Tag Archives: Anne Hathaway

All Is True Movie Review

When we talk about legendary men such as William Shakespeare, we speak of them as if they are icons, instead of human beings who have become icons over time.

In the new movie, All Is True, William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed the film) is dealing with the twin troubles of the fire that destroyed the original Globe Theatre and mourning the loss of his son.

But returning home for a little r&r is not going to be so easy. Though Shakespeare receives a visit from his old friend, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton (Ian McKellen), this is the easiest of the relationships with those around him. His wife, Anne Hathaway (Judi Dench) feels put upon by the years of emotional and physical distance between them. His eldest daughter, Susanna (Kathryn Wilder) is going through a rough patch in her marriage. His younger daughter Judith (Lydia Wilson) rages against the injustices that women in her era experience on a day to day basis.

Branagh is an old hand at Shakespeare. His career has been built upon the life and the work of this film’s subject. What I liked about this film is that is presents Shakespeare as a human being, warts and all. His Shakespeare is not a young man at the height of his career, but an older man whose better days are behind him. He carries the weight of his world on his shoulders and the mistakes he has made along the way.

I recommend it.

All Is True is presently in theaters.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, William Shakespeare, Writing

Ocean’s 8 Movie Review

Heist films are nearly as old as Hollywood itself. The question, is, does the film standout within the genre or is it just too unbelievable?

Ocean’s 8 is the next chapter in the Ocean’s movie series.

Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) is the sister of Danny Ocean (George Clooney), the protagonist of the previous Ocean’s films. When she gets out of jail, she gathers a crew together to steal a necklace worth millions of dollars at the Met Gala.

The crew includes Lou (Cate Blanchett), Amita (Mindy Kaling), Tammy (Sarah Paulson), Constance (Awkwafina), Nine Ball (Rihanna) and Rose Weil (Helena Bonham-Carter). The necklace is to be worn by Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Ball in New York City.

I loved this film. While it helps that the main cast is made up of a group of diverse female performers, it is the narrative that makes the film enjoyable. It is funny, well written, thrilling and worth a trip to the movie theater.

I recommend it.

Ocean’s 8 is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

The Devil Wears Prada

June 30th is 10 year anniversary of The Devil Wears Prada.

Based off the best-selling book by Lauren Weisberger of the same name, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is a new college graduate whose professional goal is to be a journalist. But a job in journalism is out of reach. The only job she can find is as an assistant to the notoriously difficult and demanding Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), editor of the fashion magazine Runway.

Andy initially is like a fish out of water. She does not fit in, especially with her fellow assistant Emily (Emily Blunt), feels overwhelmed by her job and has little to no social life due to her demanding job. Then something clicks and Andy finally starts to feel like she is fitting in and getting the job done. The problem now is that her personal life is being pushed to the side. Can Andy find that balance again and will she stay at Runway?

I saw this film during its initial release in theaters. From the moment the film started, I got the story and I got Andy. First, it is a very New York City story. It sounds cliché, but New York City was another character. Second, Andy is an every woman. She represents the millions of kids that graduate from college, have a dream career, but are forced to take a totally different job to survive.

At the time the film was released, I was in my early 20’s, only a few years out of college and working in my first long-term full-time job. I understood Andy and her struggles. Especially living in New York City, where dreams are well and good, but the rent has to be paid.

If there was ever a film to highlight Meryl Streep’s talent, this film is it. Miranda Priestly did not need to yell and scream if she was unhappy with her underling’s work. She only had to speak softly and raise her eyebrow. Even with stars like Streep and Hathaway, the MVP of this film is Emily Blunt. Not only does she have some of the best lines, but she steals the show from her co-stars.

I have nothing but good things to say about this film and I absolutely recommend it to anyone who has not seen it.

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Filed under Books, Life, Movies, New York City

Actor Spotlight Throwback Thursday-Anne Hathaway- Princess Diaries (2001) & Ella Enchanted (2004)

Tonight’s actor spotlight and throwback Thursday post is Anne Hathaway.

In the early 2000’s, she made a name for herself in the type of roles that many young actresses do: princesses and fairy tale heroines.

The first movie is The Princess Diaries (2001).  Based on the books by Meg Cabot, Mia Thermopolis is the average teenage girl. Gawky, insecure and invisible to most of her classmates, she does not know that she is not the average teenage girl. Mia is next in line to rule the fictional European kingdom of Genovia.  But before she can put on the tiara, she has to meet her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews) and learn how to be a princess.

Can she live up to the title that is her birthright or will she become a laughing stock?

Coming from the view of the intended audience, which are teenage girls, this movie is pretty good. Mia’s averageness, even under the extraordinary circumstances stands out. Casting Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse was a boon for this movie. And truth be told, who wouldn’t want Mary Poppins as their grandmother? I know I would.

Three years later, Hathaway stepped again into the world of fairy tales with Ella Enchanted (2004).

Also based on a book by Gail Carson Levine, it is a pseudo Cinderella story with a feminist twist. Ella (Anne Hathaway) has been given the gift (if you want to call it that) of obedience by a fairy, Lucinda (Tyra Banks). Her mother is dead, her father is greedy and emotionally absent from his daughter’s life and her stepmother uses Ella’s “gift” to her advantage.

Ella falls in love with Prince Charmont (Hugh Dancy). Can Ella rescue herself, her prince and save the kingdom from the villainous Edgar (Cary Elwes)?

Again, if I were a teenage girl, I would enjoy the movie. It is a bit bland with some predictability in character and story, but I’ve seen worse.

Do I recommend them? Why not.

 

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Filed under Actor Spolight, Books, Fairy Tales, Feminism, Movie Review, Movies, Throwback Thursday

Flashback Friday- Meryl Streep Double Feature- The Devil Wears Prada (2006) & Prime (2005)

Meryl Streep is one of those actors.  Every actor, male or female aspires to have her storied career. Intelligent, classy and known for a variety of characters, she continues to surprise the movie going audience after decades on screen.

In the 2000’s, she played two very different, but interesting characters.

In The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl Streep is Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway Magazine. Ruthless and powerful, Miranda hires Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), a recent college graduate who believes that a temporary position as Miranda’s second assistant will open doors to her dream job as a journalist.  Miranda’s first assistant, Emily (Emily Blunt) is more cynical about the job and their boss. Taking pity on Andy, Nigel (Stanley Tucci) helps her with her wardrobe and her attitude about her job.

Based on the book by Lauren Weisberger, Meryl Streep is terrifying as Miranda. She is the uber boss that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Anne Hathaway as Andy is every recent college graduate, knowing that they need a job, but unsure of the path to find that job. Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, in their respective parts, represent those of us who have been in the work place long enough to develop a cynical, yet appreciative view of our jobs.

In Prime, Rafi  Gardet (Uma Thurman) is reeling from her recent divorce.  In her late 30’s she seeks the help of Dr. Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep) to be able to move on in her life. At the same time, she meets and starts to see David Bloomberg (Bryan Greenberg), a 23 year old college graduate whose has career aspirations to become a painter.  Rafi starts to open up to Lisa about her May/December romance with David, not knowing that she is talking about Lisa’s son.

This movie has a charm to it. What drives the plot of this movie, besides the May December, inter-religious romance between Rafi and David is the sense that these characters are asking questions about the next step in the lives. That element brings them together and ultimately brings them closure.

I recommend both movies.

 

 

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Becoming Jane/Miss Austen Regrets

There are often two sides to any story. There are also two perspectives in life, one of youth and one of maturity.

Jane Austen is a remarkable author. Her books are still read and performed 200 years later. Despite all that we know about her life, there is still a myth about the woman and her writing.

In 2007, Becoming Jane  introduced movie goers to a young, pre publishing and pre-fame Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway). She hopes to write for a living, but knows that the only way to support herself and her family is to marry. She is approached with a marriage proposal by Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox), the nephew of Lady Gresham (Dame Maggie Smith). But she is attracted to Tom LeFroy (James McAvoy).

This movie is decent. Having no conclusive evidence that there was a romance between Jane Austen and Tom LeFroy, the writers relied on what is known of her life, combined with a little fictionalized romance based upon her books.  It’s always interesting to see the young writer living their life and developing the idea(s) that will one day become their stories.

A year later, Miss Austen Regrets premiered. Approaching her 40th birthday Jane Austen (Olivia Williams) is visited her brother, Edward Austen Knight (Pip Torrens). His oldest daughter, Fanny Knight (Imogen Poots) is of a marriageable age and has been in the company of John Plumptre (Tom Hiddleston). She is looking to her aunt for guidance in regards to the potential marriage to Mr. Plumptre. At the same time, she is getting sick while an old suitor Rev Brook Bridges (Hugh Bonneville) returns to her life.

We don’t know much about Jane’s personal life. Her sister Cassandra burned many of her sister’s letters after her passing. This TV movie shows us the older Jane. Still in the prime of her life and churning out stories, but as we all know, she died far too soon at the age of 41.  I recommend this movie.

 

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