20th Mar2016

Marguerite (Film)

by timbaros

Marg_D23_24-3596An aristocrat who thinks she can sing but really can’t is the new French film ‘Marguerite.’

Marguerite is played by delicious French actress Catherine Frot. She’s a very wealthy woman in France in the 1920’s who lives in a huge mansion with her husband and several members of her staff. She loves music and the opera, and loves to give small concerts and parties in her home. She’s a woman who has it all, except for a great singing voice.

She has always yearned to be a singer, and she takes it upon herself to sing at one of her parties, right after the performance of young woman who has the voice of an angel. Once she opens her mouth and sings, the crowd winces, holds their collective breaths, and pretends to enjoy it, then breaking out in furious applause when she’s done (at the insistence of her attentive black servant Madelbos (Denis Mpunga). Of course no one would tell her to her face that she can’t sing. A young journalist (Sylvain Dieuaide) decides to write a rave review about her (only because he’s looking for a rich benefactor), and Marguerite starts to believe that she really can sing, and so she wants to follow her dream – to perform in front of a crowd. Her husband Georges (Andre Macon) wishes that she won’t go through with it,though he won’t tell her to her face but he does tell his mistress. Marguerite is so determined to put on a concert that she hires opera performer and singing teacher Atos Pezzini (a very good Michel Fau), along with his staff of five, to get her voice ready for the show. But it’s them and the rest of the house staff who have to suffer, for every time Marguerite opens her mouth to sing, they cringe and put in ear plugs to drown out her awful voice. Will Marguerite ever realize that she can’t hold a tune? Will anyone in her circle tell her the truth? It all comes down to a hilarious unexpected ending.

‘Marguerite’ is an uproarious comedy about a woman’s desire to follow her passion at any cost. The film combines pretty visuals, set design and costumes, a funny script, and an electric and funny performance by Frot. Director Xavier Giannoli has crafted a film that, while a bit too long and with a couple storylines that go nowhere, is sumptuous and funny. ‘Marguerite’ is loosely inspired by the life of amateur operatic soprano singer Florence Foster Jenkins, soon to be a movie directed by Stephen Frears and starring Meryl Streep to be released later in the year. ‘Marguerite,’ featuring music from Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi, is a true French film – dramatic, gorgeous and funny.

20th Mar2016

Suffragette (DVD)

by timbaros

‘Suffragette’ is the story of the women who battled for equals right in London in the 1910’s, and it’s a must see

The plight of the British women who fought for the right to vote is beautifully told in the excellent film ‘Suffragette.’

‘Suffragette’ is told through the eyes Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) in London, 1912. She works in a local factory, the Glass House Laundry in Bethnal Green, is married to fellow factory worker Sonny Watts (Ben Whishaw) and they have a young son. Watts has actually been a part of the factory since she was very young: her mother worked in the same factory and would strap her to her back when she went to work. Her mother died when she was four and Maud started working part-time there at the age of 7. At the age of 12, she started working full-time. She’s now a lead washer where she makes 13 schillings a week (compared to the salary a man is paid for the same job – 19 schillings a week). Watts has also been sexually molested by the hard core boss Norman Taylor (Geoff Bell). One day Watts is asked to accompany another women who’s to speak at Parliament about women’s working conditions and a bill to give women the right to vote. Watts wasn’t supposed to speak, but the other woman, Mrs. Violet Miller (Anne-Marie Duff) had been beaten up and didn’t look presentable, so Watts is thrust into giving the preprepared speech. Watts speaks from her heart, and from her experience, ignoring the script that was written. This lights something within Watts and turns her into an activist. She gets more more disgusted at the lack of women’s rights, and even more so when she sees young factory worker Maggie Miller (Grace Stotter), Violet’s daughter, being groped by Taylor in his office. Taylor is a sexual predator who believe women have no rights, and he tells Watts to ‘leave the vote to us.’

But Watts’ pleas to Parliament are not enough. They say that there is not enough evidence to support the bill. The women rebel in front of the Houses of Parliament; many are thrown to the ground by the police with little regard for the women’s safety. Some, including Watts, and fellow protestor Edith Ellyn (Helena Bonham Carter), are sent to jail, where they are humiliatingly stripped naked. But this doesn’t deter them, and this leads to Watts becoming a member of the ever increasing suffragettes – a group of women working full-time to advance the rights of women. The Suffragettes are led by Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep) – a woman who has given up her life to further the cause. She’s also in hiding for fear of getting arrested for leading the movement (during those times women had very little rights). Determined police inspector Arthur Steed (Brendan Gleeson) puts the women under surveillance – he won’t let them carry on with their protesting and letter box bombings – he wants them all arrested, especially Pankhurst, and calls the women the “East London ladies.” But Pankhurst rallies the women – she tells them at a gathering in a speech from a balcony “We would rather be lawmakers, not lawbreakers.” The women continue their protesting, even resorting to bombing an M.P.’s house, just to get their message across. But Watts eventually loses more than what she bargained for, but she’s more determined than ever to fight for the cause.
‘Suffragette’ tracks the foot soldiers of the early UK feminist movement, working class women who were forced to go into hiding to pursue equality. They were willing to risk, in their fight, their jobs, homes, families, and for some of them, their lives. And it’s a great movie. The film lies heavily on the shoulders of Mulligan’s portrayal of her character, a fictional character but someone who we route for every step of the way. It’s an unflawed performance that hopefully will see Mulligan receive an Academy Award nomination. Streep, who shares top billing, is only in the film for less than five minutes, but her character’s presence is felt all throughout the movie. Carter is perfectly cast as the local pharmacist and fellow activist, with a husband who supports her every step of the way. Carter is actually the great-granddaughter of Herbert Asquith – the Prime Minister during the time this movie takes place. Director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane), working from a script by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady), successfully and beautifully blends in actual footage of the real protestors into the film, in a film that effectively uses dark lighting and unglamorous costumes to set the mood of the times. And while the plot may be familiar (the recent Made in Dagenham follows a similar plotline), ‘Suffragette’ is an important film to highlight what women did to get equal rights. And we have to be reminded that they are still fighting, and in some countries around the world (Saudi Arabia), women still have very little or no rights.

‘Suffragette’ is now available on DVD

Suffragette [DVD] [2015] (DVD)

Director: Sarah Gavron
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson
Rating: Suitable for 12 years and over

British drama starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter. Maud Lancaster (Mulligan) was born in the Glasshouse laundry in London and knows nothing of the world other than performing her duties as a laundress and as a wife to her possessive husband Sonny (Ben Whishaw). When she hears of a group of women campaigning for the right to vote, she seizes the opportunity to break free from her mundane life and joins the Women's Social and Political Union. Together, the members of the militant organisation attend regular meetings chaired by their leader Emmeline Pankhurst (Streep) and plan their course of action to ensure politicans acquiesce to their requests, by whatever means necessary...Based on: True events Technical Specs: Languages(s): EnglishInteractive Menu
New From: £2.69 GBP In Stock
Used from: £2.99 GBP In Stock