Last Christmas is a romantic comedy directed by Paul Feig and written by Bryony Kimmings and Emma Thompson, who co-wrote the story with her husband, Greg Wise. Based on the song of the same name. Because Last Christmas had so much hype as a must-see movie, one felt if they didn’t go to see it, they’d be missing a potential future classic. Not having any idea what to expect, I went to see Last Christmas and found the movie to be fun, romantic and a little sad.
During the Christmas season, a young lady who lives in London named Katarina “Kate” (Emilia Clarke), has been given a second chance at life, but abuses everyone she used to cherish. With the help of Tom Webster (Henry Golding), a mysterious gentleman who rides a bicycle and volunteers at a homeless shelter, she begins to slowly improve her attitude and heal her body. Working a dead-end job as an elf selling Christmas ornaments all year round, Kate goes out on singing auditions but is never hired. Her boss, who is referred to as “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh), bends over backward to keep Kate in her employment. On a more friendly side, Kate sets up Santa with a Danish man (Peter Mygind) who she befriends in front of the shop. Kate is currently homeless after being thrown out by her flatmate. By choice, she remains homeless until she has no choice but to live back home at her mother Petra (Emma Thompson) and father’s Ivan (Boris Isakovic) house. The environment there is not the greatest, as her mother is a Yugoslavian immigrant who is suffering from depression and a father who was a successful lawyer back in Yugoslavia but is now driving an Uber cab because of money issues and is never home. Kate has a sister Marta (Lydia Leonard) who is a successful lawyer practicing in the UK. Marta lives with her girlfriend Joyce (Patti LuPone) who is ignored by the family, as her mother doesn’t accept their relationship.
I thoroughly enjoyed Last Christmas, which was a far cry from the Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons) I was used to. Emilia is a brilliant actress, however, Last Christmas received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances and chemistry of Clarke and Golding but criticized the screenplay, clichés, and plot twist, and has grossed $67 million worldwide. I recommend this film to everyone. Check It Out!
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Tagged "Santa", Andrew Ridgeley, boy, Dr. Addis, Ed, emilia clarke, emma thompson, henry golding, Ingrid Oliver, Joyce, Kate, Last Christmas, Lucy Miller, Lydia Leonard, Madison Ingoldsby, marta, Maxim Baldry, michelle yeoh, Patti LuPone, Peter Mygind, peter serafinowicz, Petra, Police Woman Crowley, Rebecca Root, Rob Delaney, Theatre Director, Tom Webster, young Kate, young Marta
Based on a true story the Turks still deny, The Promise flew way under the radar. This is another history lesson that everyone should know and see. Everywhere, The Promise was featured/advertised as a love triangle involving a medical student, an American journalist and an Armenian women raised in France. However, more than a love triangle, it’s a story of Genocide against the Armenians in the 1900’s just as World War I was getting started.
NOTE: The film was a box office bomb, grossing just $8 million against its $90 million budget. According to the studio, The Promise was made to bring attention to the events of the Genocide as oppose to making money.
Mikael, (Oscar Isaac) an apothecary is an Armenian whose life dream is to be a medical doctor. Living in the small village of Sirun with not enough money to afford medical school, he promised his hand in marriage to the daughter, Marta (Shohreh Aghdashloo), of an affluent neighbor, in exchange for 400 gold coins as her dowry, which would more than pay for his education. Mikael was sincere in his proposal and was determined to fall in love with Marta upon his return from Constantinople’s Medical Academy as a doctor. Upon arrival in Constantinople, Mikael was to contact a wealthy uncle and family friend, Mesrob (Yigal Naor) for his boarding, food and any other help he may need. While there, Mikael meets and falls in love with Ana, (Charlotte Le Bon) who is already romantically involved with Chris Myers, (Christian Bale) an American reporter for the Associated Press, as well as befriends Emre Ogan, (Marwan Kenzari) who is also in training to be a doctor and is the son of a high level Turkish official but is only doing so for his father, as he has no interest in the medical profession.
World War I as started and Mikael temporarily manages to avoid conscription in the Ottoman army through a medical student exemption with the help of Emre. But when he tries to save his uncle from imprisonment during the roundups of April 24, 1915, he is detained and sent to a prison labor camp himself. There he is put to hard labor where many Armenians were brutalized and died of exhaustion and starvation.
The events of The promise are graphic and sad. An estimated 1.5 million people were murdered, including innocent women and children, for no reason. The love story was insignificant but felt necessary to keep relations between the nations at a tolerable acceptance. I for one, feel horrible that anyone should get away with such atrocities but it has happened many times in many places with no repercussions. At any rate, this movie was well put together and was very informative. It’s due to be released on July 18th to DVD. Check it out if just for the history lesson!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged ana, armenians, charlotte le bon, chris myers, christian bale, constantinople medical academy, emre organ, genocide, high level turkish officials, marta, marwan kenzari, mesrob, mikael, oscar isaac, ottoman army, shohreh aghdashlee, the promise, yigal naor