Celebrities Category

Second Act

Second Act - Jennifer LopezFor January, I thought we would profile a feel-good movie, this time with Jennifer Lopez in the starring role. If you liked her in ‘Maid in Manhattan’, the chances are you will like her in this film – Second Act.

As the film title suggests, this is all about getting a second act in your life, not accepting that your life must follow on the trajectory you imagined.

In the film Maya (played by Jennifer Lopez) is a 40+ year old woman, who is frustrated that she has not achieved more in her life. She has a job working in a value store, she is very good at her job, but she gets passed over for promotion as a result of not having a college degree. Which just adds to her frustration. (more…)


Colette Movie PosterKeira Knightley acts in a British biographical film called Colette, based on the French writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. The drama is directed by Wash Westmoreland, and Keira plays opposite Dominic West, who plays the character ‘Willy’.

Henry Gauthier-Villars (Willy), introduces Colette to Paris, at a time when it is at its most bohemian, a far cry from the rural childhood home of France she was used to. She marries Willy, who is a successful Parisian writer, with all the intellectual entrapments and artistic splendour that involved.

It’s not long before Willy discovers Colette has a talent for writing, and he persuades her to ghost-write for him. She agrees, and turns in a semiautobiographical book that is both funny and brazen in equal measure. The book is named Claudine, and becomes both a literacy sensation and bestseller, with women unusually turning out in their droves to purchase the book. (more…)

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns

Can you believe it’s been fifty-three years since the original Mary Poppins opened on our screens? I’m sure that Disney are hoping for Mary Poppins Returns to be ‘practically perfect in every way!’

The film isn’t in fact a re-make of the original, but a new movie, with a fresh story-line. To not ruin the surprise Disney haven’t actually revealed a lot about the plot.

Here’s what we do know about the film’s storyline

Jane and Michael – the grown-up Banks children are living in their parents’ original home at Cherry Tree Lane, the action is set twenty-five years later in 1935, and now Michael has children of his own.

At first you assume that Mary Poppins has returned to look after the children, but in fact she is there to help her original children – now adults, Jane and Michael. They are particularly in need of an injection of joy, after Michael suffers a personal loss leaving the whole family sad. (more…)

Three Good Reads

Nine Perfect Strangers Book

We’ve got three good books to explore, a thriller, an inspiring year-long journey and possibly the last self-help book you’ll ever need!

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

You probably recognise Liane Moriarty’s name, as she is the best-selling author behind the hit HBO TV series – Big Little Lies.

Her latest book is set at Tranquillum House, a health & wellness retreat that sells itself on the basis of total transformation.

So, nine city folk that want to escape for a while from their stressful lives, dropping their mental and physical baggage as they go, via meditation, massage and more, go to the house. They are without cars, phones and all the entrapments of a modern existence that would allow them access to the outside world.

It should be a time of just getting to know each other, and getting more in touch with themselves.

The retreat is watched over by the Resort’s director, a woman who can be described as ‘on a mission’, but perhaps her mission is at odds with what the guests are imagining or expecting…

Maybe, just maybe behind the glamorous facade – a dark agenda lies! (more…)

Halloween – Movie

Halloween Movie FranchiseFilm franchises, perhaps especially horror franchises are not necessarily known for their quality, often they just become a commercial enterprise, full of a lot of cliché’s and in the case of slasher movies, just a fresh approach on characters to kill off!

But the latest ‘Halloween’ film, is trying to sidestep that issue, by becoming a direct sequel to the original John Carpenter film of 1978. In doing so they are not chained by continuity issues of the franchise series of films that came after. This has given them the leeway to create a narrative that actually has a story, with an underlying theme of looking at the consequences that are far-reaching and long-lasting for the victims of trauma and violence.

Whilst a serious theme is addressed, don’t be mistaken for thinking that this horror movie moves away from its ‘slasher’ origins, because it doesn’t. There is plenty of violence and scenes of gore, but at the same time there is much humour, and a clever nod here and there to the previous films. (more…)

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma MiaI have to be honest that Mamma Mia is something that my husband and I still laugh about now, he is just a couple of years older than me but knew a lot more about ABBA than I did, I just thought we were going to see a film at the cinema, with no real idea that Mamma Mia was going to essentially be a musical. I’ll be honest and say that a few songs in I asked whether they were going to ‘sing’ the whole film, and my husband laughed hysterically at my question and replied – ‘yes, what did you expect!’ Well, suffice to say – lesson learned and ever since I have been more inquiring when a cinema trip has been raised…

But, whilst Mamma Mia the first time around might not have been my cup of tea, plenty of people disagreed with me, in fact the movie grossed more than $600 million world-wide, hence when I heard that Mamma Mia was getting a second instalment in the shape of ‘Here We Go Again’, I felt it should be featured. (more…)

Book Club

Book Club MovieThe Book Club film is released in the UK on the 1st June by Paramount Pictures and has an all-star cast featuring Jane Fonda (our cover star this month), Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen.

As you might imagine from the film title ‘Book Club’ the four stars play friends that meet regularly for a book club, where they bond over literature. That is until one day when Vivian played by Fonda suggests they mix things up a bit by reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’!

Whatever you might think about the premise of the Fifty Shade trilogy, in terms of the writing quality or the films. There is no doubt that few things have created quite such a phenomenon in popularity for adults in modern times. So, I suppose it is natural a film has been created about the phenomena itself. (more…)

Seasonal Book Releases

At My Table by Nigella LawsonIf you are one of those people that does not like planning early for Christmas then look away NOW!

If, on the other hand you like gathering up some presents early, then it might be worth taking a look at the latest books that have been released or are due out soon.

There is literally a book to suit each loved one in your life!

Starting with our cover star Nigella’s latest book is called At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking, as the title suggests the book is supposed to be recipes that we can all cook at home using comforting ingredients that we are all familiar with. The book is not about having specialised equipment or making things over complicated, just good food that doesn’t require a lot of technical ability and can be shared with friends and family.

In November a 6-part series will run on BBC Two by way of accompanying the book.

Publisher: Chatto & Windus (more…)

Home Again

Home Again - Reese WitherspoonIn Home Again Reese Witherspoon plays the part of a recently separated mother, whose friends encourage her to start dating. The trailer shows that at 5 months she thinks it is too early, but encouraged by her birthday (where she always goes a little bit wild), she falls for a much younger man. So young that he is carded at the bar!

Alice Kinney (Reese) is 40 years old, and is separated but not yet legally divorced, starting over in Los Angeles she is pushed by her Mother who is played by Candice Bergen to let out her guest house to three aspiring and young filmmakers, one of whom just happens to be the guy from her birthday…

Of course no Rom-Com would be complete without a twist, and in this film that is in the form of her estranged husband (played by Michael Sheen) re-entering the picture.

The film is released on the 8th September and you can see the trailer here: http://homeagain-movie.com/ (more…)

The Strike Series

Holliday GraingerThe Books

J.K. Rowling wrote a series of detective books, under a pseudonym – Robert Galbraith, but of course in this day and age it’s difficult to keep a secret and it wasn’t long before people realised the identity of the true author. The books went on to critical acclaim, making the best-sellers lists.

The debut book is called Cuckoo’s Calling, followed by The Silkworm and then Career Of Evil. Rowling has recently been teasing her fans over the name of her fourth book in the series, with one person guessing the name correctly as Lethal White. It is believed that she is planning at least six more books in the series.

On her website for the books she explains why she wanted to write under a pseudonym: “To begin with I was yearning to go back to the beginning of a writing career in this new genre, to work without hype or expectation and to receive totally unvarnished feedback. It was a fantastic experience and I only wish it could have gone on a little longer than it did. I was grateful at the time for all the feedback from publishers and readers, and for some great reviews. Being Robert Galbraith was all about the work, which is my favourite part of being a writer. Now my cover has been blown, I plan to continue to write as Robert to keep the distinction from other writing and because I rather enjoy having another persona.” (more…)

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