Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Friday, November 30, 2012

Les Mis & Other Fantastic Films For The Festive Season

Oh, thank you Film Gods. After years of what seemed to be a string of wishy-washy, lowest-common-denominator, what-was-the-plot-again? movies over the festive season, the heavyweights in Hollywood have done a cinematic U-turn and are bringing us a feast of films this Christmas. From Anne Hathaway's Oscar-worthy performance in Les Mis to film adaptations of the cult books Cloud Atlas and Life of Pi, we're heading for a whole lot of big-screen drama this holiday season. Get the popcorn ready.

Right from Anne Hathaway's first, memorable note of I Dreamed A Dream, this movie sets the tone for an extraordinary tale of broken dreams. Based on the famous story of tragedy and passion set during the French revolution, Les Misérables stars Aussies Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, along with  Helena Bonham Carter (always need Helena in a period piece) and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia). All of the dialogue is sung, but it doesn't seem to be as tiresome as you'd imagine. Even ol' Russ is pretty good at carrying a tune. Anne Hathaway is being tipped for an Oscar, and it's easy to see why: she's magnificent in the trailers alone. Released December 25.  Trailer here and website here

Cloud Atlas is a very, very complicated story. It's also a very long story. If you're not someone who can sit in a cinema seat for three hours, don't bother. But you'd be missing what appears to be a brilliant movie. Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant are entirely out of their comfort zone, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon are as gorgeous and as skilled as always, and the rest of it is a visual extravaganza. The adaptation of David Mitchell's beloved bestseller was always going to be ambitious, but thankfully it seems to have worked. A film to make you think. Recently released.  Trailer here and website here.

I'm in love with New Orleans at the moment. (Have you seen the new book out from Assouline?) And in the hands of Quentin Tarantino, this modern western set in the South comes alive – even with all the deaths in it.  Jamie Foxx is the slave-turned-bounty hunter and Leonardo DiCaprio is the plantation owner, and there's a lot of blood-stained, cotton field-covered Mississippi backcountry, but there's also a lot of humour and fresh perspectives. Another Tarantino success. Released December 25. Website here.

I never managed to read this highly acclaimed and bestselling novel by Yann Martel, so I shall wait the movie and then tackle the book. It's the wrong way around, I know, but with Ang Lee as director, this is one film that's bound to be beautiful. It's very different to Lee's other films, such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain, but it's a magical journey of love, loss, hope, faith and spirituality nonetheless. It's a complex, mulit-layered tale, often told through cultural symbology, so it may pay to read up on some reviews before you see it so you don't miss the many references. Recently released. (January 1 in Australia)  Trailer here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Return Of The Glamorous Years

Jay Gatsby is back. 

This excites me more than anything. More than hearing Pantone's prediction for 2013 is Monaco Blue. Even more than hearing that Downton Abbey is doing a fourth series. (But sadly, without Matthew and Mary. Oh Matthew, why are you falling for Broadway?) 

I'm so excited about the return of The Great Gatsby that I don't think I can wait until May 10 for Baz's beautiful film. In fact, I'm quietly worried that we'll all be OVER the 1920s by then. Seeing Baz's version after the world has already gorged on the trend will be like seeing Robert Redford lying in the pool after being shot in the back by Myrtle's husband George Wilson. Quietly anti-climatic. 

Gatsby was everywhere in Paris last month. Everywhere.  If you blinked, you could've been forgiven for thinking you'd fallen into a time slip and landed with a clatter of pearls at a gin-soaked soiree on Long Island somewhere. Many of the big fashion boutiques were busily devoting windows to the decadence of the 1920s, bookstores were filling windows with F. Scott numbers, and florists were doing arrangements using lots of black and gold. 

We're definitely seeing a return to the va-va-voom years.

Vintage cover.

Kate Spade clutch.

A still from Baz Luhrmann's forthcoming movie with Leonardo diCaprio.

A stamped tribute.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's former home in Paris. 
I always walk past on my walk to the Luxembourg Gardens and pause in respect.

Another of F. Scott Fitzgerald's apartments on the St Sulpice Square, now a fancy hotel. 

FSF's passport.

A fantastic book about Sara and Gerald Murphy (supposedly the inspiration for many of FSF's books), and their time with Scott and Zelda in the south of France,

A poster in a Paris bookstore.

A poster for Baz's new film.

The trend for 1920's legs is already showing up in London department stores. {Unsure of credit}

{Unsure of credit, but love it.}

One of Grace Coddington's most beautiful shoots, for US Vogue.

Bryan Ferry's latest reinvention, assisted by some alluring 1920's style women. Very Ferry. {Shot by Richard Grassie}

Series Three of Downton Abbey which opens in the spring of 1920.

Giorgio Armani.

Shakespeare & Co in Paris

Shakespeare & Co; a bookstore that's far, far more than just a literary cliché. It's a place that groans (quite literally, because the floorboards are stairs are so old) with history. The atmosphere here is wonderful. No wonder FSF and Hemingway loved it.

Ralph Lauren, who dedicated his St Germain windows to a Gatsby theme.

Johanna Johnson.

A new rug collection by Catherine Martin (Baz's parter), inspired by the film.

Via the lovely Collage of Life. 

And this quote, my dear friends, is precisely why I love this writer so much.

Snapshots From An Australian Christmas, Part 2

The lovely model is a friend Ariel White, the former producer of The Amazing Race Australia. Congratulations to you and the rest of the show's talented team for recently winning an Emmy for this superb show! Very proud of all of you. Love it when Aussies do well in Hollywood.

{Fishing shack pix shot at Snapper Lodge; where we had a few days over summer one year. It's owned by the owner of Porter's Paints and is available to rent when not being used for magazine shoots. It's a lovely place for kids. The private pier, boat, deck, pizza oven and lighthouse are all part of the Christmas package!}

Snapshots From An Australian Christmas

{all images by me}

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