This weekend, after slightly neglecting the cinema due to an overload of staginess (see my previous two blogs!) – I took myself to the cinema and saw two very different films. One was Hidden Figures, and the other was Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical. Therefore, I thought I’d give you a quick review of each.

Hidden Figures is the untold story of the African-American women who helped America win the Space Race, and boy what a story it is…

I have to be honest and admit that I usually avoid films themed in or around space simply because sadly they never usually appeal to me. However, this film caught my eye, perhaps due to a mix of the award season buzz and the fact it’s more of biopic film, which is a genre I always tend to enjoy.

I’m so glad I didn’t let my dislike of “space” films get in the way, because this film has easily made it into my list of favourite films inspired by true events. There’s something so much more powerful about a film when you know there’s a truth behind it.

The tale focuses on three women, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Each being strong and smart women, who fought for what they believed in and worked hard to succeed. You instantly fall in love with their characters, and route them on throughout.

Being set in the 60s, the story also showcases discrimination and segregation. I think the most painful part of which is that elements of these issues still exist all these years on. However, it’s beautiful to be reminded that together they pushed for these changes and that we can still push for change.

I was completely enthralled by the story for the entire 2 hours. It made me laugh, cry, smile and I left the cinema feeling empowered and inspired. Which I think is its exact intention – I urge you to go and see it. Out now★★★★★

Newsies is a Broadway musical by Disney, that was filmed live on stage and this is the first time it has properly been accessible to the UK and it was only being screened for one day!

The show is based on the 1992 film of the same name, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City.

It tells the rousing tale of Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan), a charismatic newsboy and leader of the ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike and take a stand for what’s right.

With the show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein – there is a high quality team behind this show. Which would explain its catchy numbers, and explosive dance numbers. Highlight numbers for me include “Seize The Day”, “King of New York” and “Watch What Happens”. 

I have to say, it took me a while to get into – but once it got going I was hooked. A lot of elements reminded me of many other popular shows, and it felt very much like a traditional musical yet it was great for appealing to the younger generation. The characters are easy to love (or loathe) and the cast were brilliant.

I love musicals that reflect true events, and it’s definitely a full-scale show with a wow factor so it’s easy to see why this show was such a success across the pond, and it was great to be given the opportunity to see it, I really enjoyed it. It’s another beautiful and inspiring story that reminds you why it’s important to fight for what you believe in. ★★★★

I hope you enjoyed these reviews, as always share your thoughts, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon…