Tag Archives: hugh grant

THE GENTLEMEN (2019) – My rating: 9/10

The Gentlemen is an action comedy film written and directed by Guy Ritchie, from a story by Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies, and Ritchie. It follows an American marijuana kingpin in England who is looking to sell his business, setting off a chain of blackmail and schemes to undermine him. Having little knowledge about The Gentlemen, I was pleasantly surprised.

When Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey), an infamous cannabis baron, who is a grower and dealer of marijuana decides he has had enough of the illegal drug profession, the word goes out that he wants to sell his lucrative business.  Several interested buyers compete for the sale. A private investigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is hired by Big Dave (Eddie Marsan) to investigate Pearson’s links to Lord Pressfield (Samuel West), a minor Royal with a heroin-addicted daughter. Fletcher offers to sell his findings (typed up as a screenplay entitled Bush) to Pearson’s right-hand man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) for £20 million. Born in poverty in the US, Pearson won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, where he began selling marijuana to privileged fellow students before dropping out and building up his criminal enterprise by violence. Big Dave has decided to sell his business to American billionaire Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong) for $400 million so he can retire peacefully with his wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery).  Pearson is later approached by Dry Eye (Henry Golding), an underboss for Chinese gangster Lord George (Tom Wu) who offers to buy out Pearson’s business, but he refuses. When one of Mickey’s labs is raided by some unprofessional young adults, it is discovered that the crew belongs to Coach (Colin Farrell) who is very apologetic.  Good luck with trying to figure this one out, there’s much more to come.

As you can see, there are several players in The Gentlemen.  As Flecher spins his script to Raymond, you can see how complicated each player’s maneuvers make this an intriguing film.  I thought The Gentlemen was cleverly written and reminded me of several movies that were based on a similar premise, e.g. Knives Out, Parasite, and Uncut Gems.  This movie is fast-moving and will require your full attention in order to keep up. You will have to see The Gentlemen in its entirety as you won’t be able to solve this one on your own.   I was thoroughly entertained and highly recommend The Gentlemen as a refreshing and different tale of “who’s in charge”. As of February 9, 2020, The Gentlemen has grossed $26.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $33.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $60.4 million. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73% based on 211 reviews, with an average rating of 6.35/10. Check It Out!


FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (2016) – My rating: 9/10

FlorenceFosterJenkinsThere seems to be a push in Hollywood for films based on true stories. Embellished as they may be to make the story more exciting, most are pretty good and add rather than take away from the events that made it worthy of a Hollywood film in the first place.  Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) is no exception. Some of these films are about people a lot of us have never even heard of. I for one have never heard of Florence Foster Jenkins. I must say, it was my loss. It appears that Florence, an American socialite and flamboyant dresser, loved music more than life. She became a prominent musical cult figure in NYC from the 1920s through the 1940s. Madame or Lady Jenkins (as she liked to be called) loved to sing however, she was known for her poor singing abilities and allegedly had no idea how she actually sounded but sang anyway with the help of her beloved husband, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), her voice coach, Carlo Edwards (David Haig) and her concert pianist, Cosmé McMoon (Simon Helberg). Florence was born to wealthy parents on July 19, 1868 in Pennsylvania. She was labeled “Little Miss Foster” because of her lifelong passion for public performance, which included a recital at the White House during the President Rutherford B. Hayes administration. At the age of 7, she was considered a child prodigy, as she was an accomplished pianist. An arm injury ended her aspirations as a pianist, so she turned to singing but not until her mother passed in 1930.

Florence had difficulty with basic vocal skills as pitch, rhythm and sustaining notes and phrases. Her intonation was inaccurate and she was consistently flat. She also deviated from the proper pitch and her diction was substandard, especially foreign language lyrics. A great many songs she tried to sing were technically challenging and beyond her ability and vocal range.

There may have been a reason she was so awful at a talent she loved so much. After high school, she wanted to study music in Europe. Her father refused to grant his permission or the funds for her to do so. At the age of 17, she eloped with Dr. Frank Thornton Jenkins. She learned that she contracted syphilis from him and terminated their marriage immediately never speaking to him again. Back then, the treatment for Syphilis was Mercury and Arsenic. Florence’s difficulties were possibly attributable to the effects of the disease, which in the era before antibiotics caused progressive deterioration of the central nervous system. Nerve damage may have been compounded by toxic side effects, such as hearing loss from mercury and arsenic.

FlorenceFosterJenkinsPIXAt the age of 41, Florence met St. Clair Bayfield, a 34 year old handsome actor who became her manager and unofficial 2nd husband until her death on November 26, 1944. Florence Foster Jenkins is quite the story — you may think you have gotten an earful already but there is so much more I haven’t even touched upon. This is a scenario I’ve often thought of but have never encountered. For instance, why didn’t she know how she sounded? You might wonder how she was married a second time to a handsome man that was so much younger than she (and the bigger question) when she has syphilis? How did she get coaches and pianist to accompany her when she sang so badly? She also owned a night club called The Verdi Club — she made it a practice to never sing in her own club so when and where did she perform? Her last performance was at Carnegie Hall? How was that possible? Who came to all of these performances? Also, Cole Porter rarely missed one of her recitals. She received fabulous reviews after each recital she gave, why? To get answers to these questions, you will need to see the movie.  You won’t be disappointed.  By now, you can tell that I really loved this movie. Both Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant deserve Oscar nods for their portrayal of Florence and St. Clair, respectively. Surprisingly, this movie fell way under the radar despite it’s great ratings. There’s a documentary by Donald Collup on YouTube and Amazon that tells the true story if you’re interested in a follow-up.  I highly recommend this movie, it’s entertaining, delightful and informative.  BTW:  Florence Foster Jenkins is considered “The world’s worst singer”.




THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. (2015) – My rating: 8.3/10

From the moment THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. started, I thought I wasn’t going to like it.  The old fashioned clothes, the old technology, the old hair styles, the old cars, the old music and well, I thought it was just going to be OLD!!  Not that there’s anything wrong with old, it’s just not my favorite thing to do, watch old footage of old films.  As a young girl, I faithfully watched The Man from U.N.C.L.E. every week and was quite smitten with David McCallum who played KBG Agent,  Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin along with Robert Vaughn who played CIA Agent, Napoleon Solo in 105 episodes from 1964 through 1968, but these two new guys were not those two familiar guys.

However, these two new guys are quite handsome and did a brilliant job of portraying the CIA (Henry Cavill as Solo) and KBG (Armie Hammer as Illya) agents who begrudgingly worked together for the good of their countries to get the job done.   Also working with  Illya and Solo as an Intelligent Agent is Gabriella “Gaby” Teller (Alicia Vikander) who is also the daughter of an alleged Nazi Scientist, Udo Teller (Christian Berkel) who is being held against his will and forced to build a nuclear weapon for a very rich couple’s, Alexander and Victoria Vinciguerra (Luca Calvani and Elizabeth Debicki, respectively) private organization.
  The trio, Illya, Solo and Gaby are assigned by their respective governments to stop this transaction from happening and steal the schematics when it’s over.  The agents find a way to make peace without sinking to any underhanded deceptions among themselves.

In the end, the trio is reassigned to a new international organization under Alexander Waverly’s (Hugh Grant) command. Waverly then deploys them on a new mission in Istanbul under their new code name: U.N.C.L.E.  (According to TV history, Waverly is the #1 of Section I of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. He is one of five regional chiefs in charge of the multi-national agency.  In this film, Waverly is a high-ranking MI6 operative who reveals that Gaby Teller is an undercover agent under his employment.)  In the end, I really enjoyed The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,  excellent story telling, brilliant acting, good special effects with just the right touch of humor.  Kudos to Guy Richie who directed this film.  Well Done!  I’m looking forward to a sequel.