Richard and Colin in action

A trailer for Richard Armitage’s Brain on Fire was made available this past week!

No cinema release dates for my end of the woods yet, but it’s a start! There are lovely Richard snippets in the trailer, already immortalized in gifs (source)…

I really hope I can get to see this in a cinema in the not too distant future.

Our Rich has also been tweeting and deleting again. It’s his right, of course, but it gets exhausting to follow… Anyhow, the latest tweet is about the anti-immigration order to the US, which is effectively also an anti-Muslim ban. Yay to Richard for at least leaving this tweet up on his feed (and a pity he deleted the Women’s March one from last week)…

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He followed the tweet by two pictures he also shared last year in his tweets about visiting a refugee shelter in Berlin.

Even he can not stay silent in these divisive times filled with hateful rhetoric. He may want to be overly careful with how he utters his opinions (tweeting and deleting), in certain deleted tweets you can sense how passionate he is about the Brexit and Trump policy issues, but I do see that he sides with values I also hold dear. I am very happy to see that. In honesty, if he had been on the other side of this argument, had he been pro Trump and pro this ridiculous immigration ban, it would have been a dealbreaker for me. I can respect differing political views but all these Trump policies are so against my absolute core beliefs! I can agree to disagree on many issues and still love a person but I can not accept when someone is pro discrimination and easily waves away human and civil rights. Thank goodness he is on the right side of the argument for me and I can still love him. 🙂

Colin Firth hasn’t been sitting quietly in a corner either. He was at the Producer’s Guild of America awards where he received an award for the movie Loving that he produced.

I have seen the movie recently and I love the calmness of it and how it is shown that change can come from very normal people in peaceful and patient resistance. It’s the true story of an interracial couple, very fittingly named Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenge their arrest for their marriage in Virginia. This challenge to racial segregation law led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.

The movie won a PGA award and Colin, as producer, accepted the award. The awards show started with John Legend slamming Trump’s anti-immigration policy and when Colin was up for the Loving award, he said this:

“I am deeply committed to vacuous entertainment, escapist froth; even a casual glance at my career will tell you that. But I think Stanley Kramer has challenged us, really, to use what we do as an instrument for empathy. I would echo the words we heard at the beginning of this evening — Now more than ever, it is vital to find stories that do that. This is for Mildred and Richard Loving, for the ACLU, for everyone who is fighting for their civil rights, and for everyone who’s families are being separated by the discrimination and violence.”  (source)

If I didn’t already love this man, I’d fall in love with him all over again!

Oscars, Blindspot & Berlin refugees

So, last week wasn’t really great for me but despite that, there were a few highlights. A little highlights recap…

First, there were the Oscars. I watch the Oscars live every year, I stay up all night to do so. It’s all nonsense, I know, but I love it. I do this with a friend and this year a new friend of mine joined us as well. We went to my parents’ holiday cottage in the north as the only channel we could watch it on this year wasn’t a Dutch channel but a German satellite channel that we can receive there. My old friend and my new friend didn’t know each other but that didn’t stop the fun, they got on well together. We had a great time! Alas, the Oscars themselves weren’t that eventful…

I enjoyed the Chris Rock opening but after that #OscarsSoWhite was the only topic and frankly, that did get a little old. I prefer not only more diversity at the Oscars, I would also have liked more diversity in presentation jokes. In addition, there were no stand out winners for me, but maybe that’s because quite some of the movies haven’t been in the cinemas here yet. That annoys me, that these newest movies get nominated that no one has had a chance to see yet. But, I was glad to see Leonardo Di Caprio finally win an Oscar (even though I haven’t seen The Revenant yet) and as I had ony just seen Brie Larson the week before in Room, I was very pleased for her as she was excellent in it. Bridge of Spies with Mark Rylance and The Danish Girl with Alicia Vikander I have yet to see but they seem sympathetic wins too.

Oscar winners acting 2016As for the the red carpet… we loved looking at the dresses and commenting from our couch. From what we saw we loved Lady Gaga’s outfit the most (we couldn’t say that for her Oscar nominated song, though – none of the songs were too good, I thought)! We also liked seeing Leo and Kate Winslet together. Aww.

Yep, Oscars were fun, but more due to how much I enjoyed watching it with my friends than due to the show itself…

After Oscar-night I got sick… but the highlight was that Blindspot has started again and I was able to watch it while I was sick! Not only does Jane (Jaimie Alexander) completely intrigue me (and gosh, she’s bad-ass beautiful!), Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) is sympathetically intense and those two just have great, crackling chemistry together. I also just love Patterson the tech-lady, played by Ashley Johnson (screencaps all mine from last week’s 11th episode of season 1)…

Yep, so nice that the show is finally back from it’s hiatus, looking forward to the next episode!

The rest of the week didn’t have that many highlights but the weekend did; it brought tweets by Richard Armitage who was visiting a refugee shelter in Berlin. He also tweeted three pages of text about his experience there (click on images to enlarge)…

This refugee issue is one close to my own heart. I know there are difficulties and I know there are no easy and quick solutions but first and foremost it’s humanitarian action that counts! These people need help and not the hateful backlash I see so much around me now. They aren’t criminals, these are people who have to give up home and hearth and flee under dangerous and uncertain circumstances to find some semblance of a peaceful and good life. I love that Richard has highlighted the humanitarian need and, in his recount, has tried to give the word “refugee” a sympathetic face, like little Lego-Paul and the Cinderella girl. Yep, good on ya, Richard!

So, in the midst of all the sad news and sickness and funerals, I love that there are these positive highlights that can make me happy. I am after all, in general, a glass half-full kinda girl.

Helping refugees in the Netherlands

The way the Germans have been welcoming the refugees recently is so heartwarming to me. Read Silverbluelining’s German blog on her perspective and on what you can do for refugees in Germany.

The Dutch, alas, seem more lukewarm in their response. Here there has been some negativity on letting in more refugees, like recently when a right wing politician here (I won’t mention his name, he does not deserve the attention!) went to a new to be opened refugee shelter in a town in the north to protest the arrival of any refugees. Dutch politicians are generally careful about welcoming refugees, stating ‘we need to do something about the causes’. This is absolutely true of course, but doesn’t help the people who need to flee their homes now! Luckily there are also many supportive voices and there are also initiatives in the Netherlands to help!

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  • And there is also a private intiative where you can offer your house and be a host for a refugee seeking shelter; you can register your willingness to take in a refugee on their website. It is, however, unsure whether this will be a feasible thing to organize (apparently there are also many legal concerns) but the initiators are talking with organizations and (local) authorities to see if this is useful.

I just hope that the euforia you see now about helping people won’t turn into something ugly a year on from now when the sounds of “they are taking away our jobs and houses” and “they are all criminals” start resurfacing. I have been hearing these things for years now, it always makes me sick when all refugees and asylum seekers are thrown into one ugly pot like that…

Anyway, to end on a more positive note: Richard Armitage fans will soon be able to bid on 3 Richard Armitage shrines made by Guylty to help the refugees’ cause! So, in our own way, everyone can do something…