Foreign Film Friday -Ensemble C’est Tout (2007)

Audrey Tatou gained international prominence in the 2001 French film Amelie. Despite hearing about her gamine charm and comparisons to another Audrey (Hepburn), this is the first film of Tatou’s films that I have seen.

The French title is Ensemble, c’est tout and is based on a novel of the same name which translated to English means, together, that’s everything. But for some strange, inexplicable reason the English title is Hunting and Gathering.

SUMMARY

This romantic comedy is the story of three very different individuals, Camille, Franck (anyone else getting visions of Martin Short’s version in Father of the Bride?), and Philibert. Camille is living a dead end life, working in a minimum wage job, coping with her perpetually complaining mother, living in a barely habitable apartment and wasting away from lack of nourishment.

Philibert and Franck are roommates in the same building as Camille, temporarily sharing a luxury apartment owned by Philibert’s family. Philibert is shy and stutters, but is also intelligent, refined and kind. Franck is his complete opposite, angry, abrasive, overworked and underappreciated as a sous chef in a local restaurant.  On his only day off each week, he goes to visit his unhappy grandmother at the nursing home where she resides.

After a chance encounter one evening as they enter the building, Philibert and Camille become friends and after Camille becomes sick, Philibert moves her into the apartment he shares with Franck.  This does not sit well with Franck and upsets the balance in the apartment creating friction among the characters, particularly between Franck and Camille. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Ensemble C’est Tout (2007)”

Book Review -Sweetbriar Cottage

SUMMARY

When Josephine & Noah met it was love at first sight. They were blissfully happy together until Josephine’s past reared its’ ugly head. Now two years later, they are both surprised to find the divorce Josephine filed for was never finalized. Noah is angry since it just seems another betrayal by the woman he loved.

When Josephine decides to drop by his house for a signature on the new papers, they both end up trapped by a winter storm in his cottage. With the past a seemingly insurmountable obstacle between them, they are forced to spend several days together in a close quarters. This unexpected challenge forces them to wrestle with the unresolved issues and feelings between them.  And the storm outside can’t compare with the one inside.

MY THOUGHTS

Historical fiction is always my first choice but there is a reason contemporary author Denise Hunter is on my auto-buy list. In fact, I’ve been a loyal reader since she published one of her first books Mending Places and made me feel sympathy for a very un-heroic hero. Continue reading “Book Review -Sweetbriar Cottage”

Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Reads of 2017

I was excited about this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish to list my favorite books so far of 2017. While not every book on my list may be the best I’ve read this year, they are all favorites of mine. To be included as a favorite either means I really loved book or the story has stuck with me long after I finished it. Several of these I have already reviewed on my website.

Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon

I got a late start in reading YA fiction, but if the stories are all as well written as this one, it may become one of my favorite genres. This mystery had gothic undertones, with the male lead returning for revenge, and a quirky yet judgmental town determined to keep its’ secrets hidden. Read my review.

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I won’t lie. I chose this dark historical fairy tale based on its’ cover. But the story of a young girl who is ostracized by a town who doesn’t believe her and the mystery of the disappearances of town members held my interest. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – My Favorite Reads of 2017”

Classic Film Review – That Certain Woman (1937)

SUMMARY
Mary Donnell has bad luck with men. She begins That Certain Woman as the widow of a slain bootlegger having married him at the young age of 15 thinking that she could change him. But, she has turned her life around, keeping a low profile as the secretary to an attorney, despite newspaper attempts to sniff out her whereabouts for a “where are they now” story.
Her older married boss is just getting ready to confess his feelings for his faithful secretary, when he discovers that Mary is in love with irresponsible playboy heir Jack Merrick Jr. Jack talks Mary into eloping and with her boss’ blessing, she agrees, only to be confronted with Jack’s strict, heartless father who objects to Mary as a daughter-in-law thanks to a less then pristine background. Mary is an honorable woman whose past has been tainted by her dead husband’s behavior, but Jack Sr. manages to annul the marriage, because Junior has never had the backbone to oppose his father. However, he can’t annul her pregnancy and as years pass, the senior Merrick’s ruthless meddling continues to play out, bringing heartbreak to everyone.

Continue reading “Classic Film Review – That Certain Woman (1937)”

Classic Film Review -Charade (1963)

Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are both considered film and fashion icons. Their contributions and legacies have endured and are still looked on with reverence today.

Fortunately, these two superstars collaborated on the film Charade. The film is a romantic comedy with strong elements of suspense, which is just as witty and stylish as its’ two leading actors.

SUMMARY

Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) is a young American wife living in Paris who plans to divorce her husband. Before she has the chance to do so, he completely strips their luxury apartment, selling all of their belongings. He then promptly gets himself killed while fleeing Paris by train. To read the rest of my review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Reel Infatuation -Crushing on Elwood P Dowd of Harvey (1950)

 

I can’t remember the first time I watched the fantasy comedy film Harvey. I first began watching classic films in the days before Turner Classic Movies made them readily available and easier to access.

But somehow I stumbled across Harvey, this film about Elwood P. Dowd and his pooka best friend, a very tall white and invisible rabbit. I watched it many times during my childhood and since. It has never failed to lose its’ wonder or to make me laugh. Part of the reason for that is an affinity for Elwood P, as he calls himself.

Every time I view this film, I am struck by how much I admire and in some ways even wish to be like the easy-going Elwood played by James Stewart. Even though he is a chronic drinker and his sister and niece wish to commit him to a sanitarium thanks to the havoc his friendship with the invisible Harvey causes them, still he has so many exemplary character traits.

Continue reading “Reel Infatuation -Crushing on Elwood P Dowd of Harvey (1950)”

Top Ten Tuesday – Series to Start & Finish

Don’t you love a good series? It means that even when you finish a great story, you know it will continue with familiar characters you’ve grown to love.

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt regards book series. It is supposed to be a list of series that I haven’t started yet, but I also decided to include some series I have started but haven’t finished.

SERIES TO START

Elite Guardians by Lynette Eason

Although i enjoy romantic suspense it is not my go-to genre. But I keep reading amazing reviews and recommendations for this series and it has me intriuged. With a focus on a female bodyguard agency and comparisons to author Dani Pettrey (whose books I love) I think I will enjoy this one.

The Jacobite Chronicles by Julia Brannan

Although I read tons of historical fiction, I don’t often find a series set during the years of the Jacobite rebellion. Although I have yet to read a book by this author, with the first title Mask of Duplicity currently free on Kindle I have no excuse not to check it out. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday – Series to Start & Finish”

Book Review – Gilt Hollow

SUMMARY

Shortly after the death of her father, Willow Lamott also loses her lifetime best friend Ashton Keller. Although Ashton has been convicted as a killer and locked up in juvie for four years, Willow continues to stand by him and defend him to a town which is eager to believe the worst of their founder’s grandson.

When Ashton is released early, he returns to Gilt Hollow determined to prove his innocence and exact revenge if not justice. Ashton, who was convicted on the testimony of former friends, believes he has been abandoned by everyone who loved him including his best friend Willow and treats her with contempt. Willow resents and is angered by his attitude towards her, wondering if she has been wrong about her faith in Ashton all along.

Ashton’s quest for vengeance and Willow’s weakness for the boy she grew up loving, eventually draws them together in a reluctant partnership to find out the truth of the night that ruined both their lives.

REVIEW

I’ll be honest. I chose to read Gilt Hollow because the cover grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go. Although, the Young Adult genre is one I am slowly exploring and learning to love, it is not generally my first choice for reading material. This book also fits well within the genre of romantic suspense which I delve into occasionally, but not often. Continue reading “Book Review – Gilt Hollow”

Foreign Film Friday -Dear Zindagi (2016)

SUMMARY

Kaira is a talented, young cinematographer who is waiting for her big break. Luckily she has a good friend in Raghu, a fellow co-worker, who encourages her and looks out for her at work.

She also has a successful, loving boyfriend and a close-knit group of loyal friends. However, in spite of all of this, Kaira is a self-absorbed, emotionally distant woman who sabotages her relationships.

After dumping her boyfriend with the news that she slept with Raghu, she is given the opportunity to travel with Raghu to New York to work on a major film. But once again, her inability to trust and commit interferes with her life.

On a trip home, to visit her estranged parents in Goa, she overhears a speech by an unconventional therapist which prompts her to seek out help to deal with a past which has emotionally crippled her.

MY THOUGHTS

If you are under the mistaken impression that Indian films are all Bollywood musicals and women draped in saris, then Dear Zindagi will prove you wrong.

I watched this film with my sister and we both commented on how much it felt like an American film. Although it portrays the generational clash between the young, ambitious and modern Kaira and her more traditional parents, the viewer will be hard pressed to find any other traditional Indian stereotypes. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -Dear Zindagi (2016)”

Top Ten Tuesday -Ten Great Father Figures in Books

It’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is a Father’s Day related freebie.

I have been blessed to have loving, supportive men in my family, including my dad, grandpa, uncles and cousins. So in honor of the wonderful men in my life and Father’s Day, I am sharing ten of my favorite fathers and father figures from stories I have read.

FATHERS

Major Reginald Aubrey & Stone Thrower of The Pathfinder’s Series

These two fathers broke my heart. They are bound together by the reckless act Major Aubrey commits when he steals the infant son of Stone Thrower and passes him off as his own. Aubrey loves his adopted son as his own but is tortured by his awful secret. Indian warrior Stone Thrower wrestles with rage, bitterness and unforgiveness and longs to be reunited with the son he never met. Both are fathers with heavy burdens that do not lessen as years pass. When Stone Thrower’s other son forms a connection with Aubrey’s adopted daughter everyone all their secrets are brought to light. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Ten Great Father Figures in Books”