Posted in Films


In a near empty cinema early one Saturday afternoon l sat and watched the horrors of the Somme come to life.

I have always thought that The Lord of the Rings was based on the second World War. Reading it l could see the spread of Nazism across Europe; silly me. J.R.R Tolkien was in the first World War. I know he said that the books were not based on his war experiences, but, being in the horror that was the Somme, l wonder.

The film shows his early life. I didn’t know that he and brother lost both parents young and were sponsored through school. That’s what brought him to Oxford, a scholarship and it was at Oxford that he met the friends with whom he would form a fellowship.

I now see The Lord of the Rings as more than a quest, it is also a story about friendship. Of the four friends who went to war two were killed, one returned much damaged and Tolkien returned to Oxford, where he wrote about fellowship, quests and the misery of Mordor.

Nicholas Hoult does a good job in the main role of Tolkien. He is supported well by the remaining cast. I thought the misery of war was brought to life. Is it a good film? Not a classic, but good enough. I watched it mainly through the prism of the books. It is currently showing in cinemas. Go along and see it and decide for yourself.

Posted in Films

Rocket Man

Rocketman is the story of Elton John’s life. This is an authorised version of his life, so it is told from his point of view.

Back when he was Reggie Dwight he showed great musical ability. The young actor playing him, Kit Connor, is good as is the actor who plays him in later life, Taron Egerton. Stephen Graham plays Dick James to a tee and Bryce Dallas Howard also shines as Sheila Eileen. In fact, the performances overall are good and yet, l have to be honest and say l didn’t enjoy it as much as Bohemian Rhapsody.

If you love Elton John’s music this is the film for you. It is the music that is the stand out star of the film. Elton John and Bernie Taupin created classics that still sound great today. Listen to the man himself sing Rocket Man at Royal Festival Hall back in the 70’s.

Posted in Films

Mary Queen of Scots

Not one Queen, but two this week.

Unlike The Favourite, l knew something about these two Queens; Elizabeth 1 and Mary Queen of Scots. I think most of us will have seen images of Elizabeth 1, maybe not so many of Mary.

First off, can l say what wonderful performances by the two main characters. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are brilliant and it’s good to see films showing strong female characters. The whole cast were brilliant with a standout being an unrecognizable David Tennant as John Knox.

The film is based on John Guy’s novel Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart. Is the film 100% historically accurate, l doubt it. Most of these films are more of an interpretation. It was shot in Scotland and England and the Scottish scenery, in particular, was stunning. The costuming and make up were wonderful and that white face of Margot Robbie near the end is truly scary.

So, overall a great film that’s well worth watching. There are a few niggles for me, but, they are only minor. It did veer into melodrama a few times and l think they took liberty with history, but, these are only nitpciking by me.

If you see this film for no other reason, see it for a wonderful acting display by the cast as a whole.

4 out of 5 star.

Posted in Films

The Favourite

Who would want to be a royal?? Not me.

This is an interesting film. The three female leads are excellent. Olivia Coleman is superb as Queen Ann. She delivers a performance full of pathos. Ann comes across as a sad, pathetically lonely woman. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone play their roles so well too.

I know that all the characters are based on real people, but, don’t know if the film is 100% historically correct. Either way it tells a good story, and, for all their wealth these people were like prisoners, even if it was in a gilded cage.

Women at this time had very few rights and l thought that the two women vying for the Queen’s affection knew this. Neither of them could survive on their own as was shown by Abigail’s need for a good marriage to cement her place in court.

My friend was in two minds about the film, but, l liked it. There were a few laughs, excellent acting and l walked out thankful that l don’t have a royal life.

A film definitely worth a look.