Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments regarding music, books, films, TV, theatre or culture related news...

My ratings:
❤️ = Loved it
😐 = It's okay
😝 = Hated it

Sunday, February 22, 2015

87th ACADEMY AWARDS

Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris

Best actor in a Supporting role: J. K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Achievement in costume design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in makeup and hair styling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best foreign language film: Ida (Poland)

Best live action short film: The phone call

Best documentary short subject: Crisis hotline: veterans press 1

Achievement in sound mixing: Whiplash

Achievement in sound editing: American Sniper

Best actress in a Supporting role: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Achievement in visual effects: Interstellar

Best animated short film: Feast

Best animated feature film: Big Hero 6

Achievement in production design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in cinematography: Birdman

Achievement in film editing: Whiplash

Best documentary feature: Citizenfour

Best original song: Glory (Selma)

Best original score: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best original Screenplay: Birdman

Best adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game

Achievement in directing: Alejandro González Iñarritu (Birdman)

Best actor in a leading role: Eddie Redmayne (The theory of everything)

Best actress in a leading role: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Best Picture: Birdman

That's all folks!

Boyhood (Richard Linklater)

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, this is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason, who literally grows up on screen before our eyes.

Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Elijah Smith, Lorelei Linklater, Libby Villari, Ethan Hawke, Marco Perella, Jamie Howard

My thoughts on this film: What makes this movie so unique and touching is its deep humanity. Although it is a fictional piece, you cannot help but relate to the actors as if you were watching a documentary. Every scene feels like real life.
The actors deliver an outstanding performance - there are so many scenes where you feel unbelievably close to them - and the dialogues seem completely natural.
I would not give this an Oscar considering other nominated movies, but it is definitely worth of a nomination!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Hive (Gill Hornby)

Welcome to St. Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights, and feuding. And that is just the mothers. Meet Beatrice, undisputed queen bee; Heather, desperate to volunteer, desperate to be noticed, and desperate to just belong; Georgie, desperate for a fag; and Rachel, once Bea's best friend, now dumped for no good reason.

Quote: "It's a beautiful place. Full of great people. It had been one of the best mornings she'd had for ages. She loved it when everyone was in the same boat, pulling together, all going in the same direction. And she loved it most when she was actually in there with them. Too often in her life, she'd had that feeling that everyone was indeed in the same boat but she was clinging on to the edge at the back somewhere, not quite able to scramble on board, getting cold and wet."

Why this book speaks to me: It is the start of another school year at St. Ambrose, but while the children are in class, their mothers are learning sharper lessons on the other side of the school gates. Lessons in friendship and lessons in betrayal.
I found this novel to be warm, witty and true. Wickedly funny, but also a fascinating and subtle story of group politics and female friendship.
Nothing out of the extraordinary but a good read!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Still Alice (Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland, and Lisa Genova)


Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a devastating diagnosis, Alice and her family find their bonds tested.



Starring: Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth, Shane McRae, Hunter Parrish, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Stephen Kunken


My thoughts on this film: Still Alice tells the story of a Columbia professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Just like any disease, your fight is as strong as your support system. Well, Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin's performances are strong, but unfortunately the same cannot be said about their support system.
However, I loved the storyline and did not get bored for a single minute, but I do wish the ending had been different, it felt like something was missing.
Overall, I give this movie a 50/50 rating.

Monday, February 02, 2015

This house is haunted (John Boyne)



It is 1867. On a dark and chilling night Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall. As she makes her way across the station platform, a pair of invisible hands push her into the path of an approaching train. She is only saved by the vigilance of a passing doctor.
It is the start of a journey into a world of abandoned children, unexplained occurrences and terrifying experiences, which Eliza will have to overcome if she is to survive the secrets that lie within Gaudlin's walls...



Quote: "I want to scream at them, I want to run and shake them, I want to look them squarely in their faces and say, you knew, you knew even then. Why didn't you say something? Why didn't you speak?"

Why this book speaks to me: I am a huge fan of John Boyne and I have been looking for this book for a very long time. This said, nothing about it was disappointing, au contraire. I particularly liked the secrecy surrounding the Westerley family and how the village conspired to cover up the truth. Eliza is also likeable and believable enough that you do truly care about what happens to her.
This book is engaging, sometimes extremely creepy, and definitely worth reading - speaking from the point of view of a ghost story fan. I really enjoyed This House is Haunted and if you share my passion for such storytelling, then you need to include it on your to-read list.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Theory of Everything (Directed by: James Marsh; Written by: Jane Hawking and Anthony McCarten)

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde - the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age. He then married fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and went on to become the successor of Einstein, as well as a husband and father to three children. Over the course of their marriage, as Stephen's body collapsed, fault lines were exposed that tested their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both their lives.

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Harry Lloyd, Alice Orr-Ewing, David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Charlie Cox

Why I loved this film: Those who go into 'The Theory of Everything' looking for an elaborate account on Stephen Hawking's work and the method behind it may be in for a bit of a letdown as this story mostly focuses on Hawking's long marriage and relationship with his wife, Jane, who wrote the book on which the film is based on. It focuses heavily on the relationship between Stephen and Jane and the hardships they had to deal with due to his disease. Eddie Redmayne does a phenomenal job here. He starts out as a shy, somewhat nerdy student who has a fair bit of humour to him as well as a love of education and finding out the big questions and answers to the universe. As his illness progresses over the years, we see how hard it is for him to move, speak and just do everyday things, whereas he is eventually confined to a wheelchair and speaking through a computer. Redmayne's performance is so believable and wonderful. This year's Oscars are going to be very competitive with another of the year's best performances. Felicity Jones, who plays Jane, is just as good. While the role is not as demanding physically, it is more demanding emotionally as we see her totally devote herself to all of Stephen's every waking needs and going out of her way to care for him. It really made me see a side to Jane that I had no idea about, it made me think that not many women would be up for what she went through.
When the film first started out, I thought it would be a fairly safe and 'ok to watch' movie, but it really took me by surprise at how interesting I found these characters and their lives. The film has an excellent pace to it and its biographical style works well. It really is an inspirational and feel good movie. It gives us hope and encouragement, as Stephen Hawking's famous words state that 'while there is life there is hope'!