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!)
1917 is Exminster Film Club’s November 2020 film. As a WW1 regiment assembles to wage war deep in enemy territory, two soldiers are assigned to race against time and deliver a message that will stop men from walking straight into a deadly trap.
At the height of the First World War, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) are given a seemingly impossible mission. In a race against time, they must cross enemy territory and deliver a message that will stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers—Blake’s own brother among them.
Mendes has made a film that feels wholly alive. It’s a carefully polished picture, not one that strives for gritty realism. But its inherent devotion to life and beauty is part of its power.
The Peanut Butter Falcon was Exminster Film Club’s October 2020 film. It is an adventure story that begins when Zak, a young man with Downs syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler.
The Peanut Butter Falcon is an adventure story set in the world of a modern Mark Twain that begins when Zak, a young man with Downs syndrome, runs away from the nursing home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler by attending wrestling school. Through circumstances beyond their control Tyler, a small-time outlaw on the run, becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor to join them on their journey.
By keeping the humour rooted in the performances and only letting sentimentality creep in when necessary, Nelson and Schwartz have crafted a film that feels refreshing, unique, and emotional.
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.
As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers”, we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history’s greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Gobels Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.
Hidden Figures, both a dazzling piece of entertainment and a window into history, bucks the trend of the boring-math-guy movie.
A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of miles from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. Twenty-five years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Shown: 5 February 2020
Date of release: 2016
Running time: 1h 58m
Director: Garth Davis
Writers: Saroo Brierley (book), Luke Davies (screenplay)
Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
Once in awhile, a movie comes along that is so touching and sincere, without a moment of false emotion or manipulative self-indulgence, that it establishes squatters’ rights and moves into your heart to stay.
Stan & Ollie was Exminster Film Club’s showing for January 2020. It pays tribute to the beloved entertainers Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and brings you an affectionate look behind the scenes and a moving insight into the burdens and blessings of a creative bond.
Laurel & Hardy, one of the world’s great comedy teams, set out on a variety hall tour of Britain in 1953. Diminished by age and with their golden era as the kings of Hollywood comedy now behind them, they face an uncertain future. As the charm and beauty of their performances shines through, they re-connect with their adoring fans.
The tour becomes a hit, but Stan & Ollie can’t quite shake the spectre of Laurel and Hardy’s past; the long-buried ghosts, coupled with Oliver’s failing health, start to threaten their precious partnership. A portrait of the most tender and poignant of creative marriages, they are aware that they may be approaching their swan song, trying to rediscover just how much they mean to each other.
It is eccentric, sad and stirring to the core. Oh yes – and incredibly funny, too.
Stan & Ollie muddles up the history a bit, as all biopics do, but it’s a film without any meaningful flaws. Every character is wonderfully realised, every performance is spectacular. You’ll laugh all the way through, you’ll cry by the end, and you’ll see the brilliance of Laurel & Hardy come back to life via the very same cinematic magic that made them legends in the first place.