Saturday, February 24, 2018

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

I had been wanting to see this one for a long time.   I missed it when it was on at the film festival in August, and now it has been out for a couple of weeks on general release here in kiwiland.  There has been a lot mentioned about it as award season circulates, and so I finally made some time on my Saturday afternoon to go to a grown up peoples cinema (one where there are few children, teenagers with cellphones and cheap tickets).

Mildred Hayes is upset, her teenage daughter has been killed and the local police seem to be doing nothing about finding  the murderer.  So she uses three old billboards on a rural road to advertise her frustration and from there the story truly starts as the impact  of her decision causes friction around town.

I am not one to watch a movie just because of the award nominations, but the three from this movie deserve the oscar buzz.  Frances McDormand is truly outstanding in the lead role and Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are pretty steller too.  This story is full of violence and swearing, and even though the story is very much a drama it does have its comedic moments and somehow it rides the balance of offensive and amusing at the same time.  I certainly didn't nod of in this one.  5/5

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

It's Not Yet Dark - Simon Fitzmaurice

This is a small quick read of a memoir, but it is packed full of insight into what really matters in life.  In 2008, filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice is diagnosed with motor neuron disease, and in this book he describes the progress of this devastating that robs patients of their movements and then their abilities to swallow and finally breath.  There are still beautiful moments in his life, his lovely wife and wonderful children still bring wonder and joy.

It is books like this that serve to remind me to be grateful for the simple things, to be able to walk around, to be independent, to enjoy good food and to be able to reach out and hug your loved ones. 4/5

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Believe Me - Yolanda Hadid

Yolanda Hadid was one of those women who I saw on a housewives show, but didn't pay much attention too, especially as her presence wasn't around much due to her being ill.  In this book she talks about that health journey due to having Lyme disease and how it affected her and her family.  I admire her honesty in having to try to find a way to be better when there is no cure, and that she had to watch her two children also suffer must have been hard as a mother.  She also talks about the break down of her marriage that was happening at the same time, as well as her best friend who had motor neuron disease. 

On the whole I liked the book and was interested to read about the many treatments she sought out, although many were a bit woo woo for my liking, and I wonder at the cost of doing fancy treatments with specialists around the world, she was lucky to have the means to seek out and try so many options.  Like all memoirs, for me the highlights are always the stories about families and growing up and you can sense the immense love she has for her three beautiful children, her brother and her mother which to me, makes her more beautiful too.  3/5

Monday, February 19, 2018

Music Monday - The Curse - Agnes Obel

So this year I wanted to find some more music to listen to and I found this artist.  The song is deep and very beautiful, but I must admit to not really knowing what she is singing.  Still it is lovely and I look forward to exploring more of her music.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Last Mrs. Parrish - Liv Constantine

Amber Patterson has set her sights high. She's going to go after Jackson Parrish a rich successful businessman, who is also married to the lovely Daphne, and father to two young daughters. Some of this conniving and cunning came across a bit overdone, but on the whole I enjoyed the story and could convincingly see the story playing out in my mind. 4/5

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Middle Aged Lady Movie Night In - John Wick 2

Keanu Reeves returns as the brooding John Wick - grieving still for his wife and puppy (be still my middle aged lady heart).  There are lots of car chases, screaming tyres, dead baddies and shoot em up scenes - which are not really my scene, but it was ok.  They didn't give Keanu too  many lines to remember and I liked him looking sad and angry, which happens a lot in this movie.  3/5

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Going in Style

3 friends decide to take matters into their own hands, after their pensions are frozen and the funds are dried up.  A gentler version of the heist genre of movies I watched this one on a quiet evening and was gently amused.  For me the bonus is just listening to Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine talk - I could listen to them for hours with their soothing sing song voices that are quite mesmerizing.  3/5

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Promise Me, Dad - Joe Biden

I found this a very moving memoir written by Joe Biden.  While serving as Vice President and traveling to many of the worlds hotspots his oldest son Beau has been diagnosed and getting treated for a brain tumor.  I wasn't that interested in all of the political stuff, but was extremely touched as he wrote about his family and the love they shared even through all of the tough times. 4/5

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


I'm trying a new series on the TV.  Just when I thought I couldn't fit in any more shows - I've started watching 9-1-1 a US drama about first responders.  I do find it fast and I like the characters - especially that the 3 main ones are range in age from Connie Britton at age 50 and Angela Bassett at age 59.  It is nice too that the rescue stories aren't dragged out and the whole show is pretty fast paced.  I'm giving the first two shows a 4/5.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Music Monday - When I Get My Hands On You - Marcus Mumford

It soothes me to listen to Marcus Mumfords voice, after a busy  day and evening and this is one of my favorite songs.  I am looking for some new music - I'm stuck in a rut and need some new tunes.  I guess it is reflective of my middle agedness.   Maybe too old for pop music and too young for oldies tunes.