Tag Archives: Meryl Streep

Film Review: Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again (2018)

The first film, Mamma Mia was an absolute delight! I’m a big Meryl Streep fan and I absolutely adore the storyline of the first installment which was released a decade ago. Can you believe that it has been 10 years? Doesn’t feel like it at all!

I was able to catch Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again during its first week of showing in Manila and I’m pretty surprised that aside from its expected demographics lining up for it, a lot of younger viewers were actually there to watch it. Imagine that!

This film would disappoint some, if not all of Meryl Streep fans because this is a Meryl-less Mamma Mia! Ugh. It was rather head scratching at first when it was revealed at the start of the film that her character, Donna died a year before. The heart of the first film just had a little scene (but definitely the highlight) at the end and that’s it. I’ll be glad to tell you though that it wasn’t so bad that they killed Meryl’s character – I mean, they need something to work on. Although, personally I wasn’t convinced that it was the best route.

The first good thing about this installment is the inclusion of more music from ABBA (obviously) that I’ve never heard before aside from the more popular ones like Fernando, I Have A Dream and Waterloo that were not part of the first film. I have to be honest though, ABBA was not my generation, hence, my lack of knowledge about their catalogue. Secondly is the casting of Lily James (Cinderella, 2015) as the young Donna. She’s an absolute delight on screen and I couldn’t think of any other actresses that could do the role justice. And then there’s Cher. I was giggling throughout her scenes because she’s such a fucking queen especially when she sang the iconic Fernando. That was one of the highlights for me.

There’s also a bunch of eye candies here! The young fathers of Sophie are just all so dreamy! I particularly liked the very charming Josh Dylan as the young Bill! But really, the casting was fantastic!

Overall, it wasn’t as enjoyable as the first film because I wanted more Meryl in it but you cannot fault the treatment of the film paying homage to ABBA and Meryl Streep’s character – a film filled with beautiful people and jaw-dropping musical productions!

Director: Ol Parker
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Dominic Cooper, Christine Baranski, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Julie Walters, Alexa Davies, Pierce Brosnan, Jeremy Irvine, Colin Firth, Hugh Skinner, Stella Skarsgård, Josh Dylan, Cher, Andy Garcia

Music: When I Kissed The Teacher, I Wonder (Departure), One of Us, Waterloo, Why Did It Have to Be Me?, I Have a Dream, Kisses of Fire, Andante, Andante, The Name of the Game, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Mamma Mia, Angel Eyes, Dancing Queen, I’ve Been Waiting For You, Fernando, My Love, My Life, Super Trouper, The Day Before You Came

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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2015 Oscars Best Dressed Goes To…

The ceremony is currently on going but we’ve seen ’em beautiful dresses in the red carpet… let me just present to you my best dressed celebs for this year’s biggest night in Hollywood…

The refine beauty of Emma Stone is off the charts in this long-sleeved mint green Elie Saab gown ! She nailed it from head to toe! Easy A!Emma Stone

Gywneth Paltrow does not know how not to work the red carpet with her penchant for subdued colors with gritty details – you gotta admit though, it works all the time! Here, she’s sporting a custom made gown from Ralph & Russo with a decidedly massive rose on the left shoulder. Glamazing!Gwyneth Paltrow

Julianne Moore showed off a custom made Karl Lagerfeld-designed gown by Chanel. Looking etherally beautiful in white, this strapless gown with Chopra jewels apparently took 927 hours to look this way! That is serious working hours but definitely worth it!Julianne Moore

Reese Witherspoon wears Tom Ford and was looking like an old-school Hollywood star! Shining through, shining through!Reese Witherspoon

Class personified. The 19x Oscar nominated actress arrived at the red carpet wearing a custom made Lanvin creation by Alber Elbaz – not too risky, not too grand. Just something befitted for someone like THE Meryl Streep.Meryl Streep

pictures via hollywoodlife

Review: Julie & Julia (2009)

Julie and Julia

Based on true events, the film’s a narrative of two very interesting and fascinating women whose passion for cooking taught them more in life than tasting and enjoying the food. Meryl Streep plays chef Julia Child who “taught America how to cook” and Amy Adams, as Julia Powell, a young writer in New York who lives with his husband. Powell with the encouragement of his husband took on the challenge to cook every recipe that Child has published and recounts her progress through a blog. This attracts the attention of many including the media and Julia Child herself.

The film also recounts Julia Child’s experience in France with his husband who works for the US government – as she was introduced to the art of cooking thus producing Mastering the Art of French Cooking and introducing French Cuisine in America.

As usual, La Streep was at her best – yet again. Like how does she do it? Meryl’s a different kind of artist – I mean she’s UP UP there. Like who could even rival her greatness? She’s very enigmatic on the screen and playing Julia Child, it’s like we’re really watching the real Julia Child. I even thought that she should’ve won the Oscars for her performance. Amy Adams on the other hand was equally stunning, this girl simply complimented Streep’s screen prowess. She’d some moments in the film but obviously, it was THE Meryl Streep who carry the film altogether.

Year: 2009
Genre: Comedy
Rating: 9 out of 10
Director: Nora Ephron
Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Jane Lynch

via Pinoy Exchange 2014 Movie Challenge
30 Days Movie Challenge – Day 09: A movie of your favorite actress (Meryl Streep) 

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

Published in 1993, The Giver is a children’s novel with a considerably thought provoking theme. [I’ve just heard about this book because of its upcoming movie adaptation. I was checking out Meryl Streep’s upcoming movies and got curious about it – it’s a shame that in the public school where I studied, we never had materials like this to be read – mostly, they are the academic books that were just related to our eight subjects curriculum. This feels like I’m defending myself from not reading this during my earlier years – but yes, I guess I am. I didn’t have the adequacy then on finding the best books to read – I’m trying though, enough about my blahblahblah of a story]

my copy of the book with my gohan :)

my copy of the book with my gohan 🙂

Prior to reading its entirety, I already find it interesting based on its summary and the reviews I’ve been reading from the net. The book focuses on Jonas who lives in a community they call Sameness. Here, everything is in order – from the creation of a family unit, the educational system, the jobs and even deaths. It’s a seemingly Utopian world where everything seems to be running fine until Jonas was selected to be the receiver of memories. They are memories of the world’s past – color, emotions, animals etc…

After learning / receiving these memories from the Giver. Jonas gained the wisdom to really see beyond his eerily orderly community and decided to seek changes. Knowing this is close to impossible, Jonas asked the help of The Giver – but the only way he could create change was to escape from his community.

The book was surprisingly fast paced and thoroughly concise.  The idea of this utopian society was well dissected. Published several years before The Hunger Games, I could say that there is some sort of similarities or at least a feel of similarities between the two. For one, you could easily compare Sameness to the Capitol and its Districts. Perhaps, it’s the strict compliance of its law?  The advance technology? And even the distribution of jobs. And what’s so profound about the two is the fact that in The Giver, the community was made to forget the memories that they deemed unpleasant or unnecessary whilst in The Hunger Games, people in the districts were always reminded of a revolution against the Capitol’s oppression through a cruel game – and its people were deprived of something that they have “the right to” in the past. There is some sort of ironic parallelism between the two that ultimately symbolizes a lot of things that’s happening then and now.

Incidentally, the book has three accompanying novels entitled Gathering Blue, Messenger  and Son which are all set in the same future [eer… time]

It was a nice read that will make you eager to learn more, to continue with the journey with Jonas and Gabriel and see what has become of them.

I fervently wished that this book would find its way to the schools here in Pampanga (my province) because this could really set out a great deal of discussions amongst our youth here.

Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Oscar Trophy - Specials

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir, The Wolf Of Wall Street adequately narrates Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) conquest in New York making it big in Wall Street at any cost. Adapted by Terence Winter who created  HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and have written in the award winning The Sopranos, Director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio partnered once again as they introduced as to Belfort’s world encompassing his rich and lavish lifestyle that includes drugs, sex and anything that money can buy.

When I “personally” pointed out that Jennifer Lawrence was seemingly the heir apparent to Meryl Streep, I immediately thought of his male counterpart and I easily thought of Leo. He’s perfection for the role and his subtle charm and overflowing charisma easily translates into the screen. Truly Leonardo DiCaprio is one of a kind. Some critics said that he’s sometimes too rehearsed or too exaggerated but I beg to disagree, dear Sir and Ma’am. I thought he’s acting style is singular because he knows how to commit into a character. Jonah Hill (who played Donnie, Belfort’s neighbor) was such a delight as he explode here with his comedic timing like no other actor could do. A one of a kind performance as well that nagged him several acclaims since its run. Margot Robbie whom I thought looked ravishing was equally amazing as Naomi Belfort – she’s just so fun to watch!

I’ve to say though, that what truly stands out in this film aside from the three actors that I mentioned above was the perfect use of scoring and cinematography. Both enamored me into feeling that this truly was the 90’s.  The 90’s was my growing up years and it felt fluid and too reminiscent all throughout the film. That is what I call good direction.

This is yet another Scorsese’s masterpiece depicting a charming Leo as a hero who scammed millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors – which is basically what the film’s all about. Their partnership was truly a force in the industry. Leo knows what Marty wanted him to do in this film and both delivered exceptionally well. Leo’s truly a gem in film.

Leonardo, you are simply magnificent. (mimicking Marion Cottilard during her Oscar presentation to Kate Winslet. LOL)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Job Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Katarina Cas, P.J. Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Brian Sacca, Henry Zebrowski, Ethan Suplee, Barry Rothbart, Jake Hoffman, Mackenzie Meehan, Spike Jonze, Bo Dietl

Rating: 9.5/10

*The Wolf Of Wall Street received five Academy Award nominations, including the Best Picture category.

Review: American Hustle (2013)

Oscar Trophy - Specials

American Hustle is one of those movies last year that talks about ripping people off, scamming and all that is seemingly conniving. Don’t get the wrong idea though, David O’Russell created this film with an ensemble so strong that they almost overpowered the film’s plot and each character made a stirring narrative that resulted to a film so flawlessly acted and smoothly executed.

via impawards

via impawards

Take for one the ever so versatile Christian Bale who made himself yet again, bigger and had to double the weight of his character from his equally stunning performance in The Fighter. Bale plays the part of Irving Rosenfeld, a con-man who partnered with Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams,) a very beautiful con-artist herself and was forced to work under an FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) to crack down politicians involved in the “Abscam Scandal” during the late eighties. Bale was, in my opinion at his best here with a charm so enigmatic you can’t help but applaud him secretly. That was also the case with Amy Adams who delivered a riveting and a straight A performance that supplemented Bale more angst and acuity in his role.

via movies.yahoo.com

via movies.yahoo.com

But you have to understand that this was not the case of prioritizing the leading roles. Nope, it’s not. Jennifer Lawrence who played Rosalyn, the chain-smoking better half of Rosenfeld explicitly pops up at every scene she’s in like she’s the boss. Lawrence could very well be the “heir apparent” on the throne held by La Streep. She’s just untouchable here and at any given year, she could easily win an Oscar even besting her Best Actress winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook. And then we have Bradley Cooper who wouldn’t let go and will prove his acting prowess over and over again. I never thought that Cooper could easily win me over a role so straight-up that he disappeared from it.

Now this is what’s a bit troubling about the film. It felt a bit contrive in a sense that it took some time to appreciate the story more than its characters. It’s a fine one though, a very fine one for that matter. I wouldn’t have much interest in it to begin with had it not starred Bale and Adams but for what it’s worth – the film was an affirmation of Russell’s attention to details and focus to what gives the movie a heart. It has a heart that moves people, a beating one that mobilize them and one that has its own mind.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Director: David O. Russell
Starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K

Nominated for 10 Oscars Category including Best Picture, Best Director, All the acting category and technical awards. (source)

2014 Oscars – The 86th Academy Awards Full List Of Nominees!

American Hustle and Gravity leads this year's list with 11 nods each!

American Hustle and Gravity leads this year’s list with 11 nods each!

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Years a Slave

12 Years A Slave garnered 10 as expected!

12 Years A Slave garnered 10 as expected!

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best Actress

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best S Actor

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Best S Actress

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Director

Best Animated Feature Film
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises

Animated Film

Best Foreign Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

Foreign

Best Original Screenplay
American Hustle, Eric Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter

Best Original Score
The Book Thief
Gravity
Her
Philomena
Saving Mr. Banks

Best Original Song
Alone Yet Not Alone, from Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy, from Despicable Me 2
Let It Go, from Frozen
The Moon Song, from Her
Ordinary Love, from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Cinematography
The Grandmaster
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners

Best Costume Design
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave

via http://oscar.go.com/nominees – view the full list here!

Meryl Streep Gracing The Cover Of The American Vogue!

Whoot Hoot! I just learned that my  favorite Actress Meryl Streep got nominated again for the nth time for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards!! Yay! She so deserved it and she must win big time with her outstanding performance for the Iron Lady! She’s just so good! I’m also very much surprised that she’s on the January 2012 issue of the US Vogue! I’m just thinking, WHY JUST NOW?? I remember this year when Natalie got her first Oscars for the Black Swan, she was also the January cover girl! I hope La Streep will get her third Oscar next year!

The Oscar’s Fashion 2010 Edition

The BESTest!

Actress Rachel McAdams is definitely tonight’s big winner on the red carpet wearing Elie Saab creation.

Check this out! JLo never ceased to rock it on the red carpet! she’s wearing an Armani Prive gown.

this is what you call elegance, the 16th time Oscar nominated Meryl Streep wowed everyone with this regal creation of Project Runway alums Chris March.

Kristen Stewart is a first time Oscar attendee rocking a Monique Lhuillier gothic creation!

Kate Winslet can do no wrong with Yves Saint Laurent‘s creation.

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FAILED!!!

I cannot for the life of me understand what the rose accent Charlize Theron was wearing on her lumps with her Christian Dior gown.

I love Vera Farmiga in Up In The Air but this Marchesa‘s creation is so over the top and way too busy that you cannot find the best supporting actress nominee.

This Givenchy creation is not just right for Zoe Saldana –there’s something off with it.

First time Best Actress nominee Carey Mulligan didn’t take Vogue’s editor Anna Wintour‘s advise and this was the dreadful results.  I’m lovin’ the Prada dress but what’s with the shoes???

I seriously don’t get the whole look of Amanda Seyfried tonight –it’s all too old fashion. It’s probably because JLo already got the better Armani Prive dress.

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SPECIAL CITATION:

actresses who didn’t make it to our “bestest” list but nevertheless gave some glittering lights to the star-studded events

Best Supporting Actress nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing a Dries van Noten creation.

Inglorious Basterds’ Diane Kruger wearing a Chanel dress.

A platinum blonde Cameron Diaz wearing an Oscar de la Renta‘s haute couture creation.

Best Supporting Actress nominees Penelope Cruz wearing a Donna Karan couture.

Another Best Supporting Actress nominee Anna Kendrick wearing an Elie Saab creation.

We just gotta love Tinay Fey in this Michael Kors creation.

photo coutesy of The Huffington Post.

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