Tag Archives: eddie redmayne


Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series.  The plot follows Newt Scamander and a young Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll love this sequel.


Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927 with the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) transferring the powerful dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from their maximum security prison to London to be tried for his crimes in Europe. While departing New York City, Grindelwald is freed by his follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy (Kevin Guthrie). Grindelwald kills the guards and escapes.

Three months after Grindelwald’s escape, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) appeals to the British Ministry of Magic to restore his international travel rights, lost during his visit to New York City. While at the Ministry, he meets with Leta Lestrange (Zo Kravitz), an old Hogwarts friend who is now engaged to his Auror [a position equivalent to a cop against magic] brother, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner). The Ministry of Magic offers to restore Newt’s travel rights if he agrees to work for them, alongside Theseus, in locating the Obscurial Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who has resurfaced in Paris. Many suspect that Credence is Leta’s long-lost brother, Corvus Lestrange, the last of a long pure-blood line of wizards. Grindelwald believes Credence is the only person who can kill his living equal, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). When Newt declines, not wanting to choose a side, the Auror Grimmson (Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson) is dispatched in his place. After leaving the Ministry, Newt is summoned by Dumbledore, who also asks Newt to locate Credence in Paris.

When Newt returns home, his American friends, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) have unexpectedly arrived. Jacob has retained most of his memories from the 1926 events in New York City because MACUSA’s city-wide Obliviating order only erased memories from people who had bad ones.  Jacob’s memories stayed in tact since his were mostly good.  Queenie tells Newt that her sister, Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), is in Paris searching for Credence and she and Jacob have followed her to Europe. Queenie also reveals that Tina believes Newt is betrothed to Leta Lestrange after reading a newspaper article announcing their engagement.  Newt explains that the paper confused him with Theseus. After Jacob and Queenie quarrel about the marriage ban between wizards and Muggles, Queenie, upset, leaves to find Tina. Hoping to reconcile with the women, Newt and Jacob follow them to Paris.

While the plot is fairly simple, Crimes of Grindelwald gets pretty involved with complicated subplots.  From the search for Credence in Paris to accidentally freeing animals and Credence’s birth mother search, it’s hard to keep up.  Many characters, join the film making it slightly more complicated.  There are strange animals and ruthless murderers also adding to the twists and turns of this movie. You really have to be a fan in order to fully enjoy Crimes of Grindelwald.  While I thought I was a fan, I was unable to make complete sense of all that was happening.  I did enjoy the cinematography and the fashions and most of the plot, despite the abundance of cast and over the top story twists.  The action was plentiful as was the special effects.  The acting was brilliant and many of the characters were British.  If you’re taking your youngster(s) to see Crimes of Grindelwald, you may have some explaining to do, or they may be explaining the movie to you — Overall, I think Crimes of Grindelwald is a pretty good flick, –Check it out!



fantasticbeastsFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a pretty strange fantasy movie but manages to peak your curiosity anyway.  The special effects are among some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of observing.  This prequel of the Harry Potter series, stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, an eccentric, introverted British Wizard who’s adventure starts when he arrives in New York City, while in route to Arizona with a suitcase full of the strangest creatures imaginable.  After encountering Mary Lou Barebone, (Samantha Morton) a non-magical woman, (“No-Maj” or “muggle”) who heads the New Salem Philanthropic Society, claiming witches and wizards are real and dangerous, a Niffler escapes from Newt’s magically-expanded suitcase of creatures, which houses multiple magical creatures. During Newt’s NY stop-over, several other creatures manage to escape from his suitcase.

This is just a short introduction into the world of Fantastic Beast.  There are many characters in this story that are not easy to follow.  ALSO THERE ARE BIG SPOILERS IN THIS LIST, IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE SPOILERS, STOP HERE!  Compliments of Wikipedia, I have listed some of the characters and their roles below:

Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein: a grounded, down-to-earth witch and a former Auror employed by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). She longs to fight for what is right, but was demoted to a position well below her skill level.

Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: a genial No-Maj cannery worker and aspiring baker who is accidentally exposed to the New York City magical community after meeting Newt.

Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein:  Porpentina’s younger sister and roommate, described as a bombshell, free-spirited, and big-hearted, and is accomplished in Legilimency.

Colin Farrell as Percival Graves:  a high-ranking Auror and Director of Magical Security for MACUSA. He is charged with the protection of wizards and assigned to track down Newt.

Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina Picquery: the President of MACUSA.

Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone:  Mary Lou’s troubled and mysterious adopted son.

Samantha Morton as Mary Lou Barebone:  a narrow-minded No-Maj and the sinister leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (the NSPS, or “The Second-Salemers”), an extremist group whose goals include exposing and killing wizards and witches.

Ron Perlman as Gnarlack:  a goblin gangster who owns a speakeasy nightclub called The Blind Pig.

Jon Voight as Henry Shaw Sr.:  the father of U.S. senator Henry Shaw Jr. and Langdon Shaw.

Josh Cowdery as Henry Shaw Jr.:  a U.S. senator who holds a rally picketed by the New Salem Philanthropic Society.

Ronan Raftery as Langdon Shaw the youngest of Henry Shaw Sr.’s sons, who begins to believe in magic.

Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty Barebone:  a haunted young girl and the youngest of Mary Lou’s adopted children.

Jenn Murray as Chastity Barebone: the eldest of Mary Lou’s adopted children.

Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald: one of the most dangerous dark wizards of all time.

Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange: Newt’s former love while the two attended Hogwarts. Leta betrayed his trust, leaving him bitter, but he still carries her picture.

While Fantastic Beast is somewhat complicated, the special effects alone is worth seeing the movie, plus there is a surprise character revealed at the very end.  It was entertaining but a little hard to follow.  Harry Potter fans might have an easier time following Fantastic Beast than the average novice.  You might even find it easier to understand if you could rewind and pause on Blu-ray/DVD when it’s released.

[FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM has WON the 89th OSCAR AWARD for Costume Design and was nominated for Production Design]




THE DANISH GIRL (2015) – My rating: 8.5/10

TheDanishGirlIn the mid 20’s, based on a true story that takes place in Copenhagen, this sad and very touching film explores the life of a transgender person, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne), who made the decision to transform into a woman even though he was born a man.  Einar was happily married and best friends with his wife Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander).  Together they appeared to enjoy a rather joyful marriage complete with all the frolicking of young kids in love.  This went on for all of 8 years until Gerda, who was a portrait artist, decided to ask Einar, who was a popular landscape artist, to sit in for a non-show, female model she was painting at their home.  From that point on, Einar would walk down a path for which he would not be able to reverse.    As Einar transformed into Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Gerda stood by him, coming up with every suggestion of help she could muster.  It is very interesting to see how doctors, from all walks of medicine, would diagnose Einar’s condition and the methods of treatment they would offer up.  At some point, one could not help but feel complete sympathy and heartbreak for Lili, not really knowing what to call him, not to mention Gerda who remained utterly and completely in love with Einar.

This movie will give you a little insight into the world of transgenders and the plight of their confusion to their acceptance.  Whether you think people should be ousted or ridiculed for their “abnormalities” or accepted, The Danish Girl might just help you to make up your mind or at least, understand what you don’t or maybe, if you’re spiritual, cause you to pray for them.  It’s a good movie worth seeing.  The performances by Eddie RedMayne and Alicia Vikander were brilliant.

[The Danish Girl is nominated for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Costume Design and Production Design]


JUPITER ASCENDING (2015) – My rating: 6.5/10

JupiterAscendingThe trailers for Jupiter Ascending were enticing but the movie was all over the place.  Ambiguous yet tolerable as a love story, Jupiter Ascending was a letdown.  The special effects were some of the best I’ve seen. I think someone got carried away with perfecting green screen scenes instead of letting the audience in on what was really happening.  At one point, I was just watching for the effects rather than trying to make sense of the story.  Please note, I saw this movie in Real 3D, which really brought the special effects to life.

It seems 3 siblings are hungry for the same territory and would do what ever it takes to secure it as their inheritance.  Along comes Mila Kunis who plays the queen, Jupiter Jones and is called “your majesty” throughout the movie.  As the rightful heir, Jupiter  stands to take the most valuable claim of all, Earth.  The thing is, she doesn’t know anything about it.  She didn’t even know there was life on other planets.  The whole concept of this movie was unbelievable and totally a waste of good talent.  There are so many issues I haven’t resolved because of the ambiguity of Jupiter Ascending.  Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) who is Mila’s love interest gave the role his best shot, but the movie was too corny to save.  Eddie Redmayne’s (Best Actor nominee for The Theory of Everything) character, Balem Abrassax,  at least, gave the movie a slight lift as the most evil of the 3 siblings.  I found most of the other characters to be pretty flat.  I recommend you wait for DVD on this one and even then, don’t expect too much.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2014) – My rating: 9/10

TheTheoryOfEverythingThe Theory of Everything is one of the most heartfelt stories I’ve seen. Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking is brilliant and definitely Oscar worthy. The Theory of Everything is the story of Dr. Stephen Hawking, a renown physicist born January 8, 1942.   Stephen was struck down with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, aka (ALS)  while studying for his PHD at 21 years old. Despite only given 2 years to live, Dr. Hawking is alive today at the ripe old age of 73.  The Theory of Everything focuses on Stephen’s college years up to his writing of “A Brief History of Time”.  He was labeled a successor to Einstein due to his theories and research regarding time.  Many scientists don’t agree with him but respect and celebrate his work. Stephen attended the University of Cambridge where he met and married a fellow student, Jane Wilde. Over time, they managed to have 3 children.  Jane, played by Felicity Jones, was all but worn out but didn’t let it be known. She had been taking care of their 3 children and Stephen for many years without help. Eventually, help came by way of a music instructor, Jonathan Hillyer Jones played by Charlie Cox, who loss his wife to Leukemia. I don’t want to tell the entire story so I’ll leave off by encouraging you to take the time to see The Theory of Everything, it’s really worth your time.  Eddie Redmayne gets my vote for Best Actor.  He actually took dance to learn to balance his body while his feet were twisted.  Eddie also lost 15 pounds for the role.

[THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Music: Original Song, Adapted Screenplay (writing)]


THE YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF (2008) – My rating: 8.5/10

TheYellowHandkerchiefI absolutely loved this movie.  William Hurt plays Brett Hanson, a newly released prison inmate with nowhere to go.  He soon meets up with Martine, played by Kristen Stewart and Gordy, played by Eddie Redmayne.  As the movie progresses, Brett Hanson’s life is revealed and the three embark on a road trip/journey that proves to be mentally healthy and empowering for all.  It seems their common denominator is loneiness.  I can’t say I’ve seen any other movies like this one.  I loved the fact that there was little violence and the story wasn’t over the top.  Explanations were feasible, decisions somewhat sensible and the ending was very well done.  Brett Hanson’s story was the most profound given his age and experiences which included a woman named May, played by Maria Bello.  I highly recommend this movie as it delves into the lives of the lonely and shows you should not judge a book by it’s cover.  Now available on Netflix.