Marilyn Monroe: The Missing Evidence

I recently watched a documentary on TV3 called Marilyn Monroe: The Missing Evidence which was very interesting. Investigating whether Monroe’s death in 1962 at the age of just 36 was suicide or murder, the documentary has some interesting input from commenters including Chris Epting, Professor Robert Watson, Richard Buskin, Darwin Porter, Raymond Strait and Jay Margolis. Detailing various different versions of what may have happened on the night of Monroe’s death, the documentary includes information such as the eyewitness statements of ambulance attendant James Hall and partner Murray Liebowitz that they seen Dr. Greenson inject a fatal injection into Monroe’s heart and how St. Jack Clements who arrived later thought it was murder. The theories that Robert Kennedy was at Monroe’s house twice in the day and told Dr. Greenson on the phone that Monroe needed to be silenced are also explored.

A really interesting documentary with lots of information leaving viewers to draw their own conclusions on what they believe to have happened that night.

Top Seven Highlights From Comic Relief 2015!

A brilliant night of comedy and most importantly charity fundraising. The annual Comic Relief extravaganza, which was started by comedian Lenny Henry and comedy writer Richard Curtis in 1985, had another wonderful night filled with music and sketches and lots of fun. Let’s take a look at seven highlights from this important, prestigious night:

Sam Smith & John Legend’s Performance and Music Video

The two of these artists have such incredible, powerful and emotive voices and they sound amazing on the official Comic Relief song for 2015 Lay Me Down, a duet of Sam’s song.

National Treasure Sketch

Staring Stephen Fry, Sheridan Smith and Miranda Hart as the judges of who should be added as a national treasure and starring stars such as David Walliams, David Gandy, Cheryl Cole, Russell Brand, Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher who eventually was the new national treasure as well as Ronnie Corbert this sketch was so funny. Really well-written and very imaginative. Loved it.

James Bond Sketch

Starring stars such as Ben Whishaw, Alan Carr, Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts, the Bond Sketch was full of humour.

David Walliams’ Kissathon & His & Davina McCaul’s Smooching Session With Orlando Bloom

David Walliams broke the kissathon World Record. Also David & Davina McCaul kissed Orlando Bloom who made a surprise appearance as well.

Little Britain Sketch

Stephen Hawking and Catherine Tate joined David Walliams for this year’s Little Britain sketch. The graphics, one word: Amazing! This sketch was very original and fab.

Cassidy & Natalie Win The People’s Strictly

Cassidy Little is so amazing and he and Natalie Lowe danced this Paso to perfection. Well-deserved win.

Victoria Wood Wins Comic Relief’s Bake-Off

Beating off competition from the other finalists Gok Wan, Jennifer Saunders and Michael Sheen, Victoria Wood took the honours in the Comic Relief’s Bake-Off.

Currently £78,082,988 has been raised in funds.

To Help go to:

https://secure.donate.comicrelief.com/

Highlights, Style & Winners From The Recent Oscars & Brits: Look back!

Recently two very big ceremonies took place. One in the world of film. The other in the world of music. The Oscars in America and The Brits in England. Let’s take a look back at the highlights from Royal Blood’s win for rock at The Brits and Birdman’s big win at the Oscars as well as the style and the winners!

Highlights From The Oscars

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Wins Best Picture

Graham Moore’s, John Legend’s, Common’s & Patricia Arquette’s Inspiring Speeches & John Legend’s & Common’s Performance

Neil Patrick Harris Opens the Show

Maroon 5 Perform

Winners

Best picture: Birdman

Actress in a leading role: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Actor in a leading role: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Supporting actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Supporting actor: JK Simmons, Whiplash

Directing: Alejandro G Inarritu for Birdman

Original screenplay: Birdman

Adapted screenplay: The Imitation Game

Costume design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Makeup and hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Foreign language film: Ida

Documentary (short subject): Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Live action short film: The Phone Call

Visual effects: Interstellar

Animated short film: Feast

Animated feature film: Big Hero 6

Production design: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman

Film editing: Tom Cross for Whiplash

Documentary feature: Citizenfour

Original song: Glory from Selma

Original score: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Presented By: Neil Patrick Harris

The Brits Highlights

Sam Smith Wins & Performs Too

Royal Blood Win & Perform Too

Paloma Faith Wins & Performs Too

James Bay’s Critics’ Choice Win

Winners

MASTERCARD BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Ed Sheeran – X

BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO OF THE YEAR

One Direction – You & I

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT

Sam Smith

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

Foo Fighters

BRITISH SINGLE

Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST

Pharrell Williams

GLOBAL SUCCESS

Sam Smith

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Paloma Faith

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST

Taylor Swift

BRITISH GROUP

Royal Blood

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST

Ed Sheeran

CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARD (previously announced)

James Bay

BRITISH PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

Paul Epworth

Presented By: Ant & Dec

Oscars Style

Female Style

Sienna Miller

Jennifer Aniston

Scarlett Johansson

Jennifer Hudson

Karlie Kloss

Male Style

Jared Leto

Common

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka

David Oyelowo

The Brits Style

Female Style

Cara Delevingne

Holly Willoughby

Emma Bunton

Rebecca Ferguson

Paloma Faith

Male Style

RJ Mitte

Adam Lambert

Nick Jonas

Mark Ronson

Sam Smith

Sam Smith Clears Up At The Grammys While Boyhood Scoops Top Award At The Baftas!

It’s been a whirlwind of awards ceremonies recently with some of music’s finest turning up for the Grammys in America and some of the acting greats turning up at the Baftas in England. The talent, the performances, the style … it’s been another glittering year for these two prestigious ceremonies. Let’s take a look at the highlights starting with the Grammys.

The Grammys

Sam Smith’s Four Wins And Performance With Mary J Blige

I am so happy for Sam Smith on his four Grammy wins. Sometimes the big winners at some of these ceremonies can be very hyped up acts but this year a true singer came out on top. Winning Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Album, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. Speaking after winning his final award for Record of the Year, Smith (22) said,

“I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys.”

He later said of the man who inspired the record,

“I’ll be seeing him soon. So I can let him touch the Grammy — once.”

Hozier’s Nomination And Annie Lennox Duet

So proud of our very own Hozier who was nominated for Song Of The Year for Take Me To Church on the night and performed Take Me To Church and I Put a Spell on You with Annie Lennox. Stunning.

AC/DC Open The Show

One of rock’s finest AC/DC opened the show to perfection with tons of energy.

John Legend, Common and Beyoncé Perform

Stunning and emotive performance by John Legend, Common and Beyoncé about the rights of people of colour.

And the style:

Most Stylish Men on The Night

Sam Smith

Hozier

Best Female Style

Charlie XCX

Katy Perry

Full List of Winners

Record of the Year
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
Steve Fitzmaurice, Rodney Jerkins & Jimmy Napes, producers; Steve Fitzmaurice, Jimmy Napes & Steve Price, engineers/mixers; Tom Coyne, mastering engineer Label: Capitol Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Songs LLC obo Naughty Worlds Ltd./Universal-Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Salli Isaak Songs, Ltd./Universal Polygram Int. Tunes, Inc. obo Method Paperwork

Song of the Year
Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”
James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters

Album of the Year
Beck – Morning Phase
Beck Hansen, producer; Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers/mixers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best New Artist
Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – Cheek To Cheek

Best Pop Solo Performance
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album
Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

Best Rock Performance
Jack White – “Lazaretto”

Best Rock Album
Beck – Morning Phase

Best Rock Song
Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”
Hayley Williams & Taylor York, songwriters

Best Alternative Rock Album
St. Vincent – St. Vincent

Best Metal Performance
Tenacious D – “The Last In Line”

Best Rap Performance
Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
Eminem Featuring Rihanna – “The Monster”

Best Rap Song
Kendrick Lamar – “I”
K. Duckworth & C. Smith, songwriters

Best Rap Album
Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2

Best R&B Performance
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Traditional R&B Performance
“Jesus Children”
Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Best R&B Song
Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”
Shawn Carter, Rasool Diaz, Noel Fisher, Jerome Harmon, Beyoncé Knowles, Timothy Mosely, Andre Eric Proctor & Brian Soko, songwriters

Best Urban Contemporary Album
Pharrell Williams – Girl

Best R&B Album
Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage & Divorce

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album
Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer – Bass & Mandolin

Best Dance/Electronic Album
Aphex Twin – Syro

Best Dance Recording
Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media
Frozen
Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall & Chris Montan, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media
“Let It Go” from Frozen
Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)

Best Country Album
Miranda Lambert – Platinum

Best Country Solo Performance
Carrie Underwood – “Something In The Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance
The Band Perry – “Gentle On My Mind”

Best Country Song
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You”
Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters (Glen Campbell)

Best Bluegrass Album
The Earls Of Leicester – The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance
Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best American Roots Song
Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album
Rosanne Cash – The River & The Thread

Best Folk Album
Old Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

Best Music Video
Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Music Film
20 Feet From Stardom
Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & Judith Hill
Morgan Neville, video director; Gil Friesen & Caitrin Rogers, video producers
We Are From LA, video director; Kathleen Heffernan, Solal Micenmacher, Jett Steiger, video producers

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical
Max Martin
“Bang Bang” (Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj)
“Break Free” (Ariana Grande Featuring Zedd)
“Dark Horse” (Katy Perry Featuring Juicy J)
“Problem” (Ariana Grande Featuring Iggy Azalea)
“Shake It Off” (Taylor Swift)
“Unconditionally” (Katy Perry)

Best Instrumental Composition
John Williams – “The Book Thief”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals
Billy Childs – “New York Tendaberry”

Best Recording Package
Jeff Ament, Don Pendleton, Joe Spix & Jerome Turner, art directors
Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package
Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White, art directors
The Rise & Fall Of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-27)

Best Album Notes
Ashley Kahn
John Coltrane – Offering: Live At Temple University

Best Historical Album
Colin Escott & Cheryl Pawelski, compilation producers; Michael Graves, mastering engineer
Hank Williams – The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical
Beck – Morning Phase
Tom Elmhirst, David Greenbaum, Florian Lagatta, Cole Marsden Greif-Neill, Robbie Nelson, Darrell Thorp, Cassidy Turbin & Joe Visciano, engineers; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Tijs Michiel Verwest, remixer
John Legend – “All Of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Treatment Remix)”

Best Surround Sound Album
Beyoncé – Beyoncé
Elliot Scheiner, surround mix engineer; Bob Ludwig, surround mastering engineer; Beyoncé Knowles, surround producer

Best Regional Roots Music Album
Jo-El Sonnier – The Legacy

Best Reggae Album
Ziggy Marley – Fly Rasta

Best World Music Album
Angelique Kidjo – Eve

Best Children’s Album
Neela Vaswani – I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)

Best Musical Theatre Album
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Jessie Mueller, principal soloist; Jason Howland, Steve Sidwell & Billy Jay Stein, producers (Carole King, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Blues Album
Johnny Winter – Step Back

Best Spoken Word Album
Joan Rivers – Diary Of A Mad Diva

Best Comedy Album
“Weird Al” Yankovic – Mandatory Fun

Best New Age Album
Ricky Kej & Wouter Kellerman – Winds Of Samsara

Best Improved Jazz Solo
Chick Corea – “Fingerprints”

Best Jazz Vocal Album
Dianne Reeves – Beautiful Life

Best Jazz Instrumental Album
Chick Corea Trio – Trilogy

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album
Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band – Life In The Bubble

Best Latin Jazz Album
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – The Offense Of The Drum

Presented By: LL Cool J

The Baftas

Boyhood Wins Best Picture

Boyhood collected the Best Picture award on the night and looks set for Oscar glory.

Stephen Fry’s Kiss-athon

The host Stephen Fry had a kiss-athon on the night sharing kisses with Michael Norton, Edward Norton and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Kasabian Open The Show

The wonderful Kasabian opened the show brilliantly.

Jack O’ Connell Wins Rising Star Award

Actor Jack O’ Connell follows in the footsteps of James McAvoy (who presented him with the award) and Ben Whishaw by winning this prestigious award.

Eddie Redmayne And Julianne Moore Win Leading Acting Awards

Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore look set for Oscar glory adding the Bafta to their collections.

And the style:

Best Male Style

Stephen Fry And Elliott Spencer

Douglas Booth

Best Female Style

Julie Walters

Keira Knightley

Full List of Winners

Best film
Boyhood Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland

Best actress
Julianne Moore Still Alice

Best actor
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything

Best director
Richard Linklater Boyhood

EE rising star award (voted for by the public)
Jack O’Connell

Best costume design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Milena Canonero

Best adapted screenplay
The Theory of Everything Anthony McCarten

Best film not in the English language
Ida Paweł Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzięcioł, Ewa Puszczynska

Best original screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
Stephen Beresford (writer), David Livingstone (producer) Pride

Best cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki Birdman

Best supporting actress
Patricia Arquette Boyhood

Best supporting actor
JK Simmons Whiplash

Best special visual effects
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley

Best animated film
The Lego Movie Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

Best sound
Whiplash Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

Best editing
Whiplash Tom Cross

Best short animation
The Bigger Picture Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka

Best short film
Boogaloo and Graham Brian J Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney

Best makeup and hair
The Grand Budapest Hotel Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier

Best production design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

Best documentary
Citizenfour Laura Poitras

Best original music
The Grand Budapest Hotel Alexandre Desplat

Outstanding British film
The Theory of Everything James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten

Bafta Fellowship (announced earlier)
Mike Leigh

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema (announced earlier)
BBC Films

Presented by: Stephen Fry

The Link Between Shyness and The Creative Arts!

When I was younger, I used to sing in school shows and the amount of times I heard that it was a surprise to people that I did perform on stage was countless. I don’t think people mean it with any malice. I think they just genuinely are surprised. I think it has been conditioned into peoples’ minds that shyness somehow means that a person will be cowering away in a corner half the time or something. And that doesn’t tend to be true. I think where the problem begins really is that people don’t understand what shyness is. Shyness is when a person is not confident in how they speak. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that lack of confidence in one area of their lives translates in any other particular area. It’s like a person who isn’t confident in their driving for example, it doesn’t mean they are going be not confident in another part of their lives such as playing a sport for example. And it can completely go the other way too. I have seen people who are the biggest talkers freeze when they go on a stage and that’s because they are confident in their speaking but not in performing.

I always find it weird when people say that they don’t think people can achieve in creative fields due to their shyness. Especially when you look at the history of so many successful people in the creative industries. And I’m not just pulling at straws. So many of the people who were successful shy creatives have been major names in show business and have been brave enough to be unique and do something new. Let’s look at a few and celebrate them for a few moments:

Music

David Bowie

“I’m not particularly a gregarious person. I had an unbearable shyness; it was much easier for me to keep on with the Ziggy thing, off stage as well as on. Who was David Bowie and who was Ziggy Stardust? It was motivated by shyness.”

Ella Fitzgerald

“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling. I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do.”

Bob Dylan

“I remember Bob had soft, squidgy, little hands and was really shy – he hardly said two words.”

– Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore speaking about Bob Dylan.

Freddie Mercury

“In real life nobody knew Freddie. He was shy, gentle and kind. He was never the one, he was on the stage.”

– Queen bandmate Roger Taylor speaking about Freddie Mercury.

Brian Molko

“I am actually a shy person, but there is a need for the flamboyant aspect of myself to express itself. The context for that is the live show. That side of my personality is satisfied by the act of performance, and I don’t need to behave extravagantly in my everyday life. Which I’m quite grateful for.”

Elvis Presley

“Here I was with somebody who I didn’t know was going to become famous. But I did know two things: I knew that he was not shy – I mean, Elvis was shy in the sense that he was introverted,but he was not shy to the camera – and he made the girls cry.”

– Alfred Wertheimer speaking about Elvis Presley.

And alas, that’s just six in music. If you Google it or read music biographies you’ll find so many more your eyes will burst with pride and awe if you are shy like me.

And now onto fashion which I shall list three people from but like music if you search you’ll find so many more!

Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent

“An ugly, ungainly, overgrown boy with thick glasses, and so horribly shy he couldn’t take his eyes off the floor”.

– Womens Wear Daily’s correspondent speaking about Yves Saint Laurent.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

“I remember reading a book about Chanel in which a woman talks about seeing her singing in a little cabaret when she was maybe 18. Chanel was described as a shy, ambitious girl. This adjective of ‘shy’ surprised me. I think that is what is interesting about her, that she had such different dimensions. She couldn’t only be a strong and tough and stubborn person, because you don’t create with your confidence. You create with your doubts.”

– Audrey Tautou speaking about Coco Chanel

Gianni Versace

“I’m still the little, provincial shy boy who forced himself to be a public person.”

And three examples from the acting profession darlings!

Acting

Cillian Murphy

“The shy Corkman tells Stephen Milton about his venture to the small screen and how he’s recently started getting offers to play ‘dad’ roles”

– from independent.ie speaking about Cillian Murphy.

Ben Whishaw

“Dressed in a black polo neck and blue trousers — an ensemble that wouldn’t look out of place on Bond himself – Whishaw is sitting opposite me on a sofa somewhere in central London. Slender and stubbly, he appears initially nervous as he distractedly picks at a sandwich. But I soon realise that he is appealingly shy.”

– James Rampton speaking about Ben Whishaw.

Keira Knightley

“I am crap at parties. I tend to sit in the corner. I’ll sit in the corner and find one person to talk to or I’ll go on the dance floor and get quite drunk. But I am not good at that whole … (About been at the round of parties for Pride and Prejudice with her brother and parents.) We all stood in a corner, saying ‘Oh, this is weird!’.”

So I think all these people and countless others have proved that shyness won’t stop a person achieving what they want to achieve in life. And yet even today people say, “Great yet shy.” like the two can’t exist together or it’s strange that they do which I find a little strange really. I often wonder where the rule that to be publicly successful you had to be a great talker anyway came in. After all, what has it got to do with a person’s craft and talent? We may not be the bravest in social situations but we are in life.

The Family Stone Movie Review!

I loved this film, The Family Stone (2005) but my main problem with it was that I found it hard to care about the protagonist Meredith’s (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) plight in the film and you need to be rooting for the main character wanting them to succeed. I didn’t love the character but I was rooting for her up to the point where she had her homophobic/racist moment at the dinner table. After that, I zoned out from supporting her which threw the concept of relating to a character out the window. How can one root for someone like that?

Otherwise I liked the movie. It was very realistic, funny (fantastic one-liners!) and endearing. It had that whole traditional family Christmas element but it didn’t over milk it to the extreme. It was a set of characters who seemed very real to real life with flaws and good qualities so the writing was superb in almost every aspect. It is brilliantly written by and also directed by Thomas Bezucha. The acting from the whole cast was incredible especially Diane Keaton and Craig Nelson as the parents of Meredith’s fiance Everett (played by Dermot Mulroney) and Tyrone Giordano as his brother Thad but the whole cast are amazing and unite brilliantly to give touching performances in this Christmas family drama/comedy. Well worth watching for the festive season if you haven’t seen it already. You won’t be disappointed.

Graham Jones’ Davin Brings Suicide To The Fore For World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and a very important film called Davin was released in advance of today. Directed by Irish director Graham Jones, the film is about the death by suicide of an Irishman Davin and how his loved ones deal with his death by suicide.

Jones says:

“It’s a great idea to have a specific date every year when the issue of suicide is highlighted. However, sometimes it feels as if the day just comes and goes without enough attention from those of us outside the support services. This small indie movie is a humble attempt as filmmakers, actors and musicians to send a message to anyone who may be at risk of entering this emotional space. You are not alone.”

I am very proud that an Irish director has created a film with such depth and meaning. It is very important that suicide and depression are spoken about in a world where these parts of life are still seen as a stigma by many people leaving a lot of people feeling isolated and alone.

It is an incredibly thought-provoking script and each of the cast are wonderful in it. It is a realistic script and a very brave film to make and the dialogue is very moving. The way that the film is told from the characters’ perspectives drives the emotive and powerful force of the script and helps to hammer it’s vital message home. It adds a human face to suicide and depression which is very important.

You can view the film here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtElIIJ1YuI&feature=youtu.be

Movie Review Of Cavalry!

I recently went to The Mermaid in Bray with my mum and sis to see the box office smash Cavalry starring Irish legendary actor Brendan Gleeson as Father James Lavelle. The theatre is a lovely little theatre. Very intimate and cosy. My mum has always been a huge Brendan Gleeson fan and Gleeson never disappoints in his various diverse roles in cinema and this particular role was no exception to that rule as he played the kind priest who is on the verge of paying for the sins of the bad priests in the Church.

The writing by John Michael McDonagh was really superb. If you live in Ireland you see so many films where people have the same respect as years ago for the Church and that simply isn’t an authentic reflection of everyone in Irish society nowadays. What McDonagh done superbly (and rather bravely really) was to write the various different reactions to the Church and priests from people who have faith to people who despise the Church and the views of everyone inbetween. The characters are so well-rounded, even the more minor characters in the film and the movie really is a bit of a masterpiece. It shows the complexity of people and how not everybody is as black-and-white as they appear. You get worried when there is the level of hype which surrounds a movie like the hype surrounding Cavalry but it definitely lives up to it’s hype. The scenery of Sligo also looks absolutely beautiful throughout the movie and Patrick Cassidy’s music is very emotive. I also must mention the scene with Brendan and his gorgeous son Domhnall Gleeson when the priest goes in to see Domhnall’s character serial killer and cannibalist Freddie Joyce. They play it really well. It was a bit surreal but they played it really well.

It's a family affair in Cavalry!

It’s a family affair in Cavalry!

My personal favourite characters were Milo Herlihy played by Love/Hate’s Killian Scott, Leo played by Owen Sharpe and of course Bruno the dog. Done in a comedy way, the character of Milo’s shyness and fear of not finding someone is played out. It is a way a lot of people feel but isn’t always addressed in film. Leo just makes me laugh. He is really brash and funny but an interesting element which is touched upon through his face when talking to the priest while playing pool is that he may not be as happy as he pretends which is true of a lot of people who pretend that everything is Ok all the time. Then there’s Bruno who is just such a sweetheart. I absolutely love dogs and he’s such a dote and so loyal to Father James. I love him! 🙂

Milo!

Milo!


Leo!

Leo!

Father James with Bruno and his daughter in the movie!

Father James with Bruno and his daughter in the movie!

The film is a stunning piece of writing with many characters you can identify with or if not many you know someone like while Brendan Gleeson takes on the protagonist with gusto and gives an amazing performance proving why he has been at the top of his game in the acting world for so long. The rest of the cast are also amazing in their various roles as well whether they are playing a major part or a smaller role in the production. This movie proves that Irish acting, writing and film in general is alive and well and ready to take on anyone at their craft.

Nebraska Film Review!

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Starring Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Stacy Keach and Will Forte and directed by Alexander Payne, Oscar-nominated film Nebraska focuses on father and son Woody and David played by Bruce Dern and Will Forte as they take an awkward road trip together. It is a melancholic take on family relationships, the disappointments we face in life and growing old with grace.

Woody s a fiery old man who is an alcoholic and is residing in retirement in Montana. He thinks that he is the winner of a million dollar sweepstakes and heads off on this cross-state journey to get his winnings. Woody has been sent a junk-mail flyer telling him that he has won a lottery payout of $1m. He doesn’t trust the message so he says that he will collect it in person from an office in Nebraska. Because David wants to spend time with his father, he offers to drive.But after a few days, Woody realises it isn’t true. On the journey they come across a family reunion in his nearby hometown of Hawthorne and here sad family secrets are brought to the forefront.

The journey, though started by the hope of material riches, becomes more than that as David realises that his perception of his father as been boring and dull is untrue and that his father’s past was filled with an interesting array of situations including a complicated love life and an amazing record in the war in Korea.

Reminiscent of the independent cinema of Jerry Schatzberg and Bob Rafelson, the movie is shot beautifully in monochrome with stunning performances from both Dern and Forte as well as June Squibb in the role of Woody’s wife Kate. It has the perfect amount of humour and drama and is a must see film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former Stuntman David Holmes Speaks About Been Paralysed On Final Harry Potter Movie

Reading about former stuntman and actor David Holmes in the newspaper today, it struck me how immensely brave he is. Of course to do the job he done and all the sports he was trained in, trampolining, kick boxing, horse riding, swimming and high diving he would have to have a massive sense of bravery but Holmes was also brave when he faced the biggest challenge of his young life when he became paralysed while filming a dangerous stunt on the final Harry Potter film.

While he was rehearsing a flying scene as Daniel Radcliffe’s double, he was thrust into a wall causing his neck to break and leaving Holmes paralysed for life at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Herts, in January 2009. However after the accident his first thoughts were not of himself like so many peoples’ would be including myself if anything like that happened. Instead he thought of his parents and said,

“My first thought was, ‘Don’t ring Mum and Dad, I don’t want to worry them.”

Holmes on set with actor Daniel Radcliffe and another member of the crew.

Holmes on set with actor Daniel Radcliffe and another member of the crew.

Holmes, now 30, is in a wheelchair.

Holmes, now 30, is in a wheelchair.

David knows the accident has changed his life for always but he refuses to let his disability define him.

“I took control of the situation quite early on. I wanted to tell my doctor where I thought I was at – my exact words were that ‘I think I’m completely screwed’. It was hard for my parents to hear but it was important to me to have that control. I wanted to be wrong, but I wasn’t. There was definitely a sense of tragedy for me, but also a sense of sheer determination to beat it and better it. Having a positive mental attitude means everything. I also think that if you’re positive about your disability then it can help you live with it. Sometimes I do get flashbacks from the accident – I re-live it sometimes when I’m drifting off to sleep – but it’s something I’ve learned to live with and manage.”

David, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex is now in a wheelchair and the 30-year-old says of the accident:

“I hit the wall and then landed on the crash mat underneath. My stunt co-ordinator grabbed my hand and said, ‘Squeeze my fingers’. I could move my arm to grab his hand but I couldn’t squeeze his fingers. I looked into his eyes and that’s when I realised what happened was major. I remember slipping in and out of consciousness because of the pain levels. I’d broken a bone before, so recognising that weird feeling across my whole body from my fingertips right down to my toes, I knew I had really done some damage.”

He was rushed to the local Watford General Hospital but then was transferred to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, North West London. Here doctors told him he would be paralysed from the chest down, with only limited movement in his arms and hands. David says,

“My first thoughts weren’t about not being able to walk again. It was all the other stuff, like not being able to dance again or have sex.”

He was six months here and as his muscles had nearly wasted away. He wasn’t able to sit up for weeks. He says,

“As soon as they sat me up and I took the weight of my head into my shoulders it was just horrendous. The patience you have to learn is unbelievable. I have gone from being able to stand on my hands for half an hour at a time and then all of a sudden I can’t sit up in bed. At the first physio lesson they sit you up, put a foam cushion behind you and you are just struggling to find your balance. I thought, ‘oh my God, I can’t even sit up straight’.”

Here he was visited by Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton. Radcliffe also hosted a celebrity charity auction and dinner to make funds for David’s medical bills and they are both still close friends.

Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton were among the visitors to see him in hospitsl following his accident.

Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton were among the visitors to see him in hospitsl following his accident.

David and Daniel have remained close since the Harry Potter films ended.

David and Daniel have remained close since the Harry Potter films ended.

Daniel said:

“I’ve got a relationship that goes back many, many years with Dave. And I would hate for people to just see me and Dave and go, ‘oh, there’s Daniel Radcliffe with a person in a wheelchair’ – because I would never, even for a moment, want them to assume that Dave was anything except for an incredibly important person in my life.”

Holmes began his stunt career as a competitive gymnast at six and by fourteen he was asked to be the body-double in the film Lost in Space. David said,

“That’s where it began.”

He was seen as a possible Radcliffe double by stunt co-ordinator Greg Powell who he met with just before the series began and was asked to do a broomstick test.

“I found myself in this wonderful studio strapped to the back of a truck, getting towed down the runway, dragging my feet along the floor in front of Chris Columbus, the director. So that’s how I got my job.”

David was in every one of the Harry Potter films up to his accident and says,

“It was an amazing experience. I loved it and Dan was an absolute pleasure to work with. The cast and crew were like a second family and I remain in touch with a lot of them to this day.”

From The Goblet of Fire

From The Goblet of Fire

David, who was 25 at the time of his accident, now rush drives a specially-modified car around race tracks at speeds of up to 150mph using a ‘push-pull’ hand control system to accelerate and brake.

Holmes has now launched a new production company, Ripple Productions, with two friends who are also tetrapelgic and the three released a series of podcasts to help people who have suffered similar injuries to them. David says,

“I haven’t let my accident affect my outlook on life and I am still very determined and positive. I also haven’t let it hold me back in life and I still enjoy track days racing my car, going on holidays with my friends and am now looking forward to starting a new career.”

He has also become an Appeal Ambassador for RNOH and is helping the hospital which helped him to raise £15 million in order to buy additional facilities and equipment and says,

“Every eight hours someone in the UK is told they will never walk again. Without places like the RNOH things would look much bleaker for those people. The support they gave me was incredible. Everybody at the hospital took great care of me and I met some amazing staff and patients along my road to recovery. It’s a massive project but once complete it will really change lives. So if anyone out there has a spare few quid please go on to the RNOH website and donate whatever you can for this fantastic cause.”

I think he is incredibly brave and inspiring and his positive way is a way we should all follow. He’s also incredibly cute too! 🙂

If you want to donate to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital go to: www.rnohcharity.org and to hear David’s podcasts go to : www.rippleproductions.co.uk/