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.
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.
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.
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)”
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?
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”
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.
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.
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.
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)”
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.
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”
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.
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.
Mary Donnell has bad luck with men. She begins That Certain Woman as the widow of a slain bootlegger. She married at the age of 15 thinking that she could change him. Years later she has now turned her life around. Mary keeps 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. Unfortunately, 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. Immediately after the marriage the couple is confronted by Jack’s strict, heartless father who objects to Mary as a daughter-in-law thanks to her 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. As years pass, the senior Merrick’s ruthless meddling continues to play out, bringing heartbreak to everyone.
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 isa romantic comedy with strong elements of suspense, which is just as witty and stylish as its’ two leading actors.
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.
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.