Some movies come and go. I enjoy them and then forget about them soon afterwards. The new Allelujah film is all about the struggling National Health Service and highlights some important issues. There was no way I could easily forget such a moving piece if cinema.
With a magnificent cast, the trailer was sweet and had a few one liners in, easily hooking me in. More than anything, I knew I was going to see a warts and all movie celebrating the NHS.
What’s It All About?
In October 2021 I went to see a theatre show with Jennifer Saunders in. Richard Eyre directed Blithe Spirit and clearly enjoyed working with Jennifer as he placed her as the lead in this intriguing new film. Gathering together such mighty actors as Judi Dench, Russell Tovey, Dave Bradley and Derek Jacobi, he has constructed a story with a real heart.
Newcomer Bally Gill plays Doctor Valentine who oversees The Bethlehem nursing hospital where Jennifer’s Sister Gilpin runs a tight shift, managing the beds available and keeping spirits high. Her upcoming medal presentation for years of service happens at the same time that a local News TV show decide to film behind the scenes at the Beth.
To add to the mix, one of the current resident’s sons works in the Department of Health as an advisor. He (Russel Tovey) visits his father with a view to closing the place down. Can his father’s affection for the place turn his opinion?
In A Nutshell
I was half expecting it to be a comedy but it genuinely wasn’t. With heart-warming elements and a stellar cast, it told some gritty truths about the state of our failing National Health Service.
Judi Dench played a woman who used to work in a library and was too shy to appear on the documentary. Getting used to filming her thoughts on an iPad she played a significant part in uncovering an injustice. I had better not say any more for fear of spoilers.
In my opinion this was a realistic film which was celebrating the NHS but also providing warnings. It is an eye-opener for people who have not had to put an elderly relative in care. Making you think about the workload of doctors who are currently striking, it is able to hold up a mirror. I left with more questions than answers but I think that was its intention.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you will go and check out this beautiful film. Please consider following my little blog for more articles about books, TV shows, films and climate change.
If you haven’t tried one of my books before, it may be worth checking out this snippet from my recent YA Mystery novel. My book extract is from Chapter Two and sets the scene for what is to come later in the story.I loved writing this story and hope to one day become a successful YA writer.
Now, I have to tell you a little more about me and my friendship group. Some people would have described me as a ‘run of the mill,’ ‘blend in the background’ average Joe. Others might have suggested I was a geek. Some even hardly recognised my being there at all. But, Siobhan was different. She was a chameleon who blended in between geeks and jocks and princesses. Living just around the corner from me in our quiet little village since we were born, we had a long history of hanging out. I remember going to the circus with her when we were really small and her holding my hand because I was scared of a clown who kept coming up to us.
“Go away!” I remember her saying, forcefully. Even then, she had my back and the same was true today. When I thought hard about it, there were very few times that I was able to prove to her that she was under my protection too. Nevertheless I was sure that one day I would be able to pay her back for always being so kind and loyal. Better friends could not be made easily.
Max, however, was my longest running friend from school. Longest running because we bumped into each other on the very first day of nursery. When I say bumped I mean literally. He was not looking where he was going and came tearing around a corner, banging straight into me and causing us both to bash heads. As a result we both gained large egg-shaped swellings on our heads and were immediately sent home. The next day we apologised to each other but he never really acknowledged that he had been the one at fault. I was over that now. After all, thirteen years of friendship had seen many more challenges. We had tried lots of hobbies together, like fishing and basketball. One day while trying to catch a pike down by the stream in the woods, he leaned back to let the wire go and it had caught itself in the skin of my ear. I had yelled at him to let go but he continued to cast the wire and yanked my ear, causing it to bleed. He had been very sorry for that and soon we both stopped trying to be fishermen, giving it up as a bad job. With basketball, we never really got a look in as the other players were taller and quicker than us, but I did enjoy the time when I threw the ball backwards over my head and knocked him clean out. I felt as though I had got my own back for previous misdemeanours and we laughed about it for days before deciding that basketball just wasn’t for us. Whatever happened though, we were always tight as friends and never really fell out with each other.
Only that morning I had been playing a shoot-em-up game with him online. We had teamed up against two opponents from Russia and beaten them hands down. Our scores were high at the moment and we needed to make sure we played daily to remain in the top one hundred. Max had texted me after, “Well done, mate. We rule!” and I had replied with a GIF of a large grizzly bear snapping a tree trunk.
He was a bit jealous that I got to spend time with Siobhan as she was his type apparently and he really wanted the guts to ask her out. I had told him that she wasn’t looking to date at the moment so he would be wasting his breath asking. He thought that maybe I wanted her to myself but that was not the case. I never saw her like that at all. If anything, I was more drawn to Martha from drama class. She was an enigma to me. But I wasn’t going to tell him that, as she was a secret crush of mine and not something I wanted to discuss with anyone, even my best friend. For now, he would just have to believe me. I was no threat when it came to Siobhan. The more I thought about it, the more I considered finding out if Siobhan liked guys like him just so I had something to report. That way I would have something to tell him to get him off my back.
As we headed towards the woods, Siobhan looked at me as if to indicate we needed a break. We pulled over by a rickety fence and leaned our bikes against it while we caught our breath. She mentioned school and the hard assignment she had for computing and so I decided to throw Max into the mix.
“You know who knows a lot about ICT. Max.”
“You think he would help me? He has never even spoken to me before,” she replied looking surprised.
“Well it is in his blood. He knows everything about computers. I’m pretty sure he would give you a hand,” I added.
“I guess there are worse people to ask for help.”
“Do you want me to ask him for you?”
She thought for a moment and then said, “Yes, ask him to text me if he is willing to dig me out of a hole.”
I did it there and then and we got back onto our bikes and raced towards the aboding trees. It was such a dark wood and the trees either side of the road seemed to join together across it, closing out the sun and creating awkward shadows across our tracks.
I stopped again to answer the phone. It was mum letting me know that she had taken dad to the doctors as his asthma had been playing up again. Mum never spoke for long so the phone call was soon over and I reassured Siobhan that this kind of thing happened with dad all the time. As mum had said, there was nothing to worry about. Closing in on the centre of the woods, it became dull and mysterious, bringing back memories of years ago exploring the trees, climbing some of them and using the twigs to make bows and arrows. To us as kids, this wood had always seemed enchanted. Magical. Full of intrigue.
We were soon out of the woods and just after it there was a large, old house, slightly set back from the road. It had caught my eye before but today it stood out quite magnificently against the backdrop of fields and trees. It seemed somehow unfriendly; all jaunty and awkward amongst the blowing trunks and waving flowers, half decapitated with leaves and petals strewn around their stark bodies. Gusts of wind were making that small stretch of hill almost impossible to pass. A car swept past us and suddenly I saw something fly off of Siobhan’s shoulders and sweep into the yard of this daunting Manor.
Thank you so much for reading my book extract. It is hard to promote a new YA book as an independent writer so I appreciate any reads or comments. If you want to find a new TV show to watch then have a look at my review of Willow on Disney Plus.
In 1996 the Scream movie came out and I remember persuading my friend to drive me to the nearest cinema to watch. We both found it a combination of scary and funny. As it became a franchise, we kept watching the films and they never let us down. This time I thought it would be handy to share my Scream VI movie review on my blog.
Now, the latest instalment is in movie theatres and has again managed to attract big audiences. I went to check it out last week and had a great time.
What’s Going On?
I was delighted to see a new Scream movie last year which was satisfying and thrilling. However, I would never have expected another movie to come along quite so quickly. When the trailer suddenly appeared, I was pleasantly surprised.
There was no Sydney in this one but Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) was a big part of this film. Alongside her, the two sisters from last year were now present as students living in New York. Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) played Tara and Melissa Barerra (In The Heights) played Sam. They both reprised their roles brilliantly alongside a couple of their friends, Mindy and Chad.
The Scream movies are a mix of horror and comedy. It is their tongue-in-cheek scripts that keep bringing me back for more. This one was not predictable and the one liners were distributed evenly throughout the movie.
When I asked my friend Harriet what she thought about Scream VI she said:
‘I like how we saw more detail of the knife actually going into the body.’
In other words, it got more gruesome in the darker moments. The director added extra detail into the violent scenes but the film still retained its humour. With contrasting moments of horror and comedy, I was definitely entertained throughout.
In A Nutshell
It is hard to discuss the Scream VI movie and not give away any spoilers. Without Officer Dewey there was a moment of reflection but Courtney Cox ensured that a legacy character was still available to bring on the drama.
My friend and I were constantly changing who we thought orchestrated the murders but neither of us guessed the final outcome. This instalment was a rollercoaster ride of emotions, with laughter, pulse raising bits and scenes where your heart feels as though it is going to burst through your chest.
Thank you for taking the time to read my movie review. For another of my film reviews, check out my recent Tar Movie review. Please also consider following my blog for similar future content.