Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Film Review

Newt (Eddie Redmayne) is a wizard who works with fantastic beasts, and has come to New York in the 1920s. He discovers some strange happenings and accrues a small team of assistants to help him.

I loved seeing the magical world of Harry Potter put into New York in the twenties. Too much fun. And there were some great characters, and I loved the creatures. But I found the first half hour of the film really slow-moving and it was really hard for the rest of it to catch up. In addition to this, I’m not that much of a Potter fan, so any time there was a reference to something from the world of Potter, it went over my head, while I’m sure much of the intended audience would have been gasping and tittering with excitement. Also, I didn’t like the character that Redmayne was playing, and I think it’s pretty difficult to really enjoy a film when you are actively disliking the hero.

Fanastic Beasts and Where to Find Them won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design and was nominated for Best Achievement in Production Design. It won a BAFTA for Best Production Design and was nominated for Outstanding British Film of the Year, Best Costume Design, Best Sound and Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects.

My Week with Marilyn (2011) Film Review

marilyn

Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) starts working for Sir Lawrence Oliver (Kenneth Branagh) on his new film, which, as it happens, stars Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). But Marilyn is a troubled soul, always late, being managed by everyone around her, fed drugs and alcohol. She likes Colin and calls for him whenever she can, but is it help or romance?

It’s one of those films is based on real events, but is so romanticised. I often wonder about Marilyn and all of those troubled celebrities, usually women, who have tragic lives, but are attractive and get terrible advice from people. Those who are treated poorly by the press, who are made out to be flakey, and who end up in positions of some power that allows them to act out. The divas(and whatever is the male equivalent of diva?) who seem to have little respect for those working around them.

It’s a really lovely film. Whether or not it is a real depiction of events doesn’t matter. It’s romantic and quite beautiful and just kind of nice.

My Week with Marilyn was nominated for Oscars for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Michele Williams) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Kenneth Branagh).

 

 

Pillars of the Earth – TV Review

Pillars of the Earth

Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell) is not having a good time. Winter is coming, and he and his family are struggling to find somewhere to live and work that will feed them all. After an arduous and disastrous journey, they end up in a small town in England a long time ago (the twelfth century, apparently) but the church burns down. So, Prior Phillip (Matthew MacFadyen) decides to build a cathedral with Tom Builder. However, the guy who is the next boss up, church-wise Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane) doesn’t want it to happen and will do whatever is in his power to stop it. Oh, and then there is whole heap of battling between the new king and the old king’s daughter who could not inherit the crown because she’s not male. And a boat sank, killing her brother, and there is a lot to do with that too.

I’ve been told by many that the books that this series is based on are fabulous. Certainly, it is a very good show, with a bit of a Game of Thrones feel to it, but everything gets beautifully tied up at the end.