mum (Catherine Zeta-Jones) into the renowned ‘Nevermore Academy’ for outcasts, much to her disapproval. It does seem that finally Wednesday may have met her match at this college and the series watched her push her own boundaries as she tried her hardest not to become her own mother, who was a legendary Nevermore graduate.

I am well into this series but have not yet got to the end. It is amusing, freaky and very entertaining. Tim Burton has found his feet again with this popular series.