Reviews on Period Dramas in 2014

Period Dramas 2014Happy new year everyone!
It’s time to provide my mini reviews on the 2014 period movies and TV series that I’ve seen so far. All of these can be found in the Period Dramas 2014 list. I’m still catching up on a few others, so you’ll have to check back for the new ones. The current list is listed alphabetically.
  1. Belle – I truly enjoyed this movie, so much that I’d even written two posts on it! This movie on a mixed-race woman growing up as an aristocrat in the 18th Century when slavery had not been abolished was both moving and inspiring.
  2. La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast) – The trailer first captured my attention but I had to wait for it to be released on iTunes before I could watch it. After renting it, I immediately purchased the film so I could watch it again and again. The costumes are opulent, the cinematography stunning, and while the love story is a little rushed (ok, very and pretty confusing), it leaves you delighted and satisfied. Watch it for the costumes and abundance of roses, if nothing else!
  3. The Bletchley Circle S2 – Unlike S1, there are only 4 episodes in this episode, but essentially, only two episodes in two parts each. It was odd not to have Susan (Anna Maxwell Martin) in S2 but it did not take away from the drama or excitement. Sadly, this series was not renewed. A good ‘prequel’ to another codebreaking film, The Imitation Game, which I plan to watch soon.
  4. Bomb Girls – Facing the Enemy – We the Bomb Girls fans hoped against hope that Bomb Girls would be renewed. Instead, we were given a TV movie to ‘end’ the beloved series. It was a pretty heartbreaking film, knowing that the series couldn’t be renewed since some of the characters had died.
  5. Diplomatie – To destroy Paris, or not to destroy, that is the question. In some ways, we can sit back knowing that Paris was never obliterated. This focuses on the conversation between the Swedish diplomat, Raoul Nordling, and German military officer, Dietrich von Choltitz. The latter was later hailed as a ‘saviour’ for defying Hitler’s orders. 5/5
  6. Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond – Overall, I liked it but I just can’t see Dominic Cooper as Bond/Fleming…3/5
  7. Grace of Monaco / Princess Grace – I can see why this film had such negative reviews that it couldn’t even be shown in theatres. (I rented it on iTunes.) At the same time, the film starts off with an announcement to the audience that this is a fictional account based on true events. So as a fictional film, this was fairly inspiring, to see Grace Kelly, played by Nicole Kidman, go from actress to ‘Princess Grace’. Would I recommend it? Only if you like films on royalty and you can forgive inaccuracies.
  8. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Based on the trailer, I had high expectations. I thought it would be a comedy but there were quite a few disturbing scenes that it left me silent at the end of the film.
  9. Houdini – I used to think of him as the Great Houdini but watching this series was like finding out that Santa isn’t the one leaving your presents under the tree. Magic is gone… Still, quite interesting to watch.
  10. The Imitation Game – Truly touching and inspiring film! This movie touched me more because Turing, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, reminded me of a family member. 5/5
  11. The Immigrant – I started watching this on the plane but haven’t found the time to finish it. All I can say is, Marion Cotillard is terrific so far but watching a film on an immigrant being forced into prostitution is hard.
  12. The Invisible Woman – I thought I would like this film but I didn’t end up liking it a lot. Maybe I was simply disappointed with the way things turned out. I also don’t know the history.
  13. Jimmy’s Hall – Set in the 1930’s. If you love Irish accents like I do, you’ll enjoy listening to everyone speak. The fiddles and jazz music will also get you to want to join the crowd in dancing. Sadly, Jimmy was the only Irishman to have ever been deported from Ireland.
  14. Klondike – What a depressing miniseries. I know gold digging was tough back in the day but the ending could have been less depressing. One less death, please.
  15. Magic in the Moonlight – You’ll see Colin Firth doing a Yellowface but that’s because it’s set in 1920’s Britain and period dramas do have to be accurately racist, in my opinion (otherwise it’s just too fictional). It’s a cute story but overall, I could have skipped it. [rating=3]
  16. Marco Polo S1 – I’ve only seen the first episode so far but once I have time, I plan on continuing with the rest of the series. The opening scene is gruesome but it’s been fascinating to watch a series on Marco Polo and Kublai Khan!
  17. Mr Selfridge S2 – I love Mr Selfridge but I can tell you that there were times when I thought that S2 was not going well for my favourite couple, Henri and Agnes. I can tell you that I had a huge silly grin on my face when I watched the finale!
  18. Mr. Turner – I thought I would like this film but I didn’t because I didn’t like Timothy Spall’s character, the painter, J.M.W. Turner. 3/5
  19. Murdoch Mysteries S7 & 8 – S7 left Jilliam fans singing for joy but also left everyone worrying to death if a character was going to make it or not. We’re still in the middle of S8 but it’s been going terribly well so far!
  20. The Musketeers S1 – It took me a while to get over the modernised costumes (what’s wrong with the traditional blue ones of the musketeers?), but I warmed up to the characters afterwards. 4.5/5
  21. Outlander S1 (Pt 1) – I managed to finish the novel before the series started and I’ve been very happy with it so far. If you haven’t watched Outlander yet, you should!
  22. Peaky Blinders S2 – More violent scenes that you should fast forward, as usual. Suddenly, Thomas Shelby doesn’t look so invincible but you still admire him in some ways. I really can’t wait for S3 which will come out in 2016! 4.5/5
  23. A Promise – This is the third film that turned out to be a disappointment. It has a happy ending but the filming was just strange. Sometimes the camera focused in and out all within seconds, and sometimes without reason. It could have been better.
  24. Serena – I didn’t watch this movie in full but best actress award clearly goes to Jennifer Lawrence.
  25. Strange Empire – I’ve only seen snippets of this CBC series but it’s not quite my cup of tea so I haven’t bothered watching a full episode.
  26. Velvet S2 – I barely continued watching the rest of S1 and from what I’ve seen from parts of S2, I’m not happy that the two lovebirds are still not together. 🙁
  27. When Calls the Heart S1 – What a very cute Hallmark series set in Western Canada! I can’t wait for the second series as it gives me butterflies almost every time I see Elizabeth and Jack together.
  28. Winter’s Tale – The fourth disappointing film. I couldn’t understand what was going on the entire time and I think it would have been rather depressing to watch on Valentine’s Day… even though it has a happy ending.

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