Blade Runner Live.

Hello everyone. I have been one lucky lady lately as I have been doing so much and I’ve been getting the opportunity to enjoy the arts more and more. 

If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you know that I am just back from London. I had an amazing trip. I did so much. I did lots of sightseeing and I ate lovely food and drank fabulous drinks and I went to see Matilda the musical and I had the best time exploring Fleet Street. I have already shared a few pictures on Instagram, but I will be sharing more so keep an eye out for that, and I will be writing a much more in depth discussion about my trip as it was filled with things that made my literature loving heart very happy. 

There will be a #theatretrip post coming up soon about the brilliant Matilda the musical. 

For now, I am back in Dublin and I am very busy. I do have some exciting news that I am just waiting on permission to share so stay tuned. 

I was at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on Sunday evening to see Blade Runner Live. 

It was an amazing evening. I absolutely love hearing an orchestra play live, I don’t think there is anything quite like it. I also think it is brilliant to see the musicians on stage as this doesn’t always happen in musicals, the musicians are very often in the orchestra pit so while we hear the beautiful music, we don’t always get to see the talented people who are playing. 

Blade Runner is a brilliant movie. We saw the director’s cut version starring Harrison Ford. 

The movie is based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I studied this text in my first year of my BA which feels like such a long time ago now, even though it really isn’t, but I was not expecting to like this text as much as I did and I really loved the movie. 

If you are not aware of the plot, the central idea is that there are humans and replicants and Rick Deckard is tasked with hunting and killing the “non-human” replicants. The replicants are designed to look like humans, however they are deemed to not feel the way that humans feel, however as one watches the movie, this idea can be debated. 

I think the key theme of this movie revolves around the idea of questioning what makes one human? What makes me the person that I am? Am I made up of experiences and memories? 

I also think that the story highlights the importance of having empathy in society. 

I don’t wish to give away any spoilers, but there are moments in this movie where the supposedly unfeeling replicants show more empathy than the human characters. There is one specific scene that I think of when I say this, if you’ve seen the movie then you likely know which scene I am alluding to, and if you have not seen the movie then I suggest watching it, and it should become clear which moment I am talking about. 

The movie has a beautiful score and it was amazing to hear it played live by the orchestra. 

I have a few more exciting theatre trips coming up and I will be writing about all of them. 

Have you seen Blade Runner? 

Kate xo.

Spielberg’s Take on West Side Story

Hello everyone. Welcome back to #moviemonday. A few weeks ago I talked about the 1960 adaptation of West Side Story and I said that eventually I would talk about the Spielberg adaptation of the movie. 

The Spielberg adaptation of West Side Story is available to watch on Disney plus (unfortunately I didn’t make it to the cinema to see this movie even though I really wanted to), so I finally got to sit down and enjoy this movie. Usually I’m really bad at waiting to see the movie. I’ll read about a movie or I’ll watch clips online because spoilers have never bothered me, but this time I’ve been really good. I didn’t watch anything except the trailer so today I am giving my honest thoughts after watching the Speilberg take on the classic West Side Story for the first time. 

Let’s dive in. 

As I am writing this discussion, I don’t have a favourite version, but perhaps by the time I finish my discussion, my thoughts will be different. 

This discussion will be slightly different from my usual Movie Monday discussions as instead of using my usual structure of plot, characters, themes and structure, I’m going to talk about Spielberg’s style because I’ve already talked about the characters and themes of this movie in my discussion of the 1960 adaptation of West Side Story and the movie’s characters and the themes have obviously stayed the same, although I will say that I definitely prefer the Maria and Tony in the 1960 adaptation. 

I think that there are two things that stand out when one is watching a movie directed by Speilberg. The first being the fact that I think his directing style is very physical as actors will move through a scene so it is clear that Spielberg spends time doing a lot of physical blocking, and the second being that he often uses many shots in one by changing compositions and having varying shot sizes. This makes for a more dynamic scene because it keeps viewers engaged and it holds our attention and it keeps things from becoming dull. Having actors move through a scene is a very engaging technique as well because when an actor is using their entire body in a scene, when they are physically taking up space and using it well, it can be very impactful. There is a fluidity to Speilberg movies that make them visually really satisfying to watch and his take on West Side Story is no different. 

I think that the social mixer at the gym is a great example of his use of many shots. There are so many shots in this scene, you can’t help but be an engaged viewer. It’s fast, it’s loud, it’s bright, there is tension in the room between the Jets and the Sharks, everyone is dancing, trying to show off, the choreography is slick, and there are so many shots that it feels as though you’re in the hall too as opposed to just watching. It is a brilliant scene that is full of life and then things slow down when Tony and Maria meet for the first time. They dance behind the bleachers, their choreography is not explosive or slick, it’s slower, it’s more intimate, it’s almost wistful because the two are stunned almost by each other, it’s actually a very theatrical moment. 

The two standouts for me were Ariana DeBose as Anita and Mike Faist as Riff. 

Anita has always been my favourite character in the movie and I think she always will be. 

I really enjoyed Ariana DeBose’s take on America. She was beautiful, she was passionate, she was electric, the costuming was beautiful. She played the part with such energy and she was flirty and confident yet there were moments when Anita’s anger was just perfectly portrayed. 

Riff was brilliant. Riff is one of those characters who has to be played right, because he is awful. He is ignorant, he is racist, he is also very misunderstood, this life and this attitude is all he knows, the Jets are all he has, and in his mind, he is doing the right thing, he is defending the Jets and defending their territory and I think there should always been an underlying sadness when it comes to Riff. He could have been so much more, he could have straightened out if he wanted to, he could have gotten out, but he chose not to, he chose violence, he chose ignorance, he chose hate, and yet when a gun is held to his head and he says “Shoot. You might as well.” (Paraphrased.), this moment should be moving. This moment tells audiences everything you need to know about how Riff truly feels about himself and Mike Faist delivered this line so well. I believed him as Riff. I hated his ignorance, I was angry about his racism, I was frustrated by his choices, as I should be, that is the point. I don’t even think I mentioned Riff in my last discussion and I should have because he’s such a complex character and this time, he is the character who caught my attention the most. 

The choreography was stunning. I loved it. Something that I really love about both the 1960 adaptation and this one is the fact that the stage musical is not entirely lost. The big, elaborate, beautifully dynamic dance numbers are larger than life the way they would be on a stage and I just love that. My favourite performances were America and Cool. 

America is the most colourful, alive part of the movie. It’s fast, it’s bright, it’s joyful, it’s wishful, and I think this is a number where dancers get to shine. It was brilliant to watch as it should be. 

Cool is slick. Cool is precise. Cool is an elaborate number on a smaller scale. It’s meticulously choreographed. The movements are so smooth and every step with the gun is so intentional. The beats are so important. I can imagine that rehearsing this took a lot of time because the timing of Cool is so crucial. It’s about the back and forth, who has the gun? Who is holding it? Where is it going next? It’s tense because when we watch we don’t want it to go off, yet the number is slick, and tight, and so smooth and pardon the pun, but it’s so cool. Riff comes off like he’s cooler than anyone ever, and it is brilliant. 

Overall I think the 1960 adaptation will always be my favourite, just because it was the version I saw first when I was young and I loved it so much, and although I felt Spielberg’s directing was great and the lighting and choreography was beautiful, I just didn’t feel that same magic I feel whenever I watch the 1960 version. Maybe that’s my own nostalgia, but sometimes things just can’t be topped, they can be rivalled, they can be equalled, but they can’t always be topped. 

This has been Movie Monday. I hope you enjoyed it. 

I know I’ve been absent for a while but I am excited to be publishing discussions again. 

I hope you all have a great week and I will be back with another #theorythursday discussion this week. Stay tuned. 

Kate xo. 

Emma (2020).

Hello everyone. Happy Monday. Happy Valentine’s Day. I know that some people don’t care about Valentine’s Day and that’s absolutely fine. I’m kind of indifferent about the day. I think it’s sweet if you choose to celebrate it with someone special or with friends, but I also don’t feel the need to go out of my way to mark the day, so to those of you who do love Valentine’s Day, I hope you have had a good one and that you enjoyed however you chose to celebrate. 

With all of that being said, let’s dive into this week’s #moviemonday discussion. 

Today I am talking about the 2020 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. The movie was released in February of 2020 and it was directed by Autumn de Wilde. 


The movie is based on Austen’s novel, which is a story about romantic misunderstandings all fuelled and orchestrated by the overconfident Emma. Emma is wealthy, beautiful, determined, headstrong, and overconfident in abilities of matchmaking. Throughout the novel, and the movie, Emma meddles in the lives of those around her, not realising the damage she is doing until it’s already done. 

The movie’s entire plot begins when Emma’s governess Miss Taylor gets married, leaving Emma to find a new companion. Emma finds a new companion in Harriet Smith, and when Emma can’t help herself from meddling in Harriet’s proposal, this is the beginning of a series of romantic misunderstandings between different couples, all because of Emma’s overconfident meddling. 

In the midst of all the confusion, Emma herself finds love. 


Emma Woodhouse is of course the movie’s main protagonist, although people may find her unlikable. Jane Austen famously said that when she was writing Emma, she was creating a heroine that may not be liked by anyone but herself. Emma’s likability is up to interpretation, and each viewer will respond to her differently. Emma frustrates me but I do not actively dislike her, and I appreciate the arc she has in the story. 

There is a large ensemble cast in this movie. We meet many characters. Harriet Smith, Emma’s new companion, the first of her meddling victims. We meet Mr. Knightly, I would argue he is the male protagonist. He is the one who gives Emma a reality check about her behaviour, and he eventually becomes her love interest. 

Jane Fairfax is the one character whom Emma is jealous of, although she really doesn’t have any reason to be jealous as she is better off in nearly every way. I love Jane’s character, especially in the novel. Jane was orphaned at a young age, and although she was cared for by caring family members, and although she is beautiful, elegant, and very well accomplished – a fact that bothers Emma, Jane is destined to become a governess which is an interesting station in life. I will touch on this more at another time, because the concept is also discussed in Jane Eyre. A governess was a strange sort of in-between station in life, as one was more educated than a regular servant, but they still were not equal with the pupils they were teaching. Emma is of higher social status than Jane. She has much more financial security, and more comfortable prospects. 

I think what makes Jane so interesting to me is that she is the complete opposite to Emma regarding how she behaves romantically. It is interesting that in the book she can come across a tad cold, or quiet at social events, but it is important to remember that we are seeing Jane through Emma’s eyes, and Emma is jealous of her. The fact that she is the only person Emma envies is very interesting to me, and unlike Emma, she keeps her love life, particularly her engagement to Frank Churchill, a secret.They had to keep their engagement a secret, because his wealthy aunt did not approve, but when she dies, they are free to share their love and marry at last. 

I’ve focused a lot on Jane here and that is because some have argued that she could be described as a secondary heroine and I would have to agree. 


There are various themes that are presented in Emma. Many of Austen’s novels discuss the idea of social class and class differences, and Emma is no different. The movie’s major theme is the idea of what marriage means for one’s social status as the plot centres on so many relationships. The story shines a light on how important marriage was for women in that time period as having a good match could make or break you. Miss Bates in my opinion, is the character who demonstrates just how important marriage was to one’s social status in that time period, because without a husband to care for her and her mother, they are facing poverty. 

I think that one could interpret Emma as a cautionary tale about arrogance. Emma is a headstrong character. Emma is extremely overconfident about her matchmaking abilities and she takes it upon herself to meddle in everyone else’s lives without thinking about anyone else’s feelings or the ramifications of her actions. Emma is wealthy and she is in a very privileged position in life, she has great prospects as it is very likely that she will marry well, even though despite her matchmaking interests, she does not really spend too much time thinking about her own love life. 

When Emma convinces Harriet to turn down a proposal, the action that kicks off the rest of the plot, Emma does not ever seem to realise that she has severely impacted Harriet’s life. Harriet is not of the same status, she does have the options that Emma does, and so Emma had no right to mess in her affairs. 

The idea of one’s imagination running wild is also a major theme of Emma. Emma gets ideas about the people in her life into her head and then she manipulates situations and people so that things play out the way she wants them too. She believes that Mr. Elton has feelings for Harriet for example and likewise, Emma does not speak highly of Jane because she is jealous of her, so all of these perceptions and misunderstandings largely stem from Emma’s ideas about these people in her head. She’s so wrapped up in her own thoughts about what would amuse her, she never stops to think about the practicalities. 

Seeing as it is Valentine’s Day, I suppose that one could interpret the piece as an example of true love conquering all, because despite all of these misunderstandings and despite all of Emma’s meddling, things tend to end up as they are supposed to, and everyone ends up belonging with the person that they have true feelings for. I think that one could suggest that this shows the impact of love. This piece explores the idea that your love for another person will always win in the end. This is an idea that I feel is very much of the romantic era of literature, as there is this idea presented that love offers clarity despite all odds. 


The 2020 adaptation of Emma is just over two hours long, and I think that this may feel a tad long, but then again, the idea of multiple misunderstandings in one plot is always going to feel somewhat tedious no matter how well the story is told as naturally all of the miscommunication gets frustrating. I think that you need this time frame though because there are so many characters and they all play an important role in the story, because in order for all the pieces to come together at the end, and for the clarity to form, first we must have the confusion that Emma causes in the most frustratingly charming way. The story is compelling and the cast did a brilliant job so I like the movie’s pacing and length even though it is a tad long. 

Final Thoughts. 

I enjoyed this adaptation. I enjoy Emma in its many forms. I would highly recommend watching this movie. It’s fun. It’s great if you enjoy period pieces. The costumes were stunning, and the story is compelling even though at times it is frustrating – but that is all part of Emma’s charm.

This has been Movie Monday. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

Kate xo.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (1961).

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #moviemonday. Today I am discussing the movie adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring the lovely Audrey Hepburn. I have discussed Truman Capote’s famous novella and if you’re interested in checking that out then you will find it in my Book Of The Month category. 

I stated in my book discussion that the book and the movie are extremely different and seeing as we are approaching Valentine’s Day, I thought that this movie would be a good choice as it is quite charming and includes an iconic kissing in the rain scene, a trope that one naturally associates with romantic/romantic comedy movies. 

So let’s dive into Movie Monday. 

This movie was released in 1961 and it was directed by Blake Edwards. 


The plot is the same as it is in the book although there are sections that are glossed over and some of the jarringly offensive language was thankfully left out. Mistakes were still made, if you’re familiar with the movie then you’ll know exactly which casting choice I am referring to. It’s safe to say that the same thing would hopefully not happen if this movie was made in 2022, but in the 60s, standards were different and certain things that thankfully aren’t acceptable today were back then. 

The plot follows Paul, an aspiring writer who moves into a New York brownstone and meets the mysterious and charming Holly Golightly, who calls him “Fred”. Holly’s chaotic yet intriguing lifestyle inspires “Fred” and the more he gets to know her (or not know her), the more intrigued and charmed he becomes and overtime he falls for her although Holly is not really the romantic type. Just like in the book, she’s preoccupied with trying to get herself a millionaire while also paying visits to her “uncle Sally” in Sing Sing. 

The two lost people find a sense of belonging in one another, even though Holly never wants to belong to anyone. Just like in the novel, she’s restless, she’s afraid to commit, she builds walls around her heart so that she can’t get hurt, and she just wants to find that place that makes her feel like Tiffany’s because “nothing so very bad can happen at a place like Tiffany’s.”

I recommend reading the novella before watching the movie because even though the movie is not the exact same and even though it glosses over some of the grittier aspects of Capote’s piece, I believe that you need to read the book in order to understand the movie. It’s hard to explain the plot because there really isn’t one. The novella is about “Fred” telling us about his experiences with Holly. In the novella we don’t even learn his real name. Holly is at one point described as being like a scarf that floats in the wind and that is such an apt description of her character. She’s confusing, she’s at times infuriating, she’s impossible to figure out and yet she’s charming, she’s intriguing, she’s vulnerable, she’s layered. Holly Golightly is an iconic character for a reason and I think that Hepburn did a wonderful job playing her. 


The movie’s main protagonists are Holly and “Fred”. As I’ve stated above, Holly is a complex character who has many layers. She’s impossible to define which is ideal because Holly did not ever want to be defined. She didn’t want to be caged or put in a box. Holly is a very vulnerable character who has had a tough past, but she has built a life for herself, she has built a mysterious image that keeps her safe. “She’s a phoney, but she’s a real phoney.” 

“Fred” is much more of the classic romantic lead that one would expect to see in a 1960s movie. He’s handsome, he’s charismatic, he’s kind and understanding, but he’s not perfect, he’s got his own struggles. He’s an ambitious writer, struggling to gain his own independence. He’s trying to get published and make a career out of his dream, all while falling for this girl who he can’t quite figure out. 

There isn’t really an antagonist in this movie. There’s lots of different characters. We meet “Fred’s” decorator, a wealthy woman whom he sees for money, we meet Doc, Holly’s estranged husband whom she married when she was very young. We meet José, a Brazilian politician whom Holly plans to marry at one point, we meet Holly’s rather obnoxious friend Mag Wildwood, and then there’s Joe Bell, he runs the local bar. 

All of the other characters exist in the realm of Holly. “Fred” meets these people because of his friendship with Holly, it’s unlikely that he would have met any of these people by himself, aside from Joe Bell that is. 


I spoke about the themes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in my book discussion and although the movie is different, and arguably more romantic, I feel the core themes are the same. This is a movie about belonging. The major theme of this movie is this idea of finding somewhere that makes you feel like you’re at ease. A place that makes you feel safe and content. Holly is restlessly trying to find that place and “Fred” believes they could be happy together if Holly would stop running from him and from the idea of commitment. Holly does not want to be caged, but “Fred” doesn’t want to cage her, he simply loves her. Holly comes to see that she loves him too, and just because she wants to settle with him, it doesn’t mean she is trapped. If anything, I think that Holly and “Fred” complement each other. She inspires him to write and he’s charmed by her hard to figure out and follow personality. The pair even spend a whole day doing things that they’ve never done before together and it’s one of the most charming scenes in this movie. 


I want to take a moment to appreciate the movie’s opening scene because I think it is a beautiful and cleverly shot opening scene. The movie opens on a scene of a beautifully empty fifth avenue in the early morning. A woman in a black dress, Holly, only we don’t know that yet, is looking into the window at Tiffany’s. She’s eating a pastry and drinking a coffee. She’s all alone. She’s got dark sunglasses on. We only see her through the reflection of the store window and I just think this is a brilliant opening scene. We are filled with questions. Who is this woman? Where was she? Why is she at Tiffany’s? All of these questions are fantastic because Holly is a character who evokes nothing but questions. She’s a riddle, right from the opening credits. 

Later, when Holly tells “Fred” about how much she loves Tiffany’s and how she goes there whenever she needs to feel better, this opening scene can be viewed differently. It’s open to interpretation, but I think one could say that Holly was at Tiffany’s early in the morning after a bad date with a client, hence the black dress, and she wanted to chase away the “mean reds”, so she went to Tiffany’s and longingly stared into the window while she ate her breakfast. 

I also think that the emptiness of fifth avenue could be open to interpretation too. Was the street really empty or did it just appear empty because Holly was lost in her own world? 

Was the empty street a metaphor for the emptiness in Holly’s life? I like to think about this sometimes. Some may say that is a stretch but that is the beauty of personal interpretation. 


There is something about the way this movie flows, it is almost like a free verse poem, perhaps because Holly is such a free person. The scenes seem to melt together in a dreamy sort of way. It is a visually beautiful movie. I’ve said before that it looks like a painting. There is something incredibly charming about it and I always enjoy it whenever I watch it. 

Final Thoughts. 

If you’re an Audrey Hepburn fan, watch this movie. If you have never seen this movie, watch it. While it is very different from the novella, I think that it is still a very enjoyable movie to watch. There is something very peaceful about this movie, there is a certain charm to this movie, it is visually stunning, the story is compelling and I think that it is just a lovely romantic movie that hits the heartstrings because the idea of wanting to find somewhere where we belong is very universal. I think that Holly is an iconic character because even though she can be a complex riddle, I think in many ways, her fears, her vulnerabilities, her anxieties etc., are very relatable which makes the movie much more enjoyable. I think at some point we all just want to feel like we belong, which is why we hope that Holly finally finds that place she’s searching for, because we all hope we will find that place too. 

This has been Movie Monday. 

Kate xo.

West Side Story (1961).

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #moviemonday. 

Today I am talking about West Side Story. I am talking about the 1961 version today and in a few weeks I will talk about the latest version that came out in 2021, and I will compare both versions and decide which one I prefer. 

I am starting with the 1961 version directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins because this version was the first version of West Side Story that I watched, so this is the version that introduced me to this story. It is a story that I am very familiar with, it’s one that I really enjoy. I was in a production of West Side Story when I was a teenager in drama classes so I think I’ll always love it just because I have so many lovely memories associated with this piece. 

Let’s dive into Movie Monday. 


Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story follows the love story of Maria and Tony, two people who love each other but are forbidden to see each other because they belong to rival teenage gangs. The Jets and the Sharks are fighting for control of the Upper West Side. They have planned a rumble so whoever wins will get control of the territory once and for all. Despite all the hatred around them, Maria and Tony fall deeper in love and they don’t care who disapproves. They plan to get married and they also try to stop the rumble but alas, disaster ensues. 


I am going to talk about Maria, Tony, Bernardo, and Anita, because I believe these characters are the “core four” characters of this movie. The entire ensemble is incredible. 

Maria and Tony are the movie’s main protagonists. The star-crossed lovers are the movie’s Romeo and Juliet. 

Maria is sweet and kind, and a tad naive. She is portrayed as the innocent one because of how much her overbearing older brother Bernado worries about her. Maria really comes into her own as the story progresses. She does not hate Tony just because her brother and the Sharks tell her she should. She makes up her own mind, and despite the pressures that she faces, she refuses to blindly accept an arranged marriage, and she fights for the man she loves. Maria plans a life for herself with Tony, and she learns that she is capable of using her own voice to speak up for herself. 

Tony is the former leader of the Jets. Seeing as this is a movie that is inspired by the stage musical,  Tony really is the ideal male lead. He’s romantic, he’s kind, he’s cleaned himself up and he now lives a life that does not involve gangs but he still loves his friends and he is very loyal to them, so he does feel torn between his love for his friends and his growing love for Maria, but overall, he knows that all this hatred and violence is wrong and so he does genuinely try to make things right. He is a very sincere character and I can’t help but find him endearing. 

Bernardo is Maria’s older brother. He is the leader of the Sharks. He is fiercely proud, and he is extremely protective of Maria. He feels he knows what is best for her and I’d argue that he treats her as younger than she actually is. He is a kind character, but he has gotten swept up in all of the hatred and the violence. 

Anita is possibly my favourite character. She is Maria’s best friend, and she is Bernardo’s girlfriend. She is more mature than Maria, she’s spunky, she’s more confident. She has really come into her own before the movie begins, whereas we are watching Maria come into her own during the course of the story, which makes sense as this is Maria and Tony’s story, but it is brilliant seeing the strong, smart woman that is Anita. She really is the voice of reason sometimes and I think she is the character who sees things very clearly. She sees that all of the hatred won’t end just because Maria and Tony love each other, it’s gone on too long. She sees the danger in the world, and she wants Maria to be aware of that danger too. She knows that Maria and Tony being together is near impossible and so she tries to be a good friend to Maria by pointing this out. Anita is loyal to Bernardo, but she is also able to put her own views aside and listen to Maria. She is a true friend, and a fantastic singer, and I think that Rita Moreno did an incredible job of portraying her in this movie. Her songs are dynamic, and some of the scenes she does are quite intense. There is one moment in particular that always makes me tear up. There will be no spoilers here, but if you know the story then you should know what scene I am referring to, it is a scene where Anita’s strength is truly laid bare for all to see, and it is very powerful. 


West Side Story is a truly powerful piece as it deals with some very complex themes that still remain prevalent and universal today. As this piece is inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the movie’s major theme is that love should conquer hatred. This is a movie about two people who have managed to put all of their perceived differences aside, and love each other despite all of the hatred and ignorance around them. Maria and Tony, like Romeo and Juliet, can see that all of this violence and feuding is pointless and it is dangerous, and they are striving for peace. Gang violence is an unavoidable theme of this movie as the entire plot is fuelled by this upcoming rumble for control of the territory. West Side Story adds an element that does not exist in Shakespeare’s text. Romeo and Juliet come from feuding families yes, but both are wealthy, upstanding families. West Side Story is set in New York. The Jets are American and the Sharks are immigrants from Puerto Rico so in this movie, the dangers of racism and ignorance are also key themes in this piece. The Jets and the Sharks hate each other because of preconceived prejudices and ignorant ideas about each other and this movie shows how destructive racism, poverty, and ignorance can be. It’s a very powerful message and unfortunately it is a message that some people still need to learn in 2022. The piece holds a mirror up to society as it really is a piece about morality. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has always been a piece about morality. It forces people to look at themselves and realise that they are part of the problem, they are forced to reflect upon the views that they hold and ask themselves why do they think this way? Can they overcome it? Can they overcome differences? Was all of the violence worth it? Were the lives that were lost worth it? In West Side Story all of these questions are explored. It is a moving, powerful piece that is only highlighted by a beautiful, dynamic score. 


When you go to see a show in the theatre, there is an act one and an act two, and I think that this movie does a good job of remaining faithful to the original stage musical as I would say that the movie plays out in two-acts instead of the more common three-act structure. 

There are three key events. The dance, the rumble, and after the rumble. 

The dance is where Maria and Tony meet and this is the event that truly kicks off the plot because now the star-crossed romance has begun. 

The rumble is important because this is the event that holds all the stakes. The entire movie has been leading us to this rumble. Maria and Tony have been trying to stop it, the others have been preparing for it. The audience knows that no good can come from this rumble. It’s senseless. We know violence will occur and all of the hatred between the two gangs will come to a head so there is no good outcome here. The stakes are high and it’s great because despite all of the important and complex themes, the plot itself is not overly difficult or complicated. It’s rival gangs who are going to violently fight, and this really straightforward premise allowed the movie to explore ideas of love, hatred, coming of age, racism, poverty, and violence. 

After the rumble is important because it is in the aftermath where all of the movie’s key themes really make their point. Are these people really that different? No. Should they be able to put their prejudice to one side because they are all human beings? Yes. Was all of this violence worth it? No. 

The aftermath of the rumble is quiet and poignant, and I think this is where the movie really shines. 

Yes it’s a musical, so there is wonderful music, colourful, elaborate dance routines, at times it is larger than life, it is funny, but at its core there is a great heart to this movie. It is a piece that explores really heavy topics in a very artistic yet impactful way. 

Final Thoughts. 

If you have seen the 2021 adaptation of West Side Story and you enjoyed it, go and watch the 1961 version if you haven’t seen it already. There is a reason why it is considered one of the greatest movie-musicals there is. I’m really looking forward to seeing the newest adaptation of this movie, and I will talk about it in time, but I am so glad that the 1961 version is the version that introduced me to this story. It is brilliant. I love the songs, I love the cast, the costumes are stunning, the ensemble numbers are fantastic. The emotions and themes that are explored are utterly compelling. There is a reason why this story is told again and again. I think it is a timeless piece. Go watch it if you don’t believe me. You’ll have a great time. 

This has been Movie Monday. Have you seen West Side Story? Do you have a favourite version? 

Let me know. 

Kate xo.


Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #moviemonday. 

Today I’ve decided to talk about the original Scream. Let’s dive in. 

This movie was released in 1996 and it was directed by Wes Craven. 


This movie takes us to the fictional town of Woodsboro, where a mysterious killer is running around in a Halloween costume. This killer seems to target Sidney Prescott, a young high school girl who is struggling with the impending anniversary of her mother’s death. 

The movie is sort of a combination of a slasher and a mystery movie because the movie plays with horror tropes, spells them out and attempts to subvert them, while also keeping watchers guessing who the masked killer is. 

I think that Scream is really clever because it is almost a really dark comedy about horror movies. This movie makes fun of horror tropes, while also demonstrating how thought provoking the horror genre can be, and it is easy to see why this movie stood out when it was first released because it was the first horror movie to break the fourth wall almost, because the characters in the movie are aware of horror movies. They talk about horror movies, they watch horror movies, and all of the characters play a certain role. 


Sidney Prescott is the movie’s main protagonist. She is smart, she’s kind, she’s a normal high school student. She has good friends, a boyfriend whom she loves, and all is going well except for the fact that the anniversary of her mother’s death is approaching. Sidney’s mother was murdered so this first anniversary is obviously very difficult for her and it is made even more difficult when this masked killer shows up in town. 

Sidney is set up to be a horror protagonist who is not like other horror protagonists. She doesn’t believe in the set up of “scary movies” and she often points outs things that she thinks are ridiculous about horror movies. For example, she says that the girl always “runs up the stairs instead of out the front door” – I’ve paraphrased this line here, but the idea is that Sidney is poking fun at the stereotypical girl that tends to star in horror movies. There is often a trope in horror movies where the female character is being chased by the killer and rather than running out the door, they run upstairs which only leaves them with nowhere to go. 

Sidney is smart and she is strong and throughout this movie she has some incredible scenes where she fights back and the action scenes are really enjoyable to watch. 

This is an interesting movie because it has a really strong cast of ensemble characters. There’s Sidney, her boyfriend Billy, her best friend Tatum and her brother Dewey. There’s Randy, the movie nerd, he’s the one who tells the rest of the characters, and the audience, all about the “rules” of horror movies, so I would say that Randy is the one who is pointing out the horror tropes, and demonstrating how Scream is attempting to subvert them. There’s Stu, Cotton Weary, the man who Sidney believes killed her mother, so much so that she testified against him, and finally there is Gale Weathers, the most opportunistic and ambitious reporter you’ll ever see. 

The movie’s antagonist is the killer obviously. This masked killer goes by the name “Ghostface” because of the Halloween mask he wears while committing his crimes. “Ghostface” is a vicious, sadistic killer who likes to taunt his victims on the phone before he chases them down and kills them with a knife. “Ghostface” is a very creepy antagonist because of the way he lurks around corners. The audience knows someone else is going to be murdered when we see a shot of “Ghostface” lurking in the background. 

I obviously won’t be revealing who “Ghostface” is because that would spoil the whole movie, but what I will say is that I think Scream is extremely well written because at some point, in seems that anyone could be the killer. As I was watching I was trying to guess, and because of the way the movie subverts horror tropes, I was making guesses but then changing my mind because it seemed too obvious, only to circle back and think well maybe the movie is trying to throw me off by being so obvious. The movie knew what it was doing, the premise was very clever and it was executed really well. 

The other character that I can talk about in more detail without spoiling any details is Gale. At first I disliked Gale because of her uncaring attitude towards the victims in the stories she is reporting. At the beginning of the movie, Gale sees every case as an opportunity for a story, for publicity for herself, she wants to make the news, she wants to be the one reporting it but as time goes on, she becomes less exploitative and more caring towards Sidney and the other people of Woodsboro. I thought she was a really interesting character because in a way I felt she was a mirror of society, I felt that she represented the way in which society can be fascinated by crimes and by violence. I mean there is a reason why murder mysteries and detective shows are so popular, and it is because there is something unexplainably desirable about experiencing violence in a safe way. That’s why it’s called a morbid fascination. We want to know the details of events that have taken place, we want to know who did it and why, but we don’t want to be part of the violence ourselves. This movie and Gale’s character points out why people enjoy horror, it’s scary and thrilling, and morbidly fascinating, but at the end of the day, the events that are occurring in Woodsboro are not entertaining, or at least they shouldn’t be.  


It goes without saying that violence is a major theme of this movie. It is a horror movie about a masked killer who prefers to stab his chosen victims to death, and while it is a funny movie too, there are some scenes that if you’re squeamish like me you should definitely avert your eyes during them. This may be an underrated take, but I think that an underlying theme of this movie is the idea of a love for film. Randy’s character specifically loves horror movies and so he is the one explaining the “rules” of a horror movie. The movie then plays out these rules in front of our eyes, and this demonstrates a real love for film because the movie pays homage to, and also subverts classic horror movie tropes and themes. I said already that I think it was a really well written piece because this premise was really clever, at the time of this movie’s release this kind of satire in horror movies was unique, and the idea was executed really well. 


The movie is an hour and fifty minutes long. I would say that this movie follows a three-act structure. The movie opens with a young girl making popcorn alone in her house, and while she’s doing this she gets a phone call from the killer. He taunts her on the phone, quizzing her about horror movies, and when she fails to get his questions right, he reveals that he has killed her boyfriend. The girl, played by Drew Barrymore, attempts to escape but the killer gets her and her death is what establishes what this movie’s plot is going to be – a sadistic killer is on the lose and he’s not finished yet. 

The second act of the movie is when the killer seems to set Sidney in his sights and he harasses her on the phone. This is the part of the movie where the audience begins to question who the killer is and it becomes apparent that it could be anyone. The ensemble are trying to live their lives while dealing with the fact that there is a killer in their midst. 

The final act is the final showdown. We know that Sidney will battle “Ghostface” at some point in time, it’s a question of when, not if, and we are hoping that Sidney will be the last girl standing. We also know that before this movie ends we will need to learn who the killer is, so the stakes get higher and the action gets more intense, and the movie really ramps up the tension before the reveal. 

I think the movie moves at a nice pace because it doesn’t feel too long, but it’s also not rushed so the tension has a chance to sit with us and suspense builds really nicely. 

Final Thoughts. 

I don’t think I ever would have chosen to watch this movie by myself. I’ve said before how I just don’t like blood, but I was told that I would really like this movie because of the mystery aspects to it and because of the way it plays with tropes and themes. As an English Literature student who has studied film theory, I did really enjoy this movie because of this subversion of horror tropes. I like how the movie poked fun of the genre while also being part of it. I thought it was really clever. Despite the moments of gore, I actually really did enjoy this movie and believe it or not, I would watch it again. I’ve recently watched the sequel, and although I hid behind a pillow for certain scenes, I did enjoy that movie too and I am looking forward to finishing the original trilogy. 

If you like scary movies then you’ll like Scream, and I completely understand why this movie has the following that it does. I’m glad that I watched it. I would watch it again. If you don’t like scary movies, I would say that this movie combines elements of horror and elements of dark comedies, so it’s not a gore fest throughout, and at times it even plays like a mystery “who done it?” so you may end up liking it a lot, just like I did. 

This has been Movie Monday. It won’t be long before we move into February and I will be talking about some romantic comedies as we move closer to Valentine’s Day, so I thought that Scream would be a fun choice, especially since I’ve just watched it recently. 

Have a great week. 

Kate xo.  

Monsters, Inc.

Hello everyone. Welcome to another #moviemonday. Apologies that this discussion is late but it couldn’t be helped. In fact, it is almost fitting because after a stressful Sunday, I decided that I wanted to watch a Disney movie because I wanted to unwind so it’s been a bit of a busy week already but now it’s Tuesday and today was a much better day so it is onwards and upwards for the rest of this week.

Monsters, Inc. is a 2001 Pixar movie. It was directed by Pete Docter.

Let’s dive in.


This movie takes audiences to a world of monsters, where all the power is fuelled by the screams of children. In order to get the screams, the monsters work at Monsters Incorporated. Sully is the best scarer in the company. The idea is that every night the monsters go through a door and scare a child and their screams are collected in order to give the city electricity. All is going very well until a child ends up in the monsters’ universe. Now Sully and his best friend Mike must get the child, who Sully has affectionately named Boo, home before anyone finds out she is there, but on their journey back to Boo’s door, Sully and Mike discover that there are some secret plots going on in the workplace and they must put a stop to them.


James Sullivan, Sully, is the movie’s main protagonist. Sully is a good guy. He’s a hard worker, a great scarer, a good teammate, and a good friend. He’s got everything going for him and when this child ends up in his care, he is logical. He knows no one can find out and he knows that he needs to get her home safely and as the movie goes on, Sully begins to really care about this little girl and so he becomes very fatherly. This little girl teaches Sully a valuable lesson about himself but this is something I will cover in themes.

Mike is Sully’s best friend. He is the wise-cracking comedian of the duo and so some of his reactions to the situations they find themselves in are comedically over the time. At times he gets frustrated by Sully and his feelings get hurt, but at the end of the day he is a true friend and he knows that Sully is doing the right thing so he helps him do it. His comedic talents gain more appreciation at the end of the movie.

Boo is the little girl who finds herself in the world of Monsters Incorporated. She is very sweet and very adventurous and she melts Sully’s heart. She is not old enough to speak properly yet so she communicates through actions and little sounds and some words here and there, but despite her lack of talking, she does not fail to make an impact on Sully.

Randall is the movie’s antagonist. He is Sully’s rival scarer in the company. He is determined to beat Sully in the scaring record and there is a stark difference in Randall’s attitude compared to Sully’s. Sully scares children because it is his job, but he is a kind person when he is off the clock. Randall seems to take delight in the fact that he is terrifying and he is not kind to his fellow co-workers. It is important to note that monsters believe that children and things in the human world are “toxic” so they must never let a child touch them, and they must also avoid touching things like children’s toys.

Sully learns that Boo is harmless which is why he is determined to get her home safely before someone else tries to harm her.

Another key character is Henry J. Waternoose III. He is the CEO of the company and he is determined to never let the company fail and he is worried about the expected “scream shortage”. I think he is a great character because he seems so level headed and fair. He seems kind. We feel we can trust him, but this movie teaches us that the real monsters aren’t always who we think they are.


The major theme in this movie is friendship. I also think that the idea of overcoming differences is a huge theme in this movie too. Sully and Mike are the best of friends, always there for each other no matter what. They may have ups and downs but when it comes down to it, they can count on each other. The friendship between Sully, Mike, and Boo is really important. Monsters have been taught that children are a danger to them so when Boo first appears in their world, Sully and Mike are afraid of getting too close to her. Sully is the one who sees she is a harmless little girl so he sets aside all he’s ever been taught and decides that he has to get her home safely. I know it is a children’s movie but I think that this movie really demonstrates how fear can come from ignorance, and I will always point out how children’s movies can be so much more nuanced than they get credit for. There is an idea of overcoming one’s fears that is explored in this movie. Sully and Mike must face their fear and see that Boo is not a threat to them, and Boo learns that she does not need to be afraid of the monsters in her wardrobe. It is funny because Boo is never scared of Sully and Mike, she is only scared of Randall because Randall is her monster. He is the one who goes through her door at night and scares her, so she sees him in that context. Sully is kind to her, he does not pose a threat despite very big and strong so she sees him in only a positive light and I think this demonstrates how very often children are so perceptive. There is a moment in this movie that I love, and it is when Sully is giving a “scare demonstration” upon the request of Mr. Waternoose. Sully demonstrates to new scarers how to scare a child and it is the first time that Boo sees him in a light she views as scary. After this moment, she won’t go near him, she cries, for the first time in this movie, she views him as a monster and Sully, who has seen himself on the monitor, is horrified by what he sees. He sees how scary he looks, he sees how much that would scare a child and he does not like it. He reflects on this. He asks “did you see the way she looked at me?”, and I just think that it is a very powerful moment. I love the classic Disney and Pixar movies for this exact reason. Yes they are created with the target audience being children, but that does not mean they are not good. It does not mean that they are silly. They are often filled with emotional moments, some that we may miss until we watch them again through adult eyes, but I was very impressed with this movie after watching it again because it is funny, I love the premise, I think the concept is clever, but it is also very heartfelt and heartwarming.


This movie is 92 minutes long which is the perfect length in my opinion. Something that I like about Disney movies and Pixar movies is that they tend to be only an hour and a half long, most likely because a young child probably would not sit watching for much longer, but these movies prove that you don’t need hours and hours to tell a perfectly rounded out story, you simply need to do well with the time you have. The opening sets up how the monster world works, the incident where a monster is “decontaminated” because they touched a child’s sock shows how afraid of humans the monsters are, and so when Boo ends up in the company, the audience knows Sully has to get her home because she is not safe there. We know that he has to avoid Randall and everyone else, we know he has to get her to her door, we understand the stakes and so as the movie plays out and Sully tries to get Boo home, while bonding with her in the meantime, it means that the movie’s ending is all the more heartfelt. We can see how much he has come to love Boo. We know she has to go home, but we know that this is going to be sad and all the questions that the movie set up are answered, and it’s all done in an hour and a half. Nothing feels rushed, nothing feels half-done, the twists are compelling but they make sense, and so it just shows how a great story can be told in a shorter time frame.

Final Thoughts.

This movie was the perfect cure to a bad day. It was funny, it was really compelling. It had been a few years since I had seen it so I did not remember everything which made watching it again all the more enjoyable. I was fully invested in the story and I think that I would call it one of my favourite Pixar movies. I’d highly recommend it.

This has been #moviemonday.

Kate xo.

Die Hard 4.0

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #moviemonday. 

Today I am talking about Die Hard 4.0. 

There are five movies in the Die Hard series, I think that the original is the best. I love the third movie too. Last night I watched the fourth movie in the series and because it is a stand alone story, I’m going to discuss it this evening. 

Let’s dive in! 

This movie was released in 2007 and it was directed by Len Wiseman. 


John McClane is back and this time he is battling technology. When he is sent to collect a hacker and bring him to Washington, John thinks it’ll be an easy job but when he arrives at Matt Farrell’s apartment, he ends up fighting off a mysterious group of men who are attempting to kill Matt. 

The two become an unlikely team as they have to figure out a way to save the day when there’s virtual terrorists on the loose. 


John McClane, everyone’s favourite unlikely hero is back. Once again he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and despite his protests, he has to save the day because he’s “that guy”. John is fed up with this happening and so in this movie he is a slightly more unhinged unlikely hero and it is brilliant. He’s quick thinking and sarcastic as always and he doesn’t fail to deliver the action. 

Matt Farrell is our hacker. He is the movie’s main protagonist alongside John. 

Matt is in his twenties and he is a tech wizard, he writes code and throughout the movie he helps John figure out what is going on. He’s nervous and rambling and a bit of a loveable nerd but when the chips are down, Matt steps up to the plate. 

Thomas Gabriel is the movie’s antagonist. He is the man behind the chaos. He is the person who is causing all of the destruction that John and Matt must fix. He is calculated, cunning, and extremely tech savvy. He’s on a quest for revenge. 

John McClane’s daughter Lucy also makes an appearance in this movie and she is every bit her father’s daughter. She’s sarcastic and very intelligent. She’s feisty and when danger lurks, she’s able to hold her own. 

Lucy is also John’s weakness so there are some brilliant moments in this movie when John is fighting for his little girl. 


I would say that the power of technology is a major theme in this movie and while many people have said they dislike this movie, I think it is very good and I actually really like the premise. 

The movie explores what happens when everything that is run by technology gets shut down. Traffic lights are hacked and this causes major collisions. Power is shut off which causes blackouts. Utilities are shut down, alarms are set off, financial sectors crash, and chaos is rampant. It’s the perfect way to take out an entire system. The country is in darkness. 

Another theme is family. John and his daughter have a complex relationship. She is angry with him and she goes by her mother’s maiden name but at the end of the day, Lucy loves her father and she is terrified when she thinks he’s badly hurt. She wants him to make it and John is determined to make sure that nothing happens to her. An important lesson that people should learn is that you do not mess with the people who John McClane loves.

Heroism is another theme. John and Matt have quite a poignant conversation about why John does what he does. Why does he save the day? Why does he run towards danger and not away from it? John says he wishes someone else would save the day so he doesn’t have to, but no one else will do it so that’s why he does. That’s what makes him that guy. John is a hero because he does what he has to do. Matt learns this lesson and he learns that he too is more heroic than he gives himself credit for. 


The movie is just over two hours long but it’s action packed so it doesn’t feel too long. I enjoy how this movie’s threat is more technology based as John must figure out how to fight the bad guys while they’re hacking into his gps, his phone, his radio etc. The movie demonstrates how much of our lives are digitally recorded and it’s fun seeing John out of his depth but still incredibly willing to fight. 

The structure of the movies in the Die Hard collection is always very satisfying as there is always a moment when all the dots connect and we see the full picture. We see the motivations behind each character and we see John’s plan to fix things. This movie is no different. 

Final Thoughts. 

Overall I enjoyed watching this movie. There are some great lines, some brilliant action scenes and while it isn’t the best movie in the series, I think the concept was interesting and well executed. I would recommend giving it a watch. 

This has been Movie Monday. 

I hope you all have a lovely week. 

Kate xo. 

Hot Fuzz.

Hello everyone. Welcome to the first #moviemonday of 2022.

I am really looking forward to the year ahead because despite everything that is going on, I do have goals that I am steadily striving towards and there are things to look forward to. I wish all of you a happy and healthy 2022.

Let’s dive into today’s #moviemonday discussion.

Today I am talking about Hot Fuzz. The movie was released in 2007 and it was directed by Edgar Wright.

I watched Hot Fuzz for the first time last night and I really enjoyed it. It was completely different to what I was expecting. I laughed a lot, I was fully invested and I thought it would be a fun movie to kick off #moviemondays in 2022.


This is a buddy cop movie and it follows PC Nicholas Angel, an uptight, lonely, stick in the mud police officer who gets sent from London to the rural town of Sandford. At first the movie seems like it will be the classic plot of outsider comes to the small town where everyone knows everyone and he must try to learn to fit in, and this is the case to an extent, but then the movie takes a turn and Nicholas learns that Sandford is not the sleepy village he thinks it is.


The main protagonist is Nicholas Angel. Nicholas is by the book. He is the classic straight man in the buddy cop pairing. He is the serious one. He loves the rulebook. His life is the job, he cannot switch off and this inability to switch off causes him many issues in his personal life. He is lonely, relationships fail, he is not very endearing, and at first he is a really hard character to like because there is nothing wrong with being a person who likes rules, but Nicholas’s holier than thou attitude really rubs people the wrong way, but by the movie’s end Nicholas develops as a character and he became someone I really rooted for. No spoilers here, go watch the movie, but I do love the learning and growing that tends to happen in buddy cop movies.

The other half of the dynamic buddy cop duo is PC Danny Butterman. Danny loves action movies, and he lives for a thrill. He feels he is missing out on “real” policing in his quiet home of Sandford and so he is fascinated by an officer from London. Danny is the only person who really tries to befriend Nicholas and make him feel welcome, and although Nicholas does not appreciate his efforts at first, the two go on to be a brilliant team. Danny teaches Nicholas to lighten up and he helps him realise his life cannot be all about work all the time, and in turn, Nicholas teaches Danny how to stand up for himself. As always, the two characters are very different but they balance each other out. Danny is also my favourite character in this movie. I found him really fun and very endearing.

The really interesting thing about this movie is that I cannot discuss who the antagonist is because doing so would spoil the movie and there will be no spoilers here. The movie features an absolutely brilliant ensemble cast and the actors really captured that small town feel where everyone knows everyone and they have known each other for years. Each character is quirky and unique and throughout the movie I kept guessing who the antagonist would turn out to be.

The movie keeps you invested as there are many twists and turns so it makes for a really engaging watch.

Since I cannot really expand on the other characters too much without giving anything away, I am going to talk about style along with themes because I really enjoyed how this movie was directed and edited.

Themes & Style.

The script for Hot Fuzz was inspired by many different action movies and I think this becomes really obvious as the movie plays out. In a way I would say that this movie is almost like a nod to action movies, because as I said, Danny one of the main protagonists, loves action movies and so his love for action movies leads to a thirst for more action in his small town. Danny makes decisions as if he is in an action movie, he’s even got one liners at the ready because Danny sees himself as the hero in these action movies and there are some brilliant action sequences in this movie.

The style and tone of this movie is really interesting. It is a buddy cop comedy, but at times there is almost a horror movie feel to it, even though it is not a horror movie. This movie was chosen by a really close friend of mine as it is one of his favourites, as is Scream, and while we were watching I said that some elements did remind me a bit of Scream – I won’t spoil the movie but if you have already seen Hot Fuzz and Scream then you will understand what I mean. There are times when this movie feels like a serious crime investigation movie as the crimes in Sandford keep increasing and becoming more violent but no one aside from Nicholas seems overly concerned and then finally, in the last act of this movie, we move into what feels like a full-scale action movie which is really funny and really satisfying because we get to see Danny live out his heroic action movie dreams. Despite all of these shifts in tone, the movie feels very cohesive and at no point does it seem all over the place and this is because the movie does an incredible job of setting things up that have pay off later. There is not a single question left unanswered, there are no loose ends, everything that gets set up in the beginning makes sense at some point later on in the movie so even with the changes in tone, the movie never loses sense.

The movie’s main themes are friendship, the concept of justice, and the concept of individuality vs blending in with a crowd. Nicholas has a really strong sense of right and wrong and he acts when he sees the slightest indiscretion. He is almost arrogant about his sense of right and wrong, he never turns off, he misses personal events, he is never lighthearted, he does not take a joke, and throughout the movie he learns that he can still right wrongs, and he can still be a good police officer but it’s okay to have a laugh and to be friends with your colleagues etc. He struggles to fit in in Sandford and at times it seems like he is the only person who understands that something is wrong and so he decides to stand his ground and investigate even when everyone is scoffing at him. His desire to find the truth further alienates him from the people in his new home but he knows he is doing the right thing, and this is admirable because it is easy to do the right thing when you have support, it is not easy to do the right thing when everyone is mocking you for it. I think this is important because while it is important to have a work/life balance, which is something that Nicholas learns, it is also okay to stay true to your gut when you truly believe in something. You can still be an individual within a community, it is all about finding balance which is what Nicholas and Danny do.


I would say that Hot Fuzz follows a three-act structure. There is the move to Sandford which is act one, and the move to this rural place is what kicks off the plot.

Act two, the main body of the plot is when the crimes or “accidents” begin to happen more regularly and Nicholas becomes more and more convinced that something is wrong.

We then have a twist, which kicks off the third act of the movie which is also when the movie enters full action movie territory and all of the dots begin to connect. The movie is just over two hours long, so it is long, but it is engaging throughout and it is one of those movies where small details, down to just one line that seems just for comedy at the time, becomes important at a later point and I really like movies like that, where seemingly unimportant things all come together perfectly.

Final Thoughts.

Hot Fuzz is brilliantly funny. It is clever. If you like action movies then you will really appreciate the love for action movies that this movie displays. There are a few gory moments that someone more squeamish (me) may need to look away for, but those moments did not hinder my enjoyment of the movie at all. I laughed so much and I was genuinely caught off guard by the plot twists. I would watch it again and I would highly recommend it.

This has been #moviemonday. I hope you enjoyed it. Have you seen Hot Fuzz? What is your favourite action movie? Let me know.

Kate xo.

The Santa Clause.

Hello everyone and welcome to another #moviemonday. I hope you all enjoyed Christmas Day. 

I know that Christmas is behind us now, but it is still the month of December and so I want to talk about one more Christmas classic. Today I am talking about The Santa Clause so let’s dive into #moviemonday. 

Before I dive in, I also want to say that last week I went to see Spider-Man: No Way Home and I really enjoyed the movie. I want to talk about it here on but I want to let some more time pass so I can discuss the movie’s themes without giving away any spoilers. There is one scene in particular that I felt was extremely poignant, but I can’t discuss it without revealing certain things so I am going to wait a while longer before discussing this movie. 

The Santa Clause was released in 1994, and the movie was directed by John Pasquin. 


The movie follows salesman Scott Calvin and his young son Charlie after they discover Santa Clause on their roof. Startled, Santa falls to the  ground which means that Scott and Charlie must deliver all of the presents. The pair find themselves back at the North Pole, where Scott learns about “the Santa clause” which states that if you put on the suit, you become Santa Clause. At first Scott tries to deny what is happening, but as his belly grows, and his hair turns white, and his beard grows no matter how much he shaves, he must face the fact that he is now Santa Clause, the real Santa, and he must convince his loved ones of this fact too. 


Scott Calvin is the movie’s main protagonist, along with his son Charlie. Scott is a salesman who no longer believes in Santa but he wants Charlie to keep believing in the magic. At first he is dismayed by his situation, he does not want to be Santa and he tries to run from it, but over time, he comes to learn that in fact, he might just be the perfect man for the job. 

Charlie is Scott’s young son and he is upset after another kid in school tells him that Santa is not real. He believes in the magic of Santa and he is completely in awe of the North Pole. Charlie is a really good kid and he deals with a lot in this movie. I will discuss this further in the themes section but when I was younger, I did not fully understand the heavier topics that this movie touched upon. 

Bernard is the no nonsense head elf, and he informs Scott all about his new role as Santa because putting on the suit means that Scott has accepted all of Santa’s responsibilities. He may seem like a stickler for rules but he’s got a good heart and he helps Charlie understand that while his father may be living at the North Pole, he will always be there for him. 

This movie does not necessarily have antagonists, although I would argue that for the majority of the movie, Laura and Neil come across as very unlikable. Laura is Charlie’s mother and Neil is his stepfather. Neil is a psychiatrist, and he and Laura stopped believing in Santa at a very young age and so they think it is time that Charlie learns he is not real. 

Laura and Neil believe that Scott is deliberately toying with them during his journey to becoming Santa (the hair, the beard, the weight gain), they worry about the impact this will have on Charlie as he and other children believe Scott is the real Santa, so they have his visitation suspended. 

I will talk about this more in themes, but after rewatching this movie as an adult, I can appreciate their arc more which is why I have decided that while they are not always likeable, they are not antagonists. 


The core theme of this movie is the belief in Santa, which translates further into the idea of believing in magic in general. The other major theme of this movie is family, and family dynamics. As I said above, when I was younger, some of the heavier topics in this movie such as things like visitation, went completely over my head. 

I think that it is easy to dislike Laura and Neil, but in reality it was an unbelievable situation. Suddenly her ex-husband has gained loads of weight, his hair has turned completely white, he has a long beard, and her son is adamant that his father is Santa and he is going to live in the North Pole, and he becomes very upset when others tell him this is not true. Laura and Neil are not perfect, but they were trying to do what they thought was best for Charlie, and while I won’t give any more details away, a scene that I really appreciate is a scene where Neil apologizes to Charlie. This is a really important moment, and it is one that I think we should see more of. Adults need to understand that they are not above apologizing to children. An adult should be able to admit when they are wrong, and if they owe a child an apology then they absolutely should say sorry. I don’t like the idea that children should not be given the apology they deserve because it somehow makes the adult weaker, it does nothing but make the adult stronger as it demonstrates compassion, and it shows children that you are willing to lead by example. So I won’t give away what leads up to this moment because no spoilers here, but Neil saying sorry to Charlie is a key scene in my opinion. 

The only thing that I cannot justify is Laura and Neil’s belief that Charlie should find out Santa isn’t real, simply because they found out early. I don’t believe they specifically state his age, but the actor was eight when he played the role so I am going to place Charlie at around eight years old, which is far too young to ruin the magic of Santa. 

Childhood is such a short time. There are so many things we can never get back. The true wonder and magic of Christmas when you believe in Santa only lasts a few years because when you are a toddler, you don’t fully understand and then from around ten upwards, you start to question it. My Mam said she thinks you only have from about four to nine when your kids really, truly believe, and she says she misses that wonder so much. 

I have spoken a lot about the importance of wonder and the absurd, and I think this movie highlights how important that belief in magic is. It is special. It is something that you can’t get back. Laura and Neil were hurt which is what lead to their disbelief, and they don’t think about how important Santa is to Charlie, and how he is not hurting anyone or doing anything wrong by believing for a few more years. They are too ruled by logic, and the movie demonstrates that you have to let kids be kids because when they finally experience true wonder again (again, no spoilers, go watch the movie), they understand how wrong it would have been to take that away from Charlie too early. 

The movie also covers some heavier topics such as trying to get along with new partners (Scott and Neil), things such as visitation, and of course, Charlie saying goodbye to his father because he will now be living at the North Pole and he will be at home. 

It is a Christmas movie. It is fun, it is cheesy, it is magical, but there are some heavier topics that ground the movie and pull on the heartstrings. 


The movie is an hour and a half long, and it operates within a full-circle structure in my opinion. It starts and ends at Christmas with Scott and Charlie delivering presents, so the movie begins and ends the same way, but all of the characters have evolved massively from beginning to end. 

I think that you can also see some aspects of the reluctant mentor trope in Scott’s character. I will explain this trope in more detail on an upcoming Theory Thursday, but he goes through a journey of believing it was all a dream, not wanting to become Santa, and then stepping up, and understanding that he is right for this job, he believes again, and he does all of this while also contending with custody battles. Scott Calvin is a great character and I don’t think anyone could have played him like Tim Allen. 

Final Thoughts. 

The Santa Clause is a Christmas classic. It’s so much fun, it’s magical. It’s a great story in my opinion, it is a really interesting plot that is filled with heart, and it has some heavier moments that ground the movie. It has moments that you appreciate more as an adult I think, and overall I love the appreciation for, and the highlighting of the importance of magic and wonder. They are not silly, they are not useless, wonder, and magic have their place, and we must not lose that sense of wonder entirely. 

This has been Movie Monday. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Kate xo.