Category Archives: Musical

A Star is Born

A Star is Born (2018)

 

UGH. This movie, I loved it so much. Don’t even get me started on the climactic scene – it nearly destroyed me.

Charting the rise of singer Ally’s (Gaga) success following a chance meeting with seasoned rock/country legend Jack (Cooper), the fourth version of A Star is Born is gorgeous with a heavenly soundtrack.

If you’re wondering how Gaga could possibly keep her end up in place of the Garlands and Streisands of this world, just fucking watch her. She’s mesmerising at the best of times but in this role she is next level. If Oscar doesn’t come knocking in the Spring, then there is no God. Or there is but he’s a man with no taste.

I think if you aren’t familiar with the story, you might still have an inkling of how this might play out but the ending is very sad and the heartbreak is palpable. It’s one of those story lines you wish you could change for the better, even as you watch it veer dramatically off course.

I don’t want to give anything else away but I will say this is one of my favourite movies of this year so far and I can’t stop thinking about some of the songs. They’re outrageously good.

Oh, and the surprise appearance of Shangela and Willam was fun. God, I want to watch it over and over again.

My Rating

4.5/5.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)

IMDB Synopsis

Five years after the events of Mamma Mia! (2008), Sophie learns about her mother’s past while pregnant herself.

*Minor spoilers*

Donna is no longer with us, though we don’t find out in this sequel what happened to our vivacious heroine. Instead we meet her daughter Sophie again (Amanda Seyfried) on the cusp of reopening Donna’s beloved B&B in Greece.

Sophie it seems now spends her days on the beautiful island that stole her mother’s heart all those years ago and has dedicated much time to renovating and relaunching the picturesque guesthouse. Things are lively there as she leans on her hotel manager friend Fernando (LOL) (Andy Garcia) for help getting everything just so before the big opening party. 

While she juggles all this she also has concerns over her own relationship with Sky (Dominic Cooper) who has just been offered a kick arse job back in the USA. Both seem to be heading in different directions which can’t be a good thing…

Film Title: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

As Donna’s BFFs Tanya and Rosie (Christine Baranski and the mighty Julie Walters) rock up for the party, Sophie learns something new and life-changing about herself – but will she get her happy ending?

Oh, and what’s the real story of how Donna came to have a child with three potential baby daddies anyway?

Mamma Mia! HWGA takes us on a journey through Donna’s past as she leaves university to travel and find herself. We learn how she met each of the men in her life – Harry, Bill and Sam – and settled down with the true love of her life in a little home in Greece: I’m talking about Sophie, of course.

"Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

Lily James is gorgeous as young Donna, all golden hair and luminous skin, and she does Meryl absolutely proud, I think. As Donna loves and loses, she also gains everything and it’s really nice to be sitting in a cinema with a bunch of over-excited work mates (of all ages) watching a musical with a nice message like this. God knows we need more joy in our every day.

While it’s bittersweet in that the main character is dead, it’s a feel good movie to the end and examines motherhood in a way that made me cry like a wee baby. Plus, in ‘present day’, Sophie’s grandma rocks up uninvited and I think we all know who she is… rhymes with Bear…

Special shout out to the young men playing the baby daddies, especially Josh Dylan as Young Bill. HELLO! Julie Walters robs every scene as far as I’m concerned – and Cher‘s Fernando (to Fernando) gave me chills. What a dame.

In fact, everyone’s on their A-game here and even if not all the singing or the music hits the mark (looking at you, Dominic Cooper), it’s fun fun fun in the sun and you can’t fight it. 

mamma-mia

Bring on Part 3!

My Rating

3.5/5.

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman (2017)

Directed by: Michael Gracey
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zendaya, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson

IMDB Synopsis

Celebrates the birth of show business, and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.

*Minor spoilers*

OMG!

I have to admit that I avoided this film until the very last minute because I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was something in Michelle William’s cheesy grin in the trailer or the fact I wasn’t in a ‘musical mood’ – but I had no intention of seeing it.

Then I changed my mind and booked a ticket to see it straight after work. It had been a head-fucky kind of week full of training and my friend Amy came with me. I cried all the way through it to the very end.

It’s just so – feel good. The songs are amazing, the choreography is stunning – Zac Efron is a total fox and there’s the most gorgeous bearded lady. Its message – that everybody should be proud of who they are, well it’s right up my street. I’ve now seen it twice at the cinema, and one of those was a sing-along version.

Colour me obsessed.

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TGS tells the rags to riches story of P.T Barnum (Jackman), the visionary and Original Circus G. Supported by his insanely chill wife, Charity (Williams) he first purchases an old curiosity museum that doesn’t set the world on fire – then turns it into something altogether more interesting.

While I wouldn’t call what he has a full on freak show, the F word is one that is thrown around a lot by the ever-increasing anti-circus picket line. Really what Barnum has is a collection of talented and unique individuals who have been rejected by society. Unfortunately, Barnum’s head is turned when he meets the regal opera singer Jenny Lind (Ferguson) and, finally accepted by high society, he begins to believe his own hype as a showbiz big wig.

BIG MISTAKE.

Running parallel to the rise and fall of Barnum’s big tent empire, is the challenging love story between well-to-do playwright Phillip Carlyle (Efron) and trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya). Anne is poor and black – and Posh Victorian NYC isn’t down with mixed-race relationships thankyouverymuch. Phillip therefore must make a serious decision about his future if he’s to be with the one he loves – and that’s after he’s made a life-changing decision about his career, too. There are a couple of scenes between the Zendaya and Efron that blew me away, particularly during their song Rewrite the Stars.

In addition, I love every scene containing the so-called freaks, particularly Lettie Lutz (Keala Settle). She’s electrifying. The talent recruitment montage is great and I love the Hugh Jackman/Zac Efron bar scene more than life.

Every single song on the soundtrack is gorgeous, particularly Jenny Lind’s Never Enough (actually sung by Rebecca Allred). Mostly, I just like that a musical with such a positive message can still draw a crowd, it feels old-school and fun.

The Academy may have turned a blind eye except for Best Achievement in Music for the anthem This is Me but that’s okay. As much as I love the Oscars, sometimes it’s word on the street that’s the best reward you can get.

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My Rating

5/5.

It’s only late February and already two 5 Star films on the blog. See the second one here.