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Lady Bird (2017) – Movie Review of Lady Bird starring Saoirse Ronan

Lady Bird (2017) – Movie Review of Lady Bird starring Saoirse Ronan

Lady Bird – Movie Review

Released : 2017
Director : Greta Gerwig
Writer : Greta Gerwig
Starring : Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts

I had been anticipating the release of Lady Bird for some time now. The trailer looked funny, it seemed to be an interesting film. The last Saoirse Ronan movie I saw was Brooklyn, which was good, but just good. I went to Lady Bird expecting something wow but I have outlined my thoughts on Lady Bird with the review.

Christine McPherson likes to be called “Lady Bird”, it is her given name, given to her by herself.

Lady Bird is the story of Christine’s senior year of high school. It portrays the relationship she has with her mother, her friends, the friends she wants to be best friends with, male friends, her siblings and her dad. It also deals with the fact that she is going to school in a strict catholic educational system, which she seems not to believe in. It is a multi-faceted film as it seems to try and deal with all these relationships at the same time and for me, I think the movie somewhat loses itself in trying to cater for all the people in her life.

Some of the funniest and interesting scenes are those she has with her mother, played by the fantastic Laurie Metcalf (who you may know as being Sheldon Cooper’s mum in The Big Bang Theory). There is a love hate relationship there, with her mum being overly critical while ensuring the family needs are looked after. Lady Bird wants to go to an expensive and sophisticated college on the East Coast such as Yale or Harvard. Her mum thinks she is not good enough and that the expense would be wasted. Perhaps her route might be community college, prison and then back to college, he mum suggests. (At which point Lady Bird decides to leave the moving car…). I would have loved to have seen more of the relationship with the mother.

All during the film Lady Bird is all about trying to achieve greatness as she grows up, but at every attempt you see her mistakes. She chooses the wrong friends, tries the wrong drinks and tells the wrong lies.

The film seems more like a load of scenes put together than a flowing movie with a beginning, middle and end. The story itself does not make for a fantastic movie – it is good, but by no means, a Best Picture candidate. However, I think it will appeal to an audience who can identify with it.  Saoirse Ronan is very good as Lady Bird but I walked away thinking, what was all the hype about the movie – not 5 star but a strong 4 star.

In conclusion, Lady Bird is a very enjoyable movie to go and see. I thought it would not be one which I would watch again – however, having watched the trailer again and having seen the movie, there is something charming about the movie. There are elements to it which are really nice, it is very emotional in parts … so, not all bad !

Lady Bird, Overall Movie Rating : 81% (4/5 stars)


Lady Bird – Official Trailer

2018 Oscar Nominations and my Oscar Tips

2018 Oscar Nominations and my Oscar Tips

The Oscars are coming up soon and there are some hotly tipped movies and actors in the running.

Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” won well at the BAFTAs and has 13 nominations. “Dunkirk” might do well with 8 nominations and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has 7 Oscar nominations. Other movies in the Oscar Nomination list include Lady Bird with Saoirse Ronan, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Get Out, Phantom Thread  and The Post. I have only seen one of the formerly listed movies but this is my list of what I think will Win an Oscar.

The Academy Awards will be hosted by the talented Jimmy Kimmel, a role he will take on for the second time on March 4th.

The Oscar Nominees and my Oscar Tips

Best Picture

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER


Best Actor in a leading role

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” – WNNER
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”


Best Actress in a leading role

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”


Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – WINNER
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” – WINNER
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”


Best Director

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro – WINNER


Best Animated Feature

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson – WINNER
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman


Best Adapted Screenplay

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees – WINNER


Let’s see what happens but some of these categories have close rivals. Get Out could get the Best Director Oscar and also Best Adapted Screenplay could go to Call me by your Name. Although there were not as many blockbusters this year as other years, there are some splendid films. All eyes will be on Hollywood on March 4th.

If you have thoughts on who will win, leave a comment below…

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Movie Review

Released : 2017
Directed by: Martin McDonagh.
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones

The first thing you will probably have heard is that this film is based on true events. Is Three Billboards a true story? Well, the inspiration is true. The director saw a poster calling on police to act on a crime. The story of Three Billboards stemmed from this event.

This is a very powerful movie and the first thing I will say is that if you don’t like swearing in movies, then this is the wrong f*$king movie for you. It is gritty, emotional, uncompromising and all driven by an amazing performance by Frances McDormand.

As the movie starts you see Mildred Hayes (played by Frances McDormand), driving and passing three old unused billboards. The town has been bypassed so the three billboards are decrepit and showing old torn defunct adverts. Mildred’s daughter was killed and the police still have no leads. Mildred thinks that there is no action being taken by the police so she buys the three spots and places her own unique adverts. She erects three adverts on the billboards stating that her daughter was killed and there are still no leads, what will Chief Willoughby do about it? The billboards upset those in the local town especially since everyone knows that the chief of police is suffering from cancer; but Mildred has no sympathy for that. As far as she is concerned, all those who did not take any part in finding her daughters killer are equally culpable for the crime. (…one scene regarding the culpability with Mildred and the local priest is shocking and hilarious at the same time).

There are many sub-plots which bring in emotions of hatred and bigotry in the patrol man played by Sam Rockwell, and comedy in Mildred’s ex-husbands new girlfriend who brings some comic relief at the right times. There is plenty to keep you interested through-out and there were no lulls in the action.

You will find that Three Billboards will give you every emotion from fear and anger to honour and sadness. The characters are amazing in this movie, each bringing something different to this sure to be Oscar winning movie. Frances McDormand has to be up for the best actress award as the strength of the character was amazing. The only thing I did not like about the film was the lack of a conclusive ending. For me, I thought I was going to see a film which would have some closure for Mildred. Some people don’t mind this sort of ending but for me it was not what I wanted at the end.

Overall Review Score : 90%


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Official Trailer

Best Pancake Recipe

Best Pancake Recipe

My Best Pancake Recipe

Pancake day is Tuesday 13th February so if you are looking for the Best Pancake Recipe and the easiest pancake recipe this is it. This pancake recipe has never failed me and I have tried a few.

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of flour
  • Pinch of salt

Simply mix all the ingredients together. Start by mixing the egg and flour and then add the milk. Whisk well and make sure there are no lumps. If possible, let it rest for 30 mins to and hour if you can in the fridge, (not actually necessary but I find it works well for me).

To cook the pancakes use a small amount of butter on a non stick pan. You can use some kitchen roll to mop the excess. Now ladle some mix into the pan. Don’t touch the pancake until you see the little holes appear in the top. The first pancake for me is always a throw-away but I hope this pancake recipe helps.

Pancake Toppings

These are some of my favourite pancake toppings;

  • Sugar and jam
  • Sugar and lemon
  • Nutella
  • Nutella and banana
Novotel Century Hong Kong – Hotel Review of the Novotel Century Hong Kong

Novotel Century Hong Kong – Hotel Review of the Novotel Century Hong Kong

Novotel Century Hong Kong Hotel Review

The Novotel Century Hong Kong is a hotel we stayed in back in 2010 en-route to New Zealand. We decided to return in 2014 based on our past stay there and again this year in December 2017 when we visited for a 7 day stay. This review of the Novotel Century Hong Kong is a culmination of all 3 visits and the things which we liked about this great hotel.

Hotel Review - Novotel Century Hong Kong

Hotel Location

The Novotel Century Hong Kong is located in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island, very near to areas such as Central and on all the major MTR and tram lines. The easily accessible cation of the Novotel Century Hotel is one key advantage. You can walk to the ferry, the MTR or the tram lines in 5-10 minutes. The Neighbourhood is safe and we have often gone for a late night walk when jet lag was affecting us.

Novotel Century Check-in

The checkin process here is always speedy and friendly. The accommodation we had in 2014 was a very nice large room on 17th floor with excellent air conditioning and this year we were in room 1913. Both times the view was towards the inner city nothing to write home about, but it’s not a big issue since you will probably be in the room just to sleep. Hong Kong is so amazing to visit this is not a big deal. The bathroom was good with the best steaming hot power shower you could get. The bathroom and the room was bright and clean with and good products in the bathroom.

Hotel Facilities

In 2014 on the first night we enjoyed a swim in the roof top pool. This is one of the key selling points of the hotel. The pool was great with helping with the effects of a 13 hour flight. The gym is also excellent – visit the InBalance gym and pool via the lift with towels and lockers available. The only issue was, that on our visit this year (2017 and into 2018) the pool closed on January 2nd and we were never told, so we missed out on a swim on this occasion which was a pity.

In 2014 you had to pay for the WiFi, now, it is totally free. The Wifi is speedy and always reliable. I held a few Skype calls to Ireland and they were 100% perfect.  Free Wifi is a must for me in hotels and I was delighted to see that the Novotel Century had this available.

The Novotel Breakfast

The breakfast buffet is stunning, the second key selling point of the Novotel Century – you might just stay here for the breakfast alone. An amazing array of foods from all over the world. Everything from Congee and Dim Sum to fresh fruit and western style breakfast. I always chose the asian steamed dumplings! The breakfast is served from 6am and we were there most days at 6am to enjoy this amazing feast of asian dishes. You could enjoy everything from Shui Mai to Pork Steamed buns. Delicious !

Breakfast at the Novotel Century Hotel Hong Kong

Breakfast at the Novotel Century Hotel Hong Kong

There is also an Italian Restaurant and a bar. However get to the bar before the stated 1am closing time as it should really state that last orders is 12:30 closing at 1am.

Beds are very comfortable and you can be guaranteed a good nights sleep. Sometimes you stay in bed that bit too long as they are ridiculously comfy beds !


Overall the Novotel Century Hong Kong is a lovely hotel within walking distance of MTR and Trams and about 15 mins walk to the Star Ferry terminal.  A really great hotel to stay at if you are visiting Hong Kong.

Novotel Century Hong Kong – Map Location

Below is a map location of the Novotel Century Hong Kong

Novotel Century Hong Kong, Jaffe Road, Hong Kong