RSS

Beauty and The Beast: appreciation

Disney’s ‘live-action’ remake of the 1992 animated classic, Beauty and The Beast, seems to be getting shut out of all the award nominations.

 

This calls for a visual post to celebrate what the judges have failed to appreciate!

 

WHY I LIKE IT:

❤ It takes the romantic fairy tale and roots it in a way that feels more real

 

❤ Belle tucking up her skirts

this is something that would have been done when a girl was participating in less ladylike activities such as walking rough through the woods or climbing on and around things, etc. I rarely see this portrayed in film so I like that it was shown here. and having those cute bloomers show underneath was another way to illustrate how odd Belle supposedly was.

 

❤ The elaborate sets

 

❤ The intricate costumes

“An amazing amount of work went into the prince’s costume [worn by Dan Stevens, above] in the opening ball sequence, which you don’t really see. It’s got a whole custom embroidery of different kinds of grotesque animals stitched into the pattern. It’s embellished with 20,000 Swarovski crystals that took five days to stitch on.” ~Jacqueline Durran, costume designer

speaking of details that get overlooked, I’m going to slip in a pic of Dan’s London premiere suit here because I love the paisley swirl embroidery

 

❤ The nods to the beloved animated version

 

❤ I was never attached to the animated version (truthfully, I’m not sure I’ve even seen the whole movie), so I’m falling in love with the 2017 version like it’s my first time, because essentially it is!

 

Favorite Scene: when Belle & The Beast are sharing their outcast stories and Beast says ‘what do you say we run away’. Dan’s dry delivery of that line always makes me smile.

 

Favorite Line: when Beast shows Belle the library for the first time, she asks:

he answers:

my favorite is the next line when Belle says, “Was that a joke? You’re telling jokes now?”

 

Favorite Outfit: The Prince’s light blue jacket in the closing dance scene

 

A Wish: That Dan get recognition for the hard work he put into the role

 

5 Words To Best Describe It:

Enchanting

 

Powerful

 

Whimsical

 

Sweet

 

Timeless

 

❤ ❤ ❤

 

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Movies

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Man Who Invented Christmas

It’s hard to surprise me. very rarely will you hear me say “I was not expecting that” or “I’m so surprised!” and when I do, 90% of the time I immediately follow it up with “well, now that I think about it…” to which I admit I’m not really that surprised because there were clues leading up to the situation/event that I just hadn’t consciously put together yet. so when I say that the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas surprised me, I genuinely mean it.

 

I thought this movie was going to be a seasonal comedy, a family film, because that’s the way it’s been marketed. I don’t normally get excited about these kinds of films, although I enjoy them well enough. this one was taking a classic well-known story, one that I’ve seen multiple versions of and always enjoy, and coming at it from a slightly different angle. The premise centers around the writer, Charles Dickens, and how he comes up with the idea for A Christmas Carol. the previews looked funny, the way a disheveled Willy Wonka-like Dan Stevens conjures up the well-known characters and then loses control of them. how they mystically materialize in front of him and then disappear before he can transfer them to the page.

 

I was not expecting that it would actually be a version of A Christmas Carol itself, with emotional struggles, revelations and redemption, and dark memories that have been locked into a box and buried. while Charles is manically running around embodying the stereotype of a writer who has one foot on solid ground and the other in dreamland, trying to balance the two while in a time crunch with his reputation and finances on the line, he’s also dealing with his irresponsible father and trying not to let the bitterness he feels towards him eat him alive. that’s the story that affected me, that’s the story that had me laughing and crying in equal measure, that’s what connected me to the main character as I empathized with his struggles.

 

The film does showcase the frustrations a writer goes through when forced to deal with the real life details of publishing a book, financing and printing and illustration, etc. It established the time period of Charles Dickens’s life that we were being dropped into so that we can easily comprehend why his nerves are so frayed, why this book meant so much, and how that all tied into the title of the movie.

 

My one and only complaint would be: why did they chose to market this film as lite family fare? maybe the intent was to create an experience much like my own, to entice with a lighthearted look at a classic tale with the twist of the writer being the focal point, only to unexpectedly deliver a deeper more meaningful story that may nudge us into looking more closely at ourselves. if that was the strategy, then Bravo! but I fear that many may miss out on what is overall a delightful mix of comedy and drama, because they thought they knew what it was about and chose not to view it based on that misconception.

 

So go see this movie! Do it now! if not for what I described above, then for Dan Stevens in dashing cravats and waist coats, for Tara the maid’s melodious Irish Accent, for Jonathan Pryce and his eccentric turban, or even just for this child’s giggle:

 

For whatever reason, you won’t be sorry.  and if you are? then Humbug to you!

 

XxXxXx

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Movies

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

High Maintenance- Rachel

I had never heard of the HBO/web series ‘High Maintenance’ before becoming a Dan Stevens fan. I watched a compilation of Dan’s scenes in the episode ‘Museebat’, taken out of context like all compilations are (that party is not just a birthday party…) but the gifs I had seen of the earlier episode ‘Rachel’ intrigued me much more. So today, I finally forked out the $1.06 to rent it on Youtube.

well worth it, and then some

 

Dan’s character is an award winning writer who is suffering from writer’s block. Colin stays at home, taking his young son to preschool each day, while his wife works a more traditional job. Dan is so sweet with the little boy, which I expected, but what surprised me is how much ‘Colin The Cross Dresser’ warmed my heart. I’ll admit, the idea of cross dressing is not something I’m well informed of. is it sexual? is it gender identity? is it the clothes? I’m not sure. In the case of Colin, he says it’s a way to express himself. this is what he tells his marijuana dealer, when he sees Colin wearing a dress for the first time (the series is built around  ‘The Guy’ and the variety of clients he sells pot to).

It was humorous to see Colin admiring himself in the mirror, wearing women’s clothes and trying to balance himself in heels

but there were also touching scenes, like when Colin is meeting with his boss in a restaurant and the camera zooms in on the blouse that is peeking out from underneath the bottom of Colin’s sweater. or when his attention is drawn to a woman seated nearby, not because he’s admiring her, but rather the fashionable turban that she’s wearing.

The images Colin likes to look at on the computer, of other dads in dresses holding newborn babies, struck me as a bit creepy. but I didn’t find Colin creepy at all.

more like Genius, for giving me a new snack suggestion!

 

What absolutely made me melt (besides the scenes of Colin playfully running through the winter streets with his son) was how supportive his wife was of his cross dressing. It was heartwarming to see how proud of him she was when she found out that he had let ‘The Guy’ see him in a dress and how they were able to easily move into a conversation about Colin’s current writing struggles instead, as if the dress didn’t matter. because really, it doesn’t. they’re just clothes, right?

as are these, which I happen to really like!

 

My mind wasn’t necessarily closed to these things before, but I did find it odd. I find it far less odd now. and so it seems I have fallen for yet another Dan Stevens character!

as if I ever had a chance.

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 14, 2017 in television

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jack was a drifter

Dream Diary

Jack was a drifter that had shown up in our small town. it seems as if I had helped him out of a skirmish with a local police officer (said police officer fancied me but I thought he was an arrogant ass) and we had become friendly because of it. I was in my early twenties, he seemed to be a few years behind at nineteen or so. I spent a lot of time at my grandparent’s house because my grandfather suffered from dementia and was recovering from a nasty fall. I didn’t live with them but my parents were no longer living (car accident), and my grandparents had (begrudgingly) taken me in when I was an early teen. as far as I could tell, I was on my own- no other relatives or friends in town to help the grandparents out or to be friendly with. Jack was seen as a troublemaker but I found a kindred spirit in him.

Jack didn’t just pick our town by accident, he was searching for information about his father. his mother had passed away when he was young and he was put into foster care, which didn’t work out well for him. when he came of age, he set out to travel to the town his mother was from and try to find some answers. I took up the challenge with him and we set about inquiring of the older generation and people who might have gone to school with his mother. my own grandparents were very dismissive when I asked them about Jack’s mother, but it was clear to me that they recognized the name. Jack and I grew closer, and my grandparents did not try to disguise their disdain for him. it was unseemly for me to be paling around with him so much in the first place, I knew, but there was more to it and I wanted to know why.

(this dream was a period piece, set in the late forties early fifties, I think. I wore tweed skirts and my hair was pinned back in waves like that time period. I had a job and seemed to live on my own but the dream never really showed details about this)

my grandparents were never very supportive or loving with me, in the best of times, but soon my presence seemed to irritate them even more than usual. my grandfather was getting back on his feet again and in a particularly lucid moment asked me why I insisted on hanging around his house all of the time. I said I was just helping out, to which my grandmother rudely said “no one asked you to”. well, okay then. before I left that day I went up into the attic and searched through some of my mother’s old things, hoping to find some clues about Jack’s mother and father. I hit the jackpot when I found a Christmas card that Jack’s mother had sent to my mother- it seems they had actually been friends! and in it, his mom revealed that she never told Jack’s father about him because he was on his way to New York City to follow his dream of opening a boxing gym there. oh boy! I couldn’t wait to show Jack!! he was elated. he had a destination now, even knew exactly which area of the city to look, because the letter from his mother was very specific. what Jack didn’t know was that I planned to go with him.

I had nothing in my little hometown, no one, so I was going to scrounge up some money and tag along with Jack. I didn’t know if he felt the same way about me that I did about him, in a romantic way, but I had fallen in love with him over the months that we had known each other. he saw me, acknowledged that I was a person, was interested in what I thought and felt, we had many philosophical talks together. I listened to him pour all his hopes and fears out about tracking down his father, now that he had a name and a location. we talked into the night and had fallen asleep in the abandoned shed we had been meeting in. when I left early the next morning, the police officer had apparently seen me and drew his own less-than-innocent conclusions. I didn’t see Jack for the next two days and was getting worried that maybe he left without saying goodbye. I happened upon him by chance as he seemed to be hiding out. he was battered and bruised, like he had been in a fight, and when I questioned him about it he wouldn’t give me a straight answer. he did say he had outworn his welcome in the town though and it was time for him to leave. I told him I wanted to go with him. he was shocked and didn’t respond. in the meantime, the officer and some of his men started making a racket outside of Jack’s hiding place, knowing he was in the area. I begged Jack to take me with him…and he refused. he seemed remorseful about it but he said I would slow him down, that the officer would chase us if I was with him. I was hurt by Jack’s rejection, but told him to go- I’d distract the officer and give him a head start. we looked at each other, having some kind of silent communication with our eyes that I didn’t understand, and then he left.

I did try to distract the officer, and was slapped across the face in the process. he called me a whore, among other nasty things, and moved to get into his car and chase Jack. I stepped in front of the car and tried to start an argument with him to buy Jack more time, but the officer started up his car and ran me over with it!! I woke up in the hospital with two broken ribs, a broken arm, and I had to get surgery on my ankle. my grandparents had to pay for it all, which they were not happy about. after my surgery I had to stay with them to recover. I had lost my job due to my time away and so I couldn’t pay the rent where I was living. about three months later, Jack sent me a letter. he had made it to New York City and had tracked down his father’s gym, even spying on him a bit, but hadn’t the nerve to approach him yet. he was working a job of some sort which afforded him the money to rent a room. he didn’t want to appear a beggar when he knocked upon his father’s door. Jack’s letter was bittersweet, he sounded fearful but happy. his words made it seem like we were back in the shed, pouring our hearts out to each other. I missed him terribly and I wished he was here, I needed the comfort this time. I wrote him back and poured my heart out to him but he never wrote back. a few more months went by and I sent him a Christmas card, with a short but sweet sentiment included, but he didn’t write back.

it had been a year since I had first met Jack and I was now at my wit’s end with my life. I was depressed, unloved, unwanted, and I needed out. I started making plans to go to Jack in New York City. I wasn’t sure if he’d be happy to see me, as a friend or as more, but I had to get away. if he didn’t want me, I’m not sure where I’d go, but I’d figure that out later. I sold a bunch of jewelry and things that my mother and father had left to me, and had emptied what meager savings I had in the bank. I had let it slip to my former boss what my plans were. he was a nice older gentleman who felt bad replacing me at my job and so he bought me a train ticket, one way, and refused to accept anything in return for it. it was a big help and I was very grateful. so one morning I just left. I didn’t tell my grandparents goodbye or anyone else. my old boss was the only one who knew and he promised not to say where I had gone, just that I had gone to find my own life. I was nervous and I was scared and my ankle, not fully healed yet (due to an infection), was not holding up well under all of the walking but I arrived in New York City and made it to Jack’s address. unfortunately he wasn’t in at the moment, so I sat down to wait for him on the steps of the building.

time seemed to drag on. I was hungry, thirsty, tired and in need of a restroom but I waited. and finally I saw him strolling down the street towards me, with his arm around the shoulders of a small petite blonde, both of them laughing heartily at a story he seemed to be telling in his dramatic fashion. it made me smile to see, even if part of my heart was breaking with the possibility that she was his girlfriend. I shakily stood when they approached the steps and that’s when he saw me. he was struck dumb, just like when I told him I wanted to come with him. I bravely found my voice and simply said, “Hi, Jack”. he silently stood there. the girl looked between us and moved out from under his arm as she introduced herself to break the uncomfortable silence, “Hello, I’m Cyn. you a friend of Jack’s?” I nodded as I looked away from Jack’s intense gaze and said, “my name is Nancy”, then I looked down, not liking the friend description but fearing it wasn’t even true anymore. Cyn, or Cynthia, as I later leaned,  tried to hide her surprise, which caught my attention and caused me to look back up at her. a big smile graced her face as she said “I’m this lug head’s sister, our Pop owns the gym around the corner”. her explanation seemed slightly out of place but I was thankful for it, she knew what I assumed and she was trying to smooth over the tension. Jack continued to just stand there, but had also looked down and was shuffling his feet. that’s when he saw my ankle, the puffy scar still quite visible. I had taken to wearing slacks to cover it but I wore the dress for traveling, to try and blend in with what I thought fashion was in the city.

 

Jack bluntly asked what had happened to my leg. Cynthia elbowed him in the ribs, which I found amusing. I looked at him and confusedly asked, “did you not get my letters?” he seemed to close in on himself a bit and cleared his throat before answering, “yea, but I didn’t open them.” now I was the one struck dumb, just standing there staring. oh. deep breath. oh. it seems my fears weren’t silly at all, he didn’t want me. as either a lover or a friend. what was I going to do? I had nowhere to stay, I didn’t have a plan, all hope flew out the window. my eyes teared up but I refused to cry. I squared my shoulders, turned to Cynthia and asked her if she knew a place nearby where I could stay, a YWCA maybe? I didn’t have a lot of money to spare but I was very tired and I needed to put my feet up. Jack looked confused, like the conversation was moving quicker than he could process. Cynthia sympathized and said her father rented out rooms in the same building as the gym. she knew one was vacant at the moment and said I could stay there for the night, no charge. I tried to argue, saying I could pay something just not a lot. she said, nonsense, her father would want to see to my ankle himself anyway. I latched on to her kindness. I didn’t want to be a charity case but I had gone so long without anyone offering anything to me. I accepted.

 

Jack seemed to come alive then, and grabbed my arm as I turned to follow Cynthia. “Nancy, what happened to your ankle? are you okay? why are you going to the gym, you can stay here” I interrupted him and said, “Jack, I know it was a shock to you, me just showing up like this. I would have written you to warn of my coming but I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway.” I scoffed. “I really do need to sit down and eat something, drink something. I’ll go to the gym with Cynthia and you take a bit to think of what you want to say to me, okay?” I took his hand in mine and looked into his eyes, “we can talk then.” he numbly nodded. “I’m glad you found your father, and that you have family now.” I gave him a watery smile and then walked away with Cynthia. we were half way down the block, when she looked back and then laughed softly to herself. I whispered “what’s he doing? pulling on his ear and roughly rubbing his head?” she laughed out loud and nodded her head yes. “good” I mused, “he’s still the Jack I know, then.”

 

Cynthia was right, Jack’s father did insist on looking at my ankle. he chastised me for walking on it too much and not letting it heal properly. Cynthia said not everyone is lucky enough to have a pain in the ass father to keep you in line. that seemed to mean something to the both of them because he became softer towards me after that. I learned quickly that all of the people at the gym knew exactly who I was, recognized my name in relation to Jack, and seemed happy that I was there. so at least I knew he had talked about me, and favorably, that was something. Jack’s father wasn’t pleased that Jack wasn’t with me, that it was Cynthia who had brought me to see him about my ankle. Cynthia just rolled her eyes and said Jack was definitely his father’s son. again, something that held weight with them that I was clueless about. ‘Pops’ wanted to know what had happened to my ankle and I said it was a car accident. Cynthia asked if I was driving. I said no, and I begrudgingly went on to relate what had really happened. when I finished, the room was eerily quiet. I felt very uncomfortable and didn’t know where to look. when I looked up though I realized they weren’t looking at me, they were looking behind me, at Jack, who was standing in the doorway. his father stood up from his kneeling position where he was tending to my ankle. he patted me on the shoulder and grabbed Cynthia, herding her towards the door. I watched him move pass Jack, leaning down to whisper something in his ear and then shoving him, a bit forcefully, into the room towards me.

 

Jack sat down beside me, all shock from earlier gone. it was my turn to be shocked because what he did was fuss. Jack was fussing all over me, asking if I was in pain, adjusting my ankle upon the chair. asking if i had eaten, if I was thirsty. finally I laughed in exasperation and ordered him to settle down, like a dog. he looked abashed but then took my hand in his and took a deep breath, “I wanted to be worthy of you, set myself up with a bit of money and stability before I came back for you. I wanted to show you that I was a man now, instead of the messed up boy who left.” he looked so vulnerable and ashamed as he said it. I always saw him as a man, never a boy. I told him as much. I saw him as my friend, my best friend. the person who made getting up in the morning worth it, the person who made me feel like I mattered. the man who whisked into my dreary little existence and opened it up, gave me a peek at really living, really loving, and the possibility that I could be loved in return. that I was worth it. he looked like he was going to cry when he answered, “and I left. how can you even look at me?!” the self-loathing, that was my Jack too. “you needed me, you wrote to me and I was too much of a coward to open it.” I asked what he was scared of, and he said he was scared to read that I could get on without him. that life goes on and our time together was just a moment in time, cherished but easily forgotten.

 

I placed my hand upon his cheek until he raised his head and looked at me. I had to come see if he found his happiness with his father, if new york city was everything he hoped it could be. I needed to know that one of us got their dream in the end. he told me that he was in love with me, had loved me every moment before he left and every moment after. he didn’t know if I felt the same way, if I only thought of him as a messed up boy that brought excitement to my life. he knew there was a strong possibility that I didn’t return his feelings, that I would tell him not to bother setting up a life for us together, that I wouldn’t come. that’s why he didn’t open the letters. denial. “I convinced myself, and everyone around me, that you would though. if I asked, that you would come. I just didn’t expect you to show up all on your own, without my even asking. not in a million years!” he laughed in disbelief. I was crying, with a big smile on my face, and playfully moved my hand to lightly slap him. he smiled in return. I looked up at the ceiling and tried to pull myself together. all the weight left my shoulders, as I looked back at his waiting face. my lip started to tremble. he worriedly asked what was wrong, what I needed. I said I needed him. needed him to know that I did feel the same way, that I always had. he leaned down and kissed me then, softly, tentatively. and then asked if I was ready to come home with him. home? home to his place, our place, the place he had slowly but surely been preparing for us. I said yes.
~*~*~*~

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 10, 2017 in creative writing

 

Tags: , , ,

To Dream

The best thing about dreams is that fleeting moment, when you are between asleep and awake, when you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy, when for just that one moment you feel with your entire soul that the dream is reality, and it really happened. ~James Arthur Baldwin

 

Through the years, I’ve developed the habit of writing down what I dream about at night. not every dream, I have too many to do that! but I do try to record the ones that are still with me when I wake in the morning. sometimes I’ll awake briefly during the night after a particularly detailed dream, thinking “oh! I must write that one down in the morning” but then when morning comes, I’ve either completely forgotten it or it’s too fragmented to piece back together. the dreams I do jot down tend to be filled with descriptive adjectives that I’ve added to help convey what I still see in my minds eye, sprinkled dialogue that may have occurred in the dream- in whole or in part, and sometimes even song lyrics/melodies that do not actually exist outside of my own head. they’re more like short stories, really, but in first person ‘dream’ form. I write it all down in one sitting, before it slips away and is lost forever.

I’ve always thought that many of these dreams would be good foundations for traditionally written stories, but I never seem to get around to fleshing them out. I’d much rather spend my time daydreaming about scenarios that I can control in the moment, instead of going back through and editing something that has already been boxed into a framework. I have an overflowing folder filled with these dreams, pages and pages of notebook paper, that I sometimes revisit to see it all replay again in my mind. while sifting through that folder recently, I lamented the fact that these characters and scenarios will never be fleshed out, that no one would ever ‘see’ them but me. I feel like they’re going to waste in that folder, tucked away in my dresser drawer, so I’ve decided to gather them here instead. some are merely ideas, while others have taken on the ‘short story’ form, but they’re all unpolished. maybe they won’t make sense to anyone other than me, but I think they should be shared. I want to give others a chance to see what I see.

I’ll be tagging them ‘dreams’ under a ‘creative writing’ category. I’ve shared some of my dreams previously in the posts Seat belt? Check3 Recent Dreams of Jamie Dornan, and also under the ‘dreams’ tag on my Richard Armitage fanblog.

 

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 10, 2017 in creative writing

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: