Tough Women, Tough Watch- 20th Century Women Film Review

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20th Century Women Courtesy CubeCinema

20th Century Women Courtesy CubeCinema

There comes a film once in a while that makes you get up and think about what if? That is how 20th Century Women is. Mike Mills who has directed the film last made The Beginners with a star cast including Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer who ended up winning both the Golden Globe and Academy Awards for his role.

20th Century Women is semi-autobiographical and Mike has shown his life through the protagonist, young Jamie.

The story is set in a vintage house owned by Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening) and her son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) with their tenants Abbie (Greta Gerwig), William (Billy Crudup) and neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning). Each character is going through their personal struggles and in the backdrop of the 70s in Santa Barbara.

Dorothea is in her 50s and Jamie came late in her life, so she is contemplating whether he is missing a father figure and puts Abbie and Julie to help in life. The two girls are working around the rising feminism, while William is struggling with his cult-marriage demons.

This slow paced conversation style film is not a cup of tea for many but does provoke many thoughts.

The performances by Lucas and Annette are excellent, while Elle Fanning will easily be selected for many more mega-budget movies. Greta Garwig made her breakthrough in the film Maggie’s Plan and will continue to get more arty roles still. Billy Crudup will always be remembered for being Elizabeth’s mean husband from Eat Pray Love.

20th Century Women is a tough watch.

Magical & Magnificent, Film Review Beauty & The Beast

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Beauty And The Beast

The magical tale of Beauty & The Beast has lived on till now and will continue to conquer millions of hearts too in the future.

Disney presented the story in a new avatar, with the lovely Emma Watson as Belle and Downtown Abbey’s Matthew, Dan Stevens as Beast.

Supporting this Beauty & The Beast were Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Maurice (Belle’s father), Josh Gad as LeFou, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts.

Director Bill Condon was the man behind the Twilight Series: Breaking of Dawn Part 1 & 2 and you can see how he brought that fantasy feel into this Beauty & The Beast. There are great conversations in still moments, for example when Mrs Potts is talking to Belle in her new room in the castle and the best is the snow scene in the courtyard when the Beast and her are talking about books.

Composer Alan Menken who worked on the 1991 Walt Disney edition of Beauty & The Beast also worked on this new version and the music indeed remained breathless. The new version of the title track by Ariana Grande and John Legend was in tune with today’s sounds, but the evergreen one with Emma Thompson still remained and it was an awww moment.

The dinner song “Be Our Guest” by Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Ian McKellen was more fun visually due to the advanced technology now available especially since this film was in a 3D version.

Miss Watson is superb as Belle and Dan Stevens blue eyes are magical indeed.

The entire production design was fascinating. Beauty & The Beast will be back with a newer look, for now this one was heartwarming.