Throwback Thursday: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)

Retirement presents an interesting conundrum. Our working years are over, but that does not mean that our lives are over. There are opportunities for experiences that simply could not or did not exist when we had to go to work.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011) is the story of a group of British retirees who decide to pick up and move to India. Among them are Evelyn (Judi Dench), Douglas (Bill Nighy), Muriel (Maggie Smith), Graham (Tom Wilkinson), Jean (Penelope Wilton), Norman (Ronald Pickup), and Madge (Celia Imrie). They find a rundown hotel and in addition to the individual adventures, go about fixing it up.

Assisting them is Sonny (Dev Patel). Sonny is long on enthusiasm and dreams, but short on the practical aspects of opening and maintaining the hotel. He also has a significant other that his mother openly disapproves of.

The prequel to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, this movie is charming, entertaining, and lovely. The cast is picture perfect, the imagery is lovely, and the story is perfect. It proves that life does not end when we stop working.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Darkest Hour Movie Review

Winston Churchill was one of the greatest politicians and orators of the 20th century. He will go down in history as one of the men who saved Europe, democracy and Western civilization from the Nazis.

The new movie, Darkest Hour, starts off as World War II is beginning to engulf Europe. Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) is being forced to resign as Prime Minister due to his inability to lead the country during wartime become obvious. His chosen successor is Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), whose reputation up to this point is not flawless. Churchill’s wife, Clemmie (Kristin Scott Thomas) convinces her husband to take the position. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Layton (Lily James) is hired as Churchill’s personal secretary. He is not the easiest man to work for.

Churchill has a choice to make. There is the possibility of making a deal with Germany and stopping the war in its tracks. Or, they could fight, knowing full well that lives will be lost in the process.

This movie is pure Oscar bait. Oldman’s performance is  truly exceptional. He is so good that I thought that at times, I was watching a documentary about Winston Churchill rather than watching a film with a fictional narrative and actor Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill. I also appreciated that instead of putting Churchill on a pedestal, he is shown as a flawed human being who is suddenly thrust into a job that requires a decision that will forever change not just the fate of Europe, but the whole world.

I absolutely recommend it.

Darkest Hour is in theaters. 

 

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