Paddington (2014) Film Review


So, Paddington (voiced by Ben Wishaw) ends up in London, gets adopted by Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville) and his family, but the evil Millicent (Nicole Kidman) wants to get him and so adventures take place.

Many kids in the UK and Australia grew up with Paddington – a bear from deepest Peru who came to London and was adopted by a family. Possibly, you could even say most kids know of him. I’d heard of him, but I didn’t know the story, and had very little interest in watching this film despite being told repeatedly that it was amazing. And it was a really good kids film with a great cast, a fair bit of humour and a lot of niceness. Enjoy with some kids – that’s the best way!

Paddington was nominated for BAFTAs for Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.


Lost in Austen – TV Review


Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) is living an average life in London in the early 00s – works, shares a flat with a friend, has a boyfriend she mostly likes but feels there is something missing. The romance and grandeur of Pride and Prejudice – she is obsessed with the book. Then one night, Elizabeth Bennet (Gemma Arterton) walks in to Amanda’s life through a mysterious portal and Amanda is spirited away to a fictional world, hoping only to not ruin the lives of those around her as she waits for the chance to return home.

So much fun. Undoubtedly more fun for a fan of Austen who would have had some idea about what was going on, but I muddled through. I really liked Amanda, though was amazed at the way she kept both her hair and make-up so perfect without any kind of make-up bag or straightener. The world of Austen was ridiculous and great, and Hugh Bonneville got to play a somewhat more jovial version of his Downton Abbey character. Oh, and Alex Kingston (who I loved a lot in ER for years) was magnificent as Mrs Bennet.

The Monuments Men (2014) Film Review

the monuments men

A group of art historians are brought into the army to save artwork that Hitler has had collected and plans to destroy if he loses power.

That is an interesting story in itself. Yet, watching the trailers, it looked terrible to me. It seemed very lighthearted and possibly too funny. IT didn’t matter that there is an excellent cast: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban. Or that it was directed by Clooney. It just looked average. But I went.

I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not a total hard-hitting war film. The humour was good and not too much of it, and it was nicely balanced with some heart wrenching moments. I believe it is not true to the original story, but it is not a documentary. I’m happy to forgive that. I’m happy to have just enjoyed it for what it was.

Downton Abbey – TV Review


I’m way slow off the mark for this one. Downton Abbey became a worldwide sensation when it was released in 2010, and it’s now 2013 and they have made four seasons. I’ve just watched the first season, and I understand why it is so popular. The characters are great and compelling and it’s really good storytelling.

The main plot one season in is about the Crawley family, who live and own Downton Abbey. With the sudden demise of two nephews in the sinking of the Titanic (a delightful little piece of historical context), there is doubt about who will inherit the property. With no son on the scene, it is going to be left to a distant relative who (*gasp*) has a career as a lawyer. How common.

It is not just the story of the Crawleys though. There is also the ‘downstairs’ part of the house – the servants who take care of the property. What I really enjoy is watching the plotting. Those who are evil are really quite evil, and the good folk are really good.

I may or may not ever totally catch up on the series. Whilst I’ve enjoyed, it hasn’t left me sitting on the edge of my seat desperate for more. I’ll just watch it when I can.