Oklahoma! (1999)

Director: Trevor Nunn

Writer: Oscar Hammerstein II (Book) Lynn Riggs (Play)

Starring: Maureen Lipman, Hugh Jackman, Josefina Gabrielle, David Shelmerdine, Jimmy Johnston, Shuler Hensley

 

Plot: Cowboy Curly McClain tries to win the heart of a girl in a singing and dancing extravaganza.

 

Runtime: 3 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Theatre Experience

 

Story: Oklahoma! Starts as cowboy Curly (Jackman) is trying to get farm girl Laurey Williams (Gabrielle) to be his date for dance, her heart is torn between what she wants in him and what would be right, going with the farm hand Jud (Hensley).  Playing matchmaker is Aunt Eller (Lipman) who wants best for her niece.

The battle between the men is on leaving Laurey to make the difficult decision herself, while on route to the party just where will everything go.

 

Thoughts on Oklahoma!

 

Characters – Aunt Eller is the lady pulling the strings between her niece and the other single women in the west, she can keep peace between the different backgrounds. Curly is a cowboy that is full of confidence that wants to be with Laurey, he is honourable and desirable for the women in the town and sets his sights on Laurey only. Laurey is the farm girl in search of a husband and is torn over two men, one she loves and one that has helped her family the most. Jud is the rival that wants Laurey’s hand in marriage, she is rougher around the edges making him feel like he would be a bad husband.

PerformancesWhen going into the performance we must understand this is the stage recording of the story, the whole cast show their talents off here to make this feel truly believable like you are one of the audience, and Jackman doesn’t even stand out over the rest of the performers.

StoryThe story here is a theatre classic, it focuses mostly on a young farm woman that is searching for a husband and being torn between her feelings and marrying for supporting in the wild west era. This is a slow story and you can understand why it is a stage musical, making it 3 hours is strange because there isn’t too much going on for the most part though.

Musical/Romance/WesternThe musical numbers are big and magical, easily the most important part of the film. the romance side of the film follows Laurey as she must make her choice about how to treat love. The western side of the film comes from the setting and time which shows us just where we are meant to be watching.

SettingsThis is a recording of the theatre production, we know the settings are only going to be the stage and what can be placed on it, this does work for this very well.


Scene of the Movie –
Dream sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is way too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical production that gets to highlight Hugh Jackman when he first broke into Hollywood, it is known as the classic show and has nothing wrong with the performance, but it is overly long.

 

Overall: Easy access to Musical world.

Rating

 

 

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The Pianist (2002)

rob challengeThis week Rob challenged me to this Oscar winning film.

logoDirector: Roman Polanski

Writer: Ronald Harwood (Screenplay) Wladyslaw Szpilman (Book)

Starring: Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox, Michal Zebrowski, Ed Stoppard, Maureen Lipman, Frank Finlay, Jessica Kate Meyer, Julia Rayner, Thomas Kretschmann

Plot: A Polish Jewish musician struggles to survive the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto of World War II.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Drama With Shocking Truth

Story: The Pianist starts Warsaw 1939 we see pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman (Brody) playing piano as the bombs hit the town, his family is planning on running and Wladyslaw refuses to go as war officially starts with Britain and France joining in with Poland. With the German’s taking over Warsaw Wladyslaw finds his Jewish beliefs being band across the city as his new romance with Dorota (Fox).

The German’s continue to take over Warsaw as the Wladyslaw family is relocated and offered a chance to have his time suffering reduced. We see how the Jews are being treated and how they want to stand up for themselves. When Wladyslaw get saved by an old friend his family is left to be sent to the chambers leaving Wladyslaw to wonder the ghetto alone going past bodies abandoned on the floor.

Wladyslaw continues to work as a labourer while the German continue to execute the members of the community and somehow Wladyslaw isn’t getting picked but loses his recently made friends. We see how he survivors the whole war with help from different people including a music loving German Captain Wilm Hosenfeld (Kretschmann).

The Pianist is one of the most difficult movies to watch because it shows the reality of one of the worst times in human history. We all know the suffering that was put on people during the war which puts all of us in a shocked mood. This does follow only one man’s fight to survive even though he loses everyone he cares about. I think this is perfectly told mixture the desperate side of the story with the pure brutality of what was going around him. (10/10)

Actor Review

Adrien Brody: Wladyslaw Szpilman is the man behind the story, he is a respected Jewish pianist that gets trapped with his family in Poland at first before being separated from them. We watch how he made it through the war in hiding having help from a range of different people along the way. Adrien gives an Oscar winner performance that he fully deserved. (10/10)wladyslow

Support Cast: The Pianist has a massive supporting cast that shows how many people were involved in the survival of Wladyslaw, most of which didn’t make it.

Director Review: Roman PolanskiRoman gives us a brilliant film that should be seen by everyone. (9/10)

Biographical: The Pianist tells the amazing story of Wladyslaw survival. (10/10)

War: The Pianist shows the reality of the war without going into the battles scenes. (10/10)

Settings: The Pianist creates a brilliant setting that makes you feel like you are in the time period. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Pianist is one that everyone should watch by everyone once. It may well be difficult by once viewing is important. (Watch)

Best Part: Shocking reality of the survival.

Worst Part: Difficult to watch.

Believability: Based on the real events. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 3 Oscars, Best Actor, Best Director also nominated for another 4 Oscars

Box Office: $32.5 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Music was his passion. Survival was his masterpiece.

Overall: Shocking but important film that shows just how hard surviving would have been.

Rating 95