Paris is the city of everyone’s dreams. At least, it has always been the city of my dreams. It maintains an air of mystique and magic framed in the soft light of romanticism.
The city of Paris has never had a more loving cinematic portrayal than in the films of Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn herself was a little bit of magic and as chic as the city itself. She starred opposite many famous male costars in her films, Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, names which are synonymous with cinema’s most romantic leading men. But perhaps her best and most compatible co-star is the city of Paris itself.
Of course, this alternative romantic pairing was enhanced by its’ very own fairy godmother in the form of Givenchy and his fashionable film wardrobe which perfectly suited Audrey and Paris. In fact, his contribution elevated and immortalized their match.
In Storm and Silence suffragist Lilly Linton dresses up like a man in order to cast her vote. But she doesn’t count on meeting Rikkard Ambrose, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in London. Nor does she expect his job offer after she unintentionally displays the very attributes he is looking for in a personal secretary.
Mr. Ambrose is shocked to find out his newest employee is in actuality a woman! Though he tries to rescind his offer, she plays up to his honor as a gentleman and he is forced to employ her. Though she refuses to give him a reason to fire her, Ambrose decides to force her to quit the job of her own accord.
But Lilly is more stubborn and wily than he expects. The office is a powder keg ready to explode when the brilliant, progressive and hot-tempered Lilly matches wits against her silently cold and ruthless boss. Who will win this battle? And when Mr. Ambrose’s business dealings put them in danger will the fact that LIlly is a woman be a hindrance or an asset? Continue reading “Book Review – Storm and Silence”
Small time thief Simon has recently been released from jail when a friend introduces him to a group of criminals who request his help to steal the legendary Florentin diamond. Simon is reluctant to join up with people he knows nothing about, but the temptation is too much, so he agrees to be their front man.
Julia’s mother is a well-respected auctioneer who was supposed to have been in charge of the diamond sale but her unexpected and mysterious death has left Julia with the responsibility. The stakes are high for Julia to host a successful auction with her own job and reputation on the line.
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.
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)”
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.
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.
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)”