The Morning Show / Morning Wars (2019)

The Morning Show, or Morning Wars as it is known in Australia and Indonesia, is so much more than one would expect!

We get a career best performance from Jennifer Aniston, a sturdy and dependable Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, and an ensemble cast which deserve every accolade.

The story is complicated. There is much more at stake than meets the eye. Power, relationships, money, the MeToo movement, bushfires, a terrible mass shooting incident make up the backdrops to many stellar moments.

Introspection, grief, anger, anguish, confidence, insecurity, pain, pent up suffering are all rolled into a hard hitting portrayal by the cast, who have written, produced and delivered an appropriate message which asks new questions and answers old ones.

A captivating watch!

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

The comfort with a tale oft told is the feeling it creates when you see it. That very comfort can work against you when the film doesn’t offer it. This time round however, director Bill Condon has a heart warming experience to share with us.

Disney took a big risk with Emma Watson, the lead star with many illustrious voices around her, to carry such an expensive fairy tale on her petite shoulders. She does so with unassuming talent and grace. The canvas is large, the work is detailed and they have managed to recreate the feel of watching a stellar musical which, to our advantage, plays in cinemas across the world.

Dan Stevens as the beast is ‘U’ rated, I must admit. Disney made it so, so that children would warm up to him rather than be afraid. Great care has been taken to craft his look, his introduction, evolution and his revelation, all of which make him endearing.

The supporting characters are made with stunning CGI and voices to match. Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are wonderful inhabitants of the castle. Kevin Kline, Luke Evans and Josh Gad provide the drama in the village.

The music is a delight to the ears and eyes, with the title track playing in your head much after the movie has finished. The other songs have been given equally aesthetic treatment just like the broadway or the animated versions, a spectacular vision and execution.

It has been very well received, and for good reason, as it combines technology and art to produce a modern day masterpiece.

4/5