Empire of Light – Film Review

Winter is movie award season, with the Golden Globes, Oscars and Baftas, so usually the really interesting films come out around this time. So I have been going to the cinema fortnightly in order to keep up with all of the recommended pictures that have been arriving. And yes, I love nothing more as a blogger than to write a film review each time.

This is actually Scarborough but looks like the film setting of Margate.

This weekend I was lucky enough to go and see a Sam Mendes film. After his epic 1917 war movie where he told a story using just one camera, a harrowing narrative at that, I knew his new one would be worth a watch.

What Was It About?

Olivia Coleman led it as a schizophrenic woman who worked front of house in a 1980s cinema. She was joined by a solid cast, including newbie Michael Ward and her creep boss played by Colin Firth.

Mendes also wrote the screenplay and told of how Hilary (Olivia) was very depressed and living a very mundane existence until a new guy started to work at the old Empire cinema. Stephen (Michael) was fun and intriguing so she soon latched onto him and was quickly smitten. At the same time, she observed racism against him by motorbike gangs (apparently Mods and Rockers).

Acting Prowess

Olivia played her role with skill and her performance definitely stood out. I would say it was her best acting yet – and she already has a high standard back catalogue. Michael was outstanding as the likeable ticket collector who was charismatic and torn. His dreams of going to university had been put to one side but he was determined to make the most of everything by dancing, having fun and making the most of life.

In A Nutshell

I enjoyed the film which was 1 hour 55 minutes long but felt shorter. It has mixed reviews as it is very much a character drama. Don’t expect action and adventure. I found it sweet, well written, nostalgic and it handled mental health cleverly. People were easily misunderstood or misjudged on the 1980s and there was little support available for mental health problems.

Final Thought

Check out Olivia Coleman’s beautiful film if you get the chance. Meanwhile, perhaps consider following my blog and dropping a comment below or checking my Matilda review. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review.

Cinderella Film Review

When I first read that Camilla Cabello was going to star in a new musical version of Cinderella, I was initially excited. The only thing that put me off was James Corden’s involvement as he spoiled a few movies for me recently, such as The Prom and Ocean’s 8.

A few weeks ago a trailer appeared and showed snippets from the Amazon Prime Movie and I had mixed thoughts because it didn’t give much away. Soon I discovered that Piers Brosnan, Minnie Driver and Idina Menzel were in on the project and I was back to being intrigued.

Best things about it.

On Saturday I sat back and watched it. From about five minutes in I was hooked. Using a variety of classic pop songs such as ‘Material Girl’ by Madonna and ‘Perfect’ from Ed Sheeran, this film was funky and cute in equal measures.

It had a more feminist approach than the original, with Cinderella wanting to be a professional dress maker. The director, Kay Cannon, is best known for the Pitch Perfect films and brought a lot of fun and energy to this project.

Recently I wrote about my afternoon tea at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom (linked here). Watching the Ball in the movie I soon realised that they had used that very same Tower Ballroom for Cinderella’s famous glass slipper moment and some cool dance routines.

I was in no doubt that Idina Menzel can sing as I had front row tickets to ‘If Then’ in 2014 and witnessed her incredible voice for myself. Similarly I got to see Camilla Cabello open the 2018 Wembly Summertime Ball and was also impressed by her vocal talent and dance moves.

With the prince singing Queen’s epic ‘Somebody to Love’ and a rousing version of Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Let’s Get Loud’, the movie is brilliantly soundtracked. Thankfully Piers Brosnan doesn’t sing (much) and Corden is only a very minor role, as a mouse.

If you have access to Amazon Prime Video then definitely check out this cheesy, corny, wonderfully entertaining movie.

Please drop a comment below with your thoughts on this film and consider following my blog for similar content in future.

Jungle Cruise Review

This morning I created a quick YouTube review of the new Disney movie, ‘Jungle Cruise’ which stars Emily Blunt, The Rock and Jack Whitehall.

In short, I was intrigued by this movie as it was based on a well-known Disney ride. Disney movies are always fun but lately some have lost their flavours a bit. Cruella recently impressed me and so I was hopeful with this movie too. Check out my YouTube for my thoughts on the matter.