Monday, 26 January 2015

Also of note: JANUARY

My intention was to record everything I watched this year and the beauty of on demand and Boxsets, means I can visit some programmes  and movies fresh despite them being missed at the time.

Foster.




My interest in this film was predominantly the wonderful Ioan Gruffudd, who as usual did not disappoint, but it was the other performances that truly made this film special and magical. The U.S.  Titles of this film rather gives away the main plot twist. I will not reveal!

Sidebar: why do they do that??  The film makers spoon feed American audiences as if they cannot cope with a more complex title structure... Two prime examples the debacle of Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone... Philosophers stone in the book and UK movie and the rather incongruously titled "Someone like You"  in the USA from a book called Animal Husbandry , called Animal Attraction in the UK ... The UK version is explanatory, the USA version, just bland, thus doing the film a disservice.

The packaging of the DVD also suggests it is a Christmas film, but I believe it could be watched and enjoyed at any time of the year, despite the fact that it features Christmas in the plot, the central themes of loss, grief, emotional estrangement and renewal work year round.

A fabulous British cast complements the central roles taken by Toni Collette and Ioan Gruffudd who  as Zooey and Alec have grown apart after a traumatic incident and their inability to conceive. Deciding to foster a child the precocious  and rather bossy young Eli appears on their doorstep, quite literally one day. With the help of a wise old tramp played with relish by the marvellously eccentric 

Richard E Grant, the child and his rather snazzy choice of attire, helps the couple find each other and themselves once again.
The most affecting scene and testament to my continuing love affair with Mr GRUFFUDD involves a teddy bear and a weeping Alec displaying emotion and range and depth more common in much higher budget projects.

☀️☀️☀️☀️

Before I Go to Sleep.  




I had not read the book so came to this film purposefully because I am a fan of Colin Firth and have a strong respect for Mark Strong.

The story of anmesiac who wakes every morning to find she is a forty years old Married woman with no memory of the last twenty years was an amazing premise.

I am purposefully avoiding spoilers for those who wish to watch the film or read the book, but this was a revelation to me, I had created a a scenario of in my head of how this would resolve itself and I was utterly and wonderfully confounded by the twists and turns of the story and it kept me literally on edge from start to finish.

Nicole Kidman plays Christine's confusion and fear beautifully , you feel her emotions as she visits a gamut of traumas every single day and you at once wish she would remember and wonder whether it would be better for her to stay in the dark.

Strong and Firth are truly marvellous as the two men who are the sole keepers of the sanity of this poor woman, the flashback sequences are chilling and the pacing is taut. Everything from the house to cars pulling into the drive provides tension.
Overall a good film.



⛅️☀️☀️

Pride




Set in the height of the Miners Strike in the 1980s, this film  was a delight!  A group of idealistic gay men and a token lesbian start a bucket collection to support the beleaguered Miners who were under attack by Margaret Thatcher's Government. Finding many correlations between their own lives and that of the mining community, they are faced with opposition  from the Union who fears reprisals from the male dominated mining industry, they randomly adopt a mining village in Wales and much hilarity and moving moments ensue.

The juxtapositioning of two of the biggest issues of the the mid eighties, those of the systematic

destruction of our rural mining industry and that of the growing tragedy of HIV/ AIDS  are handled with subtlety and maturity.

A fine British Cast led by the truly marvellous Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton provide a great foil for a newer unknown set of actors playing the group of young idealists who work so hard to support the people who at first at least meet them with prejudice, fear and anger.

As friendships form and insights into the plights of the others are found the film creates a timely reminder that inside we are all human with our own fears and dreams and ambitions and that often it is our labels that constrain us, that prejudice can imprison us and ignorance enslave us.

The fact that this is a dramatisation of real events which as a young girl I had some cognisance of
gives the film a real frisson. The rousing ending  is uplifting and makes the annotations on the titles at the end even more moving as you hear how some of the integral characters fared after the film's
events.

☀️☀️☀️

 A Long Way Down




A Nick  Hornby adaptation starring Toni Collette? already a winner! Actually this was far better than even I had expected. Four random strangers meet on top of a tower block as they all plan to commit suicide on New Years's Eve. We have the world worn housewife  and mother, the washed up B List celebrity, a teenage rebel and the quiet loner all played with a understated subtlety  by Collette, Pierce Brosnan, Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul.

Each of their reasons for suicide seem authentic and the story is sweet and moving and darkly funny. All the main cast are strong and the pact they make to not kill themselves until Valentines Day creates a brilliant support group of misfits, all looking out for each other and ultimately showing that life can actually be worth living.

Good, but not Great☀️⛅️⛅️

Friday, 23 January 2015

Why we love Henry - FOREVER PROFILES


Foreverists are bereft this week as ABC gave the Forever slot to this Obama fellow to talk about what a state he is in!

So I thought I would take the chance to just tell those who had not come across the Show just yet just who all the Hoo ha is all about! Forever is a great show but it is the central character that makes it so interesting!





Doctor Henry Morgan - played by Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd

Dr. Henry Morgan  is 235 years old,  originally born in London . He was shot dead onboard  a Ship  where he was serving as Surgeon in the act of protecting a black slave, he was miraculously brought back to life and has been immortal for 200 years.  Unable to die however he meets his demise, he literally rises again in the nearest body of  open water.


When we meet him, he has sequestered himself away in a research cellar, come torture Chamber
where he studies death and dying in a bid to unlock' his curse of immortality. He can solve  practically any mystery, except his own. Working as a New York City medical examiner he helps the police both in the morgue and out of it.





Detective Jo Martinez, the officer who comes across Henry in the investigation of a train wreck where Henry is the only survivor, see his usefulness, and together with a team of detectives at the precinct, solve crimes. Henry has been through a lot, has seen a lot and made it his business to learn all he can about violent crimes and disease, giving  him excellent observation skills as well as a near encyclopedia  like memory accrued from two centuries of observation.

He has a deep understanding and empathy for human emotions. His empathy has been well represented in the series so far as his friendship with Jo Martinez began when he helped her begin to process her grief for her deceased husband.

He lives with his friend and confidant and adoptive son  Abe, in an antiques store they own together. 

They have a father & son dynamic unlike that on any other show.





He's intelligent, compassionate, charming...he's worldly smart, insightful, intense, but He also is very guarded with his feelings. His first wife was unable to deal with the enormity of his secret and had him institutionalised in a mental hospital where he was tortured so trust is hard to earn for Henry Morgan. It must have been hard for second wife Abigail to break into his shell and the fact both she and Abe knew his secret is indicative of how much he trusted her. as a result of  losing her in as yet an unconfirmed  way, you can understand why he might become introverted again.  He guards his heart as closely as his secret now despite the intrigue that seems to follow him and allure to women.








He dresses exceptionally well in a classic style and favours a scarf as his signature garment , his look is smart and precise. Quality is the name of the game from the scotch he drinks to the way he likes his tea prepared.


Henry's work is now hindered by the arrival of a man who claims not only to share Henry's affliction, but also to have suffered from it for 2000 years! His untimely meddling ended in Henry killing another human being for the first time in his very long life and the miasma of this act now weighs heavily on him... And that is where we are, keep watching Forever on Mondays and Tuesdays in Canada and USA respectively.

If the adventures of Dr Morgan entertain you, drop ABC a line... Tell them that we want the show to continue into a season 2 and beyond!

Thank you to the lovely folks in the Foreverist Group for Forever Fans on Facebook for their brainstorming on this topic.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Diamonds are Forever. Friendship is Eternal....



Forever continues to  brilliantly delve deeper into the complexities of humanity than almost all of the Crime Series in recent times.  It is one of the main reasons I watch it. As ever the human stories are always seasoned by the crimes, the investigations are the canvases upon which the hues of every Human emotion are deftly and cleverly painted weekly. The Writers have outdone themselves again!

This one Episode alone touches upon the issues of belief, friendship, Loss and prejudice.

The premise, a diamond theft is juxtaposed against a petty theft over at Abe's shop.  The resulting investigation sees Jo forced confront her as yet unresolved grief for her Husband, Henry to remember that placing his trust in someone about his secret does not always end in "very Scientific" torturous pain and heartbreak. The always Hilarious has  Abe to confront some of his own prejudices.

Ioan Gruffudd again brings a deft touch to his portrayal of the immortal doctor whose long life has given him an extensive Forensic knowledge, but it is his emotional range when opening himself up to people again after so many disappointments in the past, that really brings his performance above and beyond the usual, exceptional detecting mind, always one step ahead of the police. He brings a breadth to Henry that is charming and clever, but also vulnerable and sweet.

The flash backs in this episode really show that for Henry to come to the emotionally healthy place he is in today which will be integral to his interactions with Jo and to a certain extent, even Mike Hanson in  this episode, that he had to have been given some hope that his secret could be shared. This is of course confirmed when he begins a life with Abigail and Abe, but I suspect the scenes in the prison cell with the Irish Priest, played with such relish by the wonderful Roger Rees, were the first time Henry ever considered being truthful about his plight to anyone since his ill fated revelation to his rather shrewish wife. Belief quite literally sets Henry free.

Elsewhere, Judd  is again immensely funny and endearing in his conviction that some local reprobate delinquent has stolen his Tang horse! Henry's reaction to his asking him to investigate is wonderfully patronising and fatherly .. And Abe's sarcasm at being brushed off is at once petulant and snarky, I love the dynamic between these two very much and it adds a dimension to the show that few others have. The revelation of what actually did happen to the "too Shiny equine" is a delight and serves to remind us all that it never is best to read a book by it's cover.

Joel David Moore  as Lucas again is a comedic foil , but  this episode was really about Jo and the way her grief draws from Henry and Mike some truly nuanced performances that were at once heartbreaking and heartwarming. These three central performances made this show one of my absolute favourites from the season so far.






The performances of Donnie Keshawarz and Alana De La Garza are phenomenal here. Hanson's accidental foot in mouth episode and his immediate and absolute contrition are proof of the respect he feels for his partner, his awkward attempts to be a shoulder to lean on are sweetly played. The scene where he asks HENRY to back off from the case is also deftly written and played honestly by both Donnie and Ioan . These two men obviously care so deeply for their friend and would do anything to protect her. This love is reflected in the way Jo shields Mike in the shoot out earlier in the show.







Their concern for Jo in the final showdown with the bad guy is also wonderful to behold. Both Ioan and Donnie have extremely expressive faces and eyes that mirror their souls in the purest sense. The casting of these central male roles is so important for the show to feel real and I have only praise for them as they continue to develop them.

Alana De La Garza is given much to play with in this episode, playing it resilient and tough to hide her inner turmoil, her assertion that she can cope is obviously belayed by her reactions  and  it is this reaction so familiar to us all when we are aiming to hide our truest feelings that makes her performance resonate so.. I am fine, never means fine.





It is those moments when Jo is unguarded, whilst watching the footage of her husband and the reactions that the men in her life have to those exposed emotions ;which prove this cast to be truly masters of their craft. Jo's grief will break your heart and Mike and Henry's friendship will rekindle your faith in humanity.

ABC Forever returns to Canadian and U.S. Screens with New episodes in two weeks.

If you enjoy the show, please let ABC know by sending them a letter or using Social Media to spread the word.. We can only tell them how much the show means to us by  actually telling them..

Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Imitation Game .

A film I had always planned to see, I was not disappointed by this story of a man who  was until very recently, arguably one of the most underrated and heroic men in recent British History.


As a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, I knew that that he would be convincing as Alan Turing, but I found his performance in this totally absorbing, I heard a critic say That Turing  was difficult to warm to, but I at once liked this awkward and seemingly emotionally devoid man. Cumberbatch has played it like this before, Sherlock too is a genius removed from reality by his brilliance, but here Cumberbatch takes it to another level.

It soon, though becomes apparent that he was not devoid of emotion at all, that his feelings  were vivid and strong and soaring. They were all just held down under check for the sake of his secret.  Whilst his homosexuality was the reason for his falling foul of the Law and the reason why he could not be totally free with himself  it was an innocent loss from his youth that really began his emotional withdrawal. Alex Lawther as Young Allen is astounding and I see great things for him as an actor in the future



Cumberbatch is utterly compelling, but it is in those moments when Turing is vulnerable, when chinks of his anguish or tenderness or anger are reluctantly revealed that the film becomes most powerful. The scene where a choice must be made to save a family member or keep the fact the code breaker secret is heartbreaking.

The casting here is marvellous, Charles Dance is the personification of a Naval Admiral and Mark Strong has really found a niche as the murky security services operative. Matthew Goode and Keira Knightly  lead further strong support as the Bletchley  Gang in Hut 8.  The feel of the film is that of  a labour of love and respect for the real folk that they play.





 The final scenes of the movie and the obligatory denouement credits left me at once deeply sad and deeply proud of a man who gave up everything for the idea that would ultimately shorten the length of the War and saved countless lives.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

FOREVER: Brokers, Buddies and Breaking Down.

Told you I would be returning to the continuing adventures of Dr Henry Morgan in ABC's Forever.

A rather nice plot about high stakes city Brokers with William Baldwin at his most charmingly Smarmy! For me though the story took a back seat to the three more pressing areas  in this particular Episode ...



Abe & His Army Buddies

Abe recruits his friends to help find the killer of his friend's son, running an independent investigation, they hilariously infiltrate the houseboat of a suspect. Both Judd Hirsh and guesting star Clarke Peters ( The Wire and Treme ) are superb as the Vietnam Vetshelping out the buddy who looked out for them. As usual Abe steals every scene , his comic timing totally laser sharp.

Henry's return to work







After the cataclysmic events of the Pre-Christmas Finale, we find Henry adamantly clinging to to his assertion that he is fine and fit for work. Whilst his colleagues are pleased to see him, and it was heartwarming to see Lt. Reece, looking out for his welfare from afar and Lucas's evident joy when Dr Morgan pops up to sort out the body is palpable.Lucasrespects his mentor and it is great to see the obvious affection and devotion he has for Henry in the way he seeks to subvert the staid and safe ME that is filling in for him at the Police Morgue. Played as usual with much Comedic a Flair by Joel David Moore, we see more that without Henry's blazing brilliance outshining all comers, that Lucas is becoming a skilled medical examiner in his own right under his tutelage. When minor characters are allowed to blossom so nicely, it bodes well for the quality of the show. The writes know their characters and avoid all stereo types to create believable and grounded individuals.

It is obvious to Jo that things are not alright in the Morgan Camp. Her reaction to his extreme behaviour was one of the most emotionally engaging elements in this episode. The exchange they share, with both close to tears is dramatic acting of such high calibre, that I am surprised that ABC has not invested more in their prestigious talents to put this show in a more prominent slot.

The way that Alana and Ioan have created the relationship between Jo and Henry is what makes this show so strong and I believe, are being done a disservice by the folk obsessed with getting them into a romantic relationship. There is affection, love even but it is rooted deeper in shared experience, honest  worry about the other's emotional welfare and respect.



Abe, Abigail and Henry a Flashbacks.

It was this element of this week's show that for  me  offered some of the most honest and telling revelations about why having Abe as an anchor and Confident for HENRY is so ingenious . Henry's reaction to Abe's conscription, the anger only ever borne of heartfelt worry, the knowledge that war is needless loss of life and yet allowing his idealistic "son" the freedom to make his own choice was so beautifully played by Ioan Grufudd and the young man playing Abe in his youth, that I welled up. That Abe's sense of honour both then and in the present day is testament to the example that Henry must have set.

Conclusion:

It is the juxtaposition  and the struggle of this inate goodness and fairness, against his guilt at being catalyst to a needless loss of life, that proves to me that this show is deeper and much cleverer than one might think when looking at it's premise on paper.

As next week's episode purports to be centred on Jo's unresolved issues with her husban'd passing,  and Henry offering her his support , I am gratified that the writers are sticking to their guns and keeping the moral integrity of the show we love so much.

ABC airs #Forever on Tuesday nights .

If you like the show, let ABC know:

ABC Publicity,
c/o Forever
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank
CA 91521-4551






Thursday, 8 January 2015

Broadchurch, the town where intrigue festers around every corner.

I was so pleased to be able to sit down in front of the Tellybox to watch Broadchurch on its triumphant return from Awards glory!



SPOILER ALERT: Series 1 Killer revealed.


Taking up exactly where we left off, the residents of Broadchurch are gearing up for the committal hearing of Joseph Miller , Shock killer of Danny Latimer in the last season. Practically the entire town is bowling up at the Crown court  to watch the Latimer family get their closure .

David Tennant returning as the dour and sour Detective Inspector whose mysterious past appears to be about to be revealed... The question of why he would stay in the town after losing his job is valid and will be the cornerstone of the other strand of the series this time around. The mysterious Claire is gradually revealed as a massive figure from his past and will be the catalyst for another search for truth about the death and potential kidnap of two girls and the truth about the man lurking about on the hillside.

Much of what was marvellous about the first season is intact. Reporters  are still seedy and , townsfolk are all hiding something and it is only in the last few minutes that we are shown just what Mark is doing when heavily pregnant wife calls.

As evil Joe says "nobody is innocent, everyone hides things"

The stars are excellent here, with the wonderful Olivia Coleman stealing every single scene she is in, she makes the fallout of the revelations about her husband and the terrible repercussions that are
being felt in her life and those of the Latimers seem so honest and believable. Her reaction to Joe in
the dock was my favourite part of the show and her monologue to her psychiatrist was at once pathetic and hilarious as only Ms Coleman can manage.



The courtroom scene was a true testament to the glut of talent we have here in the UK . Andrew
Buchan and Jodie Whittaker  were a tour de force . Bringing to life  the unrestrained grief , anguish and rage felt by parents of a murdered child realising justice might not be done.



Newbie cast members, Charlotte Rampling and  Marianne Jean Baptiste bring some strong adversarial tension as the barristers on opposing counsels, with axes to grind over a shared past.

The appearance of Torchwood alumni Eve Myles as a woman under unofficial witness protection ,adds another frisson to her interaction with David Tennant whose relationship with his Charge has yet to be defined. I have my suspicions about Claire, but keeping them under my hat for just now!






The lurker on the hillside appears to taunt and I look forward to seeing how James D'arcey 's character develops, so far his ominous proximity to the crime is tantalising in the extreme.




☀️


Sunday, 4 January 2015

#Anonymous Caller, a advertisement for Procedural Perfection.

I make no apologies for being an Avid Forever Fan... Be warned it will appear Heavily until either I pop my clogs or ABC stops making it 🙈🙈🙈🙉🙉🙉🙉🙉🙀🙀🙀🙀. That being said...


However I thought I would take the timely opportunity to show new folk just how fantastic this show is by using the wonderful autumnal season finale as an example of why this show should be lauded and given more attention by TV execs and critics alike... 

Anonymous Caller (Ep 11)

The set up: Henry Morgan, Medical Examiner and utterly reluctant Immortal (due to an unfortunate incident onboard ship  when as Ship's Doctor, whilst in the process of protecting a slave from being murdered for being ill,he is shot 
and killed but miraculously comes back to life) is being stalked by an ominous voice on the phone who claims to also share Henry's "affliction".


 In this seminal episode Henry is kidnapped by the man he knows only as "Adam", after an act to irrefutably prove his own immortality, he then sets out to frame Henry for murder to force him to flee as he has done many times before in his 200 years.

This  storyline alone demonstrates how wonderfully the character works. Played beautifully by Welshman Ioan Gruffudd, Henry's act of altruism that begins what is arguably his journey into isolation and solitude is in fact an act of kindness 
and bravery when others would baulk.

When the series began, Henry was a loner with only one true friend, who knows his secret purely because from infancy Henry has been his adoptive Father. The origins of Abe is one of the sweet little nuggets writers have included in the 
show that I believe truly raises it above the ordinary.






Judd Hirsh, stalwart of quality US television has found a role here that allows him to play a part filled with Warmth, humour and the most interesting Father/Son Dynamic you will ever come across.

When it becomes clear that H is being framed by a dangerous Lunatic,Abe's insistence that he tell the team of Police that he has gradually become part of, is really the crux of why this particular show is just so good. Abe whilst older in appearance alone, embodies the idea of live life to the fullest and constantly attempts to pull Henry out of his  self imposed isolation.

Henry, a brilliant man even before he gets two hundred odd years to hone his 
talents, in a bid to shield himself from the dual pains of loss and rejection he 
has had to endure has become almost a hermit, only venturing out of his 
underground lab where he studies his deaths (he has had numerous demises) to the Police morgue where he further studies death in all it's  guises. 

He is helped by Lucas a brilliantly cast  Joel DavidMoore. Who is intrigued, awed and amazed with Dr Morgan and regularly and consistently amusingly tries to draw him out. 


Lucas is the bridge between Henry and the Police officers who will become so integral in Henry's re introduction to the world and all its highs and lows. Jo Martinez and Mike Hanson are brilliant in this. Alana De La Garza is beautiful as 
Jo, the newly widowed detective relying too heavily on a drink when they meet .

She too is drawn to Henry, who is inadvertently pulled into a case using his knowledge of rare poisons (which he uses on himself as a guinea pig).





This central relationship is played with such subtlety and the usual sexual tension is not pushed into the viewer's face as both Henry and Jo are recovering from the loves of their lives and so they are not seeking partners, but obviously both just crave friendship. As a unit they work well off of each other, and it is the obvious affection they have for each other which makes the ease with which  Jo, Hanson ( the lovely Donnie Kershawarz )and Lt Reece (Lorraine Toussant)yaccept Henry's explanation of events ,when Jo catches HENRY red handed with the planted Murder weapon, so believable.







Integral to this episode is the respect and grudging affection that Hanson and L.t. Reece have for Henry. Casting of these characters is also very clever. Both are brilliant at keeping their characters out of stereotype and cliches and make them warm and lovable even whilst exasperated by him!

My wish for the remainder of the season and on into any further seasons (HINT HINT ABC) is that we are able to examine this further. Without trusting him, it would have been impossible for Henry to stay in New York or for the amazing  end scenes that left viewers gasping and cheering their favourite Characters!! 

This episode also made the most of the #forever Lore that allows for female fans to smile over the sight of Mr Gruffudd semi naked  in most episodes. Every  time he dies, as he appears again completely naked in the nearest body of water, generally the East River! It also showed starkly that whilst he is bemused
by Henry and his haughty eccentricity, that Hanson rather enjoys ribbing him and the red speedos and swimming goggles that featured in the Police Station scene was a hilarious addition to what was a rather tense episode!

With the revelation of Adam and the confirmation that both he and Henry are immortal,this show can only go from strength to strength. I truly hope it will!








Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Theory of Everything

The first film of 2015 !!  What a lovely one at that!




The Theory of Everything is the much anticipated film about Stephen Hawking and the performance by up and coming Brit Star Eddie Redmayne is nothing short of astonishing!

Being Cambridge  Born and Bred, it always makes me happy to see the colleges on screen and the lovely first section of the film set as Stephen meets his wife and plans what to do his  doctoral theory on is classic Cambrian Fayre.

A star turn by the incomparable David Thewlis as the tutor who nurtures the already blatant talent inherent in the quiet and unassuming young Stephen, the callowness of youth making him take that talent for granted of course. It is only the chance attendance at a house party and a lecture that launches both his professional and personal lives quite literally into orbit.



Felicity Jones is luminous as Jane and I have only utmost respect for  the real Jane whose total readiness to stick by Hawking despite the dire prognosis and life expectancy  projected for the development of his motor neurone disease was inspirational.

Supporting cast members Maxine  Peake and Charlie Cox are also wonderful but it is the central performances here that held me rapt for the entirety of the film.  The film is honest about the effect Stephen's deterioration has on his marriage and Jane's emotional attachment to the widower who comes to be a home help and becomes so indispensable to all the Hawkings , is played with subtlety so that we never judge her for this. The arrival of a naughty therapist who energises Stephen and gives him the strength to set Jane free, is a release for everyone and so happily everyone can remain friends.


Much can be said about the physicality of Eddie Redmayne's performance, it is truly amazing, but it is the tenacity of spirit, the humour and to some extent the otherness of Hawking's intelligence  that really makes this role so arresting, the prison of  his body and ultimately his loss of verbal communication  makes the silent performance  of Hawking's brilliance even more stark.



BAFTAs and Oscars abound I am sure.



☀️ ☀️ tremendous!

Miranda, the programme I like to call... SUCH FUN!


Well Dearest Chums, it was the end of an Era... My Love Affair with a posh, gangly, clumsy giant of a woman  called Miranda began when we met her and her best Friend Stevie as they attempted to eke out a living from their little shop!!

Throw in a delightfully snobbish overbearing mother with an absolute obsession with getting Miranda Married off to keep up with her bourgeoisie pals. Played with absolute relish by Patricia Hodge, she is at once lovable and irritating. Such Fun!

The addition of Zany well to do friends , my favourite being Tilly who steals every scene with with some of the most interesting catchphrases ! My personal favourites being "flabbergastamoomoo" and "things are not Great Winslett" !

What really attracted me to this show though was the delightfully endearing will they/won't they romance in years... Knocks Ross and Rachel into a cocked hat!! Gorgeous Gary (the absolutely adorable Tom Ellis) upon whom ,
Miranda has had a massive crush since university is so obviously perfect for her . He cooks, he looks after her when she gets into myriad disasters  ( the time she becomes trapped in a park in just bra and panties and shields her blushes and lends her clothes is one of my favourites) and he obviously adores her and they almost get it on several times, but something or someone always puts a spanner into the works , normally Miranda herself !!
Gary in one of the many fantasy moments from the show!

The series was chock full of slapstick and humiliating vignettes for our heroine , a tall woman called "sir" more often than was really fair as M is actually a very handsome lady in a  "Sloane Ranger" 
kind of way! It made me feel better about my own propensity to clumsiness and I suspect that this is 
why a series with so few episodes became so beloved. Miranda was the personification of the insecure girl inside all women and the sort of girl most men actually adore, just much much bigger!

It was the central relationships, the people who accepted Miranda for who she was,  her insecurities and ability to get into scrapes, with aplomb , that made the show so special, so when the last series ended on a cliffhanger, two proposals at once, fans were on edge to know if finally Gary, her long suffering friend/ come soulmate would convince her they were meant to be together.

Split into two halves played out on Christmas Eve and New Year's Day  (testament to the esteem with which the show is held by BBC execs) this finale was at once  predictable and infuriating.  Just when 
we thought it would be happy ever after, we fell at the fence again! The underlying theme of this show, hidden by all the fun and frolics,  is that that true happiness can only come from our own feeling of self worth was there front and centre, it was only when Miranda was able to accept herself 
that we were able to get the ending we wanted! Suffice to say Romantics were not disappointed.



Spoiler: .   They get married !!!  There was much kissing !!! And the other Gary in Miranda's life made a cameo  - Mr Gary Barlow!!! The tearful goodbye from Miranda to us the viewer was the perfect adieu.

Result joyous galloping,whooping and happy crying in my living room!!











Friday, 2 January 2015

ESIO TROT , a tale of secret love, nosey neighbours and Tortoises!



I have to admit, I had been waiting all CHRISTMAS for this one as Judi Dench is one of my very favourite actresses of all time!

Based (loosely I am told) on the book by Roald Dahl, this was the delightful story of Mr Hoppy, a lonely man with only two passions , his beautifully kept balcony  filled with fabulous flowers and his unrequited love for the deliciously dotty lady in the flat below.

Hatching a plan involving  a fake  Bedouin spell and a large number of tortoises, Mr Hoppy endeavours to win her heart by giving her her wish to make her trusted and beloved Tortoise grow.

Why  I Liked it ...

Rather controversially I really enjoyed the device of having James Corden as the Narrator, he has a innocence about him that to my mind made him perfect and as his involvement in the tale was slowly revealed, it made me smile !

Judi Dench... Need I say More?

Ok, I will. she played this so playfully and her inner eccentricity was allowed to come to the fore, the sight of her in yellow bunny ears will stay with me forever!

Dustin Hoffman is superb as  Mr Hoppy, the quiet man with a cunning plan, thwarted at every turn by the odious bore from upstairs who becomes his love rival.

Filmed in rich, warm tones this story written by Richard Curtis ( of  "Love Actually" Fame ) for the screen was a delight for the eyes and the Louis Armstrong soundtrack caressed my ears... This film was like a warm cuddle and despite divergence from the original book, I think it was perfect post New Year fodder to  recover from  the previous evenings's excesses!

A resounding ⛅️ (Point deducted for taking away some of Roald Dahl's language to Modernise for a 2015 audience)


Welcome...

Hello lovely people!

I stand before you with a little bit of a self indulgent plan.  I plan to share with you (my  Dear, Sweet unsuspecting public ) my views and ideas about the TV, Movies and books I have read in 2015.

There will be regular content , there may be audience participation and there will be PERSONAL POINTS OF VIEW, but hopefully folk will be entertained and perhaps, just perhaps you will be able to share in some new joys this year alongside me!

This week:

Roald Dahl's - Esio Trot

Miranda Finale - BBC1

The Theory Of Everything - CINEMAS Nationwide

My scoring system.   ☀️ GREAT 
                               ⛅️ GOOD
                               ☁️ OK
                               ☔️BAD