Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Love Rosie Film Review

Film: Love Rosie
Certificate: 15
Director: Christian Ditter
Release Date: 22nd October 2014

 Staring Lilly Cole (of mortal instruments fame) and Sam Claflin (who you may know better as Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games) LOVE, ROSIE centers on Rosie and her best friend Alex who take a leap of faith, both on life and on each other, when they decide to go to the US together to attend university. But fate has other plans for Rosie. Over the next 12 years their lives change dramatically but the connection remains.

This was one of those films which I went into with a lot of preconceptions, thinking that I probably wouldn't like it, and had all of them broken down second by second. I enjoyed this film, and I’m not afraid to say so! It’s a little like someone took One Day, and then smashed it into Juno, the result of which was a heartfelt film with some very funny moments.

And where one day flittered about with its pace (I promise I’ll stop mentioning One Day now) the flitting in this film worked really well. It gave it a good pace, yet things weren't rushed or focused on too much, and that matched the quick rapid flow of the book. The book itself, if you haven't yet read it, is written in the form of letters and emails between the two and although initially I found it hard to click with this style, you suddenly forget that your're reading a book as you become a fly on the wall to their lives. The film was just like this and the way it drew out these  epistolary elements and made them a part of the action made the moments feel more real.

As for the cast themselves, Lilly and Sam worked well together, their friendship made sense and it worked (though she never seemed to age, so I’d like to order a million bottles of whatever water she’s drinking!). Jaime Winstone was a fantastic support breaking up the narrative with comic flair. At times however some of the other supporting relationships felt unnecessarily exaggerated, and whilst this had some comedic moments, there were times when it all just felt too much, and the film was shouting 'this relationship clearly isn't working at you'.  

This was a film of snapshotted moments (i know that's not a word, but for all intended purposed it is now) . It was relatable, and that I think everyone has had a time where they can see something of their lives in it ( or maybe i'm just sharing way too much about my life!). It had me both laughing, and at points I may have had a tear in my eye....but that’s what makes a film! It was my guilty pleasure it will probably be yours too. 

Let us know what you thought of the film!!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Summary: A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
Review: Let me start out  by saying this: I was absolutely in love with this book. The characters were just so phenomenal, Ari's voice was completely real and authentic. The pacing was perfect and the writing was beautiful... from chapter one I was hooked. I wasn't so concerned with where the story was headed or where it would end because of how beautifully crafted the story was. I enjoyed each and every moment of Aristotle & Dante.
Aristotle is a fifteen-year-old Mexican teenager raised in El Paso, Texas in 1987. It is when he is fifteen that he meets a boy that will inevitably change his life, Dante. There are not many books that I can say that I've read lately that have such incredible characters. Maybe a shining character or two, but I just felt like as a whole the "cast" of this book was so well-rounded and likable. Ari's voice was real and you could understand the struggles that he is working through and he's been struggling through for quite some time. He has an older brother who has been in prison, the thing is- he has been for years and Ari is not allowed to talk about his brother. His parents don't mention him and there is a lot of anger and question with his brother having been sent away and the stigma that it's left in their household for Ari to deal with.
Contemporary books with a focal point on friendship that are authentic and real are hard to come by. I can't remember the last time that I read a book about the friendship of two boys. And honestly if I had I doubt that it could compete with Ari's story. There are several subplots within the book, but I think that what I enjoyed the most was Ari discovering who he was, how his brother's choices affected him as a person. And how to deal with the changes that inevitably happen in your teenage years. If you are looking for a poignant contemporary read, I highly recommend you check this one out!