Film Fridays is a project initiated by Sarah and I. See previous posts for a longer preamble!
We would be delighted if you would join us! We don’t necessarily want to talk about the nerdy technical details but more about why these films speak to us as individuals, why they have a place in out hearts, and any personal memories they evoke.
Yes – I know it is Thursday.
You don’t really think I would expect you to read this on Friday this week do you?
I have not posted for over a month now. Will 2021 see me return to blogging? I don’t know. I actually feel worse because I have not visited any of you since last month either.
For once I am not sure I can blame work, though it does leave me very tired. There was a time when I would use breaks at work to write my posts or to read blogs but increasingly I have found myself prone to ‘doomscrolling’ and checking the news. This is not good for me, and doesn’t really make much difference ultimately as our household has effectively never left the first lockdown 9 months ago – so it is not like it matters to me if the shops are open or not. I do need to break this habit for the sake of what is left of my sanity.
So, alternative Christmas movies:
I am not going to get involved in the debate about whether ‘Die Hard’ is a Christmas movie – because it is. It also occurs to me that another cop movie ‘Lethal Weapon’ is set at Christmas and has a theme of renewal in Riggs finding hope and acceptance into Murtaugh’s family. Incidentally – another buddy-cop movie I love is ‘Running Scared’ (1986), which starred Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal.
But in 2020 I am not going to talk about movies in which US cops are portrayed as heroes. Some fiction is just too far-fetched even for me.
I also considered talking about a couple of Christmas horror movies – check out ‘Krampus’ and ‘Rare Exports’. But today I don’t feel like that either.
So – todays choice is not Christmas themed at all. But is an unalloyed joy and a wonderfully uplifting movie perfect for the time of year.
‘Kinky Boots’ (2005)
Based on a true story, this is very much in the ‘Full ‘Monty’ vein, and has since been adapted into a highly successful stage musical by Cyndi Lauper.
TRAILER HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek7VcOkzzkM
Set in England’s shoe-making capital of Northampton, this follows young Charlie Price, who has no interest in the family shoe-making business and plans to move to London to seek his fortune with his ambitious girlfriend Nicola.
However, the plan is thrown into chaos when Charlie’s father dies unexpectedly, leaving the family business to him. Charlie discovers that the factory is in financial trouble and, worse, has completed a large order of unfashionable and overpriced shoes with no buyer lined up.
When on a trip to London to try to sell the excess stock, he is knocked unconscious that night trying to come to the aid of a woman being harassed by drunken yobs. He regains consciousness in a theatre dressing room to discover that the lady he tried to help is actually a drag artist known as Lola, real name Simon. One of her/his boot heels had snapped during the fight and Charlie fixes this and comments that high heels were never made to hold a man’s weight.
Back in Northampton, Charlie feels forced to lay off staff and look to selling the factory. One of his staff, Lauren, reacts by giving him an earful about actually making some effort to find a profitable niche market…which gets Charlie thinking about Lola and her/his drag-queen friends..
Maybe there is a market there?
The overwhelming stand-out performance here is by future Academy Award winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Lola/Simon. His nuanced performance is incredible, especially when being ‘Simon’. Even more impressively – he performed Lola’s musical numbers himself and they are an absolute hoot to watch.
The other two leads, Joel Edgerton and Sarah-Jane Potts are terrific. The ubiquitous Nick Frost appears as the chauvinistic ‘Don’, whose views undergo something of a transformation as a result of his encounters with Simon. The ladies in the factory are hilarious and portrayed by a cast of well known character actor faces, even if their names are not easily recalled.
For me though, it is the musical numbers and the fact that this is such a feel-good movie that makes it perfect Christmas fare!