Tag Archives: movie review

TWSM Movie Review ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’

‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ Will Be the Hot Topic of the Summer.

At a time when virtually no new movies are coming out (thanks, global pandemic), Netflix was able to release a new original film featuring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams called “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”. The story centers on Lars (Ferrell) and Sigrit (McAdams), two Icelandic singers who dream of competing in Eurovision, a music competition for European countries. Lars is singularly focused on winning (and gaining his father’s approval), so much so that he barely notices Sigrit pining after him for the majority of the film. The pair make it to Eurovision through a twisted turn of events, even though many people find them to be more of a joke than a serious musical act. After arriving at Eurovision, Lars and Sigritcontinually make mistakes in their performances, but Sigrit’snatural talent catches the eye of Russian contestant, Alexander Lemtov (Dan Stevens).

The film was the talk of Twitter this week, many raving about the film’s humor and a surprisingly emotional ending. The buzz was enough to pull me in as a viewer, but I have to say, Eurovision will be a point of heated discussion in social circles this summer. The film started out slow, most jokes searching for a place to land. Ferrell’s accents and wig harken back to his performance in “Blades of Glory”, another one of his films that dons a mocking tone.

One of the reasons the film started out slow for me is it begins with Sigrit’s unrequited love for Lars, which is very confusing. Lars doesn’t have many redeeming qualities at all, except that he taught Sigrit to sing when they were children. The lead actors lack much chemistry which makes the desired romance that much more uninteresting.

The one bright spot in the film is the music. Although McAdams’ voice was blended with a real Icelandic singer, she did some of her own singing in the film and was magnificent. Many viewers will be surprised by her vocal ability. Ferrell does all of his own singing, which is mediocre.

Without giving any spoilers, many viewers will be surprised at how emotional the final act of the film really is. All in all, the humor did not land, but the musical performances kept the film interesting enough to see through to the end.

Have you seen “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”? If so, let me know what you thought!

Happy Streaming!

Katie

Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ a Triumphant Adaptation

“Little Women” is a widely-known story about the March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen). The sisters are all very different from each other, each one of them having their own talents and flaws. The story centers around the sisters and their growing up. Director Greta Gerwig was not afraid to put her own vision on the famous story, jumping through time in a non-linear fashion, something the previous adaptations did not do. 

One day, the sisters meet Laurie (Timothee Chalamet), and an incredible friendship is born. Laurie is close with the whole March family but has a special bond with Jo. Chalamet’s performance in the scene where Laurie finally professes his love for Jo is breathtaking. 

The true shining star of this film, though, is Florence Pugh. Amy March is well-known for being the least endearing of the March sisters. She is blunt, rash, and selfish. However, Pugh’s performance somehow brings a different shade to Amy than what audiences have seen before. One spectacular moment is her monologue to Laurie concerning how marriage is not about love, but rather, and economic endeavor, really lets Pugh shine.

The whole film feels like what growing up in the March home probably felt like: chaotic, dramatic, heart wrenching, yet warm and inviting at the same time. Gerwig’s adaptation manages to capture that feeling of sisterhood in a way that the previous adaptations had not. Gerwig also sprinkles in some modern touches, like more modern dance moves and a few slang terms here and there. 

Many people were probably expecting another stuffy movie about women pursuing marriage partners in the old days. What they get from Gerwig and company pushes beyond that into an enjoyable, heartbreaking, and fulfilling experience. Not to mention, Gerwig’s tweak on the story’s ending is a fabulous interpretation of the material that none of the previous adaptations proposed. 

You can find “Little Women” on streaming and rental services.

Happy Viewing!

-Katie

Bring Your Tissues To See ‘Just Mercy’

The new film Just Mercy chronicles the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) as he fights for wrongly convicted inmate Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) on death row. Jordan delivers a solid performance as Stevenson, who graduates from Harvard and immediately moves to Alabama to provide free legal assistance to death row inmates. When Stevenson meets McMillian and hears his story, Stevenson cannot forget about the case and knows that McMillian is innocent. Stevenson vows to free McMillian and begins the arduous journey of uncovering the truth (and gross corruption) about how McMillian got to death row. With help from his assistant Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), Stevenson fights to exonerate McMillian and others awaiting their fate. 

While Jordan and Foxx give fantastic performances, the true beauty comes from the performances of two supporting actors, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rob Morgan. Nelson’s work as the physically deformed, convicted felon Ralph Meyers was truly stunning, and will no doubt stick with viewers long after the credits roll. Nelson fully transforms as he twitches, stutters, and emotes his way through a challenging character. Somehow, he demands sympathy from the audience for a character who might not deserve it.

Morgan, on the other hand, turns in a breathtaking rendering of his character, Herbert Richardson, a PTSD-stricken war vet fighting for a stay of execution. His last scenes were the most gut-wrenching, yet fascinating, that I’ve seen in a while.

Just Mercy gives viewers a deeper look into how racism seeps into our justice system to this day. I had to remind myself multiple times that the film (and the case itself) didn’t take place in the 50s or during the Civil Rights Movement, but rather from 1987-1993, just two years before I was born. It is easy for some to believe that the days of racism and police corruption are just far-off stories in our history books, but learning about Walter McMillian’s story should remind audiences that the work is far from over. Bryan Stevenson has not forgotten, and he’s stayed hard at work fighting these injustices through his nonprofit organization, The Equal Justice Initiative (or EJI). For more information on EJI, visit https://eji.org/about/

Viewers may not leave Just Mercy feeling overwhelming happiness or joy. But, hopefully, they’ll leave having learned something. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll want to join the fight for a better tomorrow.

~Katie