Written / directed by Terrence Malick, new drama / biography A Hidden Life is the story of Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl), an Austrian peasant farmer and an unsung hero, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II.
Additional key cast includes Matthias Schoenaerts, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist…
I’d never heard of Franz Jägerstätter until today. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how the esteemed Malick approaches this story, visually and otherwise. Fingers crossed for some kind of a happy ending.
Jürgen Prochnow, Bruno Ganz, Alexander Fehling, Ulrich Matthes, Karl Markovics and Franz Rogowski also star.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is a new Marielle Heller directed drama / biography that focuses on iconic American TV host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks). Particularly his friendship with journalist Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys)…
Personally, I can find zero reasons for not watching this. I already adore Mr. Hanks and Mr. Rogers is, according to most if not all who knew of him, a big ball of happiness.
Susan Kelechi Watson, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Cooper, Wendy Makkena, Tammy Blanchard, Maddie Corman, Sakina Jaffrey, Kitty Crystal and Noah Harpster also star.
As confirmed in my recent review ofThe Greatest Showman – which I loved, I’m a fan of very few musicals. In fact, when a musical comes along that I’m curious enough about, I prepare myself mentally to have to sit through at least 3 musical numbers that I’d much rather skip or fast forward.
The good news about director Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman, a biography of singer, songwriter, pianist and composer Elton John is that, even though I did definitely want to fast forward through two or three musical moments, there were at least three or more that I wish lasted for double the time.
Rocketman is for me, a notable achievement for all involved. The entire cast including Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden and Bryce Dallas Howard all performed very well. A great relief since I actually wasn’t sure about Egerton when I heard he’d be playing John. My doubts were very much silenced soon after the film started. Not only did Egerton perform well musically, but some of my favourite scenes are when he’s portraying the singer at his most vulnerable. I actually had no idea that John’s story was quite so heartbreaking. I’m therefore really glad knowing how much happier his life appears to be now.
‘Rocketman’, ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘Your Song’ are my favourite of all the music performance scenes. I particularly love the scene that shows how ‘Your Song’ actually came to be; a scene as moving as the sentiment behind the song itself.
Egerton and Madden’s on screen chemistry and Bryce Dallas Howard’s performance won’t be forgotten by me anytime soon. I also won’t be forgetting the great friendship at the heart of Rocketman. Said friendship is perhaps the most beautiful part.
Red Joan, the Trevor Nunn directed drama / biography based on the true story of Melita Stedman Norwood, the KGB’s longest serving British spy isn’t quite what I’d hoped.
Not that I was expecting James Bond level antics, however, even though Red Joan is adequately acted, there’s a certain absence of excitement in Nunn’s story. I remained curious enough to watch till the end, but the way the movie is written and edited certainly didn’t allow for me to become very strongly invested emotionally in how things would turn out for the protagonist(s).
Furthermore, I felt as though not enough was delved into as deeply as needed. For example, the film barely sold Joan to me as a person who really believed in saving the world. Assuming she wasn’t lying about her motivations, I wanted to know and understand if by the end she was in fact delusional or was she to some level effective in her mission, as she believed.
Sure, watch Red Joan if you absolutely must. Otherwise, for a loosely similar but far more brilliantly executed film… The Imitation Game (2014).
Jay Myself is a documentary about renowned photographer Jay Maisel. In February 2015, Maisel had to sell his thirty six thousand square foot New York city home and move.
Filmmaker and Maisel’s protégé Stephen Wilkes captured the move and through Jay Myself, he shares the photographer’s life as an artist, mentor, and man grappling with time, life, change, and the end of an era in New York City…
I’m interested because I love a perfectly arresting image. The kind that makes everything else around disappear and there’s just one and the art.
Something tells me that I may find a bunch of arresting images in this film. I mean, I’d never heard of Maisel until this trailer but he is a ‘renowned photographer’ after all – and the blue image above is gorgeous.
I still haven’t seen even half of the very highly rated musicals out there – and I doubt I will. Especially since musicals aren’t my favourite genre. However, to my surprise, I’ve found my most loved musical to date in The Greatest Showman.
Based on the true story of P.T Barnum, a visionary who rose from nothing to create the mesmerising spectacle known as the circus, I found so much to love about this film. The music – of course, the costumes, humour, choreography, performances and themes; I enjoyed it all.
I found that I appreciate The Greatest Showman even more because of the way it speaks to the part of me that chooses to live life on my own terms, regardless of what society expects of me. This is a film about a person who took the risk and followed his vision to make his dreams a reality. In this way, director Michael Gracey’s film belongs in the same entrepreneurship loving space that Jon Favreau’s Chef (2014)occupies in my heart.
It’s generally no secret that the real P.T. Barnum wasn’t exactly a perfect human being. Additionally, not every character in this film actually existed. Yet my, oh my is this version of the story beautiful.
Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman, Zendeya and Michelle Williams all deliver good performances. As does Rebecca Ferguson. Particularly the moment we all get to hear her character’s singing voice. A scene that is arguably the most arresting. A true wow moment.
You’ve very already seen this but if you haven’t, watch The Greatest Showman for all the seemingly endless reasons above and you may just find yourself inspired.