Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh, 2007)

A small budget joint venture between Channel 4 and the UK Film Council, it focuses on a small part of the life of Poppy, a London school teacher. Beginning with the theft of her bike, we are immediately introduced to an ever-cheery, uplifting spirit with a refreshingly upbeat view of life. Most people would be angry or upset at the theft; her main worry at that moment is that she never got to say goodbye to her beloved bike, a quirk that resembles the character of Phoebe Buffay from ‘Friends’.  As she begins to take driving lessons, we are taken with her on a stop-start journey through the streets of North London, as her impenetrable happiness allows the bitter world view of her driving instructor to bounce off her, her relentless energy for trampolining and flamenco dancing combined with her colourful dress sense presents her as the sort of person that most people wish they could be. A film that can be enjoyed on several levels, and is perfect for a mood lift and a bit of a giggle.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Little Manhattan (2005, Mark Levin)

At first glance, the plot of this film seems like a typical ‘rom com’-childhood friends cross paths again a few years on, boy falls for girl, boy doesn’t know if girl feels the same, boy runs after girl- I won’t spoil the end for you, but you get the picture. However there are some twists on the traditional that differentiate this from your average happily-ever-after chick flick.
It is narrated in first person by the male protagonist, introducing a refreshing change from the usual female angst of “he loves me, he loved me not” that recurs in this genre, which opens it up to a wider audience than the usual female teenage audience of similar films.
Even more original is the fact that the protagonists are aged just 10 and 11. With Gabe, an average boy growing up in modern day Manhattan and living through the bitterness of his parents impending divorce, we are taken through the painfully bittersweet journey of first love, as Rosemary races up his estimations from third prettiest girl in his class to the most important thing in his world. Audiences male and female, young and old, will be able to identify with his tongue tied, clumsy and cringe-inducing behaviour around the girl he loves as he battles through his confusion of the ‘iron wall’ psyche which seperates boys from girls in the playground.
Overall, a heartwarming story, and although amusing in places, some audiences may feel that the potential to evoke more laughter from the audience in strategic places was not entirely fulfilled.
Die hard ‘rom com’ fans will love it...for other audiences it may be a little too sickly sweet to swallow.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

An exciting time

So. Some exciting things have been happening in my life recently J
Firstly I got a place on an ‘Insight into Journalism day’ at the Guardian Newspaper in London in a couple of weeks time. I know it involves presentations and talks by some of their journalists about their careers, but other than that I’m not too sure what to expect, hopefully it will be useful nonetheless.
Then, the editor of Keys Magazine, the local parish magazine where I live, has agreed to publish a couple of my articles that I submitted. One was my blog entry about September mornings, and another was my view of the village where I live, having left it a year ago for university. Although this magazine only has a readership of around 2,000, it is a start, and I’m excited to see something I’ve written actually in print!!!