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Movie Reviews – 2013

From the Vault #9: FROZEN (2013)

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here.

This one, timed as Frozen II arrives in cinemas, is from April 15th, 2016…

It’s hard to imagine a film, let alone just a Disney movie, which has had more of an impact on pop culture in recent years than Frozen.

A loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee’s film went on to be a behemoth almost beyond reckoning; now sitting ninth in the top ten grossing films of all time, with Academy Awards at its feet and songs such as ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’ that have evolved beyond the movie into TV musical talent shows and pop singles etc… it’s without doubt the biggest and most beloved of Disney musicals since the early 90’s successes of Beauty & the Beast or The Little Mermaid, indeed it almost feels at times like a throwback to both that age of Disney musical and the 1960’s classics beforehand.

Frozen, in fairness, deserves to stand toe to toe with such legendary musicals, as beyond the fact the animation is second to none, the whole piece is an absolute delight of a picture; brilliantly written and well performed songs that stay in the memory, terrific performances from Kristen Bell in particular as the voice of Anna, and a genuinely fun, witty script which tells a classic story damn well.

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From the Vault #4: DIANA (2013)

From 2012 onwards, before developing this blog, I wrote a multitude of reviews on the website Letterboxd. In this irregular series called From the Vault, I’m going to haul these earlier reviews out of mothballs and re-purpose them here.

This one is from February 20th, 2015…

My Mom loved Princess Diana. The day she died, she came into my room at 5.30am in shock and horror telling my slightly uninterested, very sleepy fifteen year old self she had been killed like we’d lost a member of the family.

That’s what the press labelled ‘Queen of Hearts’ meant to the millions of Britons who still wanted to romanticise the British Royal Family in an age when they were fast becoming an anachronistic relic; at the same time she was also enormously divisive, with just as many people who saw her as an opportunistic, insincere bed-hopper who courted the press on trips to sub-Saharan Africa as a humanitarian to remain beloved when her husband had turned his back on her. Oliver Hirschbergel’s biopic could have been an opportunity to rip into the guts of that, explore the ‘people’s Princess’ with the candour many have shied away from since her tragic demise.

Diana, sadly, turns out to be an enormously tedious character study which never once has the balls to go beyond its glossed-up TV movie roots.