2019 Oscars Review & Top Moments

For a show that was riddled with controversy in the lead up, it turned out to be a very entertaining evening. Magical musical performances, record breaking wins & surprise winners were the stories of the night. Here are some of my top moments in no particular order.

No Host, No Problem!

91st Annual Academy Awards - Show

Image courtesy of Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When it was decided to not have a host this year after Kevin Hart dropped out, I was a little wary about how the show would work. However, as it turned out, not having a host was the best decision that they could have made. The show was not confined to the standard host skits & monologue so the show felt fresh and kept a pretty even flow throughout. There was more time for speeches & the presenters seemed more relaxed and funny. Speaking of presenters, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey, & Amy Poehler made a great case for them to host next year with lots of funny one liners and bits about what they would have said and done if they were indeed hosting. Other presenters that took the ball and ran with it were Keegan Michael Key descending from the ceiling Mary Poppins style, complete with umbrella and Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry presenting Best Costume Design decked out in over the top queen outfits from The Favourite Mary Queen of Scots, Black Panther & Mary Poppins.


Music Showcase


Image courtesy of oscars.go.com

All of the nominees for Best Song had a chance to show their stuff, except Black Panther’s All the Stars due to Kendrick Lamar declining to perform. Don’t feel too bad for Black Panther as they did end up winning for Best Score. There was something for everyone in these performances. Queen with Adam Lambert provided a rocking opener with a medley of “We Will Rock You/We are the Champions” that got everyone clapping and stomping their feet. Jennifer Hudson gave a powerful ballad performance of “I’ll Fight” from RBG. The one and only Bette Midler put a Broadway twist on Mary Poppins Returns “The Place Where Lost Things Go” and Gillian Welch and David Rawlings took us to the old west with the country song “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. However as nice as all those performances were, you could tell everyone on the internet was most anticipating Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper’s rendition of “Shallow” from A Star is Born. They more than delivered but I’ll save my thoughts on that for the next segment…

Academy Award Winner Lady Gaga


Image courtesy of Eric McCandless/Getty Images

The number of awards that Lady Gaga has to her name is endless, but last night she added Academy Award Winner to the very top of that list. She didn’t take home the statuette for Best Actress but still received the Oscar for Best Song alongside her writing team of Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando & Andrew Wyatt. She gave a very heartfelt and genuine speech about working hard, never giving up and fighting for your dreams.


Image courtesy of Ed Herrera/Getty Images

Her intimate performance with Bradley Cooper was the most talked about moment of the night. It was shot just like a scene out of the movie. With the camera onstage, focused on them. They might as well have been the only two people in the room. They sang to each other, never taking their eyes off one another. When Bradley stood up from his stool and walked around to sit with Gaga at the piano, all of the internet erupted with glee. They ended the performance sharing a microphone, their heads resting on each other. The chemistry of these two is off the charts and was one of the main reasons the film was so successful. You believe them. I can’t wait to see what acting role Gaga takes on next but this performance reminded me that she will always be a true artist  in every sense of the word.

Comic Book Movies Have Arrived


Image courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

These blockbusters have long been the best at the box office but have never gotten the recognition come award season. That has now been forever changed with wins from Black PantherSpider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Black Panther took home 3 awards for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design & Best Score making history as the first Academy Awards ever for Marvel Studios. The first two aforementioned awards gained even more historical value as the winners, Ruth Carter & Hannah Beachler, became the first African American women to win in these categories. Spiderman beat out the Disney/Pixar juggernaut to take home the win for Sony Animation. All of these wins are a giant leap forward for comic book movies and just may have cracked the door open for more Marvel/DC wins in the future.

Glenn Got Close But Not Close Enough


Image courtesy of Getty Images

In one of the biggest shockers of the night, Glenn Close lost Best Actress to Olivia Colman! Close had been raking in the awards all year but when it came to the big one, Colman won out. Colman won for her funny, disheveled, erratic portrayal of Queen Anne in The Favourite, the film’s only win of the night. She was truly shocked she won & gave one of the most hilarious & genuine speeches of the night, thanking her kids, husband & Lady Gaga! Colman has long been a staple in British television and it was nice to see her get recognition here. I’m sure Netflix is smiling from ear to ear since Colman is set to portray Queen Elizabeth in the next season of The Crown. 

So those were my top moments of the night! Overall, I had a great evening and enjoyed the majority of the show. Obviously there were other winners & moments from the night but those were my favorites. Let me know your favorite moments in the comments!

Mary Poppins Returns: A Supercalifragilistic-Nostalgic Good Time

*Do not worry my dearies, this is a non-spoiler review!


Photo courtesy of Disney© 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Over 50 years after the original graced the screen, Mary Poppins is back to teach a whole new generation, young and old, the importance of family. Much like in the first film, the Banks’ have fallen on hard times and it is up to Mary Poppins to not only help the children find their way but remind the original Banks children to release their inner child once in awhile. Rob Marshall, from Chicago and Into the Woods acclaim, directed this return to the world of Poppins and for the most part I believe he succeeds in creating a worthy successor. The cinematography is stunning and it truly feels like we never left Cherry Tree Lane.

If there were any doubts Emily Blunt could fill the shoes of the legendary Julie Andrews, they are quickly swept away upon hearing her first musical number. Blunt totally embodies the role while still completely making it her own. This is not some cheap impression of Andrews’ Poppins but a respectful homage and spirited new take on the famous British nanny. Blunt brings a stern yet playful mystique to the titular character and infuses her with just the right amount of charm and wit to keep the audience smiling every time she appears on screen. Ben Wishaw and Emily Mortimer play the grown up Michael and Jane Banks. Wishaw is given a bit more to do but both he & Mortimer play their parts perfectly and work well off each other. Michael’s children, played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson are little scene stealers and carry the majority of the movie with their believability and childlike wonder. Dawson as little Georgie is the standout of the bunch, particularly whenever he gets a chance to shine with Blunt. Lin-Manuel Miranda rounds out the cast as Jack, sort of the Bert to Blunt’s Mary. Miranda is a great stage actor, most known for his massive success in Hamilton and In the Heights. However, Miranda’s stage presence doesn’t necessarily translate as well onto the silver screen. This being his first major movie, I feel he will improve with time but when comparing him to the shining star that is Emily Blunt, his light doesn’t shine as bright.


Photo courtesy of imdb.com via Jay Maidment© 2017 Disney Enterprises, Inc. 

The story is simple but a complicated plot is not necessary when there are fun characters and musical numbers to keep you entertained. All of the musical bits are lively and joyous and will have you tapping your toe along with the beat. Although I don’t believe any of the songs rival the original classics, they are still well orchestrated and fit perfectly within the film. As soon as I left the theater I immediately downloaded the soundtrack to listen to on the drive home. The sweet and melancholic The Place Where Lost Things Go is a particular gem to look out for and is the film’s sole Oscar nominated song.

The film hits many of the beats of it’s predecessor but doesn’t feel like a direct copy, rather an updated homage. The, at the time, ground breaking 2D animation is brought back for a stunning musical sequence that takes place in a Royal Doulton bowl that I could have watched forever.


Photo courtesy of Disney© 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc. 

Overall, Mary Poppins Returns is a worthy successor to the 1964 classic that will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Let us hope we don’t have to wait another 50 years to see our favorite nanny once again! Although, with the success of this film and the praise for Blunt’s portrayal, I feel another sequel is not far behind.

**Minor spoiler, if you didn’t watch the trailer**

Be on the look out for some well placed cameos from Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and the one & only Dick Van Dyke!



2018 70th Primetime Emmy Awards Recap

There was a marriage proposal, some well deserved newcomer wins & a Betty White cameo but that wasn’t enough to save this year’s Emmys from looking like a bloated episode of Saturday Night Live. Lorne Michaels was tasked with this year’s telecast and instead of feeling like an ep from the golden years of SNL it was rather hit & miss, much like the current climate of the show.

They started off not with hosts Colin Jost & Michael Che, but an SNL ensemble of Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon & others singing an opening number about diversity in Hollywood called “We Solved It”. Jost & Che had a “Weekend Update” type monologue and Maya Rudolph & Fred Armisen had a running gag as “Emmy experts”, all of which missed the mark in my opinion. Lots of forced awkwardness and jokes that didn’t land. There were many presenting pairings throughout the night that I thought could have done a better job at the hosting gig, in particular Sandra Oh & Andy Samberg.

There were however some memorable moments that stuck with me. Here are my top 3 moments:

  1. The marriage proposal to end all marriage proposals.


Glenn Weiss, who won an Emmy for best directing of a variety special for The Oscars, decided to take the opportunity during his speech to propose to his girlfriend in what was probably the most heart-warming moment of the night. Everyone stood up & applauded. His girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, came on stage and accepted his mother’s ring with joy & tears. It was definitely the pick me up the evening needed.

2. Betty White is our eternal Golden Girl.


After Alec Baldwin & Kate McKinnon talked about the very first Emmys that took place in 1949, they remarked that there are very few people that were around then that are still working in television today.  Segueing into Betty White coming out to a well deserved standing ovation. This woman is 96 years old and still as sharp and funny as ever. She directed some of her quick wit towards Baldwin and the audience and left everyone with a smile on their faces. Please live forever Betty.

3. A Marvelous Moment for Maisel

The Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was one of the biggest winners of the night, taking home a total of 8 Emmys including best director, best comedy writing and best actress & supporting actress. Showrunner & head writer Amy Sherman-Palladino gave two very witty & delightful speeches and Rachel Brosnahan & Alex Borstein were very funny and gracious in their speeches as well. With the absence of Veep this year, the comedy category was left wide open for a new contender to claim the throne and Maisel seems to have done just that. Everyone’s favorite 1950’s stand up comic housewife is set to return sometime this year. Can we get a date already Amazon?!

Here’s the rundown on all the televised winners:

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:


“If you stay at the table long enough the chips come to you.”

Winner: Henry Winkler (Barry)

Louie Anderson (Baskets)

Alec Baldwin (SNL)

Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta)

Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Kenan Thompson (SNL)

Winkler finally won his first Emmy after initially being nominated for his iconic role of The Fonz in Happy Days. He joked when he pulled out his speech that,  “I wrote this 43 years ago.” He had a very heartfelt speech and got a standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:


“I went without the bra.”

Winner: Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Zazie Beetz (Atlanta)

Aidy Bryant (SNL)

Betty Gilpin (GLOW)

Leslie Jones (SNL)

Kate McKinnon (SNL)

Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne)

Megan Mullally (Will & Grace)

Borstein appeared genuinely surprised she won, even letting out an expletive but then she transitioned to her very funny self and sashayed up to the stage while seductively taking off her jacket and giving the crowd a shimmy. She started off with some funny quips but ended her speech with a heartfelt dedication to her kids.

Writing in a Comedy Series:


“Whoever put that carpet down, hates women. I just wanna say that right away. Times up!”

Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino

This was the second Emmy of the night for Maisel and the first of several for Palladino throughout the course of the evening. She made a witty comment about the carpet & ripping her tights and effusively thanked the cast. She walked off stage but didn’t have to go too far because she won the next category as well.

Directing in a Comedy Series:



“My panic room’s gonna be so pretty!”

Winner: Amy Sherman-Palladino

Palladino gave credit to the crew who makes sure that “Maisel goes out on the streets of New York and takes your parking spaces away from you.” She went on to thank her husband and other members of the crew as well as the cast. The Maisel  love would continue with the next category.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:


Winner-Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Pamela Adlon (Better Things)

Allison Janney (Mom)

Issa Rae (Insecure)

Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)

Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

Brosnahan had a fun push and pull with presenter Tiffany Haddish when she wouldn’t let go of the Emmy. She thanked the creators for trusting her with “their Midge.” She also explained that her show is about a woman who is finding her voice anew and that one of the most important ways to use our voices is to vote. She ended her speech by encouraging people to register to vote and bring a friend to the polls.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:


“Uh, I did not think this was gonna happen.”

Winner-Bill Hader (Barry)

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)

Ted Danson (The Good Place)

Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)

Donald Glover (Atlanta)

William H. Macy (Shameless)

Hader was shocked by his win but gave credit to his cast saying, “you should always make the other people look good so what I did was I hired a bunch of really great actors that made me look really good.”

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series/Movie:


“I really hope that you don’t mistake my fear right now for a lack of gratitude.”

Winner: Merritt Wever (Godless)

Sara Bareilles (Jesus Christ Superstar)

Penelope Cruz (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Judith Light (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Adina Porter (American Horror Story:Cult)

Letitia Wright (Black Museum-Black Mirror)

Wever continued her trend of having the most genuine & awkwardly sweet acceptance speechs by saying she was sorry and that she was trying to be an adult about this. She said thanks on behalf of herself and the character and thanked all the nominees. All I gotta say is The Walking Dead messed up by letting this gem of an actor go.

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/Movie:


“When they call and say can you ride a horse, don’t lie.”

Winner-Jeff Daniels (Godless)

Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar)

John Leguizamo (Waco)

Ricky Martin (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Michael Stuhlbarg (The Looming Tower)

Finn Wittrock (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Daniels thanked a number of people but he wanted to give special attention to his horse Apollo, who was Jeff Bridges’ horse on True Grit. He joked that he felt the horse was making unfair comparisons. He said he broke his left wrist when he was thrown off the horse but as he raised the Emmy up high, he said it was now officially healed.

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special:


“What a delightful but horrifying out of body experience this is.”

Winner-USS Callister (Black Mirror) Written by William Bridges and Charlie Brooker

Black Mirror continued it’s trend of creating award winning episodes with this win. Brooker lead with the thank you’s as well as stating his wife had gone “to take a wee” but had returned just in time. He started to thank his children but said he didn’t know why because they were very young and didn’t even like Black Mirror. He also acknowledged the creative debt this episode owed to US titans of scifi, Star Trek & The Twilight Zone.

Directing for a Limited Series/Movie:


Winner-Ryan Murphy for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, “The Man Who Would Be Vogue”

Murphy had a very touching speech where he thanked all the cast & crew but he wanted to especially highlight all the women in his life who supported him, name dropping a few: Julia, Gwyneth, Sarah Paulson, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates.

Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:


Winner-Regina King (Seven Seconds)

Jessica Biel (The Sinner)

Laura Dern (The Tale)

Michelle Dockery (Godless)

Edie Falco (Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders)

Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story:Cult)

King was completely shocked that she won that she was at a loss for words at first. She thanked the cast & crew and resisted the urge to curse and thanked Jesus instead, giving a shoutout to host Michael Che who earlier in the evening said that his mother lamented that white people didn’t thank God enough at award shows.

Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:


“To my darling Mia, you roll the windows down & pump the music up in my life and I’m so thankful for you.”

Winner-Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)

Antonio Banderas (Genius: Picasso)

Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose)

Jeff Daniels (The Looming Tower)

John Legend (Jesus Christ Superstar)

Jesse Plemons (Black Mirror: USS Callister)

It was so great to see Criss get this recognition. Having followed his career from his viral hit A Very Potter Musical on Youtube to Glee and now Gianni Versace, it was nice to see him get his due.

Writing for Variety Special:


Winner-John Mulaney (John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City)

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Michelle Wolf (Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady)

Patton Oswalt (Patton Oswalt: Annihilation)

Steve Martin & Martin Short (An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life)

Mulaney gave credit to all the nominees for inspiring him making him laugh. He then thanked his wife who didn’t come to the ceremony because she was busy. She said, “I just can’t fly across the country to watch you lose.” He joked that she still made the right decision.

Directing for a Variety Special:


Winner-Glenn Weiss (The Oscars)

Stan Lathan (Dave Chappelle: Equanimity)

Michael Bonfiglio (Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld)

Marcus Raboy (Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life)

Hamish Hamilton (Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake)

The most talked about moment of the night! You know all about this winner if you read my top 3 moments of the night at the beginning of this article. I still can’t believe that a director for The Oscars ended up stealing the show at The Emmys. Every man out there needs to aspire to this level of proposal game.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series:


Winner-Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

David Harbour (Stranger Things)

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones)

Matt Smith (The Crown)

Dinklage won yet again. He is definitely one of the best actors on that show and the rest of the nominees will be darn happy when Game of Thrones has its final season next year. He thanked his “brother from another mother” Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and George Martin for “creating this darn thing.”

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:


“I don’t even believe in God, but I’m going to thank her tonight.”

Winner-Thandie Newton (Westworld)

Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)

Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)

Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)

Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Thandie thanked God even though she didn’t believe in her and let lose a few expletives. Her turn as Maeve on this latest season of Westworld was a joy to watch and probably the performance of the season for me. I do however, hope Lena Headey gets her due next year because her performance as Cersei deserves all the awards. (Even if we all secretly long for the character’s death.)

Writing for a Drama Series:


Winner-The Americans

It’s nice in it’s last season, The Americans is finally getting some much deserved recognition.

Directing for a Drama Series:


Winner-The Crown

Stephen Daldry won for best directing for The Crown but unfortunately was not there to accept his award. Fortunately for us, the hilarious comedian Hannah Gadsby happened to be presenting and was there to provide some levity and accept on his behalf.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series:


Winner-Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

Jason Bateman (Ozark)

Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)

Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)

Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)

Ed Harris (Westworld)

Matthew Rhys thanked the cast & crew but saved his greatest thanks for his costar Keri Russell. “And finally to the woman who truly got me this award and who just stands in front of me everyday and puts up with me. She said if you propose to me I will punch you clean in the mouth.”

Bonus Gif of Keri Russell responding to Matthew Rhys as only she can:


Lead Actress in a Drama Series:


Winner-Claire Foy (The Crown)

Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)

Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)

Keri Russell (The Americans)

Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Claire Foy gets the win for her last turn as Queen Elizabeth II before they have an older actress play her in the remaining seasons. She exclaimed, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!” as she got on stage. She gave credit to the other actresses and I for one agree with her that this category is going to be neck and neck going forward because the talent of all these women is astronomical. Anyone could have gotten the win. Foy dedicated her win to the next cast continuing on the show without her and Matt Smith.

Outstanding Reality Competition Program:


Winner-RuPaul’s Drag Race

Rick & Morty (in all their cartoon glory) presented best reality show to RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul thanked the 140 drag queens “they released into the wild” and exclaimed, “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?!”

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series:


Winner-Saturday Night Live

As I stated earlier, I wasn’t a fan of the SNL-esque skits throughout the 3+ hour show, however you can’t deny SNL’s longevity. With Kate McKinnon at the forefront, I feel SNL will still be a contender for many more years to come.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series:


Winner- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

John Oliver took home the Emmy once again. He acknowledged his staff who were cheering from the balcony section. He said his son hates his show but loves Paw Patrol and “if our show is anything, it’s the precise opposite of Paw Patrol.

Outstanding Limited Series:


Winner-The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story won for Limited Series and my hand is currently cramping typing this. This is the longest title ever. Hey Ryan Murphy, can you start making shorter titles for your series please? Jokes aside, he gave a nice speech dedicating their win to the LGBTQ youth and greater awareness as well as stricter hate crime laws.

Outstanding Comedy Series:


Winner-The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Silicon Valley



Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt



Daniel Palladino accepted this award on behalf of the cast & crew. Maisel scored 8 Emmys on the night and if it keeps up the quality in season 2 I don’t see why this show won’t become the new powerhouse in the comedy category.

Outstanding Drama Series:


George waving to all the haters.

Winner- Game of Thrones

This Is Us


The Crown

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Americans

Stranger Things

Yes. Game of Thrones won the last prize of the night. Even though it lost out in the writing and directing categories, this HBO juggernaut would not be denied. Going into the last season in 2019, the rest of these nominees have to be breathing a sigh of relief at their changing fortunes. I, for one, am not ready to say goodbye to this amazing show. However, we all know, everything must come to an end.  Valar morghulis.



*All gifs courtesy of giphy.com/netflix & giphy.com/emmys





‘Crazy Rich Asians’ – A Crazy Fun Time for Representation

*This is a Non-Spoiler review!


Photo Courtesy of imdb.com

The title of this movie is quite literally what it is about. Based on the book of the same name by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians follows the lives of some crazy, very rich Asians. Even though the title is pretty on the nose, the themes & stories that are portrayed in this film go far beyond those three descriptors. This film was a major positive step for representation. I can’t recall watching any movie that contained an all Asian cast that wasn’t in the kung-fu genre. In it’s most simplistic form, this is a story about a man that takes his girlfriend home to meet his family. It is a universal story. Not once did having an all Asian cast detract or distract from the story being told, in fact in most instances it added to it. Hollywood can’t use the excuse of “there aren’t enough good Asian actors” anymore when confronted with showing diversity in films. Every single character in this film was a well rounded, fleshed out, fully realized person and every single character was played by an Asian actor! Even the side characters had a personality! I hope the success of this film is a watershed moment for the entertainment industry where they realize diversity and representation can and will equal monetary and critical success. People want to see themselves represented as the protagonist in their own stories!

Besides the representation aspect, this film is just fun to watch. The visuals are stunning, showing off a lot of the magnificent landscapes of Singapore as well as making you wish you could eat the food right off the screen. The themes of love vs family, familial expectation and pressure and the treatment of different classes all expertly interweave together creating a complex emotional web worthy of the best daytime soap opera. This romantic comedy follows the standard comedy trope of meeting the significant other’s family and everything succumbing to chaos but it executes it in a fresh, enjoyable take. The basic plot follows Rachel and Nick, living a fun life in New York when Nick invites Rachel to Singapore to attend his best friend’s wedding and meet his family. Rachel soon finds out Nick belongs to one of the wealthiest families in Asia and many people aren’t too happy that Asia’s most eligible bachelor has brought home a Chinese American.

Constance Wu, from Fresh Off The Boat fame, shines as the New York economics professor, Rachel Chu. Her earnestness and relatable personality make Rachel a protagonist that we root for when things for her character start to get rough. Henry Goulding stars as Nick Young, Rachel’s impossibly wealthy boyfriend, in his FIRST EVER MOVIE ROLE!!!! He knocks it out of the park with his charm and wit, so much so that as an audience member you can totally understand why all the women in the film are so gaga over him. Goulding couldn’t have asked for a better debut and it will surely lead to more starring roles for him. He already landed a lead role in Paul Feig’s new crime drama, A Simple Favor, which stars Anna Kendrick & Blake Lively.  The supporting cast boasts some great talents as well, from Rachel’s best friend in college played by the rising comedy star Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), to Nick’s fashionista cousin Astrid, Gemma Chan (catch her in the upcoming Captain Marvel) and his overbearing mother Eleanor played by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon legend Michelle Yeoh. 


Cast from left to right: Awkwafina, Henry Goulding, Gemma Chan, Constance Wu, Sonoya Mizumo & director Jon M. Chu (photo courtesy of Stewart Cooke via imdb.com)

With many laugh out loud moments (mostly provided by Awkwafina), along with some tense family drama and sweeping romantic scenes, Crazy Rich Asians provides an enjoyable 2 hour escape that leaves us with the theme of family and reminds us to stand up for ourselves even when others seek to tear us down.


© Allyson Nold, reelramblings.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Allyson Nold and reelramblings.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All content on this site is owned by reelramblings.com unless specifically stated otherwise. Credit will be given to the original owner’s content when used on this site.


HBO Documentary Review-‘Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind’


Photo courtesy of hbo.com

A comedic force of nature with a mile a minute wit and enough manic energy to transfix you with every word; that was Robin Williams to me. This film dives deep into Robin’s essence, illuminating his past and unfortunately his untimely exit from this world. Marina Zenovich directed this intimate portrait of one of the greatest comedians of our time. The film follows the familiar documentary format, starting with the early life and continuing through, hitting the career highlights throughout. However, what struck me most about Zenovich’s approach was how she presented the material. Robin narrates a lot of the film himself, through audio clips from past interviews or comedy bits. You never see him during these clips but his voice guides you through the film with the help of photos and stand up clips. It’s so powerful to simply hear someone’s voice who is no longer with us.

Never-before-seen footage and interviews with his closest friends and family are interwoven throughout the film, helping the viewer to understand how special this man was and how many lives he impacted with his gift of comedy. His first wife, Valerie Velardi, talked about the Robin she knew before he was in the public eye. Billy Crystal, David Letterman, and Steve Martin talked about the genius comedian who needed comedy like he needed air. His struggles with alcohol and drug addiction that permeated his private life also seemed to seep into his life on the stage. Billy Crystal admitted, “It’s a very powerful thing for a lot of comedians–that laugh is a drug. That acceptance, that thrill, is really hard to replace with anything else.”

I ran the gamut of emotions while watching this film. Clips from his stand up shows made me laugh out loud. Hearing from Billy Crystal about the last time he talked to Robin made me cry. Listening to his son Zac describe his many adventures with his father made me smile. Of course I loved seeing clips from his many classic movies such as Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin, but what touched me the most were the personal interviews from those who knew him best.

Robin Williams was part of my childhood. I literally wore out our VHS copy of Aladdin as a kid, replaying the Genie’s scenes over and over. Every time I would be given the unenviable chore of vacuuming the house, I would dance around with the machine like I was Mrs. Doubtfire. When I was feeling down, I would play his stand up special on the history of golf. This man shaped my sense of humor and brought so much joy to my life.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is a captivating look into the life and career of one of the funniest people in the world and a fitting tribute to the man who made so many of us forget our troubles and just laugh.





Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review


Image courtesy of Screen Rant

Miss Peregrine’s captures the feeling of Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with the aesthetic of Tim Burton’s creepy visual style. Based on the book by Ransom Riggs, Peregrine’s follows the journey of Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield), a seemingly ordinary teenager stuck in a boring providential town where his only escape from the monotony of every day life is in his Grandpa’s (Terrance Stamp) stories about a magical home full of peculiar children.

Events unfold that force Jake to leave his sleepy Florida suburb for the country of Wales, where he discovers his Grandpa’s stories held more truth than fiction when he encounters some peculiar children who take him to their home that exists beyond time. Jake acquires a certain fondness for Emma (Ella Purnell), a young girl with the power of aerokinesis who must wear lead shoes to keep her light frame from floating away. In charge of this merry band of misfits is Miss Peregrine, played by the scene stealing Eva Green. A Tim Burton veteran, Green embodies a Mary Poppins like charm coupled with a birdlike ferocity. Oh did I forget to mention Miss Peregrine tends to turn into a peregrine falcon from time to time?


Image courtesy of foxmovies.com

Miss Peregrine is fiercely loyal and protective of her charges and enlists Jake to help protect them from Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Hollows, a group of Slender man like creatures looking for immortality. Jackson is his typical over the top, chewing the scenery self but for once his performance didn’t take me out of the movie. His character is theatrical and zany and Jackson’s in your face nature actually added to the performance making him incredibly unpredictable, menacing and even funny.


Image courtesy of imdb.com

This movie brings Burton back to true form, after having some creative missteps as of late. It is delightfully weird with unique and memorable characters. The main gripe I have with this film is we don’t get to spend enough time with the “memorable ones” and instead are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time with the “boring ones.” Let’s find a home full of super powered children but spend more than half our time with boring every day people whose names you can’t remember. The peculiar children do get their moments to shine throughout the film but never receive the fleshed out treatment they truly deserve.

This slight character misuse keeps this movie from reaching it’s full potential. However, it is still a fun, well-crafted fairytale that the whole family will enjoy. (Well, maybe not the really young ones) The visuals and score transport you in typical Tim Burton fashion to a world where anything is possible and the strange is embraced. The source material lends itself so well to Burton’s creepy, unique style that you would have thought it was an original screenplay from him. The audience will leave with a smile on their faces but also a slight feeling of lacking.


Gif courtesy of mashable.com

P.S. Keep an eye out for the battle scene at the end. I don’t think a more “Tim Burton-esque” battle scene has ever been conceived!

Game of Thrones Season 6 Finale Spoiler Review/Recap


Image via HBO/HuffPost

**Warning: This post will be discussing episode 6×10, other events of season 6 and predictions for future seasons. Ye have been warned!**

Alright let’s dive right in! I know the season 6 finale has already been out a week, but I needed that time to soak in all of it’s magnificence and watch it 10 more times. That had to be one of the most satisfying finales I have ever watched! Every character’s storyline was wrapped up in a very definitive way yet still set up next season’s storyline so perfectly that I had to shout in frustration knowing we have a year long wait until the story can continue.

We start the episode off with a beautiful piano score from Ramin Djawadi that matched the tone and emotions being played on screen perfectly. At first I was a little taken aback due to the piano/organ parts. The usual score never really utilized those instruments before to my knowledge, but the music complimented the visuals so well that I was completely enthralled for the entire sequence. I knew there was no way Cersei was going to stand trial willingly but I truly did not expect the lengths she would take to get her way. She truly is on “Mad Queen” levels, but more on that later. I wanted so badly for Margaery Tyrell to escape the explosion, having felt she had so much more to offer the overarching story but alas it was not meant to be. The performances from Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow) and Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) in that last scene, where you can see it in their eyes that they know Cersei has won, is just top notch. I was happy to finally put an end to the High Sparrow storyline but ultimately sad that it was at the cost of Queen Margaery, one of the best to play the game. We’ve been with her from Renley to Joffery to Tommen but in the end it was the High Sparrow that ended her reign. Natalie Dormer said as much in her interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Margaery is a fatality of the High Sparrow underestimating Cersei. She had the reins taken away from her, from being in control of the situation; the High Sparrow took the reins and it proves that he underestimated Cersei in a way that Margaery never would have. She ends up dying on the show not because she didn’t beat Cersei, but because she trusted that someone else — the Sparrow — was handling her.” 

Rest in Peace Sweet Rose.


Ok, I’m off my Margaery soap box. Cersei is basically Queen by default because she literally killed off all the competition and a good chunk of the population of Kings Landing (Goodnight gentle Tommen). Fine. Fine. Just go ahead and keep that throne warm for Dany. I can’t wait for next season when Drogon burns you to a crisp and eats you a la Lord Farquaad in Shrek!


Up in the North, Jon Snow is finally recognized by his peers and crowned King in the North (I always shout this any time I read it) much to the chagrin of Littlefinger. Don’t mess this up Lord Baelish! The North is in a good spot right now! Sansa, you better keep your secret admirer in line! Side note: MVP for this scene goes to Lady Lyanna Mormont. That little girl was boss. #LyannaForPresident We also learned that finally, finally R+L=J or in simple terms Jon is half Targaryen half Stark! Look it up non nerds! What does that mean going forward? Well I hope it means Jon gets to ride a dragon. Dany’s got 2 spares. Come on writers!

Before we talk about Daenerys let’s give a round of applause to Arya for giving us one of the most satisfying deaths of the season! A girl is finally done with her Assassin’s Creed training and has made her way to Westeros & she’s not wasting any time! Walder Frey eats a slice of humble Frey pie and meets his demise at the end of Arya’s sword.



And now, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are sitting down because FINALLY Daenerys Stomborn of the House Targaryen, Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea has set sail for Westeros!!! It only took 6 seasons everybody! Let’s See:

  • Army of Unsullied
  • Hoard of Dothraki
  • Ironborn Fleet
  • Support of the Tyrells & Martells (courtesy of Varys)
  • 3 Mother ‘Effin DRAGONS!!

Dany is more than well equipped to take the Iron Throne & Cersei better pray Jamie comes to his senses & kills her before she becomes dragon fodder next season.

Oh you think you will have a long reign? That’s cute. 


Side note: Dany has ditched Darrio for Yara and Tyrion was made Hand of the Queen. If you weren’t smiling from ear to ear for Tyrion during that moment you are dead inside!

So in a season full of answers and finallys, we end on a high note, salivating for the next chapter.

Predictions for next season:

  • Dany vs Cersei Queen Bowl
  • Continuation of Lady Olenna vs Sandsnakes Smackdown
  • Stark Reunion (I’m looking at you Arya & Bran)
  • Brienne + Tormund: A Love Story
  • Littlefinger doing littlefinger things
  • White Walkers come in towards the end of the season & wreck sh*t up
  • The Red Woman meets up with the Hound & the Brotherhood with No Banners
  • Sam actually uses that Valyrian steel sword
  • Miguel Sapochnik directs every episode!!!

Next season is gonna be straight fire!! Til next time……


All gifs courtesy of giphy.com