Manhattan, Upper West Side, 1957. Against the backdrop of the decaying tenements of New York, two gangs fight for supremacy. This oscar-winning reimagining of the beloved musical tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.
An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
This is a West Side Story for both the past and present, as pleasing as the best movie musicals used to be, and as relevant as today’s headlines. It makes you feel like you are actually on the turbulent streets of New York’s west side, not a sound stage.
West Side Story is contrived, certainly, a hothouse flower of musical theatre, and Spielberg quite rightly doesn’t try hiding any of those stage origins. His mastery of technique is thrilling; I gave my heart to this poignant American fairytale of doomed love.
Inspired by global phenomenon of military wives choirs, the story celebrates a band of misfit women who form a choir on a military base. As unexpected bonds of friendship flourish, music and laughter transform their lives.
Inspired by global phenomenon of military wives choirs, the story celebrates a band of misfit women who form a choir on a military base. As unexpected bonds of friendship flourish, music and laughter transform their lives, helping each other to overcome their fears for loved ones in combat.
In a classic Brit-com flanking manoeuvre, the film tries to simultaneously reduce the viewer to tears while inviting us to bask in the fuzzy glow of our friends and neighbour’s innate decency. Luckily it succeeds, thanks in no small part to the commitment shown by Horgan and Scott Thomas.
You are well aware of the shameless manipulation and can second-guess exactly where it is going and yet resistance is futile. It tugs at the heartstrings with such determination and sincerity that there may not be a dry eye in the cinema.
Having seen on the programme that the film “Military Wives” was to be shown on 4th December, despite social distancing, I decided not to miss a film I had been waiting to see, (I missed it when on general release some while ago).
I certainly wasn’t disappointed. From the opening scenes, I was “hooked”. The cast, headed by Kristin Scott Thomas, were so realistic in the way they portrayed “living on the base” where the hierarchy of military life flows down to the families as well as to the “enlisted men and women”. The leaving of the recruits to do a tour of duty on the front line would strike a chord with all of those people who are connected to the service way of life. Musically, the choir was very well portrayed in the story, and with the added bonus of the heightened emotions of performing in front of “the boss”, it showed so many dimensions to being a forces wife and what the family has to embrace in those circumstances.
The emotion of the film left “not a dry eye in the house!”
Pam Healey. (formerly the daughter of a WW2 gunnery officer and wife of a Trials/Design Officer in the RN and RNZN!)
The Exminster Film Club’s showing for April 2020 (postponed to September) is Rocketman. It is the story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin.
Young Reginald Dwight changes his name to Elton John and collaborates with singer-songwriter Bernie Taupin to become one of the most iconic figures in pop history. Set to his most beloved songs, it’s the epic musical story of Elton John, his breakthrough years in the 1970s and his fantastical transformation from shy piano prodigy to international superstar.
Fletcher is the real star of this show, a director whose enthusiasm for musical storytelling shines through every frame, hitting all the emotional high notes.
Yesterday was Exminster Film Club’s third screening. Struggling musician Jack, realises he’s become the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.
Yesterday, everyone knew The Beatles. Today, only Jack remembers their songs. He’s about to become a very big deal. From Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis, comes a rock-n-roll comedy about music, dreams, friendship, and the long and winding road that leads to the love of your life. Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie. Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed … and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed. Performing songs by the greatest band in history to a world that has never heard them.
After the sombre “Peterloo” shown last month it was time for the sheer joy and escapism of “Yesterday”.
Our audience, ranging from 12 upwards, were treated to the uplifting and heartwarming story of a struggling singer-songwriter, Jack Malik (Himish Patel), who by sheer chance is the only person on earth who remembers the Beatles – or so he thinks.
In his debut film role Patel was endearing and convincing as Jack, doing all his own singing and giving his own twist to some of the most well-known and loved songs in the world. Lily James, as best friend and manager Ellie was as watchable as ever and with real-life husband and wife, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, playing Jack’s parents and a supporting appearance by Ed Sheeran, the film couldn’t fail.
Everyone left smiling!
A glowing tribute to The Beatles and their music, this is both a toe-tapping pleasure to watch and a smart, occasionally scathing look at how we get things wrong.