Disney’s Frozen Dazzles and Delights

ImageAbout this time every year, all the good movies flood theatres after the long summer and fall drought. After months of not wanting to see anything, my list now seems infinite—Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit, The Wolf of Wall Street, Catching Fire, August: Osage County, American Hustle. Disney’s latest animated feature, Frozen, was not on my list. Don’t get me wrong, I love animation, but after Brave (which lacked depth and continuity), I thought Frozen would be a renter. However, I leaped at the chance to see it when my sister said it would be her treat.

Let me cut to the chase—If Frozen is not on the top of your list, it should be. Run, don’t walk, to see it. Why? Continue reading “Disney’s Frozen Dazzles and Delights”

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Stellar Seattle Opera in the Daughter of the Regiment

2022091554The Seattle Opera presents Gaetano Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment—now playing at McCaw Hall until November 2nd. With rousing tunes, well-timed humor, and lovable characters, Daughter delights from start to finish.

Performed entirely in French with English subtitles, it follows Marie, an orphan raised by Napoleon’s 21st Regiment. Surrounded by her 1500 protective fathers, hilarity ensues when peasant, Tonio, attempts to woo Marie. The laughs only continue as Marie finds herself having to be prim and proper upon reunion with her long lost “aunt.” The vocal acrobatics of Sarah Coburn (Marie) and Lawrence Brownlee (Tonio) are truly impressive throughout. Chills tickled my spine every other note. Oh, and be sure to watch out for an especially chipper manservant who steals the show in Act II.

Continue reading “Stellar Seattle Opera in the Daughter of the Regiment”

Find the Right Path with Pocahontas

PocahontasandJohn.jpgI knew it at eight years old and I know it today—Pocahontas rocks!  As a kid I loved her because she rode in a canoe, climbed and talked to trees, had a pet raccoon, and followed her heart. Today I love her for all those reasons and then some. Not only is the 1995 Disney film artistically stunning, but its heroine actually shows viewers the importance of independence, intuition, and moral courage while the movie as a whole illustrates a sense of identity that extends beyond finding one’s “other half.”

Unfortunately, its profundity is undermined by its packaging. Pocahontas’s busty and leggy appearance does nothing to showcase the deeper themes of the film but rather draws attention to the importance of feminine physique. The lingering close up of her face when she meets John Smith further enforces the value of a woman’s exotic beauty in the eyes of a man as opposed to her character. Still, there’s much to celebrate about this flick so let’s take a look! Continue reading “Find the Right Path with Pocahontas”

Permission to Admire Yourself GRANTED!

I crunched on a deliciously salty tortilla chip covered in fresh, spicey salsa and thought about how I shouldn’t be eating it. I had had a big lunch and really wasn’t that hungry for dinner, but I love Mexican food… I kept crunching and looked across the table at my date… my mom! Her day had been spent thinking about our upcoming move, her church activities, her daughters, and work. We sat in silence for a while (except for the chip crunching of course) before I asked:

“Mom, what do you admire most about yourself?” Continue reading “Permission to Admire Yourself GRANTED!”

The Oscars: A Night of Profound Beauty

oscars-2013It’s the night many of us wait for all year. It’s a night dedicated to art in some of it’s highest forms. Whether you tune in to admire the art of fashion, cinematography, music, or animation, the Oscars have something that speaks to each one of us. It gives us the opportunity to celebrate all the varied and higher beauties of this life. International author and religious leader Mary Baker Eddy says, “My sense of the beauty of the universe is, that beauty typifies holiness, and is something to be desired.” Tonight’s Academy Awards are about more than glitz and glamour, the event is a representation of beauty, including dedication, diligence, and passion, that characterizes holiness. Continue reading “The Oscars: A Night of Profound Beauty”

The Hobbit: Satisfaction Guaranteed

TheHobbit-Bilbo1Sht-Dom-RGB-1600x2366-jpg_183208I was totally stoked when I heard Peter Jackson planned to make The Hobbit! Now, almost a year later, the prequel to the beloved Lord of the Rings trilogy has finally arrived. It’s the first of another trilogy that follows young hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he leaves his comfortable home in The Shire for a dwarf and danger filled adventure to the Lonely Mountain. According to a recent trailer, critics already call it a “visually stunning” “movie of the year.”

Any LOTR fan knows it requires a solid commitment between backside and chair to finish one of the three-hour installments. The Hobbit is no different. I’ll confess right away, The Hobbit was noticeably three hours (or darn near three hours). Some moments called for dramatic shifting in my seat or cramming ropes of red licorice in my mouth to keep alert. Despite this, the commitment is worth the while. The acting was strong, the score beautiful, the cinematography dazzling, and the script pleasantly peppered with humor. Continue reading “The Hobbit: Satisfaction Guaranteed”

Les Misérables: A Miserable Failure

imagesTo say I’ve been excited to see the movie version of Les Misérables is an understatement. Ever since I saw the trailer about a year ago, I’ve been giddy with anticipation. As a choir nerd from elementary school to college I sang tons of Les Mis medleys, and I finally saw it live at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre over the summer. So I was ready to revel in its cinematic glory.

Well, with disappointment after disappointment, where do I even start? Director Tom Hooper decided to record vocals live instead of prerecording them, giving the actors freedom to match their singing to the spontaneity of their acting. Apparently, “freedom” meant freedom to rewrite the music. Between the flat and nasally notes, croaking, choking, and slurring of words it was hard to recognize the profound beauty of Claude-Michel Schönberg’s original score. Of course, all this was done in the name of “authenticity” and “raw” emotion. The thing is, the music itself conveys such depth of emotion all it needs is the proper musicality to deliver it. Instead, the film left me floundering in a sea of unnecessary overacting. Continue reading “Les Misérables: A Miserable Failure”