Little Women (2019) Movie Review

Director: Greta Gerwig

Writer: Greta Gerwig (Screenplay) Louisa May Alcott (Novel)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothee Chalamet, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk

Plot: Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms.


Tagline – Own your story

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Not My Type of Film

Story: Little Women starts as we meet Jo March (Ronan) who is selling her first story anonymously to the paper, one of four sisters, with Amy (Pugh) an aspiring artists aiming for Paris, Meg (Watson) a dressmaker, and Beth (Scanlen) the musician, who have all grown up to want to achieve more than any women of their era could imagine.

As the four women looks to make their own identity, they all seem to fall for the charms of Laurie (Chalamet) who at different times of their lives, pushes them down a path they shouldn’t have gone, as they look to break boundaries.

Thoughts on Little Women

Characters – Jo March is the author, the one telling the story about her sisters lives, living in New York away from the family, using her writing abilities to make a name for herself, she is the oldest of the girls and usually watches out for them. Meg is the dressmaker that has followed a more traditional life of marriage over following the dreams like the others. Amy is the youngest member of the March family, an artist who wants to be in Paris for her work, she often has learnt from her sisters decisions, being left behind at times, looking for attention when the older ones are invited to events she isn’t. Beth is the musical one, she is the shiest and her timid nature makes her the one you will learn the least about. Marmee is the mother of the girls that is always there when they need someone, she will encourage them to achieve greatness in their lives. Laurie is the young man that seems to be involved with all of the girls, his character confuses me a lot, because he decides he loves each of them over the course of the film.

PerformancesSaoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh got the Oscar nominations for their performances, they are the two strongest of the performers in the film, while Emma Watson and Eliza Scanlen don’t get enough time to shine on the same level, Laura Dern is great impact performer, while Timothee Chalamet does everything he character is meant to, even though he confuses me with what is going on.

StoryThe story here follows four sisters as they look to follow their ambitious and become experts in their fields of different arts, only they must battle against the era that claims a woman can only be around for love, something they all look to have to go with their successful ideas. This is based on a classic novel that is considered one of the greatest ever written, the story shows how women wanted to make a different becomes something not just wives, this is important to see in the modern times too. Where this story doesn’t seem to work is the constant time jumps, spending most of the time talking about not wanting to get married only for the next scene to be all about love, this is confusing at times, with the character of Laurie that doesn’t seem to make sense either. I can see that I am not the target audience for this film, which is why it is harder to get any sort of enjoyment in the story.

RomanceThe romance in the film focuses on the four women who want to have careers and will end up falling in love along the way, it still feels more arranged, rather than natural love.

SettingsThe film uses the settings wonderfully to make us feel like we are part of the era, experience houses in the countryside.


Scene of the Movie – We could have a hit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Laurie is a confusing character.

Final Thoughts This is a film that is doesn’t seem to be hit what I enjoy watching, it has strong acting, though the story is hard to follow at times though.

Overall: Not My Thing.

Emma Stone Weekend – La La Land (2016) Movie Review – Revisited

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Callie Hernandez, Sonoya Mizuno, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Plot: While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.


Tagline – Here’s to the fools who dream.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful

Story: La La Land starts as we meet jazz singer Sebastian (Gosling) who has always had his own vision of what he wants his music to be which sees him struggle to keep jobs in Hollywood, let alone pay his bills. Mia (Stone) is an aspiring actress that is going through auditions, while working as a coffee shop on the studio lot.

After a couple of chance meetings, the two start a whirlwind romance that sees both their dreams start to come true in Hollywood, only at what price, can success in love and dreams work together?

Thoughts on La La Land

Characters – Sebastian loves jazz music, he has always had his own style when it comes to the music he is expected to play, he doesn’t understand how people don’t like jazz either, he has jumped between jobs because of his style and once he gets involved in a relationship with Mia, he must decide whether to have a secure gig or continue chasing his dreams of opening his own jazz bar. Mia is the aspiring actress that goes to countless auditions without getting much success, working on the studio lot, until she starts to take her own chance with her one person show. These two characters show the fairly tale dream chases that always believe they could make it and with each other in their lives they achieve more than they imagined.

PerformancesRyan Gosling and Emma Stone are truly fantastic in the lead roles of this film, they show us just how easily somebody’s passion can take a toll on their lives.

StoryThe story here follows an aspiring musician and an aspiring actress who meet, fall in love right as their careers start to skyrocket in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The story does show how dreamers can be led down paths which would see them push people away in their lives, we are left to see how this does feel like a giant fantasy between the two, after one maybe encounter to show how love and careers just take off, which I have always believed is in their heads, rather than in reality. This does have a fairy tale feel to it, which is nice to see and will be you entertained through the film.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the natural conversations the pair go through, with the romance showing how we see love being difficult to understand at times. The musical side of the film is the way everybody is willing to sing and dance around town.

SettingsThe film is set in Hollywood, which reflects the idea of the dreams that the characters have.


Scene of the Movie – The 5 years.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get enough out of the supporting characters.

Final Thoughts This is a beautiful fairy tale of life in Hollywood, it puts everything out there in a dream like reality of a life we all wish we could live, one that lets us follow our dreams.

Overall: Beautiful Fairy Tale of Hollywood.

Let Me Go (2017)

Director: Polly Steele

Writer: Polly Steele (Screenplay)

Starring: Juliet Stevenson, Jodhi May, Lucy Boynton, Karin Bertling, Stanley Weber, Evan Magyar

 

Plot: Let Me Go is a film about mothers and daughters, it is about ghosts from the past and the impact they leave on the present. Developed from Helga Schneider’s true life story, Let Me Go explores the effect on Helga’s life of being abandoned by her mother, Traudi in 1941 when she was just four years old. The film is set in the year 2000 following not only Helga and Traudi’s journeys but the next two generations and how Beth, Helga’s daughter and Emily her granddaughter are confronted with the long-term effects of Traudi’s leaving. When Helga receives a letter telling her that Traudi is close to death, it is Emily with whom Helga shares the truth. Emily volunteers to accompany her to Vienna to meet the great-grandmother she thought was dead, and experience the unraveling of the darkest of family secrets.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Performances

 

Story: Let Me Go starts as Helga (Stevenson) learns her mother Traudi (Bertling) is near death, the same mother that abandoned her 58 years ago. Helga’s daughter Beth (May) is going through her own problems and her daughter Emily (Boynton) has a strong bond with her grandmother.

Helga travels with Emily to confront her mother in Vienna where truths of Traudi’s life come out, while Beth is left at home feeling alone because of the relationship her mother and daughter have. Family secrets come out over the trip both on the trip and back home.

 

Thoughts on Let Me Go

 

Characters – We follow four generations of one family here, Traudi is the oldest, the one that abandoned her daughter during World War II, she is dying and has reached out to reconnect before she dies, even though her past will only bring nightmares to the rest of the family. Helga is the daughter that was abandoned, she has raised her own family with ease believing her mother was dead, only to need to confront her and her past. Beth is Helga’s daughter, divorced and trying to make sure her own daughter has the future she is dreaming off, often left out of place due to the relationship her mother and daughter have. Emily is the youngest member of the family, she is at university and joins Helga in Vienna using the trip to learn about her family and prepare for the course she is taking.

PerformancesWe have four powerful performances from four actresses at different stages of their careers, all four are fantastic with what they must deal with as the story unfolds and learn about the past.

StoryThe story shows us how four generations of one family have been affected by what happened when one Helga was abandoned by her mother, we see how the past has broken the people involved and how sometimes the past is better left kept secret. This is a drama that is heavily involved in how the people react to hearing about what people went through and how the moment that let it all comes.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, we see parts in London but we are mostly focused on Vienna which shows us just what the history of one of them will have on the story.


Scene of the Movie –
The moment of truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This doesn’t hit the marks it could for emotional impact.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful performance driven movie that does show a story which is based on a real person, it is an important moment for the four generations of one family will go through.

 

Overall: Powerful performance driven movie.

Rating

 

 

Little (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tina Gordon

Writer: Tracy Oliver, Tina Gordon (Screenplay)

Starring: Regina Hall, Issa Rae, Marsai Martin, Justin Hartley, Tracee Ellis Ross, Tone Bell, Mikey Day, JD McCray

Plot: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.


Tagline – She woke up like This.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strong Performances, Weak Laughs

Story: Little starts as we meet strict boss Jordan Sanders (Hall) who treats everybody badly with her bossy mentality, which has grown in her since her time at school, she walks all over everybody in her business, with her assistant April (Rae) dealing with most of her abuse.

With Jordan’s biggest client about to walk away from the company and the pressure is cranked up and things only get worse for Jordan, when a little girl sees her ways, wishes she was little again, Jordan (Martin) now school kid age must return to school, leaving April to run company for her.

Thoughts on Little

Characters – Jordan Sanders is the strict boss that always looks down on people, bullying them into the work in her life, she has made plenty of enemies along the way and is about to lose her biggest client. Caught in the act of her bossy ways, she turns back to her teenage self, one that was bullied, never fitted in and here she must learn a lesson about herself and her future. April has been the assistant to Jordan for years now, she does want to be her own woman with her own ideas, which as always shot down by Jordan, when Jordan becomes little, she turns to April who gets her chance to step up in her life, proving to be a friend that Jordan never thought she would have.

PerformancesRegina Hall does well as the strict bossy figure, but it is Issa Rae and Marsai Martin that shine the most bringing their characters to full life in the position where they wouldn’t normally see themselves.

StoryThe story here follows a successful strict boss that gets turned back to her younger self, forcing her to let people do things for her, while trying to learn a lesson about letting people into her own life. We have seen the body swapping ideas before, while this isn’t a full body swap, it does show how damaged somebody can be, making them closed off from the rest of the world. While this story might have a deeper meaning about how to make the best decisions in life, certain pop culture references, don’t help everything and we do end up not spending enough time with the school side of little Jordan’s time, which is where she is meant to learn the most.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy in the film doesn’t hit well enough for the most part, it all seems like everybody is trying to hard, rather than being naturally funny, the fantasy side of the film looks how a spell could change somebody, just like any fantasy body swapping film, with the romance being there, only not getting enough time to focus on.

SettingsThe film shows the successful selfish life Jordan has ended up living, it shows how Jordan is only interested in her own life.


Scene of the Movie – Little Jordan’s first day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of the comedy doesn’t work.

Final Thoughts This is a basic comedy that does have a bigger message about treating people better in life, or you will end up finding themselves alone when they need help the most.

Overall: Simple Comedy.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – L – La Vie en Rose (2007)

Director: Olivier Dahan

Writer: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Emmanuelle, Gerard Depardieu, Jean-Pierre Martins

 

Plot: Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf’s life was filled with tragedy.


Tagline – The passionate life of Edith Piaf

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cotillard is Outstanding

 

Story: La Vie en Rose starts when young Edith is left in her grandmother’s care in her brothel where prostitute Titine (Seigner) becomes her best friend, she suffers here after becoming sick and newly losing her sight. Taken to the circus by her father, it isn’t long before the two find themselves alone with Edith showing signs of her singing ability.

At the age of 20 Edith (Cotillard) is singing on the street corners with her friend Momone (Testud) before she gets noticed by Louise Leplee (Depardieu) who offers her a chance to sing in his clubs, this is just the beginning of her career as a performer. Edith’s life never went a smoothly as many others because behind the scenes we had plenty of problems.

 

Thoughts on La Vie en Rose

 

Characters – Edith Piaf is the famous French singer, she didn’t start on the top, we learn the struggles she faced, with her upbringing in a brothel and circus, before turning to the streets as a singer. Given the chance to perform on stage she never looked back when it came to performing, but she did enjoy partying which catches up with her as people try to control her rise to the top. Through the film we meet people that are important in Edith’s life, though one thing becomes clear, she doesn’t seem to stay around many people for too long.

PerformancesMarion Cotillard won an Oscar for this performance, you can see why, she is fantastic cover multiply different years of the singer making each age seem realistic for the audience to understand the struggles she is facing next. Everyone else in the film is great, though most struggle to reach the complete level Cotillard achieves in this film.

StoryThe story follows the life and career of performer Edith Piaf one of the most famous French singers of all time, we see how her life started with the battles to get out of the brothel and off the streets, to be where she belonged, on the stage, however many tragic events came her way. The story is told with plenty of time jumps between different ages which at times can be frustrating because this style of movie is often better to watch in the linear process, even if it is somebody looking back on life. Away from that little nit-pick, we see how amazing the story of Edith was with her final performance being the most iconic of all her songs.

Biopic/RomanceWe get to see most of the important moments in Edith’s life with this story, the performances and the tragic moments.

SettingsEach setting used in the film shows us just how the film was able to recreate the location that would have been used for the real moments in the life of the singer, with the performances feeling like they would be where they would really have taken place.


Scene of the Movie –
The final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The time jumps are off putting at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows just how talents Cotillard is and teaches us about a brilliant singer that will never be forgotten.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.

Rating