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About Time

MV5BMTA1ODUzMDA3NzFeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDgxMTYxNTk@._V1_SX214_Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson

At the princely age of 21, Tim’s father takes him aside and tells him that he’s inherited the gift of time travel, just like all the men in his family before him. So, he can go back in time…now what to do with this power? Tim wants to use it to help him find true love. But as his father gently explains “all the time travel in the world can’t make some-one love you”.

With his special new gift, Tim moves to London, finds a career, makes new friends, and forms life long relationships. And he does find true love when he meets Mary. After their life together looks just about right, time travel seems unnecessary. But a problem eventually arises with his beloved sister, forcing Tim to make decisions about which things he can go back and fix, and which things he can’t.

I knew I was going to like this film in the first five minutes. I have no idea who this Gleeson person is, but does a smashing job in the role of the sensitive and loving Tim. I’m sure I’m not the first person to pick up on the fact that Rachel McAdams starred in The Time Travellers Wife – a drama/romance about time travel. Other clever casting bits include a brief appearance together of Richard E Grant and Richard Griffiths – Withnail and Uncle Monty from the 80s cult film Withnail and I!

The script was so lovely, so tender, so many beautiful characters. The only criticism I have is that the film slows down at one point and I think it’s trying to cover too much territory at that point. But it gets back on track and you are intimately involved again pretty quickly.

If you didn’t catch this film in the cinemas, then think yourself lucky – all the crying in a public place is not dignified! So although you do need tissues, you don’t walk away feeling depressed because it is, at the end of the day, a romantic comedy (in fact a Richard Curtis romantic comedy).

For those critics eager to find holes in the plot, who are over-scrutinising the inner workings of time travel, or rolling their eyes at the sentimentality – don’t bother. Really, you just need to see the simple delights in every average day.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

MV5BMjIwNjkwMDI2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDc1ODIyNw@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton

A group of British retirees, unknown to each other, meet at the airport on their way to India to stay at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Most are white and middle-class and down on their luck/retirement funds.

They are looking for a new experience in a time in their lives when changes are happening, and most of them are looking for somewhere cheap to stay.

The hotel is run by a young, enthusiastic man who inherited it from his father and wants to return it to its former glory, despite costs, his own perceived failings, and a family working against him.

The guests have a range of different experiences, some are good and some are bad – some have closure, new romance, new friendship, a new way to look at the world. Maggie Smith plays a working class racist who is transformed by the very people she wanted to hate.

This was a charming film. It was fun, colourful, moving and uplifting, also having romance and humour. All the characters had a place and purpose in the story, and worked well to move the plot along together.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the film as much as I did. The final scene made me feel that life is worth living no matter what age you are – go out and live it!

 

Love Actually

Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Heike Makatsch, Rowan Atkinson

“Love actually is all around”.

There are a number of story lines in this film about couples and friends that all connect with each other, some from the very beginning, some that develop along the way. This is done so effortlessly and so smoothly that you never find yourself lost or confused about who everyone is. There are some very clever juxtapositions, and subtle comparisons.

Everyone is looking for love, but sometimes it’s complicated. Some didn’t think they were looking for love; some don’t know how or where to look; some shouldn’t have been looking; and some find themselves being loved when they didn’t realise it.

Bill Nighy is excellent, as is Hugh Grant. Emma Thomson is wise, and Colin Firth makes you giggle.

What can I say – I love this movie and it’s one of my all time favourites, even though it comes around every Christmas. You need to watch it, own it, and watch it again.

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