Film Review | Little Women


As soon as I heard that another film adaptation was being made of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women I was both overjoyed and a little apprehensive. I have loved the novel since I was a teen, and with that much love for a story, a film adaptation will be held within high expectations.

I needn’t have worried.

I left the cinema having gone through an entire packet of tissues, but for me that was inevitable. This adaptation of Little Women was beautiful. I was absolutely enchanted by the scenery and sets, each shot carefully crafted to show the point in Jo’s timeline that we following at the time. In saying this, it took a little while for me to follow the jumps in time, but not enough that it took away from my viewing and understanding of the film.

I was very happy with the casting. The character of Jo is such an important one for me and I think Saoirse Ronan fit perfectly in the role. The same goes for most of the rest of the casting, there was something strange to me about Timothée Chalamet in the role of Laurie. While I think he did do a wonderful job, there was something that I feel didn’t quite work. It felt to me like he gave the character a lot more life for the scenes set back when Laurie and the sisters were all much younger, within the scenes set further into the future there felt as if there was something missing.

I remember realising though, on my walk home from the cinema, that my perception of Chalamet’s Laurie was probably clouded by my love of Jo’s character and the idea of her as a free spirit. I feel like this idea negates my previous points somewhat, so I’ll have to do a re-read of the novel, as well as watch some of the other adaptations again to see whether it might be a different understanding of both Jo and Laurie’s characters to how I previously viewed them. I have a feeling this may have contributed to the way I saw Chalamet’s Laurie*.

My favourite thing about this film (as with other adaptations and the book), is the relationship between the four sisters. As someone with sisters myself, I know the feeling of feeling completely infuriated with them one minute, then loving them the next. It is always wonderful to see, and with the casting of the March sisters for this adaptation the sibling chemistry of both love and rivalry was tangible.

This film’s original score was beautiful. I have been listening to it nearly non-stop since I left the cinema. I can’t comment technically on the music itself, but to me it fit beautifully with the characters and the scenes they were in. It made the film a delight to watch, and really brought a lot to the more emotional scenes of the film.

Overall this adaptation of Little Women was a beautiful film which seemed to have been put together with a lot of care. It had a huge amount of heart, and was a true tribute to a story about family, love, and finding yourself in a world which isn’t quite ready for you yet.

*Watch this space, (if you’re interested that is), I have a feeling I will talk back to this idea in another post.

CC – Baywatch (2017)

‘Welcome Back Buchannon’

“Welcome to Baywatch. Our team is the elite of the elite, we are the heart and soul of this very beach…”

Sixteen years after the final episode of the original Baywatch series aired, Baywatch is back! This time though, it’s in film, and the beach itself is just as much a beach of fun, sand, sea, drugs, and murder as it ever was. Yes, murder

Baywatch (2017) paints an idyllic image of both the beach and the Baywatch team themselves, however beneath the calm surface there is a much darker plot unfolding. It is this which carries the film, and in doing so, it manages to break away somewhat from the array of ‘beach bums’, toned chests, and slow motion running the film also has on offer. Once you wade your way through the elite of the Baywatch politics you find a simple but strong bond of friendship and trust amongst the lifeguards which is about to be turned on its head. The introduction of Matt Brody (Zac Effron), does this simply and quickly, with no regard for the other characters. He is a loose cannon who will not only butt heads with the team’s leader, Mitch Buchannon (Dwane Johnson), but nearly everyone on the team. So, in a film where ‘team’ is the word, Matt is an outlier who must conform fit in, which honestly, is easier said than done.

Challenge after challenge is thrown Matt’s way in order to prove he can be a team player but it seems that nothing will change the mind of this stubborn, swimming gold medallist. If possible, the more the team try and show Matt the way they do things it the better way to things the more he resists, and unsurprisingly so. As a main character, Matt is abrasive, and while on his own, honestly not overly likeable. In contrast with Mitch, who is the embodiment of charm and loyalty, Matt doesn’t come close. Yet it feels like you are positioned to sympathise more with Matt and his difficulty fitting in with the rest of the group. Once his personality smooths out it is much easier get on board with him as a character, and so follow him as he finally joins the rest of the team in trying to discover the truth of the dirty dealings for which the Bay is their base.

It is here that the film picks itself up, gets out of the calmer waters, and heads through the white wash to a very different world. We leave behind the Baywatch politics and delve into the much darker and grittier side of the Bay. Apart from the story though, and the revelation that all isn’t the perfect place they thought it was, there isn’t too much which changes. It is in this way, beyond their growth in the first half of the film the characters, in both themselves and their interactions, are much the same, and insight little interest beyond the humour they add. So though there is advancement in the story, which does well to keep the interest of the audience, there is little movement in the one way for the audience to really place themselves in the story.

It is here that the comedy of the film really comes into play. Against the backdrop of drug trafficking, murder, and a rather obvious villain, the humour really comes into its own despite the ‘cringe worthy’ way in which it is executed. It is here where, unlike in the beginning the humorous lines were punctuated with obvious places to laugh, the comedy is left to hold itself up and it really falls short of its goal. Though it in no way completely fails, it is easy to see the very forced way in which the humour was presented to the audience.

Beyond all its shortcomings, Baywatch (2017) managed to bring back a franchise with a well-worn history. They do this not only through adopting the tropes of the original series – slow motion running and all – but also through playing with them and trying to make them their own. There is no easy or correct way to bring back something so well-known but this has been done not only in an attempt to bring it back but also to give it new life, which is something it definitely achieved.

Film Review – Confessions of a Shopaholic

confessions-of-a-shopaholic.41457I’m not usually one to like this type of film, I’m more of an adventure/fantasy/action lover but on occasion I really can get into and love a romance/chick flick. I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic with my sister and found that I really did like it.

The main character Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher), as the title of the film suggests, is a shopaholic, with thousands in debt, a debt collector on her tail and in a job at a company which is about to fold. Not the best situation is it!? After a failed interview with Allet Magazine, it is suggested that she do an interview for the Successful Savings Magazine. Living in her friend Suze’s flat, Suze (Krysten Ritter) tries everything to get Rebecca to reform. Hilarity ensues, especially after a drunken night results in two letter getting mixed up letters and a job for Rebecca a,t ironically, Successful Savings.

This movie really is funny and it doesn’t feel like forced humour either which can find its way into some romantic comedies. The love interest for the film, with Hugh Dancy as Rebecca’s boss Luke, is a rather adorable character, who is completely clueless to Rebecca’s real identity as a shopaholic. Isla Fisher’s voice over in the beginning does a great job of helping to draw us into the stores with her character. Mixed with a great soundtrack this film is very entertaining.

The film does have some setbacks though – the ending is a little cheesy/predictable but it works and is, in all honesty, rather sweet. That didn’t stop me from liking it, and with the quirks and the great characters. My favourites being, Luke and her friend Suze.

I wouldn’t say this is one of my favourites but it is worth the watch for a laugh or two and a rather relaxing movie night!
Thanks for reading,
Anna x

Film Review – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

the secret life of walter mitty

There was something about this film that made me a little wary that it could be a bit a of a flop. To say I was blown away is an understatement. Firstly there was the performance from Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, I never truly liked him as an actor though maybe it was just the roles I’ve seen him in, however this film completely changed my view. He really managed to tap into my heart – and as cheesy as it sounds – showed me something about how trusting in myself and my instincts, thus pushing my boundaries can help me to grow as a person because of it.

The opening scene gives you an idea of what Mitty’s life is like, the stark white walls and complete silence show the normality in his life, also the concept that he tends to day dream, creating scenarios that bring excitement into his life. This goes on right up until he is really traveling and the wonder and beauty takes the place of his dreams. Starting with the loss of Negative 25 which was said to be the best of the photos sent for Time magazines last issue, brings Walter Mitty close to losing his job, thus he set’s out to find the photographer, using the three clearest Negatives as clues. The sub plot of his love for a coworker, could make his expedition an act to impress, but Stiller’s direction and acting makes Mitty’s journey much more proving to himself that he could do something with his life other than just develop photo’s.

Something which adds to the beauty of this film is the incredible scenery, wide shots of long sweeping landscapes, snow capped mountains and rolling seas. The gorgeous soundtrack which accompanies this film is just as inspiring as the film itself, and is one which I will buy and be listening to for quite a while.

In all honesty I am finding it difficult to get over how beautiful and inspiring The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was. It was sensational and basically I recommend you see this, I really do! I would most definitely see this movie again if given the chance.

Thanks for reading,
Anna x

Film Review – About Time


I went to see About Time with my mum, and yet again it was one that we saw where it happened to be just us in the cinema, it was beautiful! Basically, to me, this film gave me the feeling of being wrapped up in a warm blanket, with a hot mug of tea, mixed with the perfect amount of cringes for the awkward moments and happy tears, leaving me grinning when I left the cinema.

About Time follows the story of Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson), who is told at the age of 21 by his father (Bill Nighy), that – as all other males in their family have – he can travel in time and change what has happened in his own life, but only the past, he cannot see the future – or the future that any changes may cause. Disbelievingly he tries it, and when it works he decides to try and change his life for the better by getting a girlfriend – easier said than done.  It takes many first meetings, and much tweaking of his personal timeline before it finally works, and Mary (Rachael McAdams) finally falls in love with him, but from there another set of problems arise and only the use of time travel can fix those too.

Though this movie is quite slow to start, the performances from all the cast bring it to life, and give it a certain quirk which makes up for it. The character of Tim Lake has completely taken my heart, and is also a character I can relate too rather well, he’s awkward and a bit on the clumsy side, and has a habit of getting into sticky social situations – some of which made me cringe in sympathy for him. Though typically, mum seemed to know this before we’d even entered the cinema.

Bill Nighy was up to his usual antic, bringing a good amount of comedy to the film as well as a good dose of emotional scenes as well. Rachael McAdams however, as Mary, didn’t really get my attention until later in the film. Maybe it was just my decision after I’d seen both her and Gleeson’s character together on screen, that they were far to adorable as a couple? Or that her persona was a lot nicer after having met Tim… I’m not sure but what I do know is that by the end of the film I was grinning from ear to ear!

The soundtrack for this film is gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. I found myself humming along to Nick Cave’s Into My arms – a song which a haven’t heard in years. I am still listening to the other tracks, some which still make me tear up. All in all I loved this film and it definitely earned it’s place  as one of the best films I’ve seen in the past year. If you haven’t already, and you like a good feel-good movie, then this is the one for you. Otherwise get the soundtrack and listen, it is definitely worth it!

Thanks for reading,
Anna x