I feel like it’s been a while again since I shared my thoughts on films, so I thought I’d share a quick overview on my watch list of the weekend with you. My recent viewings have included: Keeping Mum (2005), Beauty and the Beast (2017), Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015), Beaches (2017) and Billy Elliot the musical: live (2014). 

Keeping Mum (2005) This had been on my watch list for a while, mainly due to starring Emilia Fox. However, there’s an all-round brilliant star cast including Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Patrick Swayze and Kristin Scott Thomas.

At first I found it slightly confusing and odd (though, that may have been because I didn’t clock the time change), yet highly gripping. I feel like I can’t really say too much about the plot, without giving a huge spoiler. However put simply, a pastor preoccupied with writing the perfect sermon fails to realise his wife is having an affair, his children are growing up and a darkly mysterious version of Mary Poppins is causing havoc in the neighbourhood.

It’s a very quirky and original British film – with a brilliant cast, great comedy and unexpected twists. ★★★★

Beauty and the Beast (2017) I had initially been slightly sceptical about this project, due to the fact I didn’t overly enjoy the 2015 live action Cinderella and that the original animation is one of my favourite Disney films.

However, if you know the original, it is very true to the entire story and is oozing with theatrical elements such as the big ensemble numbers and comic quirks. It is visually stunning, with the modern blend of CGI and live action. I thought the casting was spot on and the music was beautiful. Plus if like me, you look for the details – I could have cried when I heard the music of Home, which is one of my favourite songs from the stage version and the new songs were magical too.

I just adored it. I have no shame in admitting I cried. It’s a tale as old as time, and is the perfect reminder that we must never forget that beauty is found within. ★★★★★

Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015) I had been intrigued by this film for a while, and the fact it has recently been adapted into an off-West End play reignited that interest.

The story is set in 70s San Francisco, and focuses on a teen artist who enters into an affair with her mother’s boyfriend. In truth, this wasn’t my favourite story to have spent 2 hours with. However, it gave an interesting perspective on the period of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll; and an equally interesting viewpoint of a young teen who is desperate for love and affection and for her move into adulthood. Though, I feel it should also be noted that there was a lot of sex and nudity; it’s not overly distasteful and it is all part of the story but I didn’t feel overly comfortable watching it.

Despite it not being my latest favourite film, at least it was held together by a great cast (most notable for me was Kristen Wiig), it was something different and it did have a good ending with a thought-provoking end note, of that perhaps love isn’t everything. ★★

Beaches (2017) – Unlike most people, I haven’t seen actually seen the original. Though when I heard about the remake, starring Idina Menzel and Nia Long, I suddenly found myself excited about a story that never previously jumped out at me.

I sure wish it had though, because it’s definitely a powerful and moving story of friendship – and it doesn’t hold back, and gives a raw and honest portrayal of the ups and downs. I thought the chemistry between Idina and Nia was great, and it’s great for being a female-centric story.

While remakes aren’t always ideal, I think it’s great that a new audience gets to see a lovely story in a modernised light. Though now I may just have to take myself to the original too. ★★★

Billy Elliot the Musical: live (2014) – Having never gotten the chance to catch it on the West End before it’s closure, watching this live recording was the perfect way to catch up with this show and see what all the fuss is about.

If you didn’t know, the story tells of a talented young dancer who has to learn to fight for his dream despite social and parental disapproval, and is set in the North East in the time of miner strikes and Thatcher.

The music is powerful, and the theme is similar to many other musicals that I love, such as Made in Dagenham and Kinky Boots, therefore it naturally won me over. If you can spare just short of three hours, this is a must see musical and helps bring the spirit of a stage show into your home. ★★★★

I hope you’ve enjoyed these brief overviews of my latest viewings! Let me know if you’ve seen any of them – and what your thoughts are… Hope to see you again soon guys!