Posts Tagged ‘Julie Walters’


Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with guest host Matt Harris to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the college comedy “I Used to Go Here” starring Gillian Jacobs, the psychological thriller “She Dies Tomorrow,” the crime drama “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the kid’s fantasy “The Secret Garden” and the biodoc “Howard: The Howard Ashman Story.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

THE SECRET GARDEN: 3 ½ STARS. “a handsomely made, big CGI movie.”

“The Secret Garden,” the latest adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic 1911 novel, brings the classic story of friendship and wonder to VOD this week.

The tale begins in India in 1947 on the eve of Partition in India. Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), born in India to wealthy English parents, finds herself orphaned when mummy and daddy suddenly pass away in a cholera outbreak. Sent to live with Archibald Craven (Colin Firth, who played a version of his son Colin in a 1987 TV movie of “The Secret Grden”), an aloof uncle she’s never met on his remote and rambling Yorkshire moors estate, the youngster has trouble adapting to life in the large country house under the strict housekeeper Mrs. Medlock (Julie Walters).

While exploring Misselthwaite Manor Mary makes some interesting finds. She meets Colin (Edan Hayhurst), her ailing cousin whose been locked away in one wing of the house. Both are stinging from the loss of a parent—his mother passed—and both feel like outsiders in the family.

When Mary discovers a hidden garden tucked away on the grounds, she and her friend Dickon (Amir Wilson) tend to the forgotten patch of land. Bringing the garden back to life also awakens the place’s natural restorative power that helps Mary, Colin and Mr. Craven heal, physically and spiritually.

Fans of the book should know liberties have been taken with the classic text. The shift to 1947 works, adding an additional layer of meaning to Mary’s story of distress. It helps base the tale in the reality of the situation but the movie allows magic realism to seep in.

That it is from the producer of the “Harry Potter” and “Paddington” movies means that it has a family-friendly fantasy gloss that the original text and other adaptations have done without. The magical elements may only exist in Mary’s imagination and not stem from the wonder of nature as the book suggests, but they are pronounced. There are ghosts and the garden’s trees respond to the kids, almost like Treebeard in “Lord of the Rings: Two Towers.” It adds a more whimsical tone to a story that had previously relied on the more grounded ideas of exercise and fresh air as a road to physical and mental health.

What it all means, really, is that the story isn’t quaint anymore. The new “The Secret Garden” is a handsomely made, big CGI movie that plays like “Masterpiece Theatre” for kids. Closer in tone to “Harry Potter” than author Frances Hodgson Burnett’s original ode to the healing power of love, kindness and nature, it isn’t as soulful as other versions but should appeal to younger audiences who are used to glossy adaptations of books for kids.


Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” the devilish doll Chuck in “Child’s Play,” the tuneful coming-of-age story “Wild Rose” and the high-fashion assassin of “Anna.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!



Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including two very different movies starring toys–“Toy Story 4” and “Child’s Play”–the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose” and the runway assassin film “Anna” with CFRA Morning Rush guest host Matt Harris.

Listen to the whole thing HERE!


A weekly feature from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest and most interesting movies! This week Richard looks at Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” the devilish doll Chuck in “Child’s Play” and the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

WILD ROSE: 4 STARS. “Buckley impresses when she’s singing and when she’s not.”

Playing an aspiring country-and-western singer in “Wild Rose,” “Chernobyl’s” Jessie Buckley embodies the elements that lay at the core of the music. It’s a breakout performance that delivers sincerity, heartache and most of all authenticity.

Set in Glasgow, the coming-of-age story focusses on Rose-Lynn (Buckley), a young mom with dreams of going to Nashville to become a country singer. “There’s nothing for me here,” she says of her hometown. “There I can hone my craft. I want to use my talent.” She’s so devoted to country music she even has a “three chords and the truth” tattoo on her arm.

But her life contains as much struggle and bad luck as the country-and-western lyrics she loves so much. As an ex-con, she also has an electronic ankle bracelet and can’t leave her apartment after dark, making booking gigs next to impossible. Her two kids barely remember her and only speak to her when forced, They’re being raised by Rose-Lynn’s mother Marion (Julie Walters), who scolds her daughter, “You don’t stick at things.”

During the day Rose-Lynn works, cleaning the house of Susannah (Sophie Okonedo), a rich woman who is very taken with her employee’s spunky attitude and beautiful singing voice. With her help Rose-Lynn may finally see her dreams come true and begin a journey of true self-discovery.

Part “A Star is Born” and part family drama, “Wild Rose” is a low-key story of over-coming adversity. Rose-Lynn may be her own worst enemy, refusing to take responsibility for her lot in life, but ultimately, she aspires to improvement for herself and her family. Without that this kitchen sink drama of musical boot strapping would be too downbeat. Instead we meet someone, beautifully played by Buckley, taking the hard road to personal success.

The movie is a showcase for Buckley, who impresses both when she’s singing and when she’s not. First, the voice. She can belt it out with the best of them but it’s the moments where she brings it down, gracefully and emotionally delivering Wynonna’s “Peace in this House” ballad, that she reveals the depth of her talent. It’s a heartbreaker and she breathes life into it; no frills, just raw emotion.

She manages to make Rose-Lynn compelling, flaws and all. Impulsive, she puts her wants and musical ambition ahead of everyone, including her kids but in her self-aware moments Buckley allows us to understand that it’s not simply irresponsible behavior that landed Rose-Lynn in her current situation but her inability to balance her dreams with her reality, desire with duty. She’s messy and often gets in her own way but despite all that Buckley’s charisma makes us root for her.

“Wild Rose” is very specific in its Glasgow setting—the accents may be a bit daunting for the uninitiated—but like the songs Rose-Lynn loves so much, it deals with universal themes of regret, love, family and redemption. You don’t have to be a country fan to like the movie, it wouldn’t hurt, just a fan of raw, emotional storytelling.


Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with host Andrew Carter to talk the new movies coming to theatres including two very different movies starring toys–“Toy Story 4” and “Child’s Play”–and the coming-of-age story “Wild Rose.”

Listen to the whole thing HERE!

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: emily mortimer on “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Richard sat down with “Mary Poppins Returns” star Emily Mortimer. She plays Jane Banks, the grown up version of the girl in the original story. We talked about her love of the original book and why the story has great resonance for today.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Read Richard’s review of “Mary Poppins Returns” HERE!


A weekly feature from from! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at Emily Blunt in “Mary Poppins Returns,” Natalie Portman in “Vox Lux” and Jason Mamoa as the underwater monarch “Aquaman.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!