Weekly Movie Round Up

Weekly Movie Round Up

RAY (2004)

Paul has been bugging me to watch this film for years. And this week, I caved and said I would. It’s not that I don’t like biopics I just sometimes find them dull or mainly false. However, Paul informed me that Ray Charles actually helped work on the movie which I felt gave a bit more credence.

Ray is a musical biographical film focusing on 30 years of the life of rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx). Ray Charles Robinson went blind when he was seven. He was inspired by his strong and independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Ray found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard.  The film shows the highs and lows of his life, his drug abuse, infidelities and the talent and perfection he possessed.

I thought this was a wonderfully moving film. There are plenty of recognisable songs that viewers will not connect with Ray, but always will after watching this movie.

★★★★

THEIR FINEST (2017)

Paul and I saw the trailer to this movie whilst at the cinema a few weeks ago and thought it looked wonderful. Sadly, I felt the story was incredibly slow.Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) trying to make a living in WW2 London.

Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) trying to make a living in WW2 London. Her husband, Ellis (Jack Huston),  is an artist who is trying to make money from his paintings and present them in an exhibition. However, whilst he is doing so, Catrin is asked to become a writer for a British propaganda film with Tom Buckley (Sam Claflin) and Raymond Parfitt (Paul Ritter).

Catrin desperately attempts to make the movie show how strong women are during the Blitz, creating two strong sisters, based on a news story that turned false and misinterpreted by the media. The original twins had attempted to rescue soldiers in Dunkirk but failed due to a faulty engine. Their attempted rescue inspires Catrin.

Whilst they film in Devon, Catrin builds a friendship with Buckley who she had previously clashed with which later grows into something more. That is until they both get a big shock.

Although I love the romance and inspirational ideas behind this movie, I just thought it was so slow. It’s really a lovely movie but not one I would watch again.

★★★

LA LA LAND

When I first saw La La Land in the cinema, I was shocked. Mainly because it wasn’t exactly the film I thought it was going to be. The second time round, however, I fell deeper in love. It could be the fact it’s set in Los Angeles, one of my favourite cities. Or because the songs are catchy, the costumes are beautiful, the dance sequences are superb… I don’t know. But this film has something that not many modern films have.

Sadly, so many people claim it is overrated. This could be because they weren’t expecting an Old Hollywood-esque movie. Or because they were hoping for an out and out classic film. But for me, the film is simply a tip of the hat to classic Hollywood. With bizarre dance sequences, set changes and impromptu singing this film is a wonderful, colourful picture. It’s a movie in its own right and shouldn’t be compared to other musicals. Just like Moulin Rouge! should never be compared. It’s its own musical genre.

I love this modern adaptation of a classic movie. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are not the most classically trained actors to be in a musical. So seeing them sing and dance (as well as play piano in Ryan’s case) is a wonderful change of pace. It’s about regular people trying to make their dreams come true whilst attempting to support one another’s ambitions. Which is why having theatrical singers and dancers perform in this movie just wouldn’t fit.

Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz musician with the desire to bring back jazz to Los Angeles and the rest of the world. He hopes to open his own club, but whilst he does so, plays music he detests to keep money coming in. Mia (Emma Stone) works as a barista in Warner Bros. Studio, auditioning in between shifts and sociailising. This is where she is formally introduced to a man she flips the bird to in traffic and who snubs her after he is fired from his restaurant performance.

They both are drawn to one another’s passions when success gets in the way and begins to put pressure on their relationship.

★★★★★

What movies have you watched this week?

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