Sunday, December 31, 2017

10 moments to cherish. Film 2017.

  1. The impromptu performance of Whitney Houston’s ‘The Greatest Love of All’ in Toni Erdmann, brilliantly showcasing the dynamic between a parent and child.
  2. Prick Up Your Ears being re-released into cinemas to mark 30 years since its initial release and 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act in the UK. I’d never seen it before and it deserves to be considered a British classic, featuring one of Gary Oldman’s greatest performances. 
  3. The scores of Breathe, Jackie and The Red Turtle.
  4. Michael Stuhlberg’s monologue in Call Me By Your Name. Beautiful.
  5. Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip providing more laughs than anyone else in film his year. I hope she has a career to echo Melissa McCarthy and brings more joy to the world.
  6. Aunt Lucy’s birthday present in Paddington 2. This made me cry more than anything else in cinema this year.
  7. Every moment with Carrie Fisher in The Last Jedi. It was bittersweet to watch her final performance where she, along with Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo, were heroes without losing their femininity.
  8. Nicole Kidman stretching her acting muscles with The Beguiled, Big Little Lies, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Lion. She’s been this busy before but never has had such success consecutively. What a treat!
  9. Rachel returning in Blade Runner 2049. This was a dazzling moment that still has me in awe. Beautifully done.
  10. Here's some little moments because 10 is too small a number for this year...Ruth Negga’s anxious smile in Loving; Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu having a homely meal for two in God’s Own Country; Nicole Kidman telling Colin Farrell to be 'a man' in The Killing of a Sacred Deer; Andrea Riseborough cutting Emma Stone's hair in Battle of the Sexes; Aunt Lucy's actual birthday present of Paddington 2; the reveal in Logan Lucky; Zac Efron's puppy dog eyes in The Greatest Showman; Brooklynn Prince saying goodbye to her friend in The Florida Project; Sally Hawkin's determination in Maudie; Daniela Vega jumping on top of a car in A Fantastic Woman; Natalie Portman undressing post-assassination in Jackie; the transformation in The Red Turtle; the 'twist' in Get Out with Allison Williams; Sonia Bragga listening to music in Aquarius; Patricia Clarkson's line delivery in The Party; Nicole Kidman telling Kirsten Dunst to cover her shoulders in The Beguiled; Cate Blanchett walking in Thor Ragnarok. ; Nicole Kidman loving both of her sons at the dinner table in Lion; Sally Field dressed for a gig at a family dinner in My Name is Doris; the first twist in The Handmaiden; the car scene in Spider-Man Homecoming; Charlize Theron taking a bath in Atomic Blonde; the baby in mother!; the shoot out in Wind River; the hunting conversation in Beatriz at Dinner; the return of Jason Mitchell in Mudbound.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top of the class. Film 2017.

2017 has been a stellar year for film. My top choice was easy but selecting the other 9 films was a struggle. I have a special place for all of the sixteen films mentioned above, and a huge appreciation for a handful more (AquariusBeach RatsBreatheGirls Trip, The HandmaidenLady MacbethThe LevellingLoving) which could have made the list in a less competitive year.
  1. God’s Own Country
  2. The Florida Project
  3. The Meyerowitz Stories
  4. Mudbound
  5. The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  6. Raw
  7. Blade Runner 2049
  8. Elle
  9. Detroit
  10. Toni Erdmann
Honourable mentions: Get Out, Jackie, mother!Paddington 2The Red Turtle and Wind River

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Top of the class. TV 2017.

I’ve a big fan of TV (who isn’t?) but have never celebrated it with an end of year reflection. Why now? Well it feels like the type of stories being told in fiction television and the quality make it as exciting as cinema right now. I have thoroughly loved immersing myself in the below shows which equal my top films of the year. I should also the following shows that I enjoyed watching: Against the LawApple Tree YardGame of Thrones, GlowHouse of Cards, Motherland and Stranger Things 2. I also need to watch The Handmaids Tale and Feud, two shows likely to join the below list.
  • Big Little Lies
  • Catastrophe
  • Girls
  • Little Women
  • Master of None
  • My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Please Like Me
  • Transparent

Friday, December 29, 2017

Top of the class. Performances 2017.

  1. Josh O’Connor for God’s Own Country
  2. Timothée Chamalet for Call Me By Your Name
  3. Danielle Macdonald for Patti Cake$
  4. Adam Sandler for The Meyerowitz Stories
  5. Melanie Lynskey for I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
  6. Annette Bening for Film Star Don’t Die in Liverpool
  7. Isabelle Huppert for Elle
  8. Sônia Bragga for Aquarius
  9. Sally Hawkins for Maudie
  10. Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project and Emma Stone for Battle of the Sexes
Honourable mentions: Harris Dickinson for Beach Rats, Joel Egerton for Loving, Dhruv Ganesh for Loev, Garance Marillier for Raw, Ruth Negga for Loving, Natalie Portman for Jackie and Daniela Vega for A Fantastic Woman

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Thursday, December 28, 2017

10 thoughts on...The Greatest Showman

  1. I will openly admit that I forgive poor filmmaking much more when it comes to musicals, especially when they have a big heart like here. The Greatest Showman is not a great film, I'd even agree with someone who said it was a bad film but there is something endearing about it. Similiar to Mamma Mia, the dodgy elements of the film somehow add to the enjoyment watching it. This type of film isn't aiming for art and should have a place in film culture for its relatively niche audience...
  2. ...of course there is a part of me that wishes the filmmakers did aim for art as there is such rich material to play with in this story. Perhaps there'll be another opportunity in future?
  3. Perhaps it's just me but I don't think Hugh Jackman has the charisma to be a leading man. He isn't helped with the character who acts questionably (leaving his family, excluding his circus performers as he climbs up the ladder) and a voice that pales in comparison to his co-stars. I still cringe at the memory of his 'Bring Him Home' in Les Miserables.
  4. I would watch a whole movie with Zac Efron and Zendaya playing lovers. They may have little to do here but they are easily the most engaging plot strand.
  5. The songs are never truly great but I am a big fan of any song that doesn't feature Jackman, especially 'This Is Me'. I'm also disappointed that the song sung by Rebecca Ferguson's celebrated opera singer sounded like something of Sia rather than anything operatic. 
  6. Michelle Williams deserve a better role (and film). This is an actor who has given one of the all-time best performances in Blue Valentine and is now limited to the suffering/doting wife?! She is wonderful in her role and magnetic to watch so I am very grateful for her presence here. Can she get her own musical please?
  7. I think anyone who disliked La La Land should be forced to watch this, Into the Woods and Nine to see what bad film musicals are. (Although I have a soft spot for all four films!)
  8. Zac Efron is a very handsome man.
  9. I wish there was more time spent with the performers in the circus and a stronger sense of celebration with the diversity of the company. Instead the film focuses on Barnum's uninteresting (at least here) conflicts.
  10. I would love if this was remade by Dee Rees with multiple narratives with a recast Barnum (Robert Downey Jr.?) and Williams' having a song that's not focused on her husband.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

“You had a beautiful friendship...”

“...maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you. In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet soon enough, but I am not such a parent. In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don’t snuff it out, don’t be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we’d want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!”

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Top of the class. Direction 2017.

  1. Dee Rees for Mudbound
  2. Sean Baker for The Florida Project
  3. Francis Lee for God’s Own Country
  4. Yorgos Lanthimos for The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  5. Julia Ducournau for Raw
  6. Denis Villeneuve for Blade Runner 2049
  7. Kathryn Bigelow for Detroit
  8. Noah Baumbach for The Meyerowitz Stories
  9. Pablo Larraín for Jackie
  10. Darren Aronofsky for mother!
Honourable mentions: Maren Ade for Toni Erdmann, Hope Dickson Leach for The LevellingJordan Peele for Get Out and Paul Verhoeven for Elle

Monday, December 25, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

10 moments to cherish. Theatre 2017.

  1. The first preview of Follies. The audience had a collective excitement that seemed to grow with every moment of the production that brought a flawed but masterful musical to life. There were tears and huge applause throughout, and everyone there (including the company) expressed gratitude that this production existed. This was even clearer at the end of the performance when Stephen Sondheim was given a round of applause and a cheer from everyone in the room, led by none other than Imelda Staunton. A moment to treasure.
  2. Rosemary’s Baby coming to life in The Kid Stays in the Picture.
  3. Sheila Atim breaking into ‘Tight Connection to My Heart (Has Anyone Seen My Love?)’ in Girl from the North Country. And nearly every song in that show.
  4. Getting a ticket to both parts of Angels in America in one day. It felt like I won a golden ticket and that feeling only increased after watching the plays. 
  5. Mikel Murfi continuing where The Man in the Woman Shoes ended with a glorious sequel, I Can Hear You Now
  6. The two anxious protagonists touching hands for the first time in Romantics Anonymous.
  7. Re-watching No’s Knife in the Abbey Theatre, a much more fitting space for this play than The Old Vic. It’s wider stage and more contemporary aesthetic making it easier to lose yourself to Lisa Dwan’s terrific piece. If I hadn’t first seen it last year, it would have found itself in my top ten this year.
  8. A reading of Wig Out proving you don’t need expensive sets, costumes, wigs to be a good show. Glorious!
  9. Tracie Bennett’s ‘I’m Still Here’. Literally a showstopper.
  10. Sion Daniel Young in Killogy. This wasn’t a favourite play of mine but he is a future star.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Gratuitous male lusting.

I’ve always enjoyed Zac Efron on screen but he looks particularly attractive in The Greatest Showman. A festive treat.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top of the class. Theatre 2017.

  1. Girl from the North Country
  2. Follies
  3. How To Win Against History
  4. Beginning
  5. Atomony of a Suicide
  6. Romantics Anonymous 
  7. Angels in America
  8. Wig Out
  9. The Kid Stays in the Picture 
  10. I Can Hear You Now
Noteworthy: The Missing LightMy Beautiful Black Dog

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My favourite shot...Raw

This moment gives the audience a small taste (sorry!) of hope as Justine displays some control. But this is only midway through the film. There’ll be more blood.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

An image to treasure.

I wouldn’t usually share something leaked but this is Cher’s return to the big screen in the sequel to Mamma Mia. Camp heaven coming to brighten up our 2018.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Top of the class. Theatre performances 2017.

  1. Tracie Bennett for Follies
  2. Sion Daniel Young for Killology 
  3. Shirley Henderson for Girl from the North Country
  4. Nathan Lane for Angels in America
  5. Mikel Murfi for I Can Hear You Now
  6. Bríd Brennan for The Ferryman
  7. Sheila Atim for Girl from the North Country
  8. Brigette Aphrodite for My Beautiful Black Dog
  9. Justine Mitchell for Beginning
  10. Stockard Channing for Apologia
Noteworthy: Seiriol Davies for How To Win Against History, Tamsin Greig for Twelfth Night, Victoria Hamilton for Albion, Conleth Hill for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Jim Norton for Girl from the North Country and Imelda Staunton for Follies

Monday, December 18, 2017

10 thoughts on...Star Wars: The Last Jedi

  1. There is nothing like Star Wars (whether or not relating directly to the Skywalker trilogies) to make boyishly giddy. Which is a reassuring feeling after just turning 30. This is a galaxy I’ve grown up with and treasure, and will continue to do so as long as interesting/ambitious filmmakers continue to tell stories about it.
  2. All hail Carrie Fisher. Thankfully she has a larger role here than in The Force Awakens and it’s bittersweet to watch. It will be a shame to not see her in the next film. Or perhaps the series will pull off the unimaginable to make the audience rejoice, as happens when General Leia first seems to meet her end...
  3. All hail Laura Dern. The hero we didn’t know we needed. I wanted to give her selfless deed a standing ovation. Ditto the sacrifice of Rose’s sister in the opening sequence. Both of these moments are beautifully realised and deserve even more appreciation for putting women at the forefront.
  4. John Williams’ score for this franchise will never feel old. 
  5. Luke Skywalker is back...and I could have lived with less of him. His struggle with the dark side is interesting but he’s never been one of my favourite characters. His final moments in this film also felt a bit silly. As does the return of his deceased master.
  6. Skellig Michael looks beautiful, even if it seems to continuously rain. I’m also a big fan of the new creatures living there with Luke - the porgs and the ‘Caretakers’.
  7. I wish Daisy Ridley didn’t have such a posh accent and/or Domhnall Gleason had a more believable accent.
  8. I still have little joy for John Boyega’s Finn. This time he’s matched with the interesting Rose but they’re on a mission without much depth and, ultimately, purpose. The film would be better without this subplot. We’d also be saved yet another anticlimactic showdown with Gwendoline Christie’s Phasma, who really didn’t need to return.
  9. Oscar Isaac is perfect as Poe, the charismatic and cocky character the franchise needs. More please.
  10. This may be a messy entry into the canon but it is an ambitious, heartfelt film with many great moments. I look forward to Episode IX. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Essential cinema.

Maybe I’ve been reading the wrong pieces but I (wrongly!) presumed Mudbound would be a handsomely made film featuring solid performances and shining a light on racial conflicts in the US. It is so much more than this and I should have known as Dee Rees was so impressive with her previous film, Pariah. Here she jumps to a whole new level, creating a film that weaves a enriching narrative through the voices of multiple characters. This is a poetic exploration of humanity and one that deserves to be seen by the masses. I hope Oscar is watching and does not let the Netflix ‘controversy’ interfere with recognising a great film and filmmaker.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

An image to treasure.

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

One reaction.

This is how everyone, including myself, feels about predicting the Oscar race this year following the Golden Globes and SAG nominations. Exciting.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

10 thoughts on...The Killing of a Sacred Deer

  1. This is a deliciously malevolent film that is darker than Yorgos Lanthimos previous films. And that’s saying something.
  2. Nicole Kidman continues to surprise audiences showcasing more range to her talent. *SPOILER* When the narrative (temporarily?) pivots towards her, the film reaches a new high. This is a powerful performance that suggests Nicole would excell in a Greek tragedy on stage if she so wanted.
  3. Lanthimos is one of cinema’s most exciting contemporary filmmakers. I remember feeling angry when I first saw The Lobster due to its juxtaposition of comedy and the cruel nature of the world but have since grown to treasure that unusual beast. More please, especially with The Favourite on the horizon. (Side note: I was always a fan of Dogtooth and admired Alps as a fascinating misfire)
  4. Element Pictures and Ed Guiney continue to go from strength to strength. Long may they continue!
  5. Great and big things are destined for Barry Keoghan. He is great here, as are all of the cast.
  6. It’s good to see Alicia Silverstone on the big screen. 
  7. Why has this film not featured on more top of the year lists? It’s deserving...and no doubt will feature on my own!
  8. I would not want to be a parent watching this film. Or a doctor. Or a child. 
  9. I wish more filmmakers look to Grecian tragedies for inspiration. There is something fundamental to a human understanding of the world in those texts and their content remains as startling as it was when first performed. They’re horrific.
  10. My takeaway thought: never befriend creepy children.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?

Happy birthday to me. Especially as it's a significant one. I hope my spirit animal will be Judy.

Monday, December 11, 2017

10 thoughts on...the 75th Golden Globes nominees

  1. Garrett Hedlund, Sharon Stone and Alfre Woodard are a great choice for presenters. Stone’s hair was on point. Literally.
  2. I really didn’t do very well with my predictions this year!
  3. Where was The Big Sick?! It feels like the type of film that should benefit from the separation of Drama and Comey/Musical. A big shame.
  4. Michelle Williams is someone I find easy to rally around so am happy with her surprise nomination. Ridley Scott for Best Director over Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele less so.
  5. The three front runners are female led films?! Terrific! Even if the Golden Globes didn’t embrace films directed by women much.
  6. Does The Greatest Showman deserve its Best Film Comedy/Musical nomination? I hope so - but doubt it.
  7. Helen Mirren?!?
  8. This is bad news for: Jake Gyllenhaal, Get Out, Mudbound, Tiffany Haddish, The Darkest Hour and Annette Bening.
  9. Does this put The Post, The Shape of the Water and Three Billboards out front in the race for Oscar? I’m not sure...this is one exciting season!
  10. We’re guaranteed to get more love for Big Little Lies right? I’m always happy to see Nicole Kidman take to the stage.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017

How do you describe a feeling?

I seem to be winning at life, especially after a significant a professional breakthrough. Hoorah,

Thursday, December 07, 2017

And the nominees are...Golden Globes 2018.

Although it seems that Get Out or Lady Bird may be our frontrunners but in truth anything could hope is that Dunkirk doesn’t suddenly charge to the front. (It’s a good film but so male dominated in a year where we should be celebrating women.) Here are my predictions and I hope there’s a few happy surprises...

Best Film - Drama
Call Me By Your Name
The Florida Project
The Post
The Shape of the Water

Best Film - Comedy/Musical
The Big Sick
Get Out
Girls Trip 
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

Best Director
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Steven Spielberg for The Post
Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of the Water

Best Actress - Drama
Jessica Chastain for Molly’s Game
Gal Gadot for Wonder Woman
Sally Hawkins for The Shape of the Water
Frances MacDormand for Three Billboards
Meryl Streep for The Post

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Annette Bening for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Salma Hayek for Dinner With Beatrix 
Margot Robbie for I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird
Emma Stone for Battle of the Sexes

Best Actor - Drama
Timothée Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name
Jake Gyllenhaal for Stronger
Tom Hanks for The Post
Hugh Jackman for Logan
Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Jamie Bell for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Matt Damon for Downsizing
James Franco for The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaaluya for Get Out
Hugh Jackman for The Greatest Showman

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J Blidge for Mudbound
Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip
Allison Janney for I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer for The Shape of the Water

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe for The Florida Project
Harrison Ford for Blade Runner 2048
Armie Hammer for Call Me By Your Name
Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards
Mark Rylance for Dunkirk

Best Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Post

Best Score
The Post
The Shape of the Water
Wonder Woman

Thursday, December 07, 2017


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

10 thoughts on...Battle of the Sexes

  1. It’s frustrating to think that many of the struggles faced by Billie Jean King, et al in the seventies are still faced by women and LGBT people now. 
  2. Emma Stone gives her greatest performance yet as Billie Jean. She becomes her. Here’s hoping she continues to stretch and showcase her talent.
  3. 2017 has been a great year for LGBT cinema with this, Beach Rats, Call Me By Your Name, God’s Own Country and Moonlight all finding their way to UK and Irish cinemas. Long may it continue!
  4. Although it seems to be the film for ‘now’ on paper, this has one major problem: victimising its male antagonist. There are two scenes with his wife (Elizabeth Shue) where she accepts his behaviour. She seems like a normal, kind and progressive woman who you can trust. Because of this the film successfully positions Bobby Riggs as a pawn in a larger context but surely with recent events in US politics and, more recently, the entertainment industry we do not need a story that sympathises with the openly shauvenist male? No...
  5. ...For this reason alone I’d suggest everyone what the documentary (of the same title) in addition or instead of this film.
  6. It felt a bit plain. It would have been nice to have more personality to it. There are some nice shots (one where Andrea Riseborough looks out of a hotel room balcony springs to mind) but overall it’s a bit dull.
  7. The chemistry between Riseborough and Stone is up their with the best of the year. What a haircut!
  8. I should start playing tennis regularly again.
  9. How different would this film have been if made 5 or 10 years ago? Would Hollywood have dared to have such a prominent homosexual relationship? Would there be even more sympathy for the men? I guess we’ll never know.
  10. Little Miss Sunshine is such a fantastic film. This isn’t close to reaching those heights but Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris still are filmmakers to watch.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Monday, December 04, 2017

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Friday, December 01, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Monday, November 27, 2017