Film Review – Tolkien (2019)

The world of a J.R.R. Tolkien story is one of mystery, magic, romance, friendship, wars and meaning filled journeys. But what was the world of the real Tolkien like? How did a British born Catholic orphan who survived by the good will of others create not only languages, but a fantastical world which still enchants millions today? These are the questions that the new biographical drama Tolkien attempts to answer.

ABOUT TOLKIEN

After the successive deaths of both of their parents, the custody of John Ronald  and his brother is given to a Catholic priest. This man ensures that the two boys receive scholarships to a Birmingham school and lodging in the home of a wealthy widow.

In both these places he meets people who will influence and change his life. Despite Tolkien’s initial reluctance to be grafted into their circle, he soon forms a strong bond with students Geoffrey Smith, Robert Gilson and Christopher Wiseman. Together they form a club with the goal of changing the world through their artistic endeavours.

Tolkien also forms a strong attachment with his fellow boarder Edith. She relates to his orphan status and dependence on the charity of others.  With her, he is himself, able to discuss his world of fantasy creatures and languages.

As it always does, life intervenes, first through the reality of Tolkien’s reduced circumstances, the expectations of his guardian and finally the advent of a World War. But it is the memories of these valuable relationships which sustain and inspire him.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

July 2019 Quickie Film Reviews

July 2019 Breakdown:
  • 24 films/series total
  • 16 new classic films
  • 4 foreign films
  • 3 mini-series
  • 2 re-watches
  • 1 documentary

Most watched actor/actress: Jane Powell and John Garfield with three films each

Biggest Disappointment: Don’t Make Waves

Favorite Discovery: I watched a lot of great entertainment this month, so it’s hard to pick just one favorite. But it has to be Yesterday. Continue reading “July 2019 Quickie Film Reviews”

Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries Review

Its’ a rare television series that achieves the status of a global phenomenon. But that is exactly what the Australian historical series Miss Fisher’s Mysteries accomplished. In fact, it is so popular that its’ fans demanded and completely crowd-funded a new film after the series ended. It’s success has also led to the production of a follow up series, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Mysteries.

ABOUT MS. FISHER’S MODERN MYSTERIES

The new Ms. Fisher is set several decades later in the 1960’s. It features Phryne Fisher’s niece Peregrine who inherits the Fisher fortune when the aunt she never knew goes missing. This Ms. Fisher also inherits the same curiosity and knack for solving mysteries.

RELATED: TV Review: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Season One

After a string of failed jobs and relationships, Peregrine finally finds her calling. She picks up where her aunt left off; as a private detective. She is assisted in her new endeavor by the members of The Adventuresses’ Club, of which her aunt was a member.

Like her aunt, she also forms a tenuous working relationship with a police detective. Though Detective James Steed doesn’t initially appreciate Peregrine’s interference in his cases, he slowly learns to appreciate her innate talent.

For my full review please follow me over to the Silver Petticoat Review.

Classic Film Review -The Swan (1956)

Grace Kelly was a popular and talented actress beloved by her public. But she became even more loved by a larger public when she became the Princess of Monaco.

According to The American Film Institute,  MGM decided to capitalize on Kelly’s relationship with Prince Ranier by casting her as Princess Alexandra in the film The Swan. They even co-ordinated the release date of the film with that of her wedding. Helen Rose who costumed Kelly for this film also created her famous wedding dress.Talk about a genius marketing move by the studio! Because of this, The Swan is a good example of life imitating art.

THE SWAN SUMMARY

Princess Alexandra is her family’s only hope of regaining their royal eminence, generations after losing their throne. Her desperate mother, Princess Beatrice hopes to marry her off to Crown Prince Albert, who is travelling Europe in search of a wife.

When Albert arrives for a brief visit, Beatrice does all she can to throw the two together. But Albert mistakes Alexandra’s awkward shyness as disinterest and coldness and undertakes to avoid her.

Distraught, Beatrice talks her daughter into publicly flirting with the family’s tutor, in an effort to make the Crown Prince jealous. But her plan backfires in ways she can’t forsee.

To read my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

 

Queens of Mystery (2019)

Every now and then, something comes along that is really special. In its’ own unique way it captures your imagination and admiration. Such is the case for me with Acorn TV’s new series Queens of Mystery. As a fan of cozy mysteries, I’m always on the lookout for ones I haven’t already seen. This quirky little mystery series is an unexpected pleasure which fits the bill perfectly.

SUMMARY

Matilda Stone has returned home to her village of Wildemarsh to take up her new position as a Detective Inspector with the local police force. Mattie is also returning to her three single aunts who raised her after her mother’s mysterious disappearance.

Beth, Cat and Jane Stone are all crime mystery writers. They can’t seem to help getting involved in Mattie’s cases, much to the frustration of her boss Derek Thorne. Though Mattie takes her job seriously, she has a hard time setting boundaries with the women who raised her. To make matters worse, she falls hard for the local doctor and pathologist, Daniel Lynch. She finds herself frazzled every time they work a case together even though he already has a girlfriend. In the mean time her aunts can’t help but set her up with every eligible man they meet.

Together the Stone women are a crime-solving team to reckon with. But the mystery Mattie most wants to solve is the one her aunts don’t want her to – what happened to her mother.

For my full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

 

Clark Gable Blogathon – But Not For Me (1959)

Second only to Cary Grant, Clark Gable is my favorite actor. As such, I’ve made it a point to a watch as many of his films as I can. I had seen every one of his credited films with the exception of But Not For Me.  As much as I wanted to be able to say I had seen all of his movies, I put off watching this particular title, because my expectations of it were very low. However, when the Clark Gable Blogathon rolled around this year, I knew now was the time to complete my exploration of Gable’s filmography. Fortunately for me, it was a better experience than I anticipated.

ABOUT THE FILM

After a long, successful career as a theater producer, Russ Ward is considering retirement. Because along with a string of hits, he also has a long list of expenses which include alimony to his ex-wife, a fancy apartment he has no time to enjoy and the renovation of a theater which is not likely to recoup his investment. His latest theatrical endeavor is foundering, thanks to his friend Jeremiah, a burned out, washed up, alcoholic playwright.

When he breaks the news to his long-suffering, faithful, young secretary Ellie, she decides to finally confess her love for him.  Her earnest sincerity sparks Russ’ creative imagination. Using their relationship and her words, he convinces Jeremiah to re-write their play in a situation of art imitating life. Though Ellie is happy that she finally has Russ attention (and the leading role) all is not smooth sailing. Russ still has to manage Jeremiah’s reluctant come-back and his ex-wife’s financial demands and verbal zingers, while securing financing for the play. In addition, Ellie has her own admirer who is cast in the role of leading man on stage but who also wants to be leading man of her life. Continue reading “Clark Gable Blogathon – But Not For Me (1959)”

Series Review – Mrs. Wilson (2018)

There’s a saying that truth is often stranger than fiction. That certainly proved to be the case for the family of actress Ruth Wilson. Wilson plays the role of her own grandmother Alison Wilson in this short series. Mrs. Wilson is based on Alison’s marriage to the enigmatic British spy and author Alexander Wilson.

SUMMARY

After twenty years of wedded bliss and two children, Alec unexpectedly dies in Alison’s arms. Alison is devastated by his death. She goes through the motions of comforting her sons and planning Alec’s funeral until she receives another unexpected shock. An older woman arrives on her doorstep to collect Alec’s belongings. She claims to be Mrs. Wilson.

Seeking answers, Alison tracks down Alec’s intelligence handler Coleman. Alison is adamant that Alec was divorced from the first Mrs. Wilson before marrying her. Coleman is not so sure. This leads Alison to question every thing she ever knew about their life together. Not only does she explore her own memories of her past with Alec, but she also begins her own investigation into Alec’s private and professional life.  She is stymied at every turn by an agency who wants to keep Alec’s work secret. Nor does she receive any help by those who knew Alec personally. As she slowly uncovers her husband’s secrets, she discovers a man she barely knew.

For the full review, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.

Reel Infatuation Blogathon – Melanie Wilkes of Gone With the Wind

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen Gone With the Wind over the years. In fact, it may be the film I’ve watched the most. Though it isn’t my favorite (that honor belongs to Bringing Up Baby), it never fails to entertain me with it’s drama, performances and costumes.

Gone With the Wind is clearly Scarlett O’Hara’s story. And though she’s a divisive character, I’ve always appreciated her more than Melanie Wilkes. Next to Scarlett, Melanie appeared to me to be bland, boring and weak. However, in my more recent viewings of this film, my opinion has changed dramatically. And that is why I chose her for my character crush for this year’s Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Font and Frock and Silver Screenings. Continue reading “Reel Infatuation Blogathon – Melanie Wilkes of Gone With the Wind”