Film Review -Lion (2016)

If you haven’t at least heard of this film, you may have been living under a rock. Lion is the Oscar nominated film based on the true story of a young Indian boy who becomes separated from his family.

SUMMARY

Little Saroo finds himself in Calcutta over 1200 miles away from his small village in western India. Unable to speak the regional language and not knowing his mother’s name or the correct name of his village, Saroo eventually finds himself adopted by an Australian couple and adapting to a completely new way of life.

As an adult he experiences a strong desire to locate his family and his home in spite of being hindered by his lack of pertinent details and the decades which stretch his childhood memories. Continue reading “Film Review -Lion (2016)”

Book Review – A Different Blue

SUMMARY

Having been abandoned as a toddler, Blue Echohawk knows almost nothing of her origins or even her real age. Although she is raised by the man who found her as a baby, when he dies she is left with even more questions and a real lack of self worth and hope.

When Wilson, her sexy young history teacher, challenges his students to write the story of their lives Blue finds herself at a loss…and angry. Not only does she not know the details of her own story but she begins to realize she doesn’t even know herself. As they challenge each other in and outside of class, Blue and Wilson form a special relationship which will change both their lives and their perspectives.

MY THOUGHTS

I can’t even tell you how much I loved A Different Blue. When i started the book, I wasn’t sure I would like it. I can only handle so much angsty drama and I couldn’t relate at all to Blue, not only because of her circumstances, but also her attitude and behavior.

But what a story! Although this is partially a love story, it is really more of a personal journey of discovery for Blue. Continue reading “Book Review – A Different Blue”

Foreign Film Friday -Lovebird (2013)

Çalikuşu is a historical romantic drama based on a novel of the same name set in Istanbul at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although the more accurate translation for Çalikuşu is wren, its’ English title is Lovebird which is a nickname for Feride, the main female character.

SET UP FOR LOVEBIRD

As a young child, Feride is orphaned and sent to live with her maternal aunt’s family. Her arrival upsets the delicate emotional balance of the household, particularly with her female cousin Necmiye, who resents the attention her mother devotes to the new member of their household. Feride also has a combative relationship with her older male cousin Kamran which originates from a mutual attraction and distrust between them.

Thanks to her father’s wishes for her to receive an education, Feride is enrolled at a local French convent boarding school, where she lives when not staying with her aunt and uncle. Her biggest wish is to fulfill her promise to her dead father to finish school and to become a teacher. But as she comes close to the end of her schooling her relationship with Kamran begins to change and pose a threat to her goal and her heart.

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

Classic Film Review -Camille (1936)

Based on the  novel La Dame aux Camélias by Alexander Dumas the younger, Camille is a familiar tale which also inspired the opera La Traviata and the musical film Moulin Rouge, which has brought the story to modern audiences.

STORY SUMMARY

Regardless, of its interpretation on stage or film the foundation of the story remains the same. An innocent young man with little to his name falls in love with a popular, charming, Parisian courtesan. His earnest and sincere wooing of the worldly woman breaks through her defenses tempting her to risk her heart and livelihood. It is a love story with a sad ending and one of the most popular and well-loved romances in literature.

When tragedy interrupts a good romance
MY THOUGHTS ON CAMILLE

This particular interpretation stars the great Greta Garbo who quickly rose to acclaim as a silent film actress. I have watched many of her films and cannot claim to be a fan,  in spite of her talent, because I often find her characters cold and emotionally unapproachable. However, her version of Camille is the opposite. Continue reading “Classic Film Review -Camille (1936)”

Book Review -Settling Up

SUMMARY

Statistics professor Lauren Sinclair uses her affinity for numbers as a way to deal with anxiety and her deficient social skills. For years she has also put her personal life on hold as she works towards her professional goals. Lauren decides that settling down and getting married might help her gain tenure at her university so with her sister’s help she reactivates her online dating accounts. But none of the men meet her stringent percentage weighed list of standards.

Meanwhile after spotting a bald spot she heads to the casino to de-stress with her favorite blackjack dealer. Only she exposes her hairless shame to the tattooed, sexy new dealer who is subbing for her former sounding board. In spite of her embarrassment Lauren feels a bond with Mack and they form a friendship. He agrees to give her feedback on her dating candidates and she gives him a safe place to process his grief over his deceased wife. But will Lauren ever find a Mr. Right who matches her detailed list?

MY THOUGHTS

A reader can fall in love with many things about a book; a writing style, the genre,  story line or setting. But ya’ll, I totally fell in love with Lauren Sinclair in Settling Up! Continue reading “Book Review -Settling Up”

Patriotic Films to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Hollywood is very fond of making patriotic films, many of which are set during times of war. Many of these films are highly regarded and praised by critics, reviewers and fans alike.

Since the Fourth of July is tomorrow I decided to share a list of some of my favorite patriotic films and/or television shows to help you get ready to celebrate America’s Day of Independence.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

I’m not ranking this list but if I were this would be my top pick not only for patriotic films but also one of my favorite movies ever. I’m always inspired by the story of how one man willing to stand up for what he believes is right regardless of the cost, can make a difference. It’s also a good reminder that the  fight against government corruption has been going on for a long time. We need a lot more Mr. Smiths in Washington. Streaming on Amazon.

 

Pollyanna

Although technically not a patriotically themed movie, it is a nice glimpse of Americana and does feature a Fourth of July celebration and a young Hayley Mills singing America the Beautiful. Streaming on Amazon.

 

 

Continue reading “Patriotic Films to Celebrate the Fourth of July”

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)”