:D Netflix Online
[b]My Review:[/b] This was a beautiful movie. The scenery was beautiful and the costumes were wonderful as well. I loved Jean-Marc Barr (playing Matthaus Singer) and Emma Fielding (playing Frances Groves) in the leading roles. Very strong performances. This film had it all: passion, suspense, drama, intrigue and a surprise ending. For a period piece lover like me, it was the perfect movie.
The spectacular scenery of Wessex and the Dorset coast provides the backdrop for this adaptation of a Thomas Hardy short story. Set in nineteenth century rural England, this is the story of forbidden romance between a German hussar serving with King George III's personal cavalry, Matthaus Singer, and the only daughter of a West country solicitor, Frances Groves. The German legion is encamped on the downs as the threat of war with Napoleon looms. Matthaus longs for his homeland and Frances is trapped in an interminable engagement to one of her father's business associates, Humphrey Gould. Illicit meetings between Frances and Matthaus flare into a passionate affair as each searches for escape and happiness. Were they to be discovered, she would be branded a soldier's whore and he a disgrace to his regiment.
:) Netflix: August 19, 2007
[b]My Review:[/b] This one might only be for die-hard soccer fans. It takes place in 1950, so that might also put off some viewers. My husband and I liked it, but we were THE soccer family when our three boys were all playing tournament soccer. We became fans back then, and as an old man in the movie said, "It's the only game in the world where you don't have to be tall or strong, you don't need a special field, and you don't need any equipment except a ball." The other thing we liked about this movie was that it emphasized the pride immigrant families in the 1950's felt about being Americans. In their eyes in those days, to be an American was the most important thing on earth. We don't hear that so much anymore and it was nice! As a plus, Gerard Butler, the guy from "Phantom of the Opera", played the goalie.
In 1950, the United States World Soccer Team faced the esteemed team from England, known then as one of the best the sport had ever seen, in a heated race for the title in Brazil. The US team was made up of the best players from an Italian enclave in St. Louis and a group of ivy league players in the East. Each group had their own style of play; one more formal and one less formal. Somehow the Americans had to resolve this issue as well as to strive to beat the best team in the world.
:D Netflix Online
My Review: This movie mesmerized me. I was in Provence in Aix and Les Baux two months ago and this movie captured that area of France perfectly. As I watched, I longed to return there. The story itself is delightful and enchanting. It is a family film narrated by a handsome, young French boy at the turn of the century. The costumes, settings and landscapes are gorgeous in Marseille, as well in Provence. The story develops from the young boy's perspective. I would recommend this to anyone who cherishes period pieces with plots that unfold gently. In this case, the young man discovers the foibles that we all eventually find in our parents, but he does so in the countryside of beautiful Provence. Subtitles are required, but hearing the French language spoken so eloquently throughout was all part of the total experience. This was based on autobiographical recollections of French author Marcel Pagnol and the sequel, "My Mother's Castle", is a must-see for me. Highly recommended if you love these kinds of movies as I do.
Joseph and Augustine take their family to spend an unforgettable summer vacation in the south of France.
My Review: This is a powerful and complex movie about what's morally right vs. laws, ambitions, and jealousies. Juliette Binoche was wonderful as the Captain's beautiful wife, but also as the trusting benefactor of a convicted murderer. Daniel Auteuil was equally good as the Captain who stands up for his convictions, even if it threatens his very livelihood. Emir Kusturica literally transforms himself in the role of the hated convict. Set in 1849 on a French island, St. Pierre, I would recommend this film to period piece, romance, and drama lovers. Subtitles required.
This dark drama explores a true tale set in 1850 on the isolated French-Canadian island of St. Pierre. Yugoslav director Emir Kustirica makes a fabulous acting debut as Neele August, an illiterate fisherman who brutally murders his ex-fishing captain in a night of drunken revelry. Sentenced to death, August cannot be killed until the remote island Governor imports a used guillotine from the French government. While awaiting the arrival of the "widow," August is placed under the care of the reticent, iconoclastic Captain Jean (Daniel Auteuil) and his freethinking wife Pauline (Juliette Binoche). Under Pauline's direction, August becomes a devoted social servant whose heroic deeds place the island's female population solidly against his death sentence.
[b]My Review:[/b] I liked this version of "Emma" as much as I did the version with Gwyneth Paltrow. I would suggest using the subtitles, however, as the lines are delivered with that fast-spoken British drawl that is sometimes difficult to understand. Kate Beckinsale is excellent as Emma and I preferred Samantha Morton's "Harriett" in this movie to Toni Collette's "Harriett" in the Paltrow version. Toni Collete is somewhat typecast for me, and it isn't in the role of an 1815 English maiden. I didn't sense any chemistry between Emma and Mr. Knightley, but everyone is so proper and straitlaced in this period that I'm not sure it mattered. And for some reason, the actor who played Frank Churchill, Raymond Coulthard, reminded me of a slightly older, blonde, curly-headed Justin Timberlake which was a little distracting, but okay. All in all, this is an excellent Jane Austen period piece with beautiful English estates, luscious countryside, and lovely costumes, just as you would expect. Highly recommended for Jane Austen and period piece lovers.
Favorite quote: Spoken by Jane Fairfax, Miss Bates' niece and [b]SPOILER ALERT[/b] Mr Churchill's secret fiance, to Emma: "Oh, Miss Woodhouse, the comfort of being sometimes alone!" (My sentiments exactly - 200 years later.)
A faithful, enchanting adaptation of Austen's nineteenth-century tale of Emma Woodhouse, a clever young woman whose mischievous matchmaking schemes nearly cost her her own shot at romance.