Movie Monday - Burnt

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.


"You're better than me. But the rest of us need you to lead us to places we wouldn't otherwise go."

Memorable Moment -  In this film Bradley Cooper plays Adam Jones - a two-star Michelin chef who is also a recovering drug addict. Adam has done a lot of damage to those he knows and loves. He's caused a lot of pain - especially to some of his fellow chefs, whose careers he managed to wreck when his entire life collapsed. One chef is his rival Reece, who is in no hurry to forgive Adam.

The scene I believe is the film's memorable moment is when Adam turns up to Reece's restaurant drunk. Adam is reckless and out of control. At one point he attempts to suffocate himself with a plastic sous vide bag. Reece rips the bag from Adam's face and holds him in his arms when Adam breaks down in floods of tears. I think this is such a powerful scene because these two men are enemies, and yet Reece has enough heart to see that Adam is at rock bottom and he needs someone to help him, not fight with him. It's a true moment of compassion, of putting your anger aside to be present for another human being. Reece could have thrown Adam out, turned his back on him and felt no regret for doing so. But he chooses to be a friend instead. It's distressing to see Adam so desperate, but the way Reece accepts him and looks out for him is heart-warming. It's a beautiful scene of vulnerability and mercy.  


Movie Monday - Me Before You

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.


 This week - Me Before You

"I know it's not how you would have chosen it, but I know I can make you happy."

Memorable Moment - Just like the book, this film is a tear-jerker. There is no way to tell a story about a man wanting to end his life and the woman who tries to convince him that life is worth living, without tugging at the heartstrings. It's an intense subject. But one scene in particular really shows just how tough the idea of assisted suicide is, for those making the decision and for those who are left behind.

That scene occurs on the beach at night, between Louisa and Will, and it's my memorable moment. After going on holiday in one last-ditch attempt to persuade Will that he should choose to live, Louisa hears his final decision - he hasn't changed his mind. What happens next is, in my opinion, some very fine acting by both Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. They manage to show both sides of the assisted suicide debate and how neither side is right or wrong. Will has every right to choose when and how he dies. And Louisa has every right to be heartbroken by his decision. There is no perfect answer here, both of them are stuck in an horrific situation. Will has already lost everything, and Louisa stands to lose everything now. The way Emilia and Sam portray the harrowing emotions in this scene is wonderful. I could feel Louisa's pain, and Will's desperation. Such a powerful, genuine moment.    

Movie Monday - X-Men: Apocalypse

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.

This week - X-Men: Apocalypse

 "I've never felt power like this before."

Memorable Moment - For those who have yet to see this latest X-Men film, I won't reveal exactly what happens in the scene I've picked as my memorable moment. But I will say this - it involves Apocalypse, Charles Xavier...and Cerebro. Something I can focus on without spoilers is the fact that this powerful scene is accompanied by the allegretto from Beethoven's Symphony No.7. And in my opinion it is this piece of music that absolutely makes this scene, bringing a fairly standard hero-meets-villain moment to a whole other level. As the music thundered in my ears, I could feel Apocalypse's power; it was almost as if I myself was Charles, plugged in to Cerebro, connecting to the energy of the world's first mutant.

That's the magic of music - it has the ability to awaken all kinds of emotions in us. Choosing the perfect song for a movie scene can elevate that scene from run-of-the-mill, seen-it-before, to blow-my-mind extraordinary. A well-placed piece of music can make a film better, and it can bring a certain track to the attention of a new generation of listeners. That's especially true when classical music such as Beethoven's is used. Here's an example - when I searched for Symphony No.7 on You Tube the comments were full of people who had purposely gone there to find it after watching X-Men: Apocalypse. One brief moment of music in a single movie scene brought people together, gave them a common interest and a way to connect to one another. That's the power of music.     

Movie Monday - Ricki and the Flash

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.

This week - Ricki and the Flash

"Don't run away. Walk on."

Memorable Moment - I like this movie, even if it is predictable. Meryl Streep is fantastic as usual and it's nice to see her acting alongside her daughter Mamie Gummer. Because that's what this film is all about - motherhood. Getting it right and getting it so very wrong. Meryl's character Ricki is a rock star, but she's also an absent mother; something her three children resent in their own ways, even as they long for a relationship with her. We all need our mothers, after all.

Mamie plays Ricki's daughter Julie, who is going through a tough time. At one stage Ricki says to her "Don't run away. Walk on", which really struck a chord for me and is the scene I've chosen as my memorable moment. We've all been through things in life, suffered through stressful or tragic events, and it can be hard to carry on when we feel so beaten down by life. What Ricki says to Julie reminds me of that famous adage 'This too shall pass' - I always try to keep that in mind whenever I'm struggling in life. Bad times happen to all of us, but if we keep facing the day, stop ourselves from running away when things get rough, if we remember to simply "walk on", to just keep going, the hard times will pass and happiness will find us again. When you're feeling down, let yourself feel those emotions; don't run from them. But also - don't run away from life either. Hold on to the hope that things will improve. Stay strong. Walk on.


Movie Monday - Inside Out

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.

This week - Inside Out

"And that was just the beginning! Headquarters only got more crowded from there."

Memorable Moment -  I never got around to seeing Inside Out last year, but now that I've watched it I can't believe I waited so long. It's such a great film! It made me laugh and cry. I thought it was adorable. Visually it is stunning, with lots of bright colours and fantastic animation. And the voice actors did such great work. I enjoyed it immensely.

My memorable moment has got to be the very beginning of the movie where we meet Joy and all the other emotions (Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger) that reside in Headquarters - that is, inside little Riley's mind. I loved the idea of this - our emotions being tiny 'people' that live inside our brains and influence our day-to-day lives. I think it's cute. And I like to imagine these little emotions running around my mind right now. :-)

I loved all the colours during this opening sequence - Joy herself is glowing bright gold and all of the joyful memories that Riley creates are little gold orbs. Likewise, Sadness is blue, Disgust is green, Anger is red, Fear is white. I especially liked the way each memory orb that Riley creates during her day is accumulated until she goes to sleep at night, and then they are quickly sent off via a suction tube to long-term memory for storage. That's a very creative way to show a process that does indeed happen in our brains every day. For me, this is the beauty of Inside Out - the movie takes this complicated thing called life and breaks it down into emotions and personality 'islands' and memory orbs; simple ideas to symbolise the magnificence of being alive.


Movie Monday - Yes Man

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.

This week - Yes Man

"All aboard the Hogwarts Express. Next stop, Azkaban!"

Memorable Moment - Jim Carrey gives a great (and thankfully understated) performance in this delightful rom-com about living life to the full. There are a lot of funny scenes in this film, but the one I've chosen as my memorable moment is the Harry Potter costume party hosted by Rhys Darby's character Norman. I find this scene particularly hilarious because Norman and his friends are supposed to appear a little sad - a bunch of grown-ups dressing up as wizards and witches and house-elves, playing a game of Quidditch in the living room, and watching a Harry Potter film marathon - but all I can think is 'how cool to go to a Harry Potter party!' :-)

Being a movie nerd is used for comedic purposes here and I can definitely see the funny side of adults being so obsessed with Harry Potter that they recite the dialogue as they watch the movie, and wave goodbye at the t.v screen when the characters leave at the end of the film! That's brilliantly funny. And yet, for me, I get it. I'm a movie nerd. I sometimes recite the dialogue while watching a movie. I'd love a movie-themed costume party. I'd say 'yes' to that! ;-)

The message of Yes Man is to make the most of your life. To not turn down opportunities because of fear. Say yes more often and experience all the crazy things life has to offer. Live life like a child does, with wonder and excitement. Don't become one of those boring adults who forgets how to have fun. It's a great message. And that's why the Harry Potter party scene is the best in the whole film - because it encapsulates this message perfectly. Let loose, embrace your inner child and dress up like a boy wizard, just for the hell of it! 

Movie Monday - The Phantom of the Opera

Welcome to Movie Monday. On a Monday I pick a movie from the ones I've watched in the last week, and highlight what I think is the film's memorable moment.

This week - The Phantom of the Opera

"Love me, that's all I ask of you."

Memorable Moment - I grew up listening to the Phantom soundtrack, as my mum is a big fan of the musical. I knew all the music long before I saw the production on stage. 'All I Ask of You' was always my favourite Phantom song. Not only is it a beautiful song, but the lyrics speak to the romantic in me. "Love me, that's all I ask of you" is such a powerful statement because it really is the one thing we all want and ask of our partners. We just need our significant others to love us, that's all.

So my memorable moment in this movie has got to be the rooftop scene where Christine and Raoul sing this wonderful song, as the Phantom looks on from the shadows. Watching this scene, I always get an odd satisfaction out of seeing the Phantom so upset and jealous. His obsession with Christine is creepy to say the least. I've always found it hard to understand him. Sure, having to watch the love of your life profess their love to another man is heartbreaking. But for me the Phantom doesn't deserve Christine, so this scene always leaves me cheering for the love that Christine and Raoul share.