Oscars Countdown… #9 Hidden Figures

There is just nine days to go until the 2017 Academy Awards (one of my favourite nights of the year) and that gives me just enough time to watch all nine films nominated for Best Picture.

Every year I try to watch all the Oscar Nominated films, mainly because they’re incredible films but also because its always good to know why something has won or lost.

So for the next nine days I will be watching a film a day and giving all you lucky readers my opinion, first up ‘Hidden Figures’.

I loved this film. It’s so feel good. It’s about three inspiring women who are intelligent, proactive, not afraid to chase their dreams and despite all the odds being stacked against them they get shit done. The film is aptly named these women are heroes and I feel truly ashamed that I had not heard one of their names before.

The film focuses on three African American women who worked for NASA during the heated space race when America were desperately trying to launch a man into space and catch up with the Russian space program. Space to me has always been fascinating and despite being based on historical events the film still manages to be suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat.

It is a film about civil rights but it is also a film about women’s rights and it is hard not to feel inspired by these three inspirational women. And the actresses are fantastic. I love Octavia Spencer, truly love Octavio Spencer the woman is pure gold. She brings a smile to my face every time she appears on screen and she truly is deserving of another Best Supporting Actress Oscar. I haven’t even seen the other nominees performance yet but she already has my vote! Taraji P Henson and  Janelle Monae are also awesome as Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan and it’s a shame neither have been recognised individually.

This film is reminiscent of ‘The Help’, one of my all time favourites, a film set in 1960’s America, with a serious message… equal rights for people of all races and genders but exceptionally easy and enjoyable to watch. It has everything you want (or I want) in a film, a little bit of romance, a smattering of humour, a good soundtrack (thank you Pharrell) and  plenty of yes girl moments!

Also side note; Kevin Costner what a hero.

I would fully, fully recommend this film. The world should know who these women are and what they achieved. It leaves you with a smile on your face and I would watch it again any time I’m in need of a little pick me up.

So Best Picture nominee number one is an absolute hit, lets see how the others compare!

 

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‘Lyrebird’

Cecelia Ahern has an incredible ability to take the mundanity of everyday life and turn it magical. Because of this she has always been one of my favourite authors and my go to when I’m not feeling so positive about life. 

Normally my sister buys me Cecelia Ahern’s newest book for Christmas, however with her off living it up in Australia, the world appearing to implode around us and life being just a little bit shit I broke tradition and bought ‘Lyrebird’ as an early Christmas treat for myself! And it really didn’t disappoint.

‘Lyrebird’ tells the tale of Laura a solitary girl with an extraordinary gift and the documentary film crew who discover her and bring her into Dublin and the worlds spotlight. 

Cecilia Ahern uses sound to create a unique and rich description of the modern world. We see this world through the eyes of someone new to it. The novel shines a harsh light onto the superficial, fame, glamour, the media and most of all talent shows, and celebrates the simple things in life. It is the sounds of laughter, a fishing trip, creating a new dress that resonate with the people in this book the most, the sounds of happy memories. And what Laura desires most is not the fame on offer to her but happiness.

The characters are wonderfully down to earth, they have their flaws, they have their talents and they feel like real people. It is this talent I have always admired about Ahern, her ability to create characters so real, so relateable, so normal yet still exciting and interesting enough for us to want to read their story. It is not just Laura and her extraordinary story that we want to know it is Solomon and Bo and Rachel’s stories too. It takes but a few minutes to become invested in their lives and desire their happy endings. And when their eventual happy endings to come it leaves the reader full of hope that everyone’s lives are worthy of a story and everyone is susceptible to magic.

At the heart of it all though it’s a beautiful love story, about two people finding each other and overcoming all hurdles to be together. 

It’s both heartwarming and comforting, and as usual Ahern managed to suck me out of the real world for a few hours and then return me to it feeling a whole lot better about life.