Season four of Girls I am glad to say has just as much feistiness and gumption as its previous series. At the end of every episode I feel slightly blow away and massively proud of Lena Dunham. She never fails to write and say exactly what she thinks. Finding empowerment in what usually society would deem the unspeakable. She challenges not only herself but the viewer, who are you? and what are you doing with your life? It may seem that it’s only talking to a certain age group of girls growing into women in their early 20s, but it is so much more than that. The characters are so diverse that they transcends their age group that I’m pretty sure anyone could relate. The fourth season sees the small group of friends divide as the protagonist Hannah follows her dreams as a professional writer, who soon comes to the realization that this may not be her path. It’s the sort of thing that will make you want to grab Lena Dunham’s cheeks and kiss her for being so clever. The filter free dialog makes you see exactly who the characters are and just how hard growing up is.
American Horror Story
Following this theme of awesome female talent, I have recently been watching American Horror Story. I have seen three of the four seasons and am entirely addicted. I love watching a new series a little late as it means I have loads of watching that I don’t have to wait weekly for. Each season is set in a different typical horror setting. Series one a haunted house, series two an asylum, third witches covent and the fourth series is entitled ‘Freak Show’. My favourite so far is season 2 which is set in the asylum, as it just has the most gripping storyline. I was watching one after the other (chain-filming if you will). The way in which it is all shot took me a while to get used to as it can chop and change with lots of different lens used, I quickly became used to this style and found it quite refreshing that such a risk was take. I say risk because usually horror movies are snubbed or not watched by the general public, so it great to see they are being liberal and really creative with their style. The main reason I love these series is for the predominately female cast. Each series cleverly uses the same cast in different roles. I love seeing bad-ass women just owning it. Jessica Lange is phenomenal, I have only ever seen her in Big Fish and thought she was stunning, she is on a whole new level now. She just embodies her characters so entirely, she makes for a brilliant villain. There is great light and shade to all the villains so you occasionally find yourself empathizing with some devilish personalities. Even if horror makes you feel a little scared or squirmy I would still really recommend this, the character plots are so strong that they would stand up on their own if you would remove all elements of horror. Start with season two and see if it’s for you.
*Standing ovation* Is this enough of a review?... No... Ok, well it is safe to say this film is just wonderful. There is so much hype around Julianne Moore’s performance and these high expectations where not disappointed. I love Julianne Moore almost religiously, she is such an incredible actor that entirely embodies who ever she is playing, brilliant children’s author and the most stunning woman (seriously I want what ever she is having). The film is an adaptation from Lisa Genova (neuroscientist turned author) novel ‘Still Alice’. It explores the life of a renowned linguistics professor Dr. Alice Howland at Columbia University, who is in her 50s. As a woman who is adept in the English language she begins to find she struggles to find her words. After going to a neurologist she discovers she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which is very uncommon for a person as young and can be particularly vicious and fast moving in highly developed minds. The story follows the slow demise of her mind and how she tries to cling to all the memories and her personality, which is all fading from her. It is a massively devastating film, to be so helpless with a disease that has no cure. Kristen Stewart plays Alice’s youngest daughter, the scenes with them two talking alone our my favourite, as she takes the time with her mother to really know how she is feeling. She asks her ‘what does it feel like?’ which feels very poignant to the whole film. Instead of focusing on the disease in its entirety it brings a really personal viewpoint to it. Before the filming Julianne Moore visited women who have Alzheimer's disease and asked them exactly this ‘what does it feel like?’ they lifted what the women had send and plated them directly into the script. Moore also asked them what they would like her to represent about the disease. This all gives the script a realism that I feel has not really been covered before. Alice finds solace in the present moments which she will soon forget, which is a lesson we can all take from it. To embrace what health we have and enjoy the present moment, for who knows what is to come.
What have you been watching lately? If like me you have been enjoying the above I would love to hear from you.
Have a great weekend and for all those mums out there Happy Mother’s Day!
P.S Check out the beautiful garden of Julianne Moore.
1. Girls logo - HBO series created by Lena Dunham link
2. American Horror Story logo - FX channel created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk link
3. Edited photo - Still Alice poster - Sony Pictures Classics (2014) link