The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Hi everyone,

Don’t you just love the feeling when you have seen a great movie and it leaves you feeling happy, inspired and touched? I certainly do, and it is exactly how I felt after watching this goody of a film. In the beginning, the film kind of reminded me of ‘Perks of being a wallflower’ but then it became so much more…

The Edge of Seventeen is a teenage comedy about the ups and downs of growing up. It sounds like a cheesy storyline, right? But it is so far from it! Nadine is the protagonist of the story and she takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions. During the course of the film, Nadine loses friends, makes allies, fixes relationships in her life and grows up.

Hailee Steinfeld plays the role of Nadine and she is brilliant. At only 20 years old, Hailee has starred in one of the most popular movies- Pitch perfect and has been on tour opening up for Megan Trainor! Now she steals the show in Edge of Seventeen. I really really hope she gets the recognition she deserves for this film. Her performance was exceptionally honest, raw and hilarious. From the first moment she was on screen I felt a connection to her character, a strong connection.

Her role could have come across as pathetic and desperate but instead it comes across as completely truthful. I think she was lucky to have landed such a well-written character and she just brings it to life even more. Hailee interacts with the other actors in such a genuine way that she really invites the audience into her relationships. She makes the audience feel the emotions that her character is feeling. Her performance made me laugh, smile and cry. What more could you want from an actress?

Woody Harrelson plays Nadine’s teacher, Mr Bruner, and the two of them share such a fascinating relationship.  They just get each other and their chemistry is great to watch. Their scenes are so sarcastic that it is just so funny. The way they look at life in the film is so critical but yet makes so much sense. Their scenes in the film turned out to be some of the parts that stood out for me.

There is so much I could say about this film that it is actually difficult to narrow it down. One of the things I have learned at film school is that it is so important to create something that the audience can relate to. When telling a story you need to ensure that the audience will be able to see parts of themselves within the film. This film gets that concept down to  a T! There were so many moments when I felt like I was watching a mirror image of my life. I just felt things watching this movie and it was truly an awesome experience.

The movie is based on a 17-year-old girl, but it truly transcends to any age. I am 21 years old and I related to everything. I didn’t feel like I was watching a ‘teenage’ movie, I just felt as if I was watching a portrayal of life. It is so difficult growing up. People you thought you knew turn out to be different. You think you know what you want and then it all changes. You get tested too many times to even count and you have to stay afloat when everything seems to be pushing you under water.

If I am going to watch a movie about the dysfunctionality of life, I want to be able to laugh about it. This movie not only makes you laugh but makes you cry too. It left me feeling grateful and happy, like whatever happens to me isn’t the end of the world and everything will work out in the end. I loved it.

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

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Robin Hood and the Babes of the wood (2016)

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of year again. Schools are beginning to quieten down for the year, Christmas presents are beginning to be thought about, last minute holidays are being booked and the annual PANTOMIME is on! This year Director Janice Honeyman chose a new story to share- Robin Hood and the babes of the wood. The show has a star-studded cast including Kate Normington as The spirit of the wood fairy, Izak Davel as Robin Hood, Graham Hopkins as the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, Carmen Pretorius as Maid Marian as well as many other talented South African stars.

There is such a sense of fun at the Pantomime. Everyone just wants to have a good time and relax. It really is a great atmosphere to be a part of. There is always plenty to keep everybody entertained. Cultural humor for the adults, extravagant costumes, heroes for the boys, fairies, and princesses for the girls and music that everyone can enjoy. It truly is a family affair.

The cultural references in this year’s script were so up to date that it felt like the characters were living in our present South African society. Someone must have their fingers on the pulse in the creative team because everything was so current and SO funny. Everything from taxes to social media culture, the South African government and the American election were thrown together to create a pop of well, culture.

My only problem this year was that I found the story a bit hard to follow, however, this did not lessen my enjoyment because there were plenty of costumes, sets, jokes and music to keep me going… Going back to set design, I am SO impressed with the set design that I have seen in the past few shows I have been too. Each show out does the previous one when it comes to the art department and this show was no exception. The sets were so colorful, interesting and unique that it truly brought the characters to life.

The cast of this show is so talented. Having seen a number of cast members, Natasha Van De Merwe, Bongi Mthombeni, Candida Mosoma and Nurit Graff (to name a few) in other productions I got so excited at the prospect of seeing them on stage again! Everyone who walked on stage performed with such enthusiasm, energy and commitment that it made me happy to watch people enjoying their craft and succeeding. I always feel that any actor, singer or dancer on stage is so brave because they put themselves forward for public scrutiny and they hardly receive enough credit for their hard work and dedication.

There was some stand out moments of course. The merry men performed a hilarious song about their manly-ness, which my 11-year-old brother found most amusing. The two babes Tokkel (Dale Scheepers) and Tina (Kyra Green) brought some heart into the show. Friar Tuck (Desmond Dube) and Little John (Phumi Mncayi) do a Hilarious rendition of ‘the bear necessities’… the list could go on and on…

Naturally, the only thing left for me to say is congratulations to the entire cast and crew on a fun-loving, entertaining and exciting production!

The show runs at the Joburg Theater until the 30th of December so be sure to book your ticket for an awesome day out….

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx

My big fat Greek wedding 2 (2016)

“Telegram, Telephone, Tel-a-greek”

Yesterday I decided it was time to visit the movies. I have been saying how much I wanted to go see “my big fat greek wedding 2” for so long now and I decided that it was now time to put my actions into words. It has been 14 years since the first movie was released. How do you create a sequel for a movie that came out before the iPhone was even released?

I loved My big fat greek wedding. It was such a feel good movie with loads of heart and laugh out loud worthy moments. The second movie lives up to the essence of the first. Watching how the big greek family that we all love has developed over time brings back such nostalgia that the first movie set up so well. Gus and Maria are still the warm, welcoming parents that love their children unconditionally. Aunt Voula still has plenty of words of wisdom to share and Toula and Ian are now the parents of a typical teenager who is just looking to find her place in the world.

The second movie is full of heart and “awww” moments which make it so lovely to watch. I feel that so many movies today are made with huge action sequences and loads of explosives but lack moments of sentiment and feeling. It’s great that we can blow peoples heads off and visual effect departments can create these massive, out of this world, explosions but what happened to heartfelt, date night, old school romantic movies that make you leave the cinema with a smile on your face because it was just so sweet and happy?

Our favorite Greek family is just as greek as ever and I must admit, I loved watching a family who is so proud of their traditions and origins. They stick by each other no matter what and it is so refreshing to watch a movie about what being a family really means- sticking together no matter how tough it gets.

When I go to the movies, I want to leave feeling happy and uplifted not depressed and freaked out. Yes opinions differ and we need action packed movies to satisfy the adrenaline junkies out there but that shouldn’t mean that the old school romantic comedy should get any less attention. I left the cinema feeling like I had the most wonderful afternoon. I laughed, I cried and I had fun. What more can you ask for?

*lights out*

Natalia

xxx