Whitney Houston – My Fave!

Whitney famously sang at the Superbowl.

When I was young, my mum used to play cassette tapes of Whitney Houston whenever we drove anywhere. I remember hearing ‘So Emotional’ and ‘Didn’t we almost have it all’ so many times and pressing rewind a lot.

In 1992, I saw her sing, ‘I will always love you’ on the Des O’Connor Tonight Show and I remember thinking ‘WOW!’ This solidified my becoming a massive Whitney Houston fan. I joined her fanclub and watched her movies. I absolutely loved her.

Why was she special?

In 1999 I was lucky enough to go to the NEC in Birmingham and witness Whitney singing when she was at the top of her career. Her voice was superb. I remember thousands of people stood in silence listening to her rendition of ‘I will always live you’ and you could feel the love in the room. Her notes felt flawless.

As well as starring in films like ‘The Bodyguard’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘The Preacher’s Wife’, she also produced movies such as ‘The Princess Diaries’. She always worked incredibly hard and did plenty of charity work too.

Seeing her again perform in 2010 at the NEC and again at the O2, she had lost some of her sparkle but her talent was still striking. Her sad death in 2012 made my cry as I realised how sorrowful her life became over time.

New Whitney Movie

Now I an excited that a brilliant movie about her life is coming to cinemas next week. Starring Naomi Ackie and Stanley Tucci (as Clive Davis), this film has an excellent trailer which highlights some memorable concerts, including her singing the US national anthem at the 1991 Superbowl.

Check out the trailer for ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ which is made by the brilliant creators of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and comes out on Friday 23rd December.

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. It is therefore no surprise that the new Matilda Movie has recently captured my imagination.

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, the Matilda movie 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.

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande- Review

Emma Thompson is one of my favourite actresses and so I was always going to see her recent film, whether it was good or not. From the trailer, ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’ was a bit different from anything else I had seen her in. It was about a middle aged woman meeting a sex worker.

Overview

Good Luck To You, Leo Grande – Rotten Tomatoes 95%

This movie was intriguing as it looked at this particular setting from a very different perspective. Emma’s character, Nancy, had never been fulfilled in her previous relationship with her now deceased husband. This encounter was her way of ticking certain things off.

Leo Grande was a charming, smart guy who had been booked by Nancy for her entertainment in a hotel suite. When Nancy showed her nerves, he confronted her insecurities and engaged in conversations which explained more about his line of work and her low self esteem.

My Thoughts

Without giving too much away, this fascinating film was mainly a series of meetings between the two main characters. In fact, there were very few other people appearing in the movie. Nonetheless this one hour and thirty seven minute film flew by.

A mix of seriousness and humour, the script was thought-provoking and clever. It really drew attention to the fact that some women never get to experience a climax in bed and highlighted some of the less extreme elements of paid companionship. Men can be hired merely to keep someone company. An anecdote about one man paying for Leo to dress up as a cat and sit in the corner for an hour was especially eye-opening.

I totally recommend watching this movie as it is very entertaining and the brilliant script by Katy Brand is witty, intelligent and illuminating. Rotten tomatoes awarded the movie 95% and it is getting plenty or critical acclaim. For another of my reviews, check out this one of Coda which is also a fantastic film.