Film News – Kyle MacLachlan On Giant Little Ones

Giant Little Ones is a coming-of-age film that was recently released in a limited capacity in the United States. Kyle MacLachlan, who has a supporting role in the movie, recently gave an interview to Collider and spoke about Giant Little Ones.

Giant Little Ones

Kyle MacLachlan had this to say on what it was like to play such a compassionate and understanding father in Giant Little Ones:

I think all parents strive for some version of that with their children. I’m old and maybe a little naïve, but it’s something that I think is essential. You’ve been entrusted with the lives of your children, so parenting is not something you should take lightly.”

It’s a full-time job, and we’re here to guide and to help. That’s the way I look at it and my opinion, but you’re supposed to guide and help and encourage. It’s not discipline so much as it’s just trying to understand, and help them understand, why one choice may be better than the other.”

It’s more of a nudging, as opposed to a pushing and shoving into something. I’m taking my lessons from my father. He was a little more gentle in his approach. When it looked like I was heading into the acting profession, he was like, “Okay.” He recognized that it was something I loved and that I was actually good at.”

You always want the best for your kids. You want them to be able to support themselves and be in situations where they can thrive. He felt like that was happening with me, so I took that as my lesson. Then, along comes a role where that’s also part of the dad’s makeup, so it worked.”

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Love, Simon (Film Review) – A Movie With A Huge Heart

Love, Simon is a romantic comedy-drama directed by Greg Berlanti that is based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The film stars Miles Heizer, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel and Nick Robinson. The story of the film focuses on Simon (Nick Robinson), a closeted gay teenager who has to balance high school, friends, family, protecting his secret as well as trying to discover the identity of an anonymous classmate he has developed an online relationship with.

My Expectations For Love, Simon

We are almost halfway into 2018 and we have already had the pleasure of seeing some amazing films. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity WarReady Player One and Lady Bird are just a few of the films which, for me, rank amongst the best of the year so far. In fact, Lady Bird is one of the best coming-of-age films I have seen in recent years and Love, Simon looked like it could be on the same level of quality as Lady Bird. While Love, Simon is labelled as a rom-com, it had a lot of coming-of-age vibes from the trailers.

Nick Robinson as Simon in Love Simon

Indeed, a lot of comparisons have been made to John Hughes with this film which is a huge complement when you consider that John Hughes directed Planes, Trains and Automobiles, The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off which are all classics. I had high hopes for Love, Simon and I was expecting, at the very least, a heart-warming story that would entertain me from start to finish.

My Thoughts On Love, Simon

Love, Simon is really good. It is the most heartfelt film I have seen this year and a big reason why this was the case was because of the cast. The performances given by everyone in this film were great, especially from the young cast members whose chemistry was so natural that it felt like they had known each other forever.

Katherine Langford as Leah and Nick Robinson as Simon in Love Simon

The only thing I have seen in recent years that made me feel the exact same way when it came to young cast chemistry was the first season of 13 Reasons Why. It is therefore apt to see that stars of 13 Reasons Why such as Katherine Langford and Miles Heizer are also in Love, Simon. Additionally, this is the best thing I have ever seen Josh Duhamel in. He was fantastic in every scene he was in and he did a wonderful job playing Simon’s father, especially in the more serious, dramatic moments of the film.

Serious Subject Matter

Indeed, while Love, Simon has a lot of heart thanks to its young cast and humorous moments are aplenty, it is also a film that showcases some extremely important issues and themes and it does this with tenderness and care. This meant that the dramatic elements of the story were incredibly effective when they needed to be. All of the best coming-of-age films have a good balance of comedic and dramatic moments and Love, Simon is no exception.

Simon's Family in Love Simon

Still, another thing which can also be expected to be found in any coming-of-age film is a couple of annoying characters who make for some cringe-worthy moments. The majority of these moments in Love, Simon happen in the first half of its running time and they did not bother me to a huge extent, especially as the humour in this film outweighed any scenes which were excruciating to get through.

Overall, Love, Simon is a film with a huge heart that will lift your spirits if you are feeling down and provide you with a great blend of comedic and dramatic beats. Moreover, the film uses the right type of music (I mean, you cannot go wrong with Bleachers) and I could absolutely see why so many had made comparisons to John Hughes with Love, Simon. It truly is a John Hughes type of film for a modern generation which is a wonderful thing.

Love Simon Film Review Pin


Lady Bird (Film Review) – The Film That Should Have Won Best Picture

Lady Bird is a coming-of-age film written and directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Tracy Letts, Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. The story of the film is set in Sacremento, Califorinia in the early 2000s and focuses on Christine (Saoirse Ronan), a high-school senior who goes by the name of ‘Lady Bird’. She clashes with her mother (Laurie Metcalf) about her future.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Lady Bird

On paper, everything about Lady Bird sounded terrific. For one, I love coming-of-age films. In recent years, films such as The Edge of Seventeen, Boyhood and The Perks of Being a Wallflower now rank amongst the best coming-of-age films I have ever seen. For whatever reason, it is a genre of film that I gravitate to and the fact that Lady Bird was nominated for five Oscars increased my expectations about the quality of the film.

As well as being nominated for Best Picture, both Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. From this, I expected that the acting in Lady Bird would be brilliant. This went for the entire cast, not just from Ronan and Metcalf. Certainly, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet are incredibly talented actors and impressed me with their work in Manchester by the Sea and Call Me By Your Name respectively. I hoped to see more of the same from these two in Lady Bird.

Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf as Marion in Lady Bird

Before I saw Lady Bird, the only film nominated for Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars that made me feel like it completely deserved its nomination was The Post. I hoped that Lady Bird would impress me to the same degree that The Post did. I was expecting great things from this film.

My Thoughts on Lady Bird

I thought Lady Bird was absolutely terrific. Everything about this film felt authentic and genuine. Greta Gerwig partly based this film off her own experiences growing up in Sacramento and you can tell that this film came from the heart. While a coming-of-age film is going to have scenes and/or dialogue that are a bit cringe-worthy, nothing in Lady Bird ever felt forced or out of place. I had such a great time watching this film, especially when it came to the performances.

Saoirse Ronan was fantastic in the lead role and fully deserving of her nomination for Best Actress but I have to admit that, for me, Laurie Metcalf stole the entire film. She was so real and natural with her performance and, while I still have not seen Allison Janney’s performance in I, Tonya, I struggle to see how anything could eclipse what Laurie Metcalf did in Lady Bird.

Laurie Metcalf as Marion and Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird in Lady Bird

The mother-daughter relationship was amazing and what Metcalf and Ronan brought to it made their relationship one of the strongest aspects of Lady Bird. I also thought that Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet were all very good in the film as well.

Funny and Sad Moments

Another strength of Lady Bird was the humour which was spot-on for a film like this. Certain lines of dialogue in the film and situations some of the characters found themselves in made for some really funny moments. Yet, at the same time, there were some incredibly sad moments too whether it was with Stephen McKinley Henderson’s character or with Lucas Hedges character. You need these types of moments in a coming-of-age film and I thought they were all executed very well.

I also have to say that the use of ‘Crash Into Me’ by Dave Matthews Band throughout the film was something that really pulled me into Lady Bird as it is one of my favourite songs. All of the things which I have mentioned above made me full in love with the film and, as I watched the credits roll, I could not help but feel that the ending, while abrupt, felt right and the character arc that Christine went through in Lady Bird came full circle.

Beanie Feldstein as Julie and Saoirse Ronan as Lady Bird in Lady Bird

My Final Thoughts on Lady Bird

Lady Bird and The Post were the two films nominated for Best Picture at the 2018 Oscars that were, for me, worthy nominees. Now that I think about it, I believe that Lady Bird should have won the award. I never thought either one would win Best Picture as The Shape of Water was the clear favourite. Still, I was rooting for an upset and I hope, in the years to come, that Lady Bird will be seen as one of the best coming-of-age films that has come out in recent times.

Clearly, I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves coming-of-age films and wants to see exceptional acting as well as a superb directorial debut from Greta Gerwig. I hope to see more of her in the years to come when it comes to directing films.

Lady Bird Film Review Pin


Stranger Things Season 1 (Television Review) – A Fantastic Homage to the 80s

Stranger Things is a science fiction horror television show created, written and directed by the Duffer Brothers. It stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton. This debut season was released last summer on Netflix and the story focuses on the disappearance of a young boy and a mysterious government agency covering up this disappearance in addition to a sinister, supernatural threat.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Season 1 of Stranger Things

This TV show was a phenomenon when it was released last summer and was widely praised for its writing, acting, visuals and its ability to recapture the 1980s and pay homage to it. The things that I were really excited about going into watching Stranger Things were its nostalgic nods to the 80s as well as the dynamic between the kids in the show. Indeed, they were regarded as giving fantastic performances for their age which, combined with all the great things I had heard about this show from critics and friends, meant that I had high hopes going into Stranger Things.

Winona Ryder in Season 1 of Stranger Things Netflix

My Thoughts on Season 1 of Stranger Things

I found this first season of Stranger Things to be fantastic. One of the reasons why I liked the show as much as I did was because, at the core of the show, there is an intriguing, well-paced story which is very atmospheric and tense. Certainly, there are a lot of horror elements in this show and I do get scared quite easily which meant that I was on the edge of my seat for a good deal of the show. Still, there are a moments of light relief which help Stranger Things find balance and a lot of the comedic relief comes from the kids who are brilliant.

Truly, good child acting is a very tricky thing to pull-off as a child in any acting role can come across as very cringe-worthy and annoying very quickly (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is a good example of this). Stranger Things achieves the remarkable feat of establishing a great dynamic between a very young cast of kids and making them really likeable in the process. They were all great but my favourite character of the kids was Dustin, played by Gaten Matarazzo, as he provided some of the sharpest and humorous lines of dialogue.

Gaten Matarazzo and Millie Bobby Brown in Season 1 of Stranger Things Netflix

Performances and Nostalgia

Additionally, Millie Bobby Brown gave a really nuanced performance as Eleven. On the adult side of things, David Harbour gave a great performance as Jim Hopper whose character, for me, had the most depth due to his tragic past. If one character annoyed me it was probably Nancy Wheeler because of her self-centred attitude (typical teenager) but even her character arc made up for that in the end.

As you can see, Stranger Things has a lot of great qualities, the biggest of which was its ability to make me feel nostalgic for the 1980s even though I was not born in that decade. Clearly, this show was designed to be an homage to 1980s pop culture and this is evident in the way it is shot, the opening title credits as well as its nods to the works of Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and George Lucas among many others. It does a really good job of paying respect to the 1980s while being its own unique show at the same time.

Monster in Season 1 of Stranger Things Netflix

Additionally, Stranger Things has a great blend of horror, sci-fi and coming-of-age which ultimately means that this is a show which I highly recommend as there is something for everyone to get enjoyment out of. An atmospheric story, likeable and deep characters along with its ability to make us nostalgic for 1980s pop culture make this one of the strongest debut seasons of television I have seen for a while and, with the second season scheduled for release in July 2017, it seems like Stranger Things will go from strength to strength.