Tag Archives: Eddie Redmayne

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This was absolute bliss. Whereas it is generally ‘quite nice’ to revisit a film and its characters, the concept of J K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them beats most that I have seen. Even though I obviously read the book [by Newt Scamander] however many years ago it was published, almost as an afterthought, the new film is such a tremendous bonus!

It’s something you didn’t see coming, separate but still belonging to Harry Potter’s world, and it couldn’t have been better. I never thought of Newt Scamander as anything but an obscure historical character, with an interest in animals. The film about Newt shows how wrong I was, and how Rowling’s magic just carries on and on.

As someone said the other day, it’s rather a relief to have a film like this with almost no children in it. It meant we could see Muggles and Wizards in the New York of 1926 as it might have appeared in just about any film; it was all about adults going about their business, which in Newt’s case was rescuing creatures at risk, and trying to teach other magic people that the beasts have a place in the world too.

Kowalski, the wannabe baker Muggle, was a Rupert Grint kind of man. Quite ordinary but also quite brave and someone who adapted well to the seemingly crazy world of magic. The two main female characters, sisters Tina and Queenie, were just as intelligent, kind and beautiful as you needed them to be. And Eddie Redmayne’s Newt was mysterious and enthusiastic and kind, with a nice sense of humour towards his ‘walking stick insects’ and dragons and all the other creatures.

The bad guy was so charmingly bad that you almost believed he might be all right. And the remaining characters made for a rich background.

Isn’t it wonderful how you can have a spin-off like this from a ‘mere’ children’s publishing sensation? Something so good and fun and mature, which wasn’t born from the usual film mould?

I don’t often float away from cinemas, especially not in the middle of the night. But I did this time. And I felt happy.

(Also published on Bookwitch.)

Miserable, with music

I’ve been reliably informed that my company will not be required ever again when Daughter goes to see a film. I’m not allowed not to like a film, nor am I permitted to lie when asked for my opinion. It’s tough.

Les Misérables

It was Les Misérables that clinched – or unclinched – my presence. I didn’t like it enough. I didn’t hate it, although it was long and slow. Felt it would have done better without the singing, or better with actors who could sing better. The females all sang well, so surely they could have unearthed a few male actors who can carry a tune?

He is nice to look at, that Hugh Jackman. But I won’t be buying his collected albums any time soon. It was good that they all sang as they acted, but at times I just wanted to speed them on a bit. Also, in this day and age when we have abusive adults on our minds at all times; a scene like when Valjean meets Cosette for the first time is pretty disturbing, even when it’s not bad.

Les Misérables

The photography was excellent. Even the Paris sewers looked ‘good,’ albeit not very tempting.

And I cried at the end. How could I not?

Too long. But educational. Relieved I never saw it on stage, although the voices might have been better. It’ll get a lot of Oscars, this one.