All the Money in the World (R)

Starring Christopher Plummer, Michelle Williams and Charlie Plummer (no relation to Christopher that I could find), All the Money in the World is based on John Pearson’s, book, Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortune and Misfortunes of the Heirs of J. Paul Getty  (1995). A part of the book covers the true events surrounding the 1973, months-long kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, grandson of oil baron John Paul Getty, founder of the Getty Oil Company who was, at that time, the richest man in the world (worth a reported low estimate of $1.2 billion in 1966).

This movie made me angry – or rather, the late J. Paul Getty made me angry. Here’s this man worth over a billion dollars who hemmed and hawed over paying $17 million to retrieve his grandson from kidnappers for months. I mean, this 16 year old kid was held from July 10th throu  gh December 15th! They sent his family his severed ear around the three month mark, for crying out loud! I understand the man was tightfisted with a dollar. He washed his own clothes at hotels to keep from paying for laundry, he had a pay phone in his mansion for guests to use, etc. And I wouldn’t say he didn’t love his grandson, but the man seemed to lack basic human compassion, and the dollar came first and foremost. I cannot imagine having the means to reclaim a kidnapped family member, and not doing so because I couldn’t get a tax write off for the ransom. Even when the demand went as low as $4 million months into the situation (not that $17 million wasn’t a mere pittance to an oil baron), he still refused to pay. I also understand the, “I don’t negotiate with terrorists” mentality. Getty infamously stated at the time, “If I pay one penny now, I’ll have 14 kidnapped grandchildren.” But we are talking about your grandchild here, sir. Just, damn!

The replacement of Kevin Spacey (following his sexual harassment/sexual assault scandal) with Christopher Plummer was casting brilliance! Since J. Paul Getty was approximately 80 years old in 1973, why bother with prosthesis and makeup when there is a highly qualified actor in the age range? Although I would have liked to see what Spacey would have done in the role, I’m glad Plummer got a shot at it. (There is a soft spot in my heart for Christopher Plummer after watching him in Remember (2015), a film I always recommend to people any time I write about Plummer. If you’ve not seen it, do. And if you’re sick of me bringing it up, watch that movie and learn why I continue to do it.)  Ridley Scott & Co. and solely credited Claire Simpson get props for some fast shooting and editing after Spacey was edited out and replaced with Plummer.

I have to  say… I’m still on the fence regarding Michelle Williams and her acting. She’s okay, but I could think of at least a half dozen of her peers who could have done the job equally as well. I was neither impressed nor underwhelmed by her performance, as always seems to be the case. Just being honest. She doesn’t move me. She does know how to pick roles that fit her range, I will give her that. And I enjoyed her character in The Greatest Showman very much. I’ll have a definitive answer on how I feel about her after she ventures forth with the more challenging role of Janis (a project that has been plagued with problems since 1999 – read the “Did you know?” section in the link), where she will play Janis Joplin. I am expecting great things. The standout actor in All the Money in the World is Romain Duris who plays the kidnapper with a soul. He did what he could to help J. Paul III get through this ordeal.

I’ll keep this short. All the Money in the World earned 7.5 out of 10 bloops. It’s a good movie, worth seeing. It is a character study (or the study of someone greatly lacking in character, depending on how you look at it) of a man who seemed to have everything, but was empty inside. The story is interesting and suspenseful even though we all know how it worked out in the end (for those of us who were alive at the time and remember the story as it happened, as I do, although I was but a wee tot). It inspired me to read more about the case, and the interesting part of the story doesn’t stop with the recovery of J. Paul III. It continues on as a filthy-rich, divided, dysfunctional family with a patriarch who seems to have been an otherwise miserable person deals with their preexisting and ongoing issues. Money isn’t everything. Although my ransom might be far less, it’s worth more to me to be confident that if someone were to kidnap me, someone would be concerned enough to raise and deliver the ransom to save my life. I’ll keep my poor and working class, loving, compassionate relatives over all the money in the world any day, thank you very much!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review! 

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m reviewing next…

I’ve seen Molly’s Game, The Post and Phantom Threads, so that all has to be done. I still cannot bring myself to review Lady Bird. I can’t tell yet if it’s because I just don’t care enough or what but I saw it weeks ago and still cannot find it in myself to complete the write up.

What I’m absolutely seeing this week –

There’s nothing out this week that is noteworthy because it’s awards season, so the market is soft. I’m thankful for that because I have some catching up to do!

Other Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

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Coco (PG)

Featuring the voice of Anthony Gonzalez, Coco tells the story of 12 year old Miguel; a Mexican boy who is serendipitously taken on an adventure to learn about his ancestors on el dia de los muertos (the day of the dead). El dia de los muertos occurs annually on October 31st through November 2nd.  How the days are celebrated vary from region to region. Overall, the days are set aside to honor the deceased members of one’s family. (There’s a lot more to it and you can read about some of it here, if you care to.) During these days it is believed that the spirits of the dead visit the living and this visitation is celebrated in numerous ways. Through a series of fateful events, Miguel gets to personally interact with his deceased ancestors while on a quest to return to the living. There are many unexpected obstacles to overcome during this time. If he fails to transition he will be forever stuck among los muertos.

There is so much to like about Coco. The original story is refreshing. I think we can all agree when I say, Hollywood needs more stories like Coco in its arsenal. Disney has done it right this time! Similarly to Queen of Katwe (here my review if you’ve not seen it), they are handling “unconventional,” diverse, “non-princess” stories with respect. What I enjoy most about Coco is that it provides a palatable means for adults and younger people (children, nieces, nephews, wards, etc.) to discuss death and dying, ancestors, family pride, self confidence and autonomy, dream building, dream seeking, dream preparation so that your dream is not just a wish, conflict resolution, adversity, and other subjects that wouldn’t necessarily come up in the course of ordinary conversation. In this way, Coco is an absolutely brilliant film that anyone can relate to regardless of ethnicity.

Coco is mostly well written by Lee Unkrick. I use the term “mostly” only because it takes a dark turn that may be a bit much for the wee tots to take in. It will appeal to more mature children and adults can sit through it without falling asleep or just waiting for it to be over with.

Coco is beautifully and intricately animated. I felt as though I was inside this cartoon city in rural Mexico where Miguel lives with his living family and then in the City of the Dead, where Miguel gets to know his ancestors. The amount of work put into this movie is incredible. It is evident in every detail. Kudos to the animation, visual effects, sound, and camera and electrical departments. From Miguel’s hands when he plays the guitar, to the glistening flowers and the lights of the City of the Dead, everything is thoughtfully and realistically detailed. The songs are memorable and move from funny, to sweet, to sad, to uplifting. Through the music, Coco took me through a range of emotions where I laughed and cried and laughed again.

Coco earned 9 out of 10 bloops, mainly for its original subject matter revolving around the death of loved ones and the importance of knowing our past so we can move forward with our future. It artfully incorporates the feelings surrounding loss into an animated movie. If you’ve lost a loved one recently, and you need a good cry, you will get it. Coco isn’t particularly sad, but it is touching and will remind you of those family members you’ve lost and miss dearly. It intertwines feelings of sorrow, grief, honor, pride and celebration, so it doesn’t get too dark. When it is darker, it doesn’t stay dark for long. The animation is superb.  The story is not predictable and has a couple of unexpected twists.  Use your own discretion regarding younger children and remember that every movie labeled PG is not for every child. Go see it and enjoy.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m reviewing next…

Who knows. At this point and it could be anything!

What I’m absolutely seeing this week – because of Christmas weekend I got a bit behind schedule. If you want to know where I’ll be, check the theater – it’s going to be busy…

The Post
All the Money in the World
Molly’s Game
Ferdinand
Downsizing
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – I’m going to see this one for you all, not for myself.  I’m not expecting much but will go in with an open mind.

Other Reviews

The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Greatest Showman (PG)

Starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and Zac Ephron, The Greatest Showman tells the tale of how controversial showman Phineas Taylor (P.T.) Barnum launched his world famous circus in the early 1870’s; a circus that would run for 146 years, closing in 2017 due to animal cruelty concerns (largely related to the treatment of the elephants) and long-term decreased ticket sales.

Every year for many years as a child, my dad and mom would take my brother and me to the circus. We were the youngest of 7 and the older kids had outgrown interest in the whole affair. Most notably, although I loved them, I recall the smell of those stinky animals blocks before even arriving at Madison Square Garden, and how that smell intensified on the escalator. But we always had a great time. Now, my daddy was a man who loathed sitting at events. He was a tall, big, broad man and the only seat he found comfortable for long periods was in his car. If he came to a school play he would stand in the back by the door. I mean , he didn’t even attend graduations, but he’d be right outside after we left the venue, in his car, ready to go celebrate. We never discussed it. It was just how he was, and I didn’t realize until just now, but he must have loved the circus quite deeply.

That being said, The Greatest Showman did for me what I wanted La La Land to do, but unfortunately did not. (Here’s my review and rereading it now, I stand by it still.) Even though the earliest version of the circus which featured human oddities, no animals and no clowns is the focus, it managed to transport me back in time to those days with my dad marveling at the pageantry of the circus. I may have gone for six years straight before it was enough, but each time it was exciting to see what was new.

The Greatest Showman delivers on fun, well written songs, cool choreography, an interesting story along with interesting sub-stories containing heroes and villains. It hits highs and lows and goes lower and soars again. It is heartwarming and inspirational. It is a story of acceptance and love. It is about perseverance, resourcefulness and humility as it relates to dreaming big and having great vision. It is about believing in yourself and your dreams when practically no one else does and making your dreams come true. It manages to do and be all these things without becoming a mess.

Jenny Bicks does a fine job at writing and screenwriting her first feature film. Even though we know how the story ends, the script contains enough suspense and nuance to hold the interest of the audience. The story  was neither predictable, nor cliché. Broadway songwriters Ben Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, City of Stars from La La Land) provide lovely songs to balance with the dialogue. If you are a fan of musical theater, I predict you will appreciate The Greatest Showman.

What strikes me as most exciting about this movie is the camera work and editing. It is beautifully edited with shots running into each other as scenes change in delightful ways. The editing crew took great care and did an outstanding job. The cinematography, scenery, set design, costumes, are all noteworthy and beautiful as well.

Hugh Jackman. I don’t think I need say anything else. He’s just… why, he’s Hugh Jackman. That’s all. He’s great. He pulls you in as he sings and dances and he is fast becoming one of my favorites. The supporting cast does an excellent job at being endearing, and the ones who are less endearing pull off being unlikable quite well. Keala Settle as the bearded woman will melt your heart. Small spoiler alert ahead – (continue reading at your own risk or just skip to the next paragraph and come back after you’ve seen it)  – And while she doesn’t appear in the movie, Loren Allred (from the Voice) sings a song that is so incredibly beautiful in such a nuanced way it will move you. I am predicting another original song award for Pasek & Paul.

The Greatest Showman earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It’s mostly, nice, clean, family fun. It will provide a great lesson in acceptance and anti-bullying for children, although, I must say, it might be a bit much for children under say, 8 or so, depending on your child, of course. They will have plenty of comments and questions about the circus people for certain. (I would recommend seeing it first without the kids to see if you believe they can handle it.) It is an excellent, must see movie. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m reviewing next…

Because I got tickets to a preview of The Greatest Showman, plans changed. Lady Bird and Coco are up next!

What I’m absolutely seeing this week

Ferdinand
Downsizing
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – I’m going to see this one for you all, not for myself.  I’m not expecting much but will go in with an open mind.

Other Reviews

Coco
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Disaster Artist (R)

Based on Greg Sestero’s book of the same title which tells the true story of the making of the movie, The Room (2003) and his relationship with The Room’s writer, director, producer, and star, Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist is directed by and stars James Franco and costars his brother Dave (who plays Greg Sestero). Wiseau is a flailing aspiring actor who moves to Hollywood with his best (and only) friend and fellow aspiring actor (Greg) in pursuit of fame, despite the fact that Wiseau is truly, truly untalented. Wiseau is a man with delusions of grandeur. What he lacked in talent and common sense, he more than made up for in disposable funds. He spent an estimated $6 million to finance his “masterwork”; known in the industry as the best bad movie ever made (26% on the tomatometer; 3.6 out of 10 stars on imdb. Not that I put any stock into ratings such as these, but just to give you an idea of what we are dealing with here). The Room grossed less than $2,000 its opening weekend, but has since become somewhat of a cult classic with the legend of the movie outshining the movie itself.

Along with his talent-free status, Wiseau is portrayed as a socially and emotionally (and perhaps developmentally) challenged, self-indulgent, ego driven individual who surrounds himself with “yes men” and appears to have no true friends. His only “true” friend is Greg (Dave Franco) but, due to whatever Wiseau’s shortcomings may be (it is mentioned he was involved in a very serious car accident) he lacks the social capabilities to maintain a “normal” friendship.

James Franco does some of the best acting I’ve ever seen him do here. Don’t get me wrong. He’s no “Brando” all of a sudden – nor does he have to be. And I’m no great fan so I’ve not seen every piece of work he’s ever done. The last thing I reviewed with him in it is Why Him, which was painfully unfunny (see my review in the link if you care to). He found a role that fits him perfectly as he plays this truly talentless, oddball with this terribly thick European-sounding accent (I say European-sounding because there was so much that was unknown about Tommy it could have all very well been a put-on.  Who knows?). Tommy is exhaustively full of energy and one of those people who feels the need to be “on” all the time. He is easily offended and wounded. He is difficult to relate to and understand (not only because of his thick accent, but the meaning of his actual words are difficult to decipher; his affect is flat and his reactions are not congruent to those around him). He is truly a caricature of himself. I grew tired just watching him and couldn’t imagine having to deal with such a person on a regular basis (unless he were my own child, and honestly, even then it would be challenging, to be completely honest with you all); much less working for or with such a person. Franco does a great job carrying this film with Wiseau’s wackiness; as it is Wiseau’s wackiness that on the one hand endears the character to the audience, and on the other hand, makes it difficult for the audience to garner sympathy for him, at times.

The story is well written. It is truly beyond comical at times, and I laughed through much of this movie because this character and the circumstances surrounding him are all just so ridiculous it’s hard to accept that all of this, or some version of this, really happened. The movie, The Room, is the proof that it actually happened! When the gravity sinks in that this man has a real problem relating to others, is somewhat of a power hungry control freak, a bit of an a-hole, and is immature in that he has unrealistic expectations of others and the world, it’s not so funny anymore. It gets kind of sad – but sad in a good way. Sad in a way that makes the story more interesting and shows many sides of this flawed, rich, arrogant, kind of crazy, sometimes lovable, mysterious, kind of slow but only manipulatively so, demanding, sometimes generous person. This character is fleshed out well and the viewer gets the full magnitude of what working with Wiseau must have been like for everyone involved in this terrible film of his.

The Disaster Artist earned  8 out of 10 bloops. It is not a movie without flaws, but it is a solidly funny and interesting movie based on one man’s original, true story, that is absolutely worth seeing. If you’re a Franco fan, it should not be missed. Franco’s performance earns 8.5 out of 10 bloops. He really did well. I’ve never seen The Room but I have to admit that now I want to, if only to see how laughably terrible it is. If you are interested in seeing The Room on the big screen there will be an 11:55 p.m. show at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema on Houston Street in NYC this upcoming Friday.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m reviewing next…

Lady Bird

I still have to see Coco, Wonder, Wonder Wheel, 1945, I Tonya, and The Florida Project. Whew! I am behind.

What I’m absolutely seeing this week

Ferdinand
Downsizing
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – I’m going to see this one for you all, not for myself.  I’m not expecting much but will go in with an open mind.
The Greatest Showman – I have passes to see a preview on 12/18!

Other Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Call Me By Your Name (R)

Based on a book by Andre Aciman, and starring Timothée (pronounced Timo-TAY) Chalamet (as Elio) and Armie Hammer (as Eliot), Call Me By Your Name is not your typical coming of age story. What sets it apart (among so many other things) is that it is about a teenage boy’s first time with a woman, his first time with a man, and a couple of other “firsts.”

This movie is important for quite a few reasons. It is one of only a few mainstream, teen coming of age love stories involving homosexuals. And yes, it is a love story (I had no idea what it was about going in) – about a summer fling. The lovers just happen to both be male. Even more importantly, Call Me By Your Name shows these supersupportive parents who trust their child, have faith in the way they have raised him and allow him to be his own person without judgment, while he figures himself out. Without. Judgment. This very much mirrors my own parenting style. Educate/inform and discuss, set free. I believe in preparing a child for real life and the inevitable flight they must take on their own journey. I believe in letting them live their lives; not your version of their lives. Love them for who they are; whoever that may be. (As long as they are not a serial killer or something crazy. Then we have a seriousproblem.)

Call Me By Your Name is an important story because it focuses on love and camaraderie between and among men. Complex and strong emotional bonds do not exist exclusively among women, but you wouldn’t really know that looking at what Hollywood has delivered so far. And it isn’t just about romantic love. It is also about how men build friendship, collegial relationships and the father/son relationship. Part of this kid’s coming of age is about the all important moment when we (at least we all should at some point in a healthy parent: child relationship) reestablish our relationship with our parents from parent: child to adult: adult.

The writing is strong as we watch the evolution of Elio from a gangly, unsure boy to a young adult within a very short time period. I do not mind the fact that the young boy is 17 (not 18) and involved with an older man. I know in many places that would be considered statutory rape, at the very least. But the story doesn’t take place in America, the boy’s family is very eclectic and forward thinking, the boy was mature for his age in many ways (and of course not so much in other ways) and no one was forced to do anything they didn’t want to do. And seriously, the 6 foot 5 hotness that is Armie Hammer in this movie is serious ya’ll. He’s beautiful in this movie – smart, interesting, charismatic, thoughtful, good looking. Nearly everyone in the movie developed some sort of a crush on him.

Call Me By Your Name is well directed by Luca Guadagnino. I didn’t feel like an outsider looking in. I felt as if I were inside of this young man’s experience, in Northern Italy in 1983 with the locations, set design, the music and the clothing. The scenery is gorgeous. It makes me want to book a trip to Italy right now, honestly.  Suspense is built by these two guys flirting, obsessing over one another, avoiding one another, resisting, sneaking around, and the way it is directed (along with the way it is written and acted of course) allows you to feel all of this. The same way one would feel it all if the stars were a man and a woman. I forgot all about the homosexuality of it all after a while, as it really became about this flirtation/love affair.

The acting is wonderful. Chalamet is extremely talented while being adorable and fearless at the same time. He relayed what a first love looks like from start (the all consuming crush) to finish (the bitter sweet conclusion) quite convincingly. Michael Stuhlbarg as Elio’s father brought me to tears with some outstanding dialogue about life he delivers to his son after questioning him to verify the suspected nature of his relationship with Eliot. It is stirring, beautiful, heartfelt and so honest. It made me miss my own dad who at times was this type of straight shooting truth telling father to me.

Call Me By Your Name earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. It is a great movie that reminded me of what I love about movies. It made me feel a great deal in a world where as an adult being numb much of the time is a requirement in order to survive with your mental health in-tact. This movie, if you choose to give it a chance, will make you feel what lust and love feels like and relive those emotions of first love – regardless of your sexual orientation. Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, people. It is a great feat to take an emotion out of someone’s head, put it onto paper and have it successfully executed on screen.

As always, this is not a film for everyone. If the sight of two men engaging in sexual activity makes you squirm, just keep it moving. If you’re embarrassed by love and sex scenes (heterosexual or homosexual), skip it. You might not want to take your grandmother or your teenager without knowing what you’re getting in to, or now that you have a better idea of what goes on, maybe you do. I don’t know your family. You can decide. I didn’t find it incredibly graphic, but four people (two who were together and two individuals) walked out during the screening I attended.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m reviewing next…

The Disaster Artist

What I’m seeing next…

I, Tonya
Wonder; and
Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Other Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is billed as a comedy, crime, drama. It’s been seven months since Mildred’s (McDormand’s) daughter has been brutally tortured, raped and murdered, and Mildred wants answers. She sets out on a mission to prompt local authorities to find the answers she so desperately needs by renting three billboards on the outskirts of town on which she posts a message to the local police in order to keep the case a top priority. The result is an escalating war between Mildred and the Ebbing police department, and the town takes sides.

The comedy includes some bad words, including “the N word”. I do not mention it because the use of the word offends me. I mention this specifically because as one of the few black people in the theater, what I noticed about the people seated immediately around me was, if I didn’t laugh out loud no one did. And I laughed because the jokes were just too funny not to laugh – but that was a weird experience for me. (It was as if the non black people were taking social cues from me; waiting for me to grant them permission to laugh out loud when the N word was used.) Anyway, the word wasn’t carelessly thrown about, it wasn’t used often and, the word was properly corrected in a humorous way whenever it was used.  Even some of the more tragic moments were comedic. Suffice to say, the humor here is a bit “blue,” so if that isn’t your thing, this is not the movie for you.

The crime is heartbreaking. Frances McDormand really allows you to get inside the head and heart of a mother who is obsessed with and grieving over the unsolved murder of her child. She becomes a bad-ass superhero who will not let up until someone tells here who killed her child. She is a mother who will go to any lengths to light a fire under these local, small town police officers.

The drama is consistently high throughout the film and even increases toward the end. I didn’t know which way this story was going to go at any given point and I certainly had no idea how it all would end. There are quite a few shocking scenes. There is nothing predictable or boilerplate about this movie.

The writing is strong as it intertwines the humor, crime and drama constantly, never getting too heavy in any one area.  Not only are the humor, crime and drama artfully interwoven throughout the story, most of the characters fluctuate between humor, crime (talking about this crime, their obsession with the crime or in a few instances, committing a new crime) and drama. It was an enjoyable hour and 55 minutes and I very nearly applauded at the end. (Guess I was taking social cues from those around me at that point.)

McDormand and the rest of the cast deliver amazing performances, but McDormand stands out because of how powerfully written her character is and how exceptionally she performs.  The rest of the cast does an outstanding job as nearly every role requires waxing and waning between drama and comedy, and they nail it.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. McDormand’s excellent, must-see performance pushes it up to a 9. It is a fantastic film that’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed it a great deal. It is one of those thoughtfully done projects where the great care taken to execute it shows in all aspects of the film; the writing, acting, directing, cinematography, scenery, props, wardrobe, makeup – everything about Three Billboards pays off.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

 Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Welcome message

What I’m reviewing next…

Call Me By Your Name

What I’m seeing next…

I, Tonya
Wonder; and
Roman J. Israel, Esq.; and 


Previous Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water

Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Shape of Water (R)

Starring Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water is Guillermo del Toro‘s latest passion project. del Toro wrote the story, co-wrote the screenplay, directed and co-produced. So, he had real artistic control over his vision. Whether it fails or floats all rests on his shoulders.

Let me just start off by saying, WOOOOWWWA! This is one of those movies that is not for everybody.  Everybody is soooooo not going to like it and everyone will not “get it.” There will be trash talk but. Don’t. You. Believe. It!  The Shape of Water is surreal and beautiful and meaningful and artistic and the story is just so strange it stands out in all the best ways. This is one of those films that I’m not giving away one detail about, or at least I will try really, really hard not to. I didn’t know anything about it going in and I believe that is the best way to watch this movie, or any other for that matter. I sat down with a clear mind ready to take in whatever was about to happen and was immediately drawn in by the music and the visuals and it just got better and better as we moved along. You absolutely have to suspend everything you think you know to understand this is not just some goofy, silly, foolish movie. And I can see how those who won’t like it will talk about it. You have to surrender yourself, fall into it and enjoy the ride. If your ass is too tight to do that, steer clear.  This is just not the movie for you.  You know you, I don’t, and I don’t say that as some sort of insult. I say that as a self-aware adult.

I feel as though any time anyone takes their artistic vision out of their head and pours it out onto their preferred canvas for the world to see; that brave act should be applauded. But to make a piece of art that is so thoughtful and beautiful and made with such great care and grace; and then that piece of art makes the audience think about not only what they are looking at, but about themselves, society, humanity and the world in general; that is mastery! Similar to real life, The Shape of Water is sad with these joyful moments here and there that uplift you before you get dropped back down, then lifted again using these imperfect people who endear you to them in one way or another. This is a place where a “monster” becomes human and a human becomes a monster. It is a very emotional ride full of highs and lows and lulls and themes and everything. It’s about love, intolerance, hate, acceptance, loneliness, the human condition, how love can heal, how evil rots and power corrupts, and much, much, much, much more. It is moving and touching and sweet and ugly, and has just the proper amount of goriness.

The acting is stupendous.  I mean every single actor came ready to play.  Michael Shannon will make you want to smack him in the absolute best way. Sally Hawkins blew me away. She was so expressive and channeled this otherwise meek woman who goes through this metamorphosis that is so great, yet so subtle at the same time; and you will cheer for her deep down inside of your soul if you have one. I don’t think there’s any doubt she has a best actress nomination coming her way and she is the one to beat at this point. The supporting cast did an outstanding job all the way around (Octavia Spencer or Richard Jenkins or Michael Shannon could see supporting actor nominations.  Just, so good). It was just a well executed effort.

The Shape of Water earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops.  It really is creativity in movie making at its finest, and the story earns a 10 from me (although I’m sure there is someone much better versed in film than I who can draw a comparison to other movie plots). It is not a perfect film. It even loses focus from time to time (thus the .5 shaved off of the perfect 10, but I reserve the right to change my mind and give up the 10 after I see it again. And I will see it again! Like, as soon as possible!). It is an amazingly, crazy, heart-felt, beautiful story. The acting is sublime. It is visually spectacular. It is brilliantly directed. I expect many, many nominations to come out of this one.  You can just feel the commitment to the project in every aspect. The acting, the scenery, the music, the sound, the effects, the set design – all amazing, the cinematography, the direction, the makeup. Every note was so nearly perfectly executed (and I’m still torn between giving it all 10 bloops).  Go see it on the big screen to take in all that visual love.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

 Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Welcome message

What I’m seeing next…

Wonder; and
Roman J. Israel, Esq.; and 

The Disaster Artist

Other Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Marshall
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Marshall (PG-13)

Starring Chadwick Boseman and Josh Gad, Marshall is based on the true story of one of the lower profile cases argued by Thurgood Marshall which primed him for his eventual career as a Supreme Court Justice.  Long before successfully arguing Brown vs. the Board of Education (1954) before the Supreme Court, Marshall argued The State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell (1941).  Marshall worked for the NAACP, which at the time had so many civil rights cases to contend with they had to be very selective about which cases the organization pursued.  “Winability” of a case was a key factor in taking a case because when the NAACP took on a case it built buzz around that case and the historical and legal importance of the outcome.  One court case at a time, the law and times were changing and black people were litigating and being represented in ways they hadn’t before.

In the case of Spell, the suspect had already confessed to the crime and the court of public opinion had already tried and convicted the man in the press before Thurgood even showed up.  So, how does one win a case in segregated 1941 Connecticut, within a judicial system so racist Marshall cannot argue the case himself and has to use a reluctant white/Jewish figurehead to do his talking?  That’s right.  According to this movie, Marshall was forbidden from speaking at all in court by the judge, lest he would be dismissed, strictly because he was black. (Keep in mind, this is the “Hollywood” account of events, but after conducting further research on the matter, this account is probably not very far off from what actually happened.)

Thurgood Marshall, of course, had to overcome much adversity during his life and career to become “the first black” everything that he became. But silencing an attorney in court is just next-level hoops to jump through, and he managed to do what needed to be done despite every disadvantage. This is what really holds your interest during the movie. Another aspect of this movie that makes it interesting is its similarity to Harper Lee’sTo Kill A Mockingbird, which is of course one of my very favorite court-based dramas. Marshall really is like the real-life Macomb, Alabama v. Tom Robinson. Set in Connecticut, a bit less dramatic perhaps, but definitely a very similar case, defendant, plaintiff, attorneys, judge, and social climate.

The story is well written as Marshall manages to get the point across of how focused and determined Thurgood Marshall was without making him seem anything other than human. The film takes you through Marshall’s sometimes rocky relationship with this Jewish lawyer who isn’t always on board with the program and definitely gets more trouble than he signed up for. There is a metamorphosis in this relationship where the two men gain true mutual respect for one another that is very well executed and satisfying to watch. I also appreciate that the story is of a lesser-known case, and not so “on-the-nose” as Brown v. the Board of Ed. (When reviewing Marshall’s bio, you won’t come across mention of the Spell case without digging deeper.) This leaves room for actors to not have to look like the characters  they are portraying (not that I have any idea what anyone involved with Brown looked like, with the exception of Thurgood, but there were Supreme Court Justices whose likeness would have to be considered as well).  I must say, although Chadwick Boseman looks absolutely nothing like Thurgood Marshall he really does an outstanding job of making you forget that fact and believe he is a young, brilliant, somewhat cocky, Thurgood Marshall. And further regarding Mr. Boseman, for someone who has already brilliantly played Jackie Robinson (42) and James Brown (Get on Up) (both of which I recommend you watch if you’ve not seen them. The man is talented), his biopic roles are diverse enough so that you don’t get tired of seeing him do them.

The acting is strong, but I do believe that Josh Gad was miscast as attorney Sam Friedman.  It’s difficult to put an actor who is known for comedic roles into a more serious film and make it work.  On the one hand, he lightened the movie up to a certain degree; on the other hand, it would have been interesting to see the movie get darker, be heavier and more serious – and what that movie would have looked like.  At times it almost felt like a bro movie which isn’t a bad thing, but it muddled the message somewhat.  (Similarly to Loving where Nick Kroll was cast as this civil rights attorney and I was just waiting for him to make me laugh (mentioned here in my review of Loving)). Sterling K. Brown plays Spell, and I just want to see SKB everywhere all day long, every day.  Sterling K. Brown can do whatever he wants in my book. I’ve never seen Kate Hudson do a better job that I can recall.

Marshall earned 8.0 out of 10 bloops.  It’s a great movie that shouldn’t be missed. I would absolutely take my children to see it, particularly those of us raising young boys into young men.  And it doesn’t matter what ethnicity those young men may be. Overcoming real life adversity is always a powerful lesson for youth to learn about, witness and discuss. There are a couple of bad words and some violence, so take care. It is rated PG-13 for a reason, after all. It is inspirational and educational. I learned a couple of things about Justice Marshall I didn’t know before and it made me want to research him further than I already have.  It is well written, well acted, entertaining and will hold your interest all the way through. It’s still playing in NYC theaters if you want to catch it before it leaves.  If that’s not possible, when it streams make sure to see it.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

 Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Welcome message

What I’m seeing next…

Unfortunately, what I’m seeing next hasn’t changed from last week.  Thanksgiving and all the fanfare that goes with it and a death in the family sidetracked me, once again.  Lots to catch up on and I will get there.  Please bear with me.  Along with these three:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri;
Wonder; and
Roman J. Israel, Esq.

I will be seeing:

The Shape of Water; and
The Disaster Artist

Previous Reviews

Coco
The Greatest Showman
The Disaster Artist
Call Me By Your Name
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw
Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out
Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

The Man Who Invented Christmas (PG)

Starring Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast) and Christopher Plummer (If you have not seen Remember (2015), I seriously recommend you do so.), and inspired by the work of Charles Dickens, The Man Who Invented Christmas tells the story of how Dickens challenged himself to write and put the much beloved classic, A Christmas Carol, into print just six weeks before Christmas. Dickens’s story, published just days before Christmas in 1843, popularized the Christmas holiday in Europe.

There are (at least) five versions of A Christmas Carol from 1938, 1951, 1984, 1999 and 2009, along with A Muppets Christmas Carol, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, the animated Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol (one of my personal favorites), and many, many other variations of the story. I would only be guessing, but I would be willing to bet that A Christmas Carol is one of the most often told and/or reinterpreted stories of all time. (Apologies. I don’t have time to google that right now.)

The Man Who Invented Christmas is a welcome addition to this group of films, as it focuses on Dickens as he conceptualizes A Christmas Carol, and turns the events surrounding the inspiration for the characters into its very own Christmas tale. This movie pays great homage to the original by drawing parallels between the life of Dickens and, perhaps his most infamous character, Ebenezer Scrooge. This is a must see for anyone who has read the book, or enjoys any of the older movies.

Brilliantly written by Les Standiford (book) and Susan Coyne (her first movie screenplay), we learn a lot about Dickens’s life and morality, his family and his writing process. His writing process actually becomes a main character. Anyone who has every suffered from writers block will enjoy the ways Dickens finds inspiration in everyday life, names and develops characters, awakens from sleep in the middle of the night with ideas running through his head that must be written out immediately, works out the direction of the story, etc. The story is mostly light-hearted, mostly energetically told and quite humorous at times. The writers found the perfect balance between a Dickens biopic and the fairy tale qualities of A Christmas Carol, as the characters and story come to life in his head and he becomes consumed by it all.

The acting is solid. Christopher Plummer has a lot of Scrooges to compete with, and he doesn’t disappoint. He is the penny pinching, mean old man we love to hate, until he changes his heart, and then we don’t hate him any longer. Dan Stevens as Dickens gives a stellar, endearing performance of a man who is under unbelievable pressure to produce a masterpiece on a deadline. You will feel his inspirational moments and root for him to succeed even though you already know what happened.

The score, set design, cinematography, costumes, hair and makeup, all come together to complete the execution of a beautifully told story.  I found myself smiling for at least 25 minutes of the last half hour as I was transported back to my childhood watching Reginald Owen (1938 version) and Alastair Sim (1951 version) as Scrooge. To see these characters brought to life felt magical, which is a rare cinematic experience these days.

The Man Who Invented Christmas earned 9 out of 10 bloops. It isn’t easy to take such an old, often told story and make it fresh but this team really pulled it off in excellent fashion. It joins the ranks of great holiday classics and I will absolutely watch it again.  It is a charming family movie to kick off the holiday season properly. If you belong to that family that likes to go to movies on Thanksgiving or if you get a chance over the weekend, go see it and enjoy.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

 Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Welcome message

 What I’m seeing next…

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Wonder
Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Previous Reviews

Victoria and Abdul
Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw

Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out

Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster

Victoria and Abdul

Starring Judy Dench and Ali Fazal, Victoria and Abdul is based on the true story of the unlikely friendship between Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim. Abdul was a clerk working at a jail in India who was fatefully summoned to sail from India to England to present Her Majesty with a gift from his native land, simply because he was the tallest guy around. Karim was to present the gift, leave the palace and return to India almost immediately, but became Victoria’s teacher and royal advisor, living on the palace grounds as Victoria’s curious companion. Around Abdul, Victoria could relax, be herself and suspend all protocol.

This story is beautiful. It is more of what we need at this historically tumultuous turning point in time. (Just read the comments under almost any post on Facebook and you will see we have a huge problem with ethnicity/classism/racism and a whole lot more in this country, if you don’t believe me.) Two people separated by caste with gender/social/economic/cultural/geographic and religious differences managed to befriend one another. Despite their many differences, they connected, reached out to one another, talked to and listened to each other, and more importantly, they respected and learned from one another. Rather than focus on their differences, as the Queen’s advisors and relatives would have had her do, and as royal protocol dictated, these two focused on the things they had in common to build a unique, rich and mutually meaningful friendship.

In 2017 all we seem to do is talk “at” each other via social media, and I for one find it tiring. The level of immaturity in our communications astounds me daily.  Silly, childish, sometimes mean-spirited name calling and rehearsed, regurgitated b.s. has replaced independent thought, listening and debate. People seem hell-bent and happy to stick to their beliefs – no matter how antiquated, logical or illogical those beliefs may be. Basic communication, talking and listening to one another, seem to be becoming a dying art.  Isn’t it ironic, that something that we were originally so excited about, with the thought that it would help bring people closer together, is the very tool being used to divide and drive us apart in so many ways? (Leave it to humans to muck up something great and twist it into something ugly… We should have known better.) Victoria and Abdul reminds us of what we could accomplish if we would express ourselves respectfully and thoughtfully listen to one another.  Thinking about the contrast between what we call communication today and the way these two people communicated makes Victoria and Abdul a bitter-sweet movie.

Judy Dench’s career spans nearly sixty years.  This woman hasn’t been around this long for no reason.  She is effortless with her acting – always. And if Judy Dench portrays herself as the Queen, then Judy Dench is the Queen. Period. Ali Fazal is bound to go on and do great things. He’s easy on the eyes and talented. The chemistry between Dench and Fazal seems genuine and this chemistry is what draws you into the story. The supporting cast does a great job.  Some are endearing and others you will despise, but everyone hits their intended mark.

Unfortunately, the bigotry which exists today is rooted in bigotry of the past and all records of this exceptional relationship between Victoria and Abdul were deliberately destroyed almost immediately following Victoria’s death.  Fortunately, Abdul wrote letters which were discovered years later, documenting the relationship, and the story was brought back to life.

Victoria and Abdul earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. It is a great, mostly feel good movie that is worth seeing for its historical content, acting – oh and I nearly failed to mention, it is also beautifully shot and features brilliant costume design. It is smartly written, well directed, timely, and reminds us all of a great lesson. The truly sad part about this movie is that such a “lesson” stills seems necessary to remind people how we should treat one another.  When will we ever learn?

Go see it. And if you can’t catch it on the big screen (it’s still playing at the AMC Loews 19th Street theater in NYC) make sure to stream it when it becomes available.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll down, enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review!

 Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

Welcome message

What I’m seeing next…

*Honestly, this year, I have to tell you, I haven’t seen much that I’m super excited about outside of these franchise super hero movies. That’s crazy to me, because a couple of years ago you couldn’t drag me into one of those comic book things! I want to see art, originality, and creativity in acting and storytelling! But I have learned a super hero movie is a nice distraction from reality. I’m working on reviews for some movies that have been out for a few weeks because I got a little bit lazy with my writing and because I haven’t seen anything that I’m passionate about and we are near mid-November here! Where are the Oscar contenders? I do not know. I’m waiting…  By this time last year I was gushing about Queen of Katwe, Hell or High Water, Sully, Miss Sharon Jones, Arrival, Loving, Moonlight, Moonlight and Moonlight! So … I don’t get it. At any rate I’ll keep plugging at it until I come across the gems.  Whatever is going on here, here’s what I’m seeing next:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Wonder
Justice League

 Previous Reviews

Thor: Ragnarok
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mother!
It
Good Time
Atomic Blonde
Dunkirk
Girls Trip
Spider-Man: Homecoming
The Big Sick
Baby Driver
All Eyez on Me 
It Comes at Night 
The Wedding Plan 
Wonder Woman
Everything, everything
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Raw

Kong: Skull Island
Logan
The Girl with All the Gifts
A Cure for Wellness 
Get Out

Hidden Figures
Fences
Moonlight
Hell or High Water
Loving
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Nocturnal Animals
Captain Fantastic
Elle
Jackie
I Am Not Your Negro
The Lobster