Glasgow Film Festival

Photo taken by Mary Boag, GFF banners on Buchanan Street

It’s finally here! After months of preparation and thousands of creative submissions, the annual Glasgow Film Festival is now in full swing, and will run until Sunday the 26th of February.

Tickets are now on sale for all events across the city, most of which will take place in popular locations like the Glasgow Film Theatre, the Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Arts. With events ranging from movie screenings to workshops, there is something for everyone, but tickets are selling out fast so get yours now at the festival’s official website. > HERE.

As you may know from my previous blog posts I really enjoy going to the cinema, so I’m looking forward to attending a screening or two at the Film Festival. I think the cinema experience may feel more unique and exciting than going to my local Cineworld – plus the festival only comes around once a year!

The festival is mostly about sharing art from around the globe, but there is one award up for grabs! The Glasgow Film Festival Audience Award is decided by us – the people/public who attend the festival. I think this makes the award genuine and special.

“Voting slips are handed out at the start of all Audience Award-nominated screenings – simply cast your vote as you exit the cinema. The winner will be announced at the Closing Gala and online on Sunday 26 February.” – Glasgow Film Festival Official Website.

Let me know what your experience of the GFF has been like and what events you’re interested in this year!

Lion

Photo of cinema ticket, taken by Mary Boag

I’m not from Calcutta… I’m lost.

Last week when my friends and I were planning our monthly cinema trip we were upset that our schedules didn’t work well with the local screening times of Split, a movie we were excited to see. We had already seen La La Land and not all of us had seen the first Trainspotting film.. so we all decided to give Lion a chance.

Half of us had never heard of Lion. All the other half knew was that it starred  Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. Compared to the extensive amount of media attention that La La Land, Split and Trainspotting were receiving, I didn’t have very high expectations for Lion nor did I know what to expect.

Since watching Lion.. all I can say is that I am so upset it hasn’t gained the same amount of attention (in my eyes) as La La Land, and if you’ve read my review then you’ll know I loved La La Land! But Lion is so much more special… it’s a completely amazing, true story that everyone needs to see.

The plot is so intense and exciting and heart breaking. The acting from all characters is amazing, but 8 year old Sunny Pawar’s performance, in particular, is outstanding. I went into the cinema with an open mind, not knowing what to expect from this Oscar nominated film and was completely blown away, and I think you will be too.

Although I’d like everyone else to approach this film with an open mind too, if you really want to know what it’s about, I’ve inserted an image below with a quick explanation of the plot that I sent to my friend over text.

Screenshot of my text

 

Let’s talk about the Oscars

The count down begins. We are officially less than a month away from finding out who will take home gold from the 89th Academy Awards.

This years Oscar ceremony will take place on February 22 in The Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, California. So in just a few weeks all of our favourite celebrities will  be getting dressed up and ready for the red carpet which is a huge fashion event in itself.

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GOT star Sophie Turner at 2016 Oscars – Photo from Sophie Turner’s Instagram page, @sophiet

Now onto the awards. There are 24 awards up for grabs, and ranging form Best Foreign Language film to best Makeup and Hairstyling it is obvious that the Oscars recognise how complex and difficult filmaking can be. Although all awards are equally important, some are hyped up more than others. Oscar winners of the Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress are a massive deal in the film industry and the winners of these categories soon become known worldwide – if they’re not already. Last year at the 2016 Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won Best Actor after previously being nominated 6 times. Could this be Ryan Gosling next month, or will Denzel Washington claim the prize?

Leonardo DiCaprio with his 2016 Oscar, photo taken from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Instagram page, @leonardodicaprio

The large number of popular household names nominated for awards this year is making it difficult for many of us to pick favourites. With names like Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and Natalie Portman in the same category it is nearly impossible to predict who the winners will be.

You can find the full list of categories and nominations at the official Oscars website.

To keep up to date with your favourite nominees I’d recommend following celebrities on social media and checking hashtags such as #Oscars2017 during the time of the event. Especially if you’re interested in finding out what an after party at the Oscars is like..

GOT star Emilia Clarke at Vanity Fair’s 2016 Oscars after party, picture taken from Emilia Clarke’s Instagram, @emilia_clarke

La La Land

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Photo taken by Mary Boag

I guess I’ll see you in the movies.

I’m always excited to watch new films. Going to the cinema is one of my favourite hobbies and I try to go at least once a fortnight, but this week I was especially excited to go out and see La La Land.

There are many reasons why I had high hopes for Damien Chazelle‘s latest masterpiece. Number one being that it features one of my most favourite actresses ever, Emma Stone as well as Ryan Gosling – well known for his emotional performance in The Notebook. I was also excited about this film because it is so well critically acclaimed, winning a record-breaking seven awards at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. And finally, because it’s a new musical. There is always room for a new musical in today’s theatres.

Since watching La La Land I can happily confirm that it completely lives up to my high expectations. Set in sunny Los Angeles, California the story follows the blossoming romance between Mia, a struggling and undiscovered yet passionate actress and Sebastian, a pianist playing any gig he can get while trying to achieve his dream of saving jazz music from social extinction. The emotional story of two young artists ever growing fondness mixed with beautiful filmography and several catchy musical numbers creates one of the most heart warming and colourful films I have seen in a long time. But it will also break your heart.

You can watch the trailer for La La Land here and catch it in cinemas while you still can!

 

 

Moana

 

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Cinema ticket, photo taken by Mary Boag

The chicken lives!

Moving on from Tangled and Frozen, Moana is the latest Disney “princess” movie to hit our screens, though it’s important to note that unlike Anna and Elsa,  Moana is not a princess…

Moana is an adventurous teen living on a beautiful island called Motunui where her father is the chief and she is his heir. As she begins to take more responsibility around the island she’s shocked to suddenly find out that there are no fish left for the islanders to hunt and eat. While she attempts to find a new source of food for the island she discovers that the waters surrounding Motunui have been cursed.

Moana soon realises that the only way to stop the curse from spreading over the waters and ridding Motunui of its beauty, greenery and wildlife is for her to travel across the water to find a legendary demigod named Maui – voiced by Dwayne Johnson – who can help her put things right.

We follow Moana on an emotional and empowering oceanic journey while – in true Disney fashion – she finds herself and realises the importance of family, strength and ambition.

Despite this movie clearly being targeted at younger viewers, I see no reason why people of all ages wouldn’t enjoy it. Moana has a beautiful and uplifting soundtrack which fits perfectly with the stunning colours and animation we see throughout the entire film. One song, “Shiny“even plays tribute to late musical legend David Bowie.

Voiced by 16 year old Auli’i Cravalho, I’m sure many would agree that Moana is the perfect kind of Disney character for young children to look up to – and fortunately she doesn’t have a musical number anywhere near as annoying as Elsa’s.

You can watch the trailer for Moana here.

 

Love Actually

Love Actually on STV on Christmas Day, taken by Mary Boag

Aren’t you a bit young to be in love?

As we are well and truly into the holiday season I thought it would be a good idea to review Love Actually; a classic, festive film from 2003 that is aired on TV at least once every Christmas.

Those who have already seen and loved Love Actually will be surprised to find out that many people have never watched it, and those who haven’t seen it will be wondering what the fuss is all about.

Love Actually is a romantic British comedy/Christmas film. The story line is fairly complex as it looks at 9 different intertwining stories about love, some of which are completely heartbreaking while others are really funny, but once you get used to it – which you will – it’s really easy and enjoyable to watch. The range of stories makes the film really interesting and means that everyone watching can relate to it in one way or another – some main characters are the UK Prime minister, 12 year old Sam and an ageing pop star named Billy Mack.

Something that helps keep the film entertaining throughout is the number of well known faces we see on screen; Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Andrew Lincon, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson and Claudia Schiffer are only a few examples of the great actors and actresses with starring roles in Love Actually.

I’m sure we are all aware that there is and endless amount of Christmas films out there but Love Actually really is worth watching, after all it wasn’t voted the nation’s favourite Christmas movie by the Radio Times for nothing.

Thanks for reading! You can watch the trailer for Love Actually here, and it is available to buy on DVD and iTunes.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Cinema ticket, photo taken by Mary Boag

So you’re the guy with the case full of monsters, huh?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set around 90 years ago in the world of Harry Potter – although well before his time. The film focuses on the main character, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his suitcase of magical creatures. Unlike the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts is set entirely in America, mostly New York City – where magical creatures are completely forbidden. So when Newt’s creatures begin to escape he finds himself and his fellow wizards in a lot of danger. Continue reading Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them