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Four Screen Triumphs

Shannon Raves About Wonka, Color Purple, American Symphony and Saltburn



Wonka       In Theatres           A

 

No one is more surprised than I am for me to say that this was DELICIOUSLY DELIGHTFUL!  The whole thing, top to bottom, but most especially Timothy Chalamet.  I know!  But it was, and he is.  It’s not a perfect film, the score is a little simplistic and seems to be heavily inspired by – cough – Les Miz, but other than that, I laughed, I cried, I cheered, and I was delighted.  Chalamet is not a great singer or dancer, but he was so believably charming I would have been thrilled to watch forever.  Hugh Grant was also lovely in this.  I didn’t think that was even possible, but there it is.  This is a beautifully made family movie that can be deeply enjoyed by kids of all ages.  Did I mention it was DELIGHTFUL?





The Color Purple     In Theatres   A+

 

What an amazing, rich, lush, gorgeous, triumph of a movie!  Expectation is such a tough hill to climb, and this movie transcended it.  As a fan of the book and the original movie, I have to admit I was concerned going in.  But I lost myself in the fabric of the story telling and found myself holding my breathe not knowing what was going to happen.  And the performances!  If I had one complaint I would say the supporting cast performances were so freaking fabulous that they may have eclipsed Fantasia Barrino.  Taraji P. Henson wiped the floor with everyone and everything.  Holy Moly!  And Danielle Brooks!!  Heaven help me. She was insanely fabulous. I believe Best Supporting Actress will come down to these two performances and I don’t honestly know how anyone could choose.  Please let it be a tie! For me this is one of the best pictures of the year.  Do not miss it!


American Symphony     Netflix            A


This lovely documentary follows Jon Batiste through a specific period of time is his life.  He has a symphony to compose which will be performed at Carnegie Hall, and his wife’s cancer has returned.  I can only say that watching the graceful, loving, brave way he and his wife faced the next year was incredible and inspirational.  This film is an essay on love, art, and living in adversity.  If it doesn’t change you, you’re not breathing.  Love, Love, LOVE.



Saltburn     Amazon Prime Video             A-

 

In Emerald Fennell’s sophomore film, she proves she’s a triple threat that can write, direct, and produce.  Let’s not forget that she is also a great actress, but if she can make films like this and Promising Young Woman while still under 40, I am happy to buckle up and see what she has in store next.  Saltburn would be better titled "Slowburn" because Fennell takes her sweet time getting us exactly where she wants us before she lowers her hammer.  No spoiler alerts but Barry Keoghan gives the performance of a LIFETIME.  It is simply not to be missed.

 

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