Florence’s Films: The Great Gatsby

I’m going to preface this post by saying two things. Firstly I have never read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ and secondly I am a huge fan of Baz Luhrmann’s films.

I went into the film expecting a lot from the production, the staging and the costumes but with really no idea of what the story was about. Even the trailers had failed to spell out more to me than that Gatsby was the central mysterious character, as instead I had concentrated on the effects.

I didn’t see it in 3D, but for me there was actually less digitalisation of the scenes that I expected, so don’t let that put you off going. Despite the trademark Luhrmann style, what really struck me was the story, quite the contrast to some reviews I had read that suggested the effects overwhelmed a classic.

I didn’t expect there to be such a love story, that I would feel sorry for Gatsby, despise Daisy, or see such vulnerability in the ‘Great’ Gatsby.

Of course, appropriate interpretation of classic literature or not, you can’t fault the costumes, the incredible party scenes (anybody else wishing they could throw a party like that?) those Tiffany jewels and the roaring twenties blown out of all proportion on the big screen.

I’m sure there are many among you who have read the book and I’d love to know what you thought of the film, good or bad, if you’re going or have been…


#JanuaryJoy – Go to the Cinema

Image Credit: Make a DIY vintage Movie sign on Oh Happy Day

I’m super excited today as today’s #JanuaryJoy prompt was one of the first to go onto the calendar way back in early December when I started planning this series. The instant I saw the trailer for Les Miserables, I knew I’d be making a bee-line straight for the cinema to watch it on the big screen.

I know it’s a cliche but there’s something magical about the movies. My favourite types of film to see are those with sweeping theatrical productions, Baz Luhrmann and his surreal style being amongst my favourites. I’m not a ‘Les Mis’ fan and *hangs head in shame* had never seen it on the stage because I thought it might be, well, miserable? Having seen the trailer however, although I know it’s going to be sad, (no spoilers please!) I’m totally sucked in by the drama already.

I love seeing films I can get lost in, transported to another time or place and that pull at my heart strings. I’m pretty sure the Les Miserables film is going to fit the bill.

Are you going readers? Are you excited? I can’t wait. For the first time in my life I have booked the Premiere seats!


Florence’s Book Club: Anna Karenina

Quite often, I end up reading books because they are coming out on film. I’m not too pedantic about which way round these things come, but it does spoil a book somewhat if I already know the ending. I often find too, that film trailers motivate me to read a book I would never have picked up. Even though I love classics, there’s no hard sell involved to point me in that direction so when I see the costumes and romance brought to life on film I’m a sucker for flipping open a dusty front cover.

‘There are as many Loves as there are Hearts’ – Leo Tolstoy

So this month’s book is Anna Karenina, a iconic character and incredibly romantic story, that is due to be released as a film (starring Kiera Knightley, who by now must be used to being strapped into a corset for most of her adult life, and Jude Law as her husband,) on September the 7th here in the UK.

For those of you yet to be convinced, I’ve included the trailer here. Watch it and gasp – at the sets, costumes and drama.

I’d love to hear from those of you who have read or perhaps even studied it… have you enjoyed it? Is it worth reading? Anybody going to join me?


PS – Please excuse the typos this morning – an old version got saved, pre-edit!

Florence’s Films: The Artist

Before going to watch The Artist last Wednesday with one of my best girls, the last time I’d actually sat in a cinema to see a film was in Cuba, where the entry fee was so low you can’t even count it in pence.  So apart from what seems like a great expense, (you know, if you can sign up for LoveFilm or the like for a month for around the same price as a ticket) it seems such an effort when you’re busy to faff with pre-booking and arriving a wee bit early, and not being able to pause it to make a cup of tea, when in this internet age we’ve got more movies, music and t.v shows at our fingertips than we would ever have the lifespan to watch.

But.  If ever there was a film that celebrates going to the cinema, and should be seen in full, velvet seated glory, it’s this one.

More or less utterly silent, The Artist has a relatively simple storyline and follows the fortunes of George Valentin, a silent movie star, and Peppy, an up-and-coming ingénue.  Cleverly referencing Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Citizen Kane and A star is born along with casting and effects that call to mind Gene Kelly and Errol Flynn, you don’t actually have to ever have watched a silent film or know anything at all about the history of cinema* to enjoy it.  In fact, it’s worth seeing simply for the breathtaking detail in costuming and set design.

Without going into the plot in too much depth, I’ll say that The Artist deals with themes of love, loss and redemption in silence more adroitly than many dialogue heavy ‘classic’ films,  and that the two leads are completely mesmerising.

Has anyone else seen The Artist? Is anybody now obsessed with cloche hats? Let us know what you thought of it and as always, if you’ve seen a film you’d like to review for FF drop us a line at submissions@florencefinds.com

Gemma C-S

* I can pick an Errol Flynn reference better than most because he was born in the house next door to the student digs we rented at uni.  This is the level of specialist knowlege we like to bring you here at FF 😉

Florence’s Films… New Years Eve

It’s Orange Wednesday guys! That means 2-4-1 at Pizza Express and a trip to the cinema for lots of you and so Wednesday seemed an apt time to talk about the film I’m most excited about at the moment… New Years Eve.

I am such a sucker for feel good movies like this and in line with previous similar films like Love Actually and Valentine’s Day, the all star cast guarantees that you’re going to come out of the cinema grinning and feeling super festive.

There’s no cliff hanger in this one, a pregnant lady’s (Jessica Biel) waters break, (wonder what happens there?) Glee star Lea Michelle gets trapped in a lift with Ashton Kutcher while the countdown is on and you see a host of other characters including Zac Efron, Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Hilary Swank, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer and Katherine Heigl as the last day and night of the year plays out in New York City. It’s a classic backdrop for excitement and is going to be guaranteed to make me want to hop on a flight right out of the cinema screening!

The film isn’t actually out until tomorrow, 8th December, but I’ll be first in line to see it after a spot of Christmas shopping and a Christmas Market sausage with mulled wine 🙂 If you can’t wait, head on over to the official New Years Eve movie site to see the full (and even better than the one here) trailer.

Have you seen the trailers? Is New Years Eve just the kind of film you like to see at this time of year? or will you be skipping this one in favour of decorating the tree?

Let me know your thoughts as always and let’s get excited together!


Friday Film… Breaking Dawn

It’s a departure from Friday Frocks this week as I couldn’t let today pass without inviting you all to talk about Breaking Dawn, the latest film in the Twilight series. It hits the cinemas today which means hoardes of screaming teens and fans. What I’m wondering, is how many of you list the Twilight Saga amongst your guilty pleasures?

*Breaking Dawn Trailer (part 1)

I was introduced to the Twilight Saga just before the films started to be released and although I’m not quite as ardent a fan as I was, I will be making the pilgrimage to the flicks next Tuesday to honour tradition and see the film with my friend Laura :).

Breaking Dawn Part 1 (because they have cleverly split the final film, a-la Harry Potter) looks like it might be a lot less PG-13 and a lot more loaded with sexual tension however, as we finally see Bella and Edward get married (oh yes, I cannot wait to see THAT dress) and seal the deal 😉

And although I’m not a Taylor Lautner fan on the red carpet, in his incarnation as Jacob, he does get me far hotter under the collar than a guy who is a full ten years younger than me should reasonably do. I think I need to have words with myself…

Now it’s time to while away the last few hours of the week but instead of frocks let’s talk Vampires… did you read the Twilight books, will you be seeing the film? Are you, like me, a little embarrassed to admit to being a twi-hard fanatic?

What’s your guilty pleasure?


The Lion King 3D

I was giving some thought to the films I have posted about already here on Florence Finds the other day and started to get a little bit self conscious about the potential for people judging my taste in movies! I’m no flick critic but I know what I like and I also love hearing what other people think of a film, even if it’s a simple as them sharing their reactions, just like with a book club I guess.. ‘I laughed my head off’ is good enough for me!

I’m making no apologies however for today’s choice… one of my absolute all time favourite movies, The Lion King.

I think everyone has a film that holds huge amounts of sentimental value to them, from the film you watched over and over and over with your girlfriends as a teen (Dirty Dancing/Top Gun?) or the one that first made you think, (Philadelphia) or the first one you watched with your beloved, films provoke so many memories.

For me The Lion King completely transcends sentimentality. It was released shortly after my Dad died and my sister and my Mum and I all went to Disneyland in LA as our first big holiday together without him. If you’ve ever been to Disney, you’ll know they do street parades four or five times a day which are themed to co-incide with the latest film release or holiday season. When the parades are on the music is inescapable, wherever you are in the park and so this incredibly poignant music about the Circle of Life infused the whole holiday. It was raw and heart breaking but life-affirming at the same time. We all stood there day after day, shedding tears of loss and grieving, but ending every parade feeling so uplifted.

It’s an incredible film and one that I will always love – I mean, who knew you could identify with a lion cub? But Simba’s teetering on the edge of emotional derailment reminded me that I could live a life defined by losing my Dad or use the experience to make me stronger and better and every time I hear the music or lose myself in the memory of the musical I later saw, it reminds me in equal parts that nothing will ever be worse than that experience, how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved since then.

I’d love to hear which films hold extraordinary significance for you and why – please leave a comment and share your experiences… and who’s going to see The Lion King 3D? (Am I going to be the only 29 year old in the cinema?!)


How Does She Do It?

So, It’s Orange Wednesday, the day that we nationally associate with the cinema – or bargain cinema tickets at least… and Pizza Express, or is that just me?

I’ve seen this film really slated by the usual SJP haters (and where oh where is the sisterhood on that point?) but I really want to see it.

It’s the usual comedy story of a woman messing up due to over-committing but I think it’s bound to ring a bell with mothers (particularly working mothers) everywhere, if not just women in general.

Have you seen I Don’t Know How She Does it? Leave a review if you have (please don’t give the game away!) or if you’re planning on seeing it. I’d love to hear what you all think.


PS if you want to save money get a free sim for Orange Wednesdays here and click the link above for a pizza voucher too.

Crazy. Stupid. Love.

So last night I went to a preview screening of Crazy. Stupid. Love. and I loved it! 🙂

It’s the story of Cal, (Steve Carell) a forty something guy whose wife (and childhood sweetheart) announces she wants a divorce because she slept with someone else. He goes on to meet a new buddy in the form of Ryan Gosling, playing a (very hot) playboy who helps him get his mojo back. Weaved around the main storyline Love, Actually style, are several other stories, a couple of teen crushes going on and some brilliant twists near the end which I really didn’t see coming. It’s a feel good movie, very funny and not all that cheesy considering the subject matter.

Definately worth a watch. Here’s the trailer to get you in the mood…

Crazy. Stupid. Love. is out in cinemas from 23rd September, do let me know what you think!


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