Little Women review

Little Women is a complete triumph

Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott (which I confess I haven’t read) Greta Gerwig adapted the story for the screen and managed to gather an enormously talented cast to bring the tale to life.

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Emma Watson as Meg, Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Florence Pugh as Amy, and Eliza Scanlan as Beth

I knew basic bits about the plot (from Friends and pop culture generally) but nothing prepared me for the emotional ride I went through in those 150 minutes. I cried (a lot) and laughed (a lot) but most of all I felt a huge sense of affection and love for these characters which could have easily felt outdated (the book was published in 1868 after all). Instead the women go through predicaments and prejudices that me and my friends have gone through today (albeit we are allowed our own money now…!). But the same expectations of domesticity and homemaking are pressed upon us: nothing is more frustrating than being asked by my parents ‘have you found a boyfriend to look after you yet?’ as if I’m incapable of caring for myself. And yet I have the same struggles as Jo too – feeling lonely when I focus on work, wishing I could have simple dreams like Meg. It’s powerful stuff which I think will resonate with both women and men as we try to navigate our way into adulthood. (Proper adulthood, whatever that is, I’m 30 with a mortgage and still don’t feel like a grown up).

Saoirse Ronan is one of my favourite actors and I will see anything she’s in, gladly, and this showed her wonderful range. The passion and drive she forges in Jo is exceptional and inspiring, I was with her the entire way through the film. Even when I was sobbing at her rejection of Laurie.

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Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Timothée Chalamet as Laurie

And it’s not just the women – I was so moved and felt so much sympathy for Laurie when Jo rejected him. I have *been* Laurie. I am Laurie. Rejected, drunk, lost… that’s probably when I wept the most. I’m a big fan of Timothée Chalamet so there’s a slight bias but I thought he did a terrific job as Jo’s Teddy.

A fantastic supporting cast of Laura Dern, Meryl Street, and Chris Cooper add to the story but really the four sisters and Laurie could have carried this film alone. Florence Pugh as Amy, Eliza Scanlan as Beth, Emma Watson as Meg, and our star Saoirse as Jo looked so at ease with each other, there so much love between them that they are totally believable as sisters.

I have loved all of Greta Gerwig’s films and this is no exception. She has given the film a wonderful tone of warmth and humour which makes us fall for the charms of the girls so readily. A truly heart-warming film that is never cheesy or cutesy, and deserves all the awards that I believe are coming for it. It’s very nearly perfect. Though nothing ever really is perfect which is why Jo and Amy will forever be our favourites of the sisters.

Here’s the website for more info (all credit to them for the pictures above) littlewomen.movie and below is the trailer. Go see it!

Rx

Hamilton — West End Review

I went to see Hamilton this week and it is simply, the best show I have ever seen.

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Let me break it down for you. This is one of the most in-demand shows in London, in the world in fact. Its hype precedes it: the list of accolades Hamilton has received is huge, it cleans up at award ceremonies and it has an astonishing number of 5-star reviews. And everything you have heard about this show is completely true — it is incredible.
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Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a very special book. On the face of it, it’s a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat and completely absorbing novel as you follow the journey of Wade, Aech, and Art3mis on their Easter Egg hunt. On a deeper level, this novel is a social critique about where we could be heading as a society and what is truly gut-grabbing, take-the-breath-out-of-you scary is that everything in Ready Player One could be true.
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Calling out bullshit: problems with the media

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Yet again, we have another appalling piece of so-called journalism rearing its head in the name of clickbait and scandal today. The Northern Irish edition of the Sunday Times published an article by Kevin Myers entitled: ‘Sorry ladies — equal pay has to be earned’. It’s a disgustingly sexist and anti-Semitic article that should not have been published (in my editorial opinion). And by midday on Sunday, it seems the editor came round to that opinion too: he released a statement apologising for causing ‘considerable distress and upset’ and the article was taken down.

The uproar on social media was predictable, people were rightly outraged by the Holocaust-denying author’s outdated and discriminatory view on society. Yet, as repulsive and abhorrent this article was, I know it is only a mere matter of time before another equally revolting and hatred-inducing article will appear. And the outrage will pour out over social media. And nothing will be done. And time will pass. And another horrid article will be published. And on and on it goes. It makes me feel very sick.

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Glastonbury 2017

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It’s that time again. Time to lament that Glastonbury is once again over for another year. But it’s double sadness this year as my favourite festival will not return until 2019. Massively sad times.
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Making choices

I have watched two YouTube videos in the last couple of days and I can’t get them out of my head. The first is a TEDxTalk by Charlie McDonnell aka Charlieissocoollike, the second is a random vlog from last January by Casey Neistat. I will embed them both below, but first, let me explain.

I’m at a point of transition in my life right now. I’m changing jobs, I’m confused about the future both personally and professionally and, as always at the start of a new year, I’m just feeling a little lost. Trying to navigate my way through this confusing and stressful world is no easy feat. And when I say ‘my’ throughout this piece, I, of course, mean ‘our’. Our struggles, our stresses, because I’m not the only one feeling the pressures of being a ‘millennial’.
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South Tyrol

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Heimat
A German word that denotes the relationship of a human being toward a certain spatial social unit

It was whilst listening to a French conversation on an Austrian radio station when driving around the German-speaking region of Italy that I truly appreciated the wonderful diversity and homogeny of the European continent. South Tyrol is the northern-most region in Italy with a diverse culture and history, and visiting the region this autumn was an eye-opening experience to values of togetherness, collaboration, and the pure joy of different cultures merging. It’s something I cherish; no (wo)man is an island after all.
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The US Office

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There are some TV shows which just affect you. Shows that stay with you long after they’re finished, like for me, Friends or Breaking Bad. The US Office is one of those shows.

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