Tag Archive: Emma Stone


Game, Set, Match

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

When I was in high school I played tennis on the team. I loved the game of getting the ball in the right place at the right time.

My racket was a Chrissy Evert racket. I still have it along with another racket I used in high school. For years I followed the Grand Slams. I remember when Venus Williams came on the scene, I remember when Martina Navratilova retired. But I also remember when Billy Jean King was playing.

She was great, a tough player. It was magic.

Billy Jean had that something that made you watch her.

battle of the sexesFor that reason I was very excited to see the movie Battle of the Sexes. The movie is about more than her historic tennis match against Bobby Riggs. But it is also a snapshot of that time period when Women’s tennis started to get recognized as a force all its own.

Now that all seems to be so far away, that women were payed paltry sums compared to the male players despite the fact that they sold just as many tickets. Serena Williams makes the money she does thanks to Billy Jean who stuck her neck out for other women players.

In this movie, we see the start of the Virginia Slims tournaments. Laugh all you want at the athletes smoking cigarettes but that is how those players got paid.

As I watched this movie and heard Billy Jean/Emma Stone talk about what drives her to be the best, what drives her to want to make changes, I couldn’t help but remember how hard my teammates played. There were good players who made jokes about washing the uniform every night because it would get dusty. I saw my former teammates in these women.

The movie is about how the Battle of the Sexes came to happen. That Riggs, a compulsive gambler, tried to get King to play him but she refused. He eventually got Australian champ Margaret Court to play him. Court’s loss to Riggs spurred King to agreed to play. They set a time, a place, and even bickered about who would do the announcing.

King began to focus her training on how to beat Riggs while Riggs seemed to focus on being the biggest show on earth. He took her for granted because he beat Court and Court beat King.

Battles of the sexes 2Those who remember history, know who will win in the end. What I liked about the movie was the way it tried to humanize both characters, showing Riggs as a goofy dad and King as a woman exploring her sexuality. There are risks and dangers in this action, and we see that King considers all sides. Steve Carell and Emma Stone bring a lot of heart to each of their characters.

They never shy away from the circus created by Riggs or why that part of his personality was both his charm and failing. Nor does the movie shy away from King’s relationship with her hair dresser or why its discovery could lead to her downfall. Or how tennis is everything to her.

This is not a movie for everyone, especially in the parts that deal with grown-up relationships of both players. I suspect the younger crowd will find it boring. Others might be scandalized by part of this story. The thing about a DVD or streaming service is you can skip over the parts you don’t agree with or don’t like and get to the best part – the tennis.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

In wining six Oscars, La La Land may have proved that it really didn’t need to win that Best Picture award. Yes, I am sure the mix-up was upsetting. Moonlight is a special film that I heard about all year.

 

la la landBut there is so much to like about La La Land.

For me, the # 1 thing was the OscarTM winning Best Song – City of Stars. It is a song that trickles and skips down the scale. It is light hearted and hopeful and sad all at the same time. There is something so perfect about it. I feel as if I know this song, as if Hoagy Carmichael wrote it himself. But no. That’s not how it happened. Somehow this son best reflects my feelings about this movie.

 

When the husband and I went to the cinema last Friday, I was afraid I would not like it; I was afraid the hype would ruin the movie for me. The thing that ruined the movie for me was sitting too close and getting motion sickness from the twirling scenes. I had to leave the theater and come back. I sat in the back next to someone I am sure did not want anyone sitting next to him.

 

an-american-in-paris-o-s-t-1951I started watching the movie again, allowing the music and magic take hold. At times I felt as if I was watching any number of movies set on Hollywood sets with characters from different movie genres walking across the lot. But there is also a scene that made me think of Singin’ in the Rain or An american in Paris. I am sure there were other references I missed.

 

The story is about an aspiring actress and a jazz musician who want to succeed in their professions. They both work in Los Angelos. Seb and Mia meet by accident and they meet at parties. They think they are not attacted to each other and then they fall in love. What they love about each other is the passion each has for their work.

 

Even when they break up, it is not long before one is rooting for the other.

 

This movie doesn’t feel like your usual musical and yet there are constant refernces to old Hollywood classics. I see hints of Fred and Ginger, who danced in the oddest of places. There are moody atmospheres in clubs and being alone at the home of the one you love. There is the sadness of the drive home after feeling like a failure. There is the happiness of a second chance.

 

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone capture our hearts as Seb and Mia, the couple who fall in love when they are not even sure they want to fall in love. We see their dissapointments and failures written all over their faces. It is all right there, you can see it and you can feel their pain. You can feel their passion for their work and why they continue.

 

Maybe La La Land didn’t win the award for Best Picture. But that doesn’t mean its not a winning movie.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

This past weekend I put out the wind chimes out on my porch. When the winter winds are finished, I usually put them out and finally it seems the winter winds are done.

 

Image by nasir khan

Image by nasir khan

While walking yesterday, I noticed a broken robin blue egg shell on the sidewalk. Such a pretty color and that is a sure sign that spring is here to stay since the Robins are starting to have babies. Finally, the husband showed me a picture he had taken this morning of goslings in the water being protected by the parents.

 

Finally, spring is here. But then news reports talk about 80 degree weather coming. We will get our one week of spring before it hits summer. So this week, I am hitting the garden and getting the mulch and weeds out as quick as possible. Wasn’t it just two weeks ago snow was flying?

 

Change is a hard thing for us humans. We like our routines, and that some people are always going to be there for us. When those routines are upset, we are off kilter until we get use to the new routine.

 

I think about this when I hear people talk about their new diet or exercise routine. I have a friend who recently quit smoking and that is one difficult habit to give up. But I know in the long run she will be happier for it.

 

I am on the change kick not just because of the season but because of some of the movies we have seen recently. Over the weekend, the family went to see The Croods at the theater. Probably its last week but we were not in the mood for death and destruction.

 

It is a tale about a stone age family whose life is about to change as their world goes through land mass upheaval. Talk about having your routine upset.

 

Image from Movies4Kids.wordpress.com

Image from Movies4Kids.wordpress.com

The Croods think they are the last of the humans until they meet Guy. Guy agrees to help the family find a safe place after their cave is destroyed by falling boulders.

 

It is fun, action packed, and has many interesting creatures. But what struck me was the scene in which it is explained how new ideas are frowned upon because that can get you killed. Curiosity can get you killed. Stick with the old ways that you know and hide in a cave when danger comes around.

 

It seemed to me that this theme was also central to Frankenweenie and ParaNorman. Stick with the old ideas, beat out or destroy anything that is different. New ideas or discoveries are bad.

 

All movies are about the journey a person or a group of people take during a particular episode of life. Most of the time, it is an episode that changes or transforms us or allows us to deal with life as it is right at that moment.

 

Sometimes, the journey is about accepting a new idea or being open to the wonders of the world without falling prey to the dangerous parts. That might be the hardest one of all. It will not always be successful but I can say that you will not fail to learn something.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Yesterday  I talk about my latest favorite Austenesque books and promised what I consider to be good casting ideas for these books, should Hollywood come calling. I have no idea if there is a planned movie yet but this is what I think. Lets start with Jane Bites Back.

Jane AustenHere is the lovely Emma Thompson from Last Chance Harvey. in my mind should be played by none other than Emma Thompson. It seems perfect. But here is the problem. I am afraid that Emma might be too old (forgive me, Emma) for the part. So that is one starts thinking about other actresses. Again, I keep thinking of people who are fabulous but slightly aged out of the part.

Olivia Williams who has already played Jane in Jane Austen Regrets.Then I remember Olivia Williams from Peter Pan. I loved her in that and thought she did the best she could with Ria in Tara Road. Having already played the part in Miss Austen Regrets, wouldn’t be fun to see her do a modern version that has comedy and action.

But then there is Brian. Who should play Brian? Could Hugh Dancy fill the bill for Brian? My original thoughts ran to Colin Farrell as Brian need to be a late twentysomething extremely handsome and charismatic. But then I thought  about Hugh Dancy who was in Confessions of a Shopaholic. He is suave and handsome. Can he be a bit devilish as well? I am willing to find out.

Lucy needs to be bold and daring. Emma Stone has all of that!Did you see Zombieland? I fell in love with Emma Stone right there and then. I was reading the book at the same time and knew she could be Lucy. It takes the right mix of intelligence and moxie and Stone has it.

Luke Wilson from My Super Ex-Girlfriend

I had a real problem figuring out Walter. He has to be a guy you immediately feel comfortable with, someone who is cheerful but has a sad side that does not get out much. He is extremely capable and likable. And he knows how to use a cinnamon bun to bribe you into action. My first thought was Bill Pullman but hit the ‘slightly too old’ wall again. That is when Luke Wilson came to mind. He is the right age, but more importantly, Wilson appears accessible. Like someone with whom you can have a beer  and talk about the game or remodeling an old house.

Finally, it comes down to Violet. Could HBC be the greatest Viola ever?You need someone who can appear sane but go off the deep end. Someone who can hold a grudge for 100 or so years. The natural first pick was Helena Bonham Carter. She was the Merchant-Ivory poster child for a while. She has done strange  out there movies with her husband, Tim Burton. Helena can be luminescent or horribly Evil. Sexy or frumpy.  Oh, let her do justice to Violet.

Now, let me know what would be your suggestions!!!!!