James Stewart rediscovered

For some reason, and I wasn’t sure how until I started digging through my memory of the past few weeks, I’ve started watching Jimmy Stewart movies (when not distracted by Richard Armitage at a film festival in Newcastle and all the subsequent reports and pictures streaming in). Now, I’ve always known James Stewart, have always really liked him, he’s one of the favourite actors of my younger brother but he never made it to the top of my “I love him/her so much!” actors list. I think that has now changed!

Digging through my memory, I think it was the fault of falling into an old 1943 movie about six or so weeks ago with Jean Arthur called The More the Merrier (if you want to see a very sexy love scene from the early 1940s that also makes you smile, check out this scene from that film!). I happened upon this scene on YouTube, then found the whole movie and watched it and really enjoyed it! Charles Coburn was truly excellent and funny in it (he won an Oscar for that role; luckily I didn’t find out till after I had seen and enjoyed the movie that Coburn had been a white supremacist!) but I was also very impressed with Jean Arthur! So, I jumped to the only other movie I knew with her, called Mr Smith Goes to Washington, with James Stewart (I now know she also did Shane, still need to re-watch that one). I had once seen Mr Smith many years ago but barely remembered it, so I watched it again and that is when James Stewart blew me away (don’t get me wrong, Jean Arthur is very good in this too!). So, after watching that, I have been binge-watching all of Stewart’s movies! Well, a whole lot of them, in any case.

What I think really hit me with James Stewart this time around is how extremely well he listens and reacts to others! I was pondering that over the past few weeks and then yesterday I was reading an obituary the NY Times had done on him where he is quoted as once having said, “I don’t act, I react”. I don’t quite agree with the “I don’t act” part. I see how the criticism can be that he is often himself in movies but I think he does something way cleverer than that: every character is quite different but somehow he takes every character and he finds a way to also inject them with his own humanity. What I do very much agree with is the “I react” part of that quote. Come to think of it, I think he was one of the best ‘reactors’ I have ever seen! He is an ‘everyman’ and very human in his expressions, that makes him so very relatable.

In his pre-war movies he starred in some dramas (like Mr Smith…), there was his first Western (Destry Rides Again) where he played a pacifist lawman (co-starring with Marlene Dietrich) but mostly the movies were lighter, romantic comedies, with The Shop Around the Corner being my absolute favourite one. That movie I have seen several times and re-watching it confirmed yet again what an adorable movie it is and what great chemistry James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan had (she helped kick-start his career and was also a close friend). In these early movies you can see that James Stewart had great comedic timing and a dry humour, which has served him well throughout his career. It looks like he is never purposely funny and yet he is funny. There is light-heartedness about him that I love, like in the scenes you see in this fan video I saw on YouTube…

To me, his most brilliant comedic performance, again where his character doesn’t mean to be funny but he really is, was a scene from The Philadelphia Story that he did with Cary Grant. The story goes that this scene wasn’t rehearsed, that they just played (and shot it) in one take. James Stewart is drunk and, in the middle of the night, visits Cary Grant’s house. Apparently the part where he starts hiccupping wasn’t scripted at all (neither was Cary Grant’s “Excuse me” response) and you can see that the men are struggling to keep it together, but keep it together they did. James Stewart won an Oscar for his role in this film, and I have a sneaking suspicion that, while he was excellent in the film, him winning the Oscar may have been because of this little scene. Here it is, the very funny “Oh, C.K. Dexter Haaaaaaaven” scene…

But he wasn’t only good at comedy, one of his stand-out dramatic performances was in the first movie he did after leaving the army (he had been a commanding fighter pilot in WWII), the very famous It’s a Wonderful Life. James Stewart’s time in the army did something to him, I think, in that it gave him some more gravitas, like in this heartbreaking scene from It’s a Wonderful Life which is so superbly acted (as is the whole film)… Really, this was a brilliant role for him and such a lovely lovely movie!

He also did the movie Harvey in 1950 after having played the role on Broadway and on the London stage. I’d always heard of the movie and had read about it and knew it was supposed to be legendary (Stewart was nominated for an Oscar for it) but I only actually watched it recently during this binge phase. I think that this role has now gone straight to the top of my fave James Stewart performances ever! If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it. James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd, who has a 6 ft 8 invisible white rabbit (but not invisible to him) called Harvey as his best friend, is just absolutely charming and so heartwarming. I swear, it’s one of the most endearing characters I have ever seen and yes, unintentionally funny as well. Apparently it was one of his own favourite characters too. Here, have a look at one of my fave quotes of the film…

After the war James Stewart did a few very good Hitchcock movies (my fave of those is Rear Window with Grace Kelly) and he became famous yet again for his Westerns (he made many!). For almost all the Westerns he did, he rode a horse he had come to love, named Pie, and he wore the same cowboy hat in almost all those movies as well…

I’ve seen a few of those Westerns and there is a quality of tenderness in the man, despite some of the acts of violence the characters played by Stewart display. There’s a vulnerability there in Jimmy Stewart’s eyes that makes me actually enjoy watching these Westerns (not normally a genre I enjoy that much) and in some films where Indians play a role, they are even humanized instead of demonized, like in Broken Arrow (from 1950) where he helps negotiate a peace with Apaches. I think my fave Western of his is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (where he doesn’t ride a horse or wear his hat) and co-stars with John Wayne (whom I really dislike and don’t like much in this movie either). However, I do love James Stewart’s character, who is a man who believes in the power of words over violence and yet finds himself in a situation where he needs to resort to violence.

James Stewart Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceAnother surprise to me was that I hadn’t remembered how good he was at being the romantic lead and how passionate his body language is. Again, his unparalleled reaction skills truly show! And being so tall helps him too. The way he looks at the women he loves on-screen, the way he reacts to them and then the way his tall frame totally envelopes them when he embraces them, holds them oh so tight and kisses them is just absolutely beautiful! In most movies I saw, I found he managed to manufacture great chemistry with his leading ladies. In fact, I just had to make a fan video about James Stewart being in love with his leading ladies!

The first scene I used in my fan video is from It’s a Wonderful Life with the beautiful Donna Reed opposite him. The tension and subtext just jump off the screen and punch you in the gut in this phone scene (that I cut somewhat but you can view in its entirety here, including what happens right before that phone part starts). The reacting, the breathing, the outburst of a man trying to fight his feelings but being overpowered by them – I can’t praise this scene enough! The role of George Bailey, to me, may have been his greatest romantic role ever… Anyway, here’s the video I made.

He did several of his early movies with Margaret Sullavan, someone else made a nice video for that…

After the war his on-screen wife for a few movies was June Allyson, whom he also had great chemistry with…

I also really liked him with Vera Miles in Liberty Valance and another movie called The FBI Story. The film itself is not that great, but Jimmy and Vera really do work very well together. Here, take a look at this scene of them together in that movie…

In reading up on him, I think I would rarely have agreed with him politically. He was famously best friends with Henry Fonda since the early 1930s and despite vehemently disagreeing with each other’s political views, they remained close friends until Fonda’s death in 1982.

Maybe we could learn something from these two men who had such opposing political views and yet were such friends (apparently their hobby was building model airplanes together!). Jimmy Stewart really seems to have been a humanitarian and I always respond well to that. I also love that he was so happily married to his wife Gloria for 45 years until she died in 1994. He became father to her sons of a previous marriage and they had twin girls together.

Apparently his final words before he died at age 89 in 1997 were, “I’m going to be with Gloria now.”

Just as everyone underestimates Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, I think I may have underestimated James Stewart. I always liked him before, but now I can honestly say I love him.

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Top fanvids on my YouTube…

I updated my fan video corner on this site yesterday evening, adding a page for the TV series Suits. I have made several videos for that show, the last one was in November, but I suspect that after series 7B airs (starting March 28th!), I will be making some more Suits videos. I didn’t have a Suits page yet but now that omission has been corrected.

I have a  YouTube channel, which is where I post most of my videos and I have posted videos there from the end of 2010 onwards. While I do post, I very rarely check any stats and I’m not very active there, community-wise. After I post a new video, I sometimes throw a quick peek at a few basic stats from the last few videos I posted but tend to quickly move on. I don’t aim to gather a huge following, I’m just sharing what I make and should others like it, then that’s the extra bonus.

Anyway, while updating my fan video corner here, I thought I’d check out my YouTube stats in a little more depth for a change. What I see is that I have garnered 957.875 views over the past 7,5 years! I don’t know if that’s really a lot in the grand scheme of things but it sounds like a lot to me! I am also surprised that I have 607 subscribers! They must come from varying fandoms as I have made videos for several different shows, but that number surprises me. I was also able to see what my most viewed videos were and the results also surprised me…


My number 1 most viewed video is a Suits video called ‘Crazy’ which I posted last November. I am gobsmacked that a video I posted only 4 months ago should already be at the top of the list! As I type this, the video has had 141.058 views and 296 likes (with 20 dislikes)…

I wonder what makes this Suits video so very popular! My first Suits fan video was made up of gifs, so not that great and I get why that one isn’t so popular. Another Suits video I made (“Bomb”) is blocked in USA and Canada (but also available on Vimeo), so I get why that doesn’t have that many views either. I do wonder why the one I made after ‘Crazy’ (called ‘Demons’) is stuck at 746 views, though, which is about 1000 views less than even that gif video. Is it really that much worse? Or was the popular one shared on some very popular Suits platform and is that why it is so extremely well viewed? In any case, this is interesting!


The number 2 most viewed video is one I did of a little Pierce Brosnan romcom called Laws of Attraction. Not the best of romcoms but I liked it and as there were very few fan videos of this movie out there, I decided to make one. It was posted in September 2012 (so took 5,5 years to garner the views it got) and has 132.506 views with 185 likes (and 18 dislikes). I guess it must be the big name (Pierce Brosnan), but it is the only video I also get spam notifications on. So, I’m thinking, maybe bots are responsible for some of those views?

I have a Pierce Brosnan videos page for the 4 vids I made starring him, should you care to see more. Two more Brosnan videos are in my top 10 most viewed list as well: at number 5 a Remington Steele ‘Kiss me’ video and at number 7 the ‘Love is all you need’ video.


My 3rd most viewed video is a bit of a dramatic Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries one. That one (posted in April 2016, so almost 2 years ago) has 115.914 views and the most likes of any other video on my channel: 666 likes (with only 10 dislikes)! So, number 3 in views but number 1 in most liked. 🙂

More Miss Fisher videos here. There are two more Miss Fisher videos in my top 10 most viewed list: at number 4 is ‘Jack’s Desk’ and at number 9 is ‘They can’t take that away from me’.


I also have A Place To Call Home videos, the most popular one of that show is the ‘At Last’ one I made at the end of season 4 a year ago, it’s the 6th most viewed video on my channel.

And ‘Time in a Bottle’ that I also made for that show is number 8 in the top ten.


I made a few Call the Midwife videos three years ago, some of them are also relatively popular. The most popular one for that show is ‘I Choose You’ (number 10 of my most viewed videos), which highlights the choice Sister Bernadette has to make…

More Call the Midwife videos here.


Outside of the top 10 videos, I also want to highlight a The Mentalist video. I always kind of assumed my old The Mentalist ‘That man’ video would remain my most popular video but that one is down to number 19 on the list now! Goes to show how long it’s been since I’ve actually really looked at stats. That video, one of my earliest fan videos (made in 2011!) and a little less polished looking, still remains one of my own faves. It is also still the most popular video of the The Mentalist ones I made…

More The Mentalist videos here.


And last but not least: I made the most videos for Silent Witness when the character of Dr. Harry Cunningham was still around. The show was never the same again after he left and after they killed off Dr. Leo Dalton a year later, I stopped watching altogether. My most viewed Silent Witness video (made in 2013, number 15 most viewed) got blocked on YouTube a year ago, so I have put it up on Vimeo. It dealt with the loss of Harry… Even after all these years (4, I think) I still hope that Dr. Nikki Alexander (she still does Silent Witness) will ride off into the sunset with Harry after all…

More Silent Witness videos here.


I should make a Richard Armitage fan video some time… but there are so many good ones already out there, I don’t feel like there’s much I can add. And I guess I should do this YouTube video analysis again some time in the future and see how things stand then. It’s been fun. 🙂

Musicals through the decades

The latest Mach Was challenge is about musicals and ever since I saw that call, all sorts of musicals have been floating around in my head! Even though I am not the world’s greatest musical fan or connoisseur, I really do enjoy a good (movie) musical and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve seen quite a few of them over time – enough to be able to pick my favourites for each decade in musical movie history…


The 1930s – The Rogers & Astaire era

I realize that I should probably choose The Wizard of Oz (from 1939) as a favourite musical from the 1930s but I have to confess that I have never seen that movie! I’ve seen many clips & excerpts, I have read about it, but I have never actually watched it. For me, 1930s musicals are synonymous with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers! I have already once before enthused here on blog about this dancing and singing screen couple. I’ve been reviewing their movies again and I think my favourite would have to be Top Hat (1935), although I also really liked Swing Time (1936). The plots for both movies are somewhat contrived but, oh, the dance numbers!

Top Hat is a mistaken-identity movie. It centers around a model (Ginger Rogers) on holiday in London and Paris who mistakes an entertainer (Fred Astaire) for the husband of her friend. The movie features the very famous Fred Astaire in top hat dance…

… and the ‘Cheek to Cheek’ feather-dress-dance (the feathers on Ginger Rogers’ dress were flying around everywhere, if you look closely in the video you can see it – apparently after that, Fred Astaire nicknamed Ginger ‘Feathers’)…


The 1940s – More Fred Astaire!

The 1940s are still about Fred Astaire for me. He reunited with Ginger Rogers in The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), which I really enjoyed (and of all the Astaire/Rogers movies the plot of this one makes the most sense to me), but the movie I liked even more was Easter Parade (1948) with Astaire and Judy Garland. Easter Parade is about nightclub performer Don (Fred Astaire) who hires naive chorus girl Hannah (Judy Garland) to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous. He wants to prove he can make any partner a star. Hannah bristles against Don’s attempts to make her just like his old partner and grows into her own kind of performer.

‘Steppin’ Out With My Baby’ may be the most well-known song from that movie…

… and here’s a fun number,  ‘A Couple of Swells’, where Hannah truly is very different from Don’s elegant former partner…

It’s a fun watch! Especially Judy’s acting, and of course Fred’s dancing, stand out here.


The 1950s – The Gene Kelly era

The 1950s had a ton of musicals. I really like another Fred Astaire musical called Funny Face (1957), also starring my darling Audrey Hepburn, and a lovely jazz musical with Danny Kaye called Five Pennies (1959) but, most of all, the 1950s is Gene Kelly’s decade to me! He did An American in Paris (1951) with Leslie Caron, which is a fun musical, but I think my fave 50s musical has got to be Singin’ in the Rain (1952), which Gene Kelly did with Debbie Reynolds.

Singin’ in the Rain is set in the late 1920s when movies went from silent to sound. When two silent movie stars’ latest movie is turned into a musical, a chorus girl is brought in to dub the female movie star’s singing and speaking. Gene Kelly plays the movie star Don Lockwood and Debbie Reynolds plays the chorus girl Kathy Selden. The very iconic title song is maybe the most well-known musical number ever. It never gets old looking at this…

The one I catch myself singing sometimes, just like that, is ‘Good Morning’…

I swear, virtually every number in this musical is legendary, there isn’t a bad song and dance routine in it!


The 1960s – The Julie Andrews era

I liked Hello Dolly (from 1964, with Barbra Streisand) but the mid 1960s is really the Julie Andrews era. She famously starred in My Fair Lady on stage but wasn’t deemed well-known enough for the movie, so the Eliza Doolittle role for the 1964 movie went to Audrey Hepburn instead. In the meantime Julie Andrews made Mary Poppins (yes, we’re still in 1964!) and became very famous for that.  However, my fave 60s musical has got to be The Sound of Music, which was made a year later in 1965.

The Sound of Music is about a young postulant, Maria (Julie Andrews), who is sent to be the governess to the children of naval officer and widower, Captain Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer). It is set in Salzburg (Austria) in 1938 around the time the Nazis gain power there and is based on a true story. It’s awfully corny in many ways, but I do love it; it is well-acted and has real heart. There are some songs there I don’t like very much (like when the Mother Superior sings ‘Climb Every Mountain’ or the ’16 going on 17′ song), but others are absolutely irresistible, like ‘Do-Re-Mi’, ‘Edelweiss’ or ‘My favourite things’ (which incidentally is also the tag-line of this blog)…

There is also this very romantic dance. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to German/Austrian ‘Volksmusik’, which this is to a certain extent. This scene, however, always makes my heart skip a beat…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie; I even went to a Sound of Music sing-along once, eight years ago!

It was absolutely silly but a lot of fun.


The 1970s – The rock & pop musical era but I liked fairytales!

This is the time of the rock & pop musicals, like Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Jesus Christ Superstar (1970), or Saturday Night Fever (1977) or Grease (1978). All of them fine! But, I was a little girl in the 1970s and just starting to learn about movies and musicals. At the tender age of 7 I fell in love with a kitsch Cinderella movie musical called The Slipper and the Rose (1976) with Richard Chamberlain as the prince and Gemma Craven as Cinderella. I have blogged about The Slipper and the Rose before here and I have shared some fun musical clips from that movie here. It’s probably got a lot to do with nostalgia, but I still love this musical (that virtually nobody knows anymore). Let me share another romantic dance video with you: the prince and Cinderella meet and dance…

… and my father’s favourite song, I always think of him when I see or hear this…


The 1980s – Youth musicals

There was Fame (1980) and Flashdance (1983) and Footloose (1984) and Dirty Dancing (1987), which was all very youth centered and I remember them all being very popular when they came out. I liked them and enjoyed them and fell in love with David Bowie and a teenage Jennifer Connelly in Labyrinth (1986), but the musical I loved most was Yentl (1983), which was not so youth oriented. In my house, the whole family loved that movie, we had the soundtrack on LP and played it continuously.

Set in early 1900s Eastern Europe, Yentl is about a young woman (Barbra Streisand) who dreams of studying Talmud but as a girl is not permitted to do so. After her father dies, she disguises herself as a boy and goes out into the world to find a place where no one knows her, so that she can get the education she so covets. Things get complicated when she falls in love (with Avigdor, played by Mandy Patinkin)…

The song ‘Papa’ from the movie, then and now, always makes me think of my own father. Again, in this movie, all the songs are great, like ‘One of Those Moments’…

… or the final song. ‘A Piece of Sky’…

This is also a musical I have seen many times and it never grows old!


The 1990s – Cartoon musicals

There were musicals like Sister Act (from 1992, which was fun) and Evita (from 1996, just OK) but to me mostly the Disney cartoon musicals stand out in the 1990s, like Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992). The movie that sticks out most for me is The Lion King (1994). I thought I was all over cartoons by mid mid-20s until I saw The Lion King in the cinema (I only went because some friends wanted to see it). To my surprise, that movie made me cry in the first 15 minutes! For me it isn’t a musical masterpiece like some of the musicals I mentioned in earlier decades are, but I did love it! The ‘Hakuna Matata’ song was cute! At the time everyone also said ‘hakuna matata’ to each other, it was a bit of a hype.

Last year I went to London for a few days with my son and I promised him a stage show. He picked The Lion King, so we went to see that and very much enjoyed it!

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I like that this musical is now linked to my son like that. 🙂


The 2000s – Fairytales & books

Not many musicals spring to mind in this era, but I did really enjoy Moulin Rouge (2001 about a writer and a cabaret star). That movie didn’t have many original songs but it did have great covers of great pop songs which made it a joyous watch. As a Jane Austen fan, I also really loved the Indian answer to Pride and Prejudice, called Bride and Prejudice (2004). In fact, I need to share one clip from that movie. The actor Naveen Andrews (he plays Balraj, the Bingley character, dressed in black), really reminds me of my youngest brother and I could actually picture my brother doing this dance act as well…

I love the way P&P translates to an Indian story and the joy that seeps through in all the songs and dances.

My fave 2000s musical, however, has got to be Enchanted (2007). A young maiden called Giselle (Amy Adams) who lives in a land called Andalasia and is prepared to be wed to Prince Edward (James Marsden), is sent away to cynical New York City by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon), where she falls in love with lawyer, Robert (Patrick Dempsey). It’s a real princess story yet also a spoof on all (animated) Disney princess stories, with even a hint of The Sound of Music spoof thrown in. See if you can spot that reference in this joyous ‘That’s How You Know’ number…

It’s fun and funny for adults and there’s also serious princess stuff there for the little ones. I discovered Amy Adams through this; she plays the princess so brilliantly and is nicely offset by grumpy Patrick Dempsey who slowly thaws (and she learns how to be angry!).


The 2010s- The Hugh Jackman era

So, here we are – the musicals of this present decade! I probably should mention La La Land (2016) here, as it won so very many awards! I felt, however, that that movie was very over-hyped. It was nice enough but the quality of the main actors’ singing and dancing just couldn’t hold a candle to some of the musicals mentioned above. I was underwhelmed. For me, the best musicals of the past 7 odd years have starred Hugh Jackman, so to me this is the Hugh Jackman musical age!

First off, Les Miserables (2012). I have always loved Les Miserables. In the mid 1980s we had a tape at home with all the songs from the London stage musical. I knew all the songs before I even knew the story. I finally saw the musical live in the West End in London in the fall of 2013 which was a dream come true for me! About half a year before that, I saw the 2012 movie musical version with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway in the cinema. I know several people who didn’t like it, but I absolutely loved it!

Les Miserables is set in 19th century France. It’s the story of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who has served 19 years of imprisonment for stealing a loaf of bread. He breaks parole and after that is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russel Crowe). He agrees to take care of a factory worker’s (Anne Hathaway) daughter, Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). Once grown, Cosette falls in love with revolutionary Marius (Eddie Redmayne), while Valjean wants to keep Cosette and himself out of the way of Javert.

Jackman was brilliant, as was Hathaway (she deservedly won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this, I felt) and Eddie Redmayne has this surprising angelic voice. Recently I already shared a clip of Hugh Jackman singing ‘Who am I’, let me share Eddie Redmayne singing ‘Empty Chairs’ here (makes me cry every time!)…

I can’t possibly begin to select songs here to post, I would have to post the whole movie! So, here’s a trailer that gives a nice sampling overview…

I can’t just pick one favourite for this decade, now that the latest Hugh Jackman musical installment is here: The Greatest Showman (2017). I thought it would be a mildly amusing movie to go see, I never expected to love it this much!

The Greatest Showman is a musical inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum (played by Hugh Jackman). Barnum rises from nothing to create the “Greatest Show on Earth,” a spectacle and circus, starring ‘oddities’ like the bearded lady and a dwarf. It is inspired by true events but must certainly not be taken as gospel! It’s basically the fairytale version of Barnum’s life, with a nice message of celebrating difference and inclusion.

I can’t find many clips from the actual movie on YouTube (although you can see the trailer), but I can share a clip of a live performance the cast did of one of the songs…

And the anthem about being OK with who you are and showing yourself as you are, has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Song this year! Here is a clip from the movie, when the Bearded Lady (Keala Settle) sings ‘This Is Me’…

Again, with this movie I love every single song! I have been playing the soundtrack in the car virtually non-stop for all my commutes to work these past few weeks. I’m secretly hoping for the sing-along version to also come to The Netherlands… 😉


So, there you have it, my Mach’ Was musicals through the decades list! I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton of great musicals, so if there are any you feel should not be left unmentioned, feel free to do so in the comments. 🙂

Falling in love with Hugh again…

I have always liked Hugh Jackman, ever since I saw him in Kate and Leopold and in that first X-men movie back in 2000. He’s very much my ‘tall, dark, handsome’ type but while I always really liked him a lot, something held me back a little from absolutely loving him. Maybe it was the Wolverine thing. I really like the X-men movies, I think I’ve seen all of them, including the Wolverine ones, but Jackman was mostly an action star from my perspective and that’s not usually what I go for.

Then I remember seeing him presenting the Oscars in 2009, doing the opening number. I can tell you, I was blown away by that. Up until that point I had no idea he could even do that (silly me, if I had cared to look, I could have found out that he’s won Tonys on Broadway!).

I fell a little bit in love with him that evening. I have rewatched that opening sequence countless times since and I still love it! I started paying a little more attention to Hugh after that but still didn’t watch everything (there were more X-men). Then he did Les Miserables and he blew me away in that too!

He got nominated for an Oscar for the role of Jean Valjean, but alas lost out to Daniel Day Lews in Lincoln. My admiration has been growing for him since then. Then last week, I went to see The Greatest Showman.

Reviews for it have been so-so, I didn’t expect that much. There had been such a hype about La La Land last year and, though alright, I didn’t really like that movie that much. So, with the so-so reviews, I thought this would be in the ‘just OK’ category as well. The movie has Hugh Jackman, however, so my friend and I decided to give it a shot and we were not disappointed! It’s not a true portrayal of P.T. Barnum’s life, it’s rather a fairytale interpretation, but I have to say I loved every second of it! The acting and singing and dancing was great, the music was totally awesome, it was upbeat, happy, had a message of tolerance and inclusion, I left the cinema with a huge smile on my face and Hugh Jackman finally, totally won me over! I am so going to go see this one again… Here’s a video of the final song of Hugh’s in the movie, taped during a private performance to get the filming greenlit…

In a later interview I saw, he said he had popped a few stitches in his nose after doing this performance (he had just had cancerous tissue removed from his nose). Here is another clip from that same session, of the song This Is Me from the movie, which garnered an Oscar nomination yesterday!

Alas, that’s the only nomination this movie got, which I think is a shame (especially compared to La La Land last year!).

After seeing that, I remembered that I hadn’t watched Logan yet, which was released early in 2017 and which is the absolute last movie in which Jackman plays Wolverine. I had heard good things about it, that it was grittier and different from other Wolverine movies, and so I finally watched it last weekend.

OK, so this remains a superhero movie, but my goodness, it really was different! It was more real than any of the other movies ever felt, and yes, gritty. Wolverine is weary and battled and scarred and very touchingly cares for a very old and fragile Professor X (Patrick Stewart being brilliant again) and the young girl that comes into Wolverine’s reluctant care (played by Dafne Keen) is also excellently played! Wow, this really was a great, gritty end to the Wolverine saga, with the message that a life of killing really has it’s price… The screenplay for Logan was nominated for an Oscar yesterday as well, and I think that’s the only Logan nomination, which is really a huge shame! To me, Hugh Jackman should have received his second Oscar nomination for this!

When I think of these two polar opposite roles Hugh plays so extremely well, one right after the other, I have to say that I am blown away by this man’s talent! The man really is being robbed by not being recognized with at least an Oscar nomination for one of these two movies…

While I was catching up on Hugh Jackman movies, I also watched the movie he did in 2016 called Eddie the Eagle where he plays a down on his luck ex-Olympian ski jumper who coaches a hopeful Olympian (based on a true story). In that movie he was excellent as well, in a more supporting role!

In this movie he also reminded me of Richard Armitage more than ever before. Here he is in the movie with sunglasses…

Hugh Jackman Eddie the Eagle

… and here’s Richard with sunglasses…

I can understand how people mix them up!

Oh, and Hugh Jackman has another huge thing going for him: a very happy marriage for over 20 years to his wife Deb, who is 13 years his senior.  He still seems head over heels in love with her (he mentions her constantly, lovingly, in interviews)…

… and adores the two children they adopted together…

This man is maturing so very nicely and doing such great things with his career right now! I’ll be following his projects more closely now and have just started dreaming about seeing him live on Broadway one day… 🙂

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been dropping by to read here over the past year, you all make this blogging thing extra worthwhile! From one of my absolute favourite Christmas movies, let me share this…

… and I am rehashing last year’s Richard Armitage / Colin Firth Christmas greeting again this year, because I like it so much. 🙂

BoE Holiday greeting 2017

Happy after-Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa or anything else you may or may not celebrate! Sending all my love out in the world to you all!