Movies, Reviews, Showbiz

“The Sapphires” Irish Premiere | Jamie Tuohy

On Tuesday night (Oct. 16), I headed along to the Savoy cinema for the Irish premiere of Chris O’Dowd’s latest movie, The Sapphires. The man himself was in attendance and appeared on the appropriately-hued blue carpet alongside his gorgeous wife, TV presenter Dawn Porter.

Joining O’Dowd for the Irish premiere were his co-stars in the movie, Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Shebbens. Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman also made an appearance and Mauboy treated the waiting public to a selection of songs from the film’s soundtrack and O’Dowd joined in for some suspicious singing and good-humoured finger clicking.

The Sapphires, which is a true story and set in 1968, tells the story of how four Aboriginal girls overcame the prejudices held against them and seized the opportunity to perform for the troops fighting in Vietnam.

At a local singing competition, the talent of three sisters, Gail, Julie and Cynthia is recognised by Dave (O’Dowd) and after recruiting their reluctant cousin Kay; they subsequently form a band called The Sapphires, which O’Dowd manages.

As Australia’s answer to The Supremes, the girls’ first gig is to entertain the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and each sister’s personal journey is told beautifully and poignantly in this wonderful film.

O’Dowd shines as the cheeky Irish chancer with a heart, but Miranda Tapsell, who plays the part of Cynthia, steals the show with her humorous and blindingly positive outlook on life, despite being in the middle of a warzone. One particular profanity-ridden line had the theatre in convulsions last night, as her hilarity punctuates the film and serves as a nice counterbalance to The Sapphires’ more tender and emotionally evocative moments.

O’Dowd described the movie as “similar to The Commitments in that there is singing in it”, but explained that “it’s not as funny, and deliberately so. There is much darker stuff going on.”

The Sapphires is released on 7th November and it’s a definite must-see! 

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Men's Fashion, Movies, Showbiz

Has Jude Law had a hair transplant? | Jamie Tuohy

What do Jude Law and Wayne Rooney have in common? Well, the first answer that springs to mind might be cheating scandals, but even more suspiciously, it is their ever expanding hairlines that unite these two binary opposites.

Yes, Jude Law seems to be following the footballer’s follicular exploits, as he was sporting lustrous and thick locks at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The 39-year-old actor was in town to promote his new movie Anna Karenina and despite the movie boasting a stellar cast of Hollywood’s brightest young actors and actresses; it was Jude’s new mane that had everyone talking. I’m sure Tolstoy would be thrilled.

Law plays Alexei, Anna Karenina’s (Keira Knightly) humourless, lacklustre and sombre spouse in this movie adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s 1877 novel. The actor was made to look ‘ugly’ for his part, but as he walked the red carpet, he was back to his dapper self in a three-piece, slim-fit suit.

However, Jude made no comment about his fuller head of hair, despite the fact that his bald spot has visibly increased since his last public outing.

One is not fooled, Mr Law.

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Movies, Showbiz

Fassbender and Gleeson confirmed to star in “Frank” | Jamie Tuohy

Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson are set to star in Lenny Abrahamson’s comedy movie Frank.

Frank is about a wannabe musician (Gleeson) who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when joining an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Fassbender).

The movie will be co-financed by Film4 and the Irish Film Board and will be sold to foreign buyers at the Toronto Film Festival, which begins in two days’ time (September 4).

Producer Ed Guiney of Element Pictures says, “Frank is a wonderfully funny script which brings together Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Lenny Abrahamson – three of the most exciting Irish talents working in cinema today.”

Fassbender has become one of Ireland’s most successful movie actors, dominating Hollywood with performances in movies such as Prometheus and Shame and Gleeson is well on his way to becoming a big screen star, with a plethora of big-role titles under his belt, including the recently released Shadow Dancer and the forthcoming big screen adaptation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

Watch this space!

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I cannot wait to see The Words.

This movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and stars Bradley Cooper, as a writer (again) tells the story Rory Jansen, who becomes an award-winning author after finding an unclaimed manuscript and publishing the work as his own novel. When accepting the award, he admits that he doesn’t have an idea of what to write for his second novel, but lives in blissful denial, nonetheless. However, his luck changes when he meets the Old Man, played by Jeremy Irons, who is the novel’s true author. Zoe Sultana Saldana co-stars as Cooper’s wife and Cooper has executively produced this literary tale, which features stories within stories.

It hits the big screen in the coming months.

Books, Men's Fashion, Movies, Showbiz, Television

A licence for a Killer Style: A Homage to James Bond’s Style | Jamie Tuohy

Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

A list of names that is synonymous with one man – James Bond. Since its inception back in 1953, by author Ian Fleming, the James Bond franchise has gone on to become an internationally recognised powerhouse industry, moulding actors into generation-defining icons, creating the famous Bond girl and permitting every guy to ask for his drink shaken, not stirred. For the last 50 years, the 007 agent has been outfoxing, outwitting and overpowering his enemies, all the while racking up a mind-boggling amount of beautiful notches on his bedpost. Incredibly suave, charming and intelligent, it’s no surprise that Mr Bond has become an aspirational figure for guys all over the world. While his globe-trotting and death-defying antics might not be attainable for the general majority of the male species, the spy’s sartorial style is certainly something we can all learn from. As well as trumping his opponents in every aspect of international espionage, James Bond has outdressed everyone from Dr. Julius No to Auric Goldfinger, all the while operating on a licence to kill. 

When creating the character of Bond, it is believed that Ian Fleming chose an “anonymous, pared down version of his own wardrobe” and while, over the years various stylists and directors have helped to mould Bond’s look, it is from Fleming’s iconic template they work. Fleming himself was an impeccable dresser, if not slightly more lavish than his most famous protagonist. He chose ‘off-Row’ tailors [tailors just off Savile Row] for his own attire, but James Bond’s tailors are never revealed in any one of Fleming’s books. The author has admitted that this often posed a problem, as it often became hard to reconcile his jet-setting character with reality. However, this is what makes Bond such an aspirational figure and readers and viewers alike are willing to suspend disbelief when Bond grapples with villains and emerges suavely unscathed, with mere scratches on his bespoke suit.

When Sean Connery appeared in Dr. No wearing a pared down, single-breasted grey suit, he set the stylish benchmark for the character’s dapper apparel. The suit was designed by Anthony Sinclair, and the suit became known as the ‘Conduit Cut’ (as his studio was on Conduit St). Bond makes no reference to his suit’s origins, other than to say it is from Savile Row, and from Connery to Craig, the classic look which was established in Dr. No has remained as constant as his Bond-girl dalliances.

It’s hard not to describe Bond’s style in generic, overused adjectives – his look is classic, iconic and timeless, but it deserves so much more than such a regurgitated, clichéd description. It’s difficult to think of a more stylish male character in literature or film and there certainly hasn’t been one who embodies Bond’s endless charm and predilection for thrill-seeking. His clothes are a reflection of his lifestyle – they are made to suit and reflect him. From Russian rumblings to Caribbean canoodling, James Bond’s clothing is always suitable to the occasion.

                              

Over the years, directors have been conscious of era and as the decades have progressed, Bond’s style has simultaneously evolved, whilst still adhering to Fleming’s original vision. Earlier movies saw the likes of Connery and Moore essentially wearing suits exclusively, but as the franchise moved into the 21st century, actors such as Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig brought a touch of new-world charm to the spy’s look. Of course, Connery was never shy of donning a pair of chinos when the occasion demanded it, but recently, Bond’s look has seen him incorporating well-fitting jeans and a smart polo shirt alongside the trusted tuxedo made famous by Connery. Proving that Bond can do casual, no one will ever forget Daniel Craig’s infamous speedo scene in Casino Royale. This aspect of his look might not be the kind of thing us Irish holiday-makers will sport during our summer getaway, but his loose-fitting linen suits in the Bahamas are an excellent lesson in appropriate dressing for an occasion.

As well as a successful career in international espionage and womanising, James Bond can add ‘style icon’ to his list of achievements. With 50 years of style and espial dominance under his belt, the 007 secret-agent has well and truly earned that Martini. Shaken, not stirred…of course.

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Movies, Reviews, Showbiz

Review: Katy Perry: Part of Me – Jamie Tuohy

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Okay, I may be en retard to the party with this review, but unfortunately, the tardiness was beyond my control and not a manifestation of my laziness. Katy Perry’s new 3D documentary film Part of Me only reached the remote and distant shores of Co. Clare yesterday, July 13 – a whopping 8 days after the flick went on general release in the rest of Ireland. To add insult to injury, the late arrival was also deprived of the ubiquitous three-dimensional aspect which was promoted so heavily as a key feature of the film. However, a little dismayed with the fact that I wasn’t going to get virtually sprayed with cotton candy by Katy Perry, I vowed to leave my preconceptions and disappointments at the cinema door and enjoy the lavish cinematic extravaganza promised by the film’s trailers.

There’s no denying it – this is an easy movie to have preconceptions about. It is a concert movie, which immediately stirs up images of Justin Bieber or Hannah Montana related self-promotion, indulgence and appreciation. It’s a movie which will thrill Perry fans, with her career trajectory punctuated by impressive statistics, with the most memorable being Katy’s record for being the only artist in history, bar Michael Jackson, to achieve 5 number 1 singles from one album. The movie is dedicated to Katy’s fans, and undoubtedly, her “KatyCats” will view her arrival as Messianic, with inspiring and perhaps generic lines such as “this is my childhood dream come true” and “be yourself, everyone else is taken”  reminding everyone that she’s just a small town girl who hit the big time. How wonderful?! However, while critics will be weary of Perry-brand promotion, it’s hard not to warm to the singer’s honesty and hardworking nature.

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Katy at the Hollywood premiere of Katy Perry: Part of Me

It’s most likely that the “part of me” on offer to viewers has been managed by a team behind the star, but with inclusions of touching family moments with her grandmother, to the moment her marriage to Russell Brand breaks down, the film is an honest depiction of Perry’s life. Well, as honest as you can be in Hollywood. Russell makes a brief appearance in the documentary and from watching it, we’re given the impression that his lack of appearance was one of the reasons her marriage broke down. When she has days off from her rigorous tour schedule, Perry flies from Europe to America to be with her husband for a few days, but he is rarely present or seen to make an effort to fly to her. If we’re basing it on the movie, the “irreconcilable differences” which caused their split came from Russell’s lack of commitment and Katy’s reluctance to settle down and start a family.

Indeed, Perry says that she isn’t ready to have a baby because she is still a baby herself. When one child asks her if she’s really 27, Katy ensures him that she is, but one of the most heart-warming aspects of the documentary is the child-like disposition of its star. From her strict Christian upbringing in Santa Barbara, to her failed earlier attempts at stardom from the age of 15, Part of Me embodies what it means to believe in your childhood dream. It may appear clichéd, but Perry lends it credibility. She’s incredibly grateful for what she has, and what else could she be living; only a dream come true? Cliché or otherwise. From the age of 15 to her more recent years, the singer has suffered rejection, sought rebellion and found success. Behind the blue wig and cotton candy California Gurl lays a staunchly ambitious young woman who has become a canny marketer and knows exactly how to achieve her goals.

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Katy is seen doubled over, moments before she goes on stage, following the realisation of her break-up

She wanted to become a star and she became one of the world’s biggest popstars, but even Katy admits that her success has come at a price. In the documentary, she confesses that she thought she’d never have to choose between a career and a relationship, but found that her belief was only a fairy-tale. One of the most touching and powerful moments in Part of Me comes when Perry has an emotional breakdown just before she goes on stage in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after she finally realises her marriage has ended. As she lies in the make-up chair, Katy is inconsolable and sobs hysterically. Even after deciding the show must go on, she is doubled over in floods of tears, as she makes her way to the stage. Perry’s most insightful scene into her life arises as she waits in the trap box to ascend onto the stage – a young woman whose marriage has collapsed, about to face her biggest audience yet. As the music begins to play, Katy wipes away the tears, the propellers on her boobs start to rotate and she puts on a dazzlingly bright smile to wow the audience, who are completely unaware of her personal torment. She becomes Katy Perry, the superstar.

And she is a superstar – at the age of 27, she has set records which the Beatles or Elvis failed to achieve and the film offers an honest depiction of the star’s life – humanising one of the world’s most famous celebrities. Her overnight success took nearly 10 years to achieve and I came away from the cinema feeling that Katy Perry deserves every minute of the recognition and praise she has worked so hard for.

4.5/5.

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