Tag Archive: nicole kidman


La, La, La, La, Laaaaa

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

This past weekend, some of the women at my church got together for a different kind of women’s fellowship.

We had a cookie party.

Each woman brought either cookie dough or frosting. We had sugar cookies, gingerbread, ranger cookies and red velvet cake cookies. In four hours we made dozens of cookies with nine varieties in total. After cookies had been frosted and decorated, each woman took a variety of cookies home. We had the ovens going until all of the dough was gone.

Somehow the cookies lasted through Monday evening at our house. I am not sure they will last another day. But what was important was not coming home with a ton of cookies, it was the fellowship with other women.

We talked about family traditions, Christmas legends and Susan Boyle. Then there were discussions about jobs, blood drives and church events. By the end of the evening we got around to talking about Les Miserable which opens at the end of the month. Soon we were making plans to get together to watch this spectacle.

Image from IMDb.com

Image from IMDb.com

Have you seen the commercials? Just Anne Hathaway singing sends chills up and down my spine.

The story is about a man who escapes parole and makes a new life for himself. But then a factory worker who has become a prostitute to support her child makes him promise to care for her child. He agrees and that decision leads to trying events in the future. The Oscar buzz for this movie is already crazy and all we have seen are the trailers and various clips.

While this movie is more of an opera because most of the dialogue is sung, it is still considered a musical. Most musicals have songs as interludes, pushing forward the emotions of characters.

The best musical of all time does just this with songs that were not written specifically for the movie. Singin’ In The Rain was a collection of songs that directors Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen liked and wanted to use for a revue-like movie. Each song leads us to know how a character feels at that moment.

One of my favourite musicals is Mamma Mia! Perfect for when I am cleaning house, I love watching this adaptation of the Broadway show starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan because most of the music is toe tapping fun. Perhaps it is too hedonistic for some, it also delves into the emotions of those who are wondering if life has passed them by while they were simply living and raising a family.

Another musical I love is Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Set in 1899, McGregor is a young man who comes to the big city and immediately falls in love with the star of a show. But, being that this is based on La Boheme, she is a courtesan. She should not give in to love as she supports the theatre and allows Kidman to star in the shows.

And like most operas, she has a secret. One that is not that secret and will kill her. We know this going in but who care? The songs, modern and anachronistic, are major spectacles. Even the simple songs fills the heart while the dancing is incredible.

That is what a musical should do, lift your heart, take you to a higher level of emotion, make your spine shiver because the singing is incredible.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

This past weekend, our church women’s group came together for a cookie baking session.

 

Image by Cohdra

Image by Cohdra

Each woman was to bring two batches or more of pre-made cookie dough along with any pans and decorations they had on hand. I made three different cookies doughs: Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and M&M cookie dough. At the end of the night, each woman took home a variety of cookies. Four hours of baking ended with nine different kinds of cookies that included ranger cookies and red velvet cookies.

 

The amazing thing is I still have some of those cookies as of Monday morning. I suspect they will all be gone by the end of the day.

 

At the end of the evening, we decided we needed to have another fellowship time and a movie seemed like a good idea. It was also unanimous that Les Mis should be that movie. Just the commercial with Anne Hathaway singing gave me chills up and down the spine.

 

Then again, I have always been a fan of a good musical. The first one that I remember as being life changing was Singin’ In the Rain which starred Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Conner. This movie about the change over from silent movies to talkies focuses on how one leading man is able to transition well while his abhorrent leading lady is not. To make matters worse, he has fallen in love with a chorus girl who has a great voice.

 

I believe it is universally accepted this is the best musicals of all time as well as being one of the best movies ever made. For the last ten years, however, it seems as if we are treated to a new musical every Christmas. While Les Mis has continual singing, making it more opera than musical, the songs break your heart with their beauty.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

One of my favorite musicals in the past few years is Mamma Mia starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. This musical featuring the songbook of ABBA is a happy, zippy movie that exists in a very adult world that might be a little hedonistic at times. I love putting this one on when I have to do housework.

 

Another musical in recent years that I love is Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. The story is a familiar one to opera fans. A young idealistic man falls in love with a beautiful woman who is a courtesan. She also has the dread disease of the early 1900s which is consumption, aka tuberculosis.

 

What I love about this movie is how director Baz Luhrmann uses modern songs in a period piece and somehow it all works out. You have a great love story, fantastic musical pieces and the sage wisdom given by tough people trying to look out for a young man who is writing his first show that must be a block buster. The sets are bright, eclectic and over-the top which matches the movie and it all works.

 

While these movies are not exactly little-kid friendly, they are something you can watch with your teens if they happen to like musicals. Otherwise, you can always join me. I am happy to have a sing-a-long at my house any time.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Movie Poster, image from IMDb.com

Movie Poster image from IMDb.com

 

Family Movie Night

 I get really excited when some of the Oscar movies start coming out to the home theater market.

 Because our life is pretty hectic with the kids’ schedule of activities getting out to the movies on a regular basis is pretty difficult. I am happy to be able to watch Dancing With The Stars on a regular basis.

 So imagine my happiness when I looked at the DVD release schedules to find that between this week and last, four movies that were nominated for Oscars are coming out.

 Last week, Country Strong starring Gwyneth Paltrow as a country singer making her comeback after a too short stint in rehab. She is a great singer and her husband, played by Tim McGraw, knows that the stage is the only place she can be happy.

Garret Hedlund stars as the rising singer she goes on tour with along with beauty queen-turned-singer Leighton Meister. I love country music, love Gwyneth and Tim McGraw and plan to watch this movie.

While Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1only received nominations for its technical magic, I am looking forward to seeing this movie once more. I have been following the series since the first movie, have re-read the books and feel ready for the final movie.

 Harry, Ron and Hermione have left school to search for the final pieces to destroy Voldemort. Life has never been so tenuous or dangerous. Never have the stakes been higher. Oh, I am so looking forward to watching this flick with a huge bowl of popcorn.

 Yesterday saw the release of the DVD for Rabbit Hole starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart as parents who are facing the loss of their young son by a sudden accident. It is a movie that will break your heart as these two people work to rebuild everything they knew to be true. I love these two actors and look forward to watching how two people deal with the ultimate grief and how they allow each other to grieve as well.

 On the same day the big winner at the Oscars, The King’s Speech, comes out as well. While my husband has no interest to see this movie, I cannot wait. Colin Firth has been a good actor for such a long time that his performances are rather seamless. It appears that he is not acting at all.

 He finally won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as the King of England who must get over his speech problem in order to be the reassuring voice his subjects need to hear. He is the king, their sovereign and he must appear to be confident. That is when the Queen finds a speech therapist who helps the King find his voice. Because I also love Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush, my level of excitement is quite high. This last movie is best for younger family members (grade school and up) despite the momentary swearing that is used to help the king.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world know about your latest pick for Family Movie Night and drop a note below.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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