George Bailey has so many problems he is thinking about ending it all – and it’s Christmas! As the angels discuss George, we see his life in flashback. As George is about to jump from a bridge, he ends up rescuing his guardian angel, Clarence – who then shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all his good deeds over the years.
It’s one of those ageless movies, like “Casablanca” or “The Third Man,” that improves with age. Some movies, even good ones, should only be seen once. When we know how they turn out, they’ve surrendered their mystery and appeal. Other movies can be viewed an indefinite number of times. Like great music, they improve with familiarity. It’s a Wonderful Life falls in the second category
Although peppered with colourful, sharply drawn characters, this is Stewart’s movie, instantly loveable as a small town dreamer who sacrifices everything for others. His journey to despair and back warms the cockles like little else. Enjoy it in a cinema so you can sob among others.
A re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers – giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors.
Shown: 1 December 2021
Exminster Film Club Rating: 82%
Date of release: 2019
Running time: 1h 59m
Director: Armando Iannucci
Writers: Simon Blackwell, Charles Dickens, Armando Iannucci
The Personal History of David Copperfield Plot Synopsis
A re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ classic ode to grit and perseverance through the comedic lens of its award-winning filmmakers – giving the Dickensian tale new life for a cosmopolitan age with a diverse ensemble cast of stage and screen actors from across the world. Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.
Restructuring some story arcs and jettisoning others, Iannucci and his collaborator, Simon Blackwell, have created a souped-up, trimmed-down adaptation so fleet and entertaining that its cleverness doesn’t immediately register.
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!)
Green Book will be Exminster Film Club’s showing for December 2019. This Oscar-winning movie tells the story of a working-class Italian-American bouncer driving an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South
Shown: 4 December 2019
Date of release: 2018
Running time: 2h 10m
Director: Peter Farrelly
Writers: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie & Peter Farrelly
When Tony Lip , a bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley, a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger as well as unexpected humanity and humour – they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.
Witty and warm as cashmere, Green Book is a two-hander in which both stars soar with humour and heart.
Green Book certainly paints a rosy picture of race relations, but ultimately I don’t think its little white lies are a bad thing. Like my father did with me, it’s telling us a story that makes our grandfathers seem better than they probably were. But it does so as an example of how we should be, as an aspirational ideal that maybe we’ll live up to one day even if we didn’t yesterday.