Monday, January 25, 2010


Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) romantic/ musical.Cast: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake, Leon Ames, Marjorie Main, June Lockhart, and Joan Carroll. Director: Vincente Minnelli. The movie was based on Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe, the story of an American family living in St. Louis at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair in 1904. The movie was adapted by Irving Brecher and Fred F. Finklehoffe from a series of short stories by Sally Benson, originally published in The New Yorker magazine, and later in the novel 5135 Kensington. In the film, Garland debuted the songs "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".

Meet Me In St. Louis, I love everything about it, the scenery, costumes, actors and story line about learning life lessons. If you were to ask me which is my favorite part of the movie. I would have to say Halloween when, Tootie and her sister Agnes dress up and go out to celebrate Halloween with the neighborhood children. Wanting to prove herself to the other children, Tootie, insists on going up to the feared neighbor Mr. Braukoff door, and blow flour in his face. After Tootie is called the "most horrible," she puts her family into a panic when she returns home, crying, bruised and with a cut lip. Tootie claims that John hit her by the trolley tracks, Esther at first refuses to believe her, but.. changes her mind when she sees a clump of hair in Tootie's hand. Esther storms over to John's house, accuses him of being a bully and beats him up. Tootie and Agnes confess that John actually saved them from being arrested after they almost caused an accident on the trolley tracks. Esther rushes back to John's house to apologize.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) film adaptation of the novel of the same name, produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment and Spyglass Entertainment and by Douglas Wick's Red Wagon Productions. Directer: Rob Marshall. Cast: Zhang Ziyi, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, and Suzuka Ohgo. Ohgo plays the younger Sayuri in the movie, which was filmed in southern and northern California and in several locations in Kyoto, including the Kiyomizu temple and the Fushimi Inari shrine. The film was nominated and won numerous awards, including nominations for six Academy Awards, and won three for: Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Is one of my top 5 "gotta see films". I love everything about it, the scenery, costumes, actors and story line of a young woman growing into a beautiful and accomplished geisha. The film, set in Japan During the Showa Era, tells the story of Chiyo Sakamoto who is sold by her parents work in a geisha house when she is nine years old. Chiyo is taken in by the owner of a geisha house, where she works to pay off her debt of ruining a beautiful silk kimono owned by a famous geisha, Mameha. Chiyo was forced into defacing the kimono by another geisha, Hatsumomo. One day the young Chiyo meets the Chairman, who buys her an cherry sorbet and gives her his handkerchief. Her spirit lifted by his act of kindness, Chiyo makes a promise to herself to become a geisha so that she may have a better life.

When Chiyo, becomes a young woman, she is taken under the wing of Mameha, head of a rival geisha house. Despite a vicious rival who nearly takes it all from her, the girl blossoms into beautiful and accomplished geisha Sayuri, Sayuri captivates the most powerful men, but is haunted by her secret love for one man.

This film is filled with suspense, romance and twists and turns..The music becomes a part of the movie, telling the story when there is no dialogue. The cast did a fabulous performance.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


The Illusionist (2006) period drama written and directed by Neil Burger. Cast: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, and Paul Giamatti. Based on Steven Millhauser's "Eisenheim the Illusionist".
The film is seen through Chief Inspector Uhl eyes.

When Eisenheim was a young boy, he meets a traveling magician sitting under a tree beside a road. The magician performs several tricks for him and then, right before his eyes.. both the magician and the tree vanish. From that day on, Eisenheim becomes obsessed with magic tricks. He falls in love with Sophie, the Duchess von Teschen, well above his social class. Young Eisenheim makes Young Sophie a puzzle locket, when twisted shows a small, picture of Eisenheim. The two are forbidden to see each other, they meet secretly in the woods, where Eisenheim tells her of his plans to go to China to learn magic, Sophie wants to go with him. On the day that they are planning on leaving, the police come looking for Sophie. The two hide and Sophie begs Eisenheim to make them both disappear. He is unable to perform the trick.
Eisenheim leaves his village to travel to China. He returns 15 years later as a master illusionist. When magician Eisenheim begins to perform his amazing illusions in Vienna, word quickly spreads of his amazing powers. Crown Prince Leopold, believes the illusionist is a fraud. Leopold attends one of Eisenheim's shows, not being very much of a gentleman, he has his fiancee Sophie von Teschen, assists the magician onstage. Eisenheim and Sophie recognize each other from their childhoods and realize that they are still in love. Eisenheim and Leopold begin fighting over Sophie, it quickly becomes obvious that they will go to any length for her. Vienna's Chief Inspector Uhl, is demanded by Leopold to expose Eisenheim, even while the magician gains a devoted following. With Uhl searching for the reasons behind the illusions, Eisenheim performs his greatest illusion.

Info from wikipedia: Edward Norton did many of his own magic tricks, with the coaching of James Freedman. He worked with Norton preparing him for his stage performances and acted as a hand double in numerous situations.

The trick of the Orange Tree was made famous by a 19th Century French magician named Robert-Houdin. It was from Robert-Houdin that another magician, Ehrich Weiss, came up with the stage name "Houdini." This trick is first mentioned in old Indian manuscript as an illusion by Faux. Analogical trick was also performed by Pinetti, an 18th Century magician, but instead of oranges, he used lemons. Houdini was the first one to use real fruits.

This is one of my top 5 favorite movies. This film is filled with suspense, romance and twists and turns.. The special effects are amazing. The music becomes a part of the movie, telling the story when there is no dialogue. The cast did a fabulous performance.
You can view the movie The Illusionist on You Tube.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


The Duchess (2008) British drama. Based on Amanda Foreman's best-selling biography of the 18th-century English aristocrat Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. Directed by Saul Dibb.

A wonderful film that shows the marriage, relationships, and passions of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana (Kierra Knightly) 17 years old, is flattered to have been selected by Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes), and marries him even though he has very high personal and family expectations. The Duke is a unemotional man who is far more interested in his dogs than spending his time with his new wife. She spends most of her time at parties and gambling with her friends who tease her that Georgiana is loved by all of England, except her husband.
The Duke, brings home a little girl to live with them. Georgiana shocked to find out that the child is his illegitimate daughter. Over the next few years Georgiana gives birth to two daughters of her own, but fails to provide the Duke with a son. While "taking the cure" at Bath in the hopes of being able to conceive a boy, Georgiana finds a friend in Bess Foster (Hayley Atwell). Georgiana's and the Duke invites Bess to live with them in Devonshire. Soon Georgiana finds out that the Duke and Bess have been sleeping together. Georgiana goes to Duke and demands that Bess must leave the house, he refuses. Georgiana looks for comfort in Charles Grey's arms. She goes to Duke and says she will not object to his continuing to have Bess live with them, if he will not object to her having in an affair with Grey. The Duke rejects the idea, saying that he does not make "deals,". He criticizes Georgiana for not giving him a son, and for not remaining loyal to him. She is outraged and runs from him. He chases her down and rapes her.

Will Georgina ever gain the courage not to be a victim?

I absolutely love/love this film.. the costumes, jewelry and hair are spectacular, beautiful landscapes, and music. If you enjoy period films this is a must see..