The Barbie Movie Is Cleverer Than You Think!

Going to watch the Barbie movie on Saturday, I wasn’t bothered by the hype or anyone else’s views. I knew I would like it because Margot Robbie always makes good choices and Greta Gerwig is a genius director.

But I still wondered if it might be too childish even for me?

Now I can reflect on the movie which has generated over a billion dollars in just a fortnight. It has nearly made twice the money of The Little Mermaid and has initiated many eye-opening conversations.

Challenging Attitudes

I suppose I half expected Barbie to challenge stereotypes. There was no way this film was ever going to be a straightforward celebration of cheesiness.

Although don’t get me wrong… There was plenty of cheese. More than enough to spread on 1000 pieces of toast.

But YES – Greta did good! She made the film fascinating. She drew parallels between Barbieland and The Real World. In Barbieland women ruled – they had a female president and women doctors, lawyers and law makers. Back in The Real World, men were in charge, as Barbie and Ken discovered when they travelled there (in the most hilarious way – by jet ski, rocket, camper van and roller blades).

Don’t Forget Ken

Poor old Ken is always just a sidekick. Played by Ryan Gosling (famous for LaLaLand), he is superficial (Ken, not Ryan), not very intelligent and depends on the gaze of Barbie to maintain a purpose and satisfaction.

When he follows Barbie to find the real girl who is playing with Barbie in distress, he recognises the toxic masculinity that involves men running companies, pumping iron and acting selfishly. Let’s not pretend it doesn’t happen BUT not all of us men are like that. Anyway, he likes what he sees and takes those traits back to Barbieland and the rest would involve spoilers.

Margot deserves an Oscar for this performance. It is nuanced, comedic and full of emotion.

There… I said it… I think her acting is up there with Cate Blanchett in this movie. She is also the producer of this and used her company – LuckyChap – to create this cheeky but thought-provoking narrative.

And Finally…

I may be biased as I have loved Margot ever since she played Donna Freedman in my favourite soap opera ‘Neighbours’. Even at the height of her fame she was happy to appear in the final episode of Neighbours last July. Thankfully Neighbours is coming back care of Amazon Freevie and Margot will always stay close to this show – her brother was recently in Neighbours as well.

With intriguing cameos and a fantastic cast which includes three members of Sex Education (Netflix), this is a fabulous movie which I would rate five stars.

Another great contribution comes from the cheeky narrator, played by Helen Mirren, by the way.

Barbie started off as cliche but ended up beating the living daylights out of stereotypes. I loved the way Barbie was able to talk to her creator and discuss her purpose which was to inspire young people. Not to be a bimbo!

I would totally recommend swallowing your pride and popping along to the cinema to watch this brilliant masterpiece.

If you want to find out my thoughts about the other big movie out right now, check out my review of Oppenheimer. Please also consider following my blog for similar future content.

Oppenheimer Was Petrifying But Excellent!

Popping along to my local Showcase Cinema yesterday to see the much hyped new Christopher Nolan film – Oppenheimer, I was concerned about the three hour duration. Would I be able to keep my eyes open in a dark room for this long? Well, I definitely remained fully awake as this film was nothing less than an eye-opener.

In A Nutshell

Robert Oppenheimer studied in Cambridge (near me) and went on to be a leading light in Quantum Physics. He was asked to set up a research project that would ultimately develop an atomic bomb which would be actually used towards the end of the Second World War.

Seeing such enthusiasm for making this bomb really made me feel awkward. The fact that it was a race and they seemed to treat it like a game was a difficult aspect to handle.

However, the acting was magnificent and the story was thoroughly explored. Great actors were brought in to play people such as Truman (Gary Oldman) and Einstein (Tom Conti). Matt Damon came in as the guy in charge of the Manhattan Project and worked side by side with Oppenheimer. His acting was also to a high standard.

I was a little let down by the casting of Robert Downey Junior – Iron Man – in this as Lewis Strauss. He was his usual wooden self and this role would have been acted better by someone like Leo DiCaprio or even Ben Affleck.

Bright Lights

The last time I saw Cillian Murphy was in ‘A Quiet Place 2’ with Emily Blunt. It was great to see them reuniting under Christopher’s direction. I thought Cillian gave a stable and well rounded performance as Oppenheimer. He stayed consistently in role as a convincing scientist with a complicated situation playing on his mind.

Emily Blunt was Kitty, his wife, and showed up at key moments during the narrative. She was a league above the rest in this film. In my opinion her acting was gritty, sarcastic and utterly convincing. She is not quite up to Kate Winslet’s and Cate Blanchett’s level of chameleon transformations but she did incredibly well.

For me, Christopher needs a Best Director Oscar and Cillian a Best Actor nod. Emily should at very least pick up a Best Supporting Actress as she was limited by the fact her character was only in about half an hour of the film.

Squirming In My Seat

The moment they tested the bomb I winced. The idea that they went ahead and blew up something – even though they didn’t know if it would set the atmosphere alight and destroy the whole world – startles me. I cowered in my seat when the painfully bright light shone across New Mexico and was later followed up by an ear-splitting bang.

The subject matter was very sad in that this development in history led to the awful destruction of two Japanese cities. It also led to the Cold War. Was it necessary?

Despite the subject being very gritty, the Oppenheimer movie itself was cleverly written, expertly directed and powerfully acted. Go see this magnificent film now!

Check out my previous write-up of The Little Mermaid and perhaps consider following my little blog for future similar content.

The Mother – Film Review

As someone who loves watching films at the cinema, I have been impressed by the number of movies made for streaming services too. Lately there have been some really entertaining ones such as Boston Strangler and The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die (which I should have reviewed by now). This week I want to share my film review of ‘The Mother’ – a thrilling new movie starring Jennifer Lopez.

A wolf and her pack play a part in The Mother.

‘The Mother’ had an exciting trailer showing J-Lo doing pull ups in the Alaskan forest and readying her rifle for battle. It suggested that she had a daughter who she was determined to protect at all costs. As far as trailers go, it definitely made me look up and take notice.

So when it was released on Friday on Netflix I quickly started watching. Here are my thoughts about this Number One Netflix film.

What’s It All About?

The funny thing about this movie is that we don’t really hear Jennifer’s character’s name spoken. In fact, the subtitles and IMDB refer to her simply as THE MOTHER. This made me chuckle but as you watch the movie, it kind of makes a lot of sense.

J-Lo literally is THE MOTHER of this film, dominating every scene with her likeable but tough leading role. I have always been fond of Jennifer but even my friends who don’t normally watch her films have warmed to her in this.

The Mother gets caught between two moguls in an arms deal and tries to inform the police. At the start she is pregnant and we can only guess that one of these bad guys might be the father. Joseph Fiennes plays Adrian who is one of these deadly characters who is constantly in hot pursuit of J-Lo and eventually the daughter too.

The Mother helps an FBI agent who later makes it his job to keep an eye out for the daughter. He becomes an ally to J-Lo and does a lot to keep her informed and defend her too.

The daughter is adopted for her own protection. Zoe, played by Lucy Paez, has no idea about who her mother is but soon is put in danger and comes into contact with The Mother.

Will The Mother reveal her identity or can Zoe guess? Can The Mother keep her safe from the militia? Is Adrian the dad or Hector? You will have to watch to find out.

Positive Points

– Niki Caro did an excellent job of directing this fast paced story. She followed the live action Mulan movie with this juggernaut.

– There was a heart to this story. Stripped down, it was all about a relationship between a mother and her daughter. It brought a tear to my eye.

– The parts of the film based in Alaska at winter were breathtaking and the cinematography was great.

– Jennifer and Lucy had good chemistry and you believed J-Lo’s motivations for going to extremes.

– At 1 hour 55 mins the film still flew by as it was thrilling, intriguing and well acted.

Shortfalls

– Perhaps there could be slightly less violence and more dialogue. The script is great but I would have liked a little more balance.

Final Thoughts

This film is jam-packed with thrills. It is well written and has a good story arc. Jennifer is incredible in this role, where she obviously had to do a lot of physical preparation. The actress playing the daughter will no doubt appear in more high profile movies as she was excellent too.

Definitely check out ‘The Mother’ on Netflix and let me know what you think about this film in the comments.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my film review of ‘The Mother’. Perhaps also consider following my blog for future similar articles about movies, TV, books and climate change.