Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rosy the Reviewer Recommends: Some Oldies But Goodies You Might Not Know About

[I review "Sorry We Missed You," "Ali and Nino," "London Town," "How to Build a Girl," and "7500."]

Since many of us still can't go anywhere or have nowhere to go, if you are stuck at home, here are some movies you might not know about that are worth seeing.

Sorry We Missed You (2019)

A family struggles to makes ends meet as a U.K. delivery driver gets caught up in the exploitation of the gig economy.

Since the 2008 crash, Ricky (Kris Hitchen) and Abbie (Debbie Honeywood) have been fighting a losing battle. They lost their home and are drowning in debt and struggling to get by as they raise their two teens, Seb (Rhys Stone) and Liza (Katie Proctor).  When Ricky is offered a chance to start his own franchise as a delivery driver (think a contract driver making deliveries for Amazon), he jumps at the chance, but to afford his own delivery van, he talks Abbie into selling the family car which she needs to travel to her job as a home health care worker for older adults.But she is a supportive wife and takes the bus. Both parents work long, difficult hours, most days a week, and the family is suffering. Son Seb doesn't help with his skipping school and getting into trouble and young Liza is feeling the stress of the family strife, wetting the bed and having panic attacs. And when Ricky is assaulted while making one of his deliveries, the stress all proves to be too much. 

I love my British “working class” dramas and no one does them better than director Ken LoachLoach is probably not that well known in the U.S. but his film “Kes” was voted the seventh greatest film of the 20th century by the British Film Institute and is in the book “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (I loved that one too)!" His socialist ideals are reflected in his films as he deals with social issues like homelessness, poverty and the everyday worker. Here he takes on the gig economy.

So what's the "gig economy?"

Basically, companies hire people for short-term jobs or "gigs."  This is cheaper for the company because they don't pay benefits and it can be a boon for the worker to work at home or have flexible work hours. But it is all rife with exploitation - there are no aforementioned benefits, companies often pay less than a full-time employee would get and the worker has no rights and no job security.

That is what Ricky faces as he tries to make a go of his delivery franchise under the supervision of the ruthless Maloney (Ross Brewster), who isn't doing our Ricky any favors.

With a screenplay by Paul Laverty, the film is slow moving but mesmerizing, because Loach depicts real life like no other director, provides no easy answers and reminds us that no matter where we live, we are all struggling for the good life. This film will give you a whole new perspective on that white van that pulls up to your house to deliver your Amazon package or that note that is left on your door when someone tries to deliver a package - "Sorry we missed you." A whole lot of people are getting missed these days.

And you will be sorry if you miss this brilliant film.

Rosy the Reviewer says…this compelling, award-winning film is highly recommended but warning: those Northern England accents can be challenging to the American ear and there are no subtitles but you can do it! Paying attention and concentrating is good for the brain!

(Available On Demand and from Amazon Prime as well as on DVD from Netflix)

Ali and Nino (2016)

A classic love story about a Muslim Azerbaijani boy and Christian Georgian girl in Azerbaijan from 1918-1920.

Bet you never wondered what was happening in Azerbaijan (do you even know where it is?) and Georgia (no, not that state in the U.S., the country in Asia) during W.W. I, right? Well, this film highlights that little known part of history while at the same time telling the love story of Ali (Adam Bakri) and Nino (Maria Valverde).

As teens, Ali and Nino fall in love. Based on the supposed true story of Ali Khan Shirvanshir, Ali is a rich Muslim boy living in Baku in Azerbaijan. Nino is a Georgian Orthodox Christian whose wealthy Kipiani family also lives in Baku. Despite their differences, Ali and Nino are going to wed but then World War I breaks out in Europe and there is that little matter of a kidnapping.

Malik (Riccardo Scamarcio), who is supposedly Ali's friend, has also fallen in love with Nino and kidnaps her, planning to force her to marry him, but Ali confronts and kills Malik, forcing Ali to flee the country.

Now Nino is damaged goods and her family wants to send her off to Moscow but she is determined to find Ali, which she does. Nino and Ali are reunited in the mountains, are married and live what looks to be a happy life in the country, despite their aristocratic upbringings.  But the Bolsheviks, who have amassed 30,000 troops on the Azerbaijan border have other ideas and, so does Ali, who decides he needs to fight to keep Azerbaijan free. If you watch enough historical romances, you know that romances like this are never allowed a happy ending. This film is no exception but though it's a heart-wrenching ending, it is also a stunning one. 

Written by Christopher Hampton (based on the book by Kurban Said) and directed by Asif Kapadia, this is a dramatic love story that is beautiful to look at with a mesmerizing score that will transport you to another world.

Rosy the Reviewer's a sort of Azerbaijani Dr. Zhivago that will remind you that things could be worse.
(In Azerbaijani, Russian and English with English subtitles. Available on DVD and to rent on Amazon Prime and Vudu)

London Town (2016)

A 14-year-old boy's life is changed forever when he discovers the music of The Clash.

With a screenplay by Matt Brown and directed by Derrick Borte, this is another one of those coming of age films the Brits do so well, where a young man’s life is transformed by music (Blinded by the Light;” “Yesterday). 

This time it’s The Clash that saves 14-year-old Shay (Daniel Huttlestone) from the sadness of his broken home (his mother, Sandrine (Natascha McElhone), left them to live a bohemian life in London) and the responsibility to take care of his younger sister, Alice (Anya McKenna-Bruce), and help his Dad (Dougray Scott) in his piano shop.  But when his Dad has an accident and can no longer work, Shay has even more to deal with when he tries to keep things together. 

It doesn't help that the late 1970's were turbulent bad times in the U.K. with the rise of the National Front and the tough economy for the working class under the Thatcher government, so no wonder the music was angry and skinheads and punks surfaced. People also said “piss off” a lot back then, too.

But then Shay meets Vivian (Nell Williams) on the train.  She is a punk girl and introduces Shay to the punk sceneVivian explains the politics of punk: that The Clash are punks and punks support racial cooperation and working-class empowerment and the skinheads are gits, that's Brit speak for the kinds of folks who advocate white supremacy and support the National Front. After meeting Vivian, Shay embraces punk - jeans, leather jacket and died black hair fashioned into a pompadour. But despite the joy of his punk life, Shay soon discovers that he isn't going to be able to keep things going on the homefront.  But then he meets his Clash idol, Joe Strummer(Jonathan Rhys Meyers), and things start looking up.

But despite the nod to history, this film is nostagia and all a bit of a fantasy. I mean, can this 14-year-old kid really get away with keeping the family going by dressing up as a woman (so he will look older) and driving his Dad’s cab? And when Shay meets Joe Strummer in the flesh, is Joe really likely to help this kid open up a new business? But that’s okay. Suspend your disbelief. We need nostalgia and fantasy today, and this all works because of the engaging young actors and the adorable Jonathon Rhys Meyers?

Rosy the Reviewer says…Clash fans will enjoy this, but so will those who enjoy well-made movies that celebrate the power of music to heal and those who can remember what it was like to be young. Let’s just say I do and I do and I chuckled at the end with tears in my eyes. It’s one of those kinds of movies.

How to Build a Girl (2019)

Who knew that young, shy Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein), growing up on a council estate in Wolverhampton, England would become an influential music critic?  Well, you heard it here first, folks!

It's the 1990's and 16-year-old Johanna Morrigan lives with her aspiring rock star father Pat played by Paddy Considine ("aspiring rock star" is a euphemism for unemployed), her depressed and overwhelmed mother Angie (Sarah Solemani), and brothers Krissi (Laurie Kynaston), Lupin (Stellan Powell) and two infant twins. But she yearns to escape and become a writer and she gets hope when she wins a poetry contest.  So when the family faces a financial crisis, Johanna vows to earn money to help her family.  Her brother, Krissi, tells her about a London music paper - D&ME - that is looking for a rock critic and she is able to convince them to give her a chance, even though it's a boy's club and she is taken on as a kind of joke.

But it's no joke to Johanna who takes this all very seriously, especially what a rock critic should look like.  Johanna decides she needs to build herself up as a proper rock critic with an edgier style, red hair, and a top hat and sets out to immerse herself in the rock and roll scene.  When she is sent to Dublin to interview musician, John Kite (Alfie Allen), he is instantly taken with her bubbly personality and the two have a bit of a fling.  

But then she is fired for writing a glowing review of Kite (deemed a schoolgirl crush by the male magazine editors), so she decides the road to success lies with edgier, cruel even, reviews.  She is rehired and, under the guise of "Dolly Wilde," writes scathing reviews and becomes a popular critic, so popular, in fact, that she receives the "Arsehole of the Year Award (in England, I guess that's a compliment)."  She also becomes sexually promiscuous and drinks a bit.  Alright, she drinks a lot, which doesn't help when she runs into John again and drunkenly confesses her feelings and tries to kiss him. But he rejects her because he doesn't approve of her mean reviews.  Things go from bad to worse for our girl until she realizes she needs to build herself back up yet again, this time for the better.

If you liked Beanie Feldstein in "Booksmart," - I did - you will like her even more in this film based on a (sort of) true story.  Though Beanie is not British (in fact, she is Jonah Hill's sister), she does a good job of making us believe she is. But you don't have to know who Beanie is or be young to enjoy this film about a young girl coming of age and finding herself. I may be old but I can still remember what that was like (and you "Game of Thrones" fans will enjoy seeing Alfie Allen doing something besides getting abused as Theon Greyjoy)!

Adapted for the screen by Caitlin Moran, from her own novel, and directed by Coky Giedroyc, this film is a refreshing story that is funny, heartwarming and, yes, sweet.

Rosy the Reviewer says...just the antidote you might need for a particularly bad day. I know it was for me. Loved it!

(Available on DVD from Netflix and to rent on Amazon Prime)

7500 (2019)

Hijackers try to take over a plane while a soft-spoken co-pilot tries to save the passengers and himself.

Who knew Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a believable action star? I still remember him as the wise-cracking kid from “3rd Rock from the Sun.” But this is no ordinary Bruce Willis type action film. This is a film about a real life man thrust into a very real life, believable and scary situation.

Here Gordon-Levitt plays Tobias Ellis, an American co-pilot on a German commercial flight on its way to Paris from Berlin. The film starts out showing the routine and tedium of loading a regular commercial flight, its very normalcy ominous because of what is to later transpire. We see the passengers sitting in the waiting area, and then, we can see from the camera on the flight deck, the attendants in the kitchen, greeting the passengers as they board and the pilot and co-pilot performing all the checks and cross-checks as they get ready for take-off. It’s all very ordinary and routine.

And then, as one of the flight attendants enters the flight deck to bring the pilot some water, a hijacker makes his way in and attacks the pilot and Tobias and kills the flight attendant. Tobias manages to knock out the hijacker with a fire extinguisher and get the flight deck door closed, but he and the pilot are both injured, stabbed by shards of broken glass fashioned by the hijackers.

As Tobias radios the control tower (“7500” is the air traffic control code for a hijacking), the hijackers are pounding on the flight door and we can hear screams and noises as the hijackers wreak havoc in the cabin, something made more frightening because we can’t see into the cabin, only what is happening right outside the flight deck door, so our imaginations run wild. Tobias ties up the hijacker in the cabin and tries to tend to the captain as well as fly the airplane back to Hanover, the nearest airport, in a very tense real time 20 minutes, with the hijackers standing in view of the flight deck, threatening to kill passengers if Tobias doesn’t open the door. It was the longest 20 minutes of my life! I found myself yelling at the TV – “Don’t open the door!” And yet we see the hijackers killing the passengers. What should Tobias do? White knuckle time on the plane (and in my living room)!

This is a tour de force for Gordon-Levitt. Most of the film takes place in a claustrophobic confined space as Tobias wrestles with life and death situations while dealing with the hijacker left in the cockpit and trying to get the plane to Hanover. Gordon-Levitt is believable as an unlikely hero, thrust into a situation he did not see coming.

I have always been fascinated by thrillers that take place on airplanes. Maybe it’s because I have never quite understood how planes fly and have a love-hate relationship with flying on planes. And the whole hijacker film trope has been in the American consciousness ever since the 60’s when it seemed like there was a hijacking every week (there actually was), and then that very, very terrible day, 9/11. I still haven’t gotten over the film “United 93,” a wonderful story of heroism but a brutally sad depiction of the 9/11 plane that is believed to have been headed to crash into the White House or the Capitol and the passengers that rose up against the hijackers, foiling their plan but, unable to save themselves, crashing into a Pennsylvania field.

Rosy the Reviewer says…written by Patrick Vollrath and Senad Halilbasic and directed by Vollrath, this is another inspiring portrait of heroism which is what we need right now. It’s also a tense and wonderful film that is not to be missed.
(Streaming now on Amazon Prime)

Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Rosy the Reviewer Recommends: What I've Been Watching At Home

[I review "Antebellum," "You Should Have Left, "The Hunt," "The Rental" and "Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga."]

Well, we can't exactly go to the movies anymore, not where I live anyway, and there are no drive-ins here, but, fortunately, there is a lot of content to be found at home, and more and more, production companies are releasing first-run films to television venues and on DVD. So we can still "go to the movies" in the comfort of our own homes!

So let's go to the movies!

Antebellum (2020)

What starts out as a story about slaves being abused on a plantation taken over by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War turns into something decidedly different.

This film has a big twist that unfortunately I saw coming from the very start.  It wasn't helped by the fact that before the pandemic, when I was a regular moviegoer (remember those days?), I had seen the trailer for this multiple times and the trailer gives it all away. So don't watch the trailer!  But even though I figured out what was going on early, I still found this film to be worthwhile.  And here's why.

"The past is never dead.  It's not even past." 

So said William Faulkner whose novels were chronicles of the South, and here, what starts as a Civil War horror story (the Civil War WAS a horror story all on its own) becomes a horror story for today, and as Faulkner said, the past is always with us.

The film begins with several unspoken minutes of the camera moving over a beautiful plantation with hoop skirts and greenery and cute children and then a horrific scene depicting what happens to slaves who try to escape a plantation' one that had been taken over by some Confederate soldiers.  And that's when we meet Eden (Janelle Monae).  She is new to the plantation and endures branding and other torture and indignities along with her fellow slaves while the white Confederate soldiers and plantation owner flaunt their white privilege until about 40 minutes into the film, fast forward to the 21st century, where another story unfolds, with Monae playing Veronica Henley, a successful author and sociologist, who despite her degrees and success also endures racism, though the modern kind, more subtle, but no less insidious. 

How are these two stories and these two women related? If you haven't already figured it out, you will (especially if you had seen the trailer).

Is the film uneven?  Yes.  Is the film over-the-top?  Yes.  Is the film heavy handed? Yes.

But that doesn't mean it was not a satisfying film experiece.  It was.

Despite some reservations, I liked it and it needs to be seen.

This film appears when we need to, not only be reminded of a time when African Americans were subjugated, tortured and treated like animals while the American economy prospered from their free, back-breaking labor, but to also be reminded that African Americans are still subjected to white supremacy and brutal racial injustice today with Confederate flags flying, the arguments over preserving monuments to the Confederacy and the current killing of black men by police. 

It's also a reminder to us white folks about our white privilege, which to me is never more evident than when a white person responds to "Black lives matter," with "All lives matter." I think to myself, "What aren't you getting?" Dont you read the news? So here is my response: All lives will matter when black lives matter.  So we white people don't need to weigh in. Let black people get on with what they need to do and what they need to call things, and we white people need to go sit quietly and contemplate our white privilege. I know I have.

Okay, so the Confederate flag. Let's talk about that.

I've never understood the whole Confederate flag thing.  Why are so many white people obsessed with the Civil War, the Old South, the Confederate flag and preserving the statues that honor Confederate generals who were fighting to keep slavery? Are these people lamenting how it all turned out and wishing to go back to the plantation days of white supremacy over people of color? Is that what "Make America Great Again" means?  Duh. To me, that's all a sign that racism may not be overt and in your face every day, but it's alive and well, and there are people walking amongst us who do wish the days of the Confederacy would return, who want to live their white privilege and keep people of color "in their place."  We are now over 150 years past the Civil War.  And you wonder why black people are mad?

In my own life, I must confess, I have a memory of my Dad coming into my bedroom in the morning when I was a little girl and waking me up by announcing, "Save your Confederate money!  The South will rise again!"  I have no idea where he got that from or what it meant to him. He was not from the South and had no reason, that I knew of, to want it to rise again, but he thought it was hilarious and, I am embarrassed to say that I thought it was funny too.  But in my defense, I was a little girl and didn't know any better and, it's not like we had a Confederate flag hanging in the house or that my parents disparaged black people.  But as I got older, as Maya Angelou so sagely said, "When you know better, you do better," so I have come to understand that even though there were no particularly obvious signs, there was white privilege and racism in my family, and I have had to come to grips with that.

Jonelle Monae is a wonderful actress, but she is also known for her social activism, and this film gives her a dramatic platform to explore the plight of, not just black Amercans, but black women. Gabourey Sadibe offers some humor as Veronica's friend with Jena Malone and Jack Huston providing the personifications of evil characters.

So it's all here.  Slavery, racial injustice, the Civil War, a plantation, white supremacy, the politicals of the here and now, some horror...and thank, god, a rising up. Yes, it's a bit overdone and heavy-handed, but written and directed by Christopher Renz and Gerard Bush, this is a morality play.  Those plays were overdone and heavy-handed, too, but necessary to get the point across.  And God knows, unbelievably there are still knuckleheads, er, people today, who don't get the point that racial injustice and white supremacy is alive and well, that maybe not that much has changed since slavery.  African Americans might not be technically enslaved anymore but the scars of the past run deep.  Racism is alive and well, social injustice is alive and well, and we all need to do something about it. It's important.  It matters. Our lives depend on it. All lives will matter when black lives matter.

Rosy the Reviewer says...available now On Demand, this is a modern day horror story of where we may be headed and a reminder that we still have a long way to go on the road to social justice and equality (and take my advice, don't see the trailer)!

You Should Have Left  (2020)

With their young daughter, a banker and his actress wife rent a house in Wales for a brief vacation before she takes on a new acting job in London but what was supposed to be a dream vacation turns into a nightmare.

Yet another horror film from Blumhouse Productions, which has practically cornered the market on horror films.  As I said in my review of "Hush" back in June, there is good Blumhouse and bad Blumhouse but now I need to add another moniker to that production company - Big Name Blumhouse.  

Kevin Bacon stars as Theo Conroy, an ex-banker with a much younger actress wife (Amanda Seyfried) and an overly precocious daughter, Ella (Avery Tiiu Essex). They have rented an Air B&B in Wales and like many of my experiences with Air B&B the house was not what was expected.  In fact, it's a very, very strange house that is bigger inside than outside, has doors leading nowhere and everywhere, lights that go on and off by themselves and  "You should leave" appears in his journal.  This is another one of those tales of an innocent family stuck in a house that has it out for them.  And maybe they aren't so innocent either.

Theo has a past.  His first wife drowned in a bathtub and he was accused of killing her.  Though he got off, he is haunted by the past - literally.  He has horrible nightmares and it doesn't help that he worries that his young wife is cheating on him. He worries so much that he checks her phone, Ipad and laptop when she is taking a bath. It also doesn't help that he discovers she has a second phone, one he didn't know about.  Uh-oh. When he realizes the house has it out for him, he tries to escape but ultimately learns the one thing he can't escape is himself.

Written and directed by David Koepp (and based on the novel by Daniel Kehlmann), the film is slow-moving but once you are halfway in, it will get you, you will want to know how it's going to end, though you will also probably figure that out.

Bacon has worked with Koepp before, 20 years ago in "Stir of Echoes."  Speaking of 20 years ago, I couldn't get over how old Bacon looks now.  He is no longer the young man of "Footloose."  In fact, he looks more like Clint Eastwood these days.  He even walks like him! I know. I should talk.  We all get old. But aging or not, Bacon is still a good actor and seeing him in this is reason enough to see the film.  Sadly, Seyfried doesn't have much to do and as for young Avery - well, you know how I feel about precocious child actors.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a fan of tales starring malevolent houses or you like psychological horror, you might enjoy this stylish film about guilt that reminded me of "The Shining."
(Available on DVD and VOD)

The Hunt (2020)

Blumhouse strikes again, but this time, along with some gore, there is political satire. We have liberals hunting down right wingers. Is there nothing Blumhouse won’t take on?

Originally slated to release last year, the film was pulled by Universal after the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings, because, well, this movie is about hunting people down for sport, in this case, liberals hunting down the so-called “deplorables,” and, even those mass shootings notwithstanding, social media and the President had already weighed in on how horrible this film was supposed to be before anyone had even seen it.

Poor conservatives are kidnapped and drugged and taken to a field where they must fend for themselves as they are hunted down by the liberal elite in a remake of Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game," a 1924 novela that is the basis for this and has been the basis for many other films from the 1932 film of the same name to "Open Season" to "The Hunger Games" to (my favorite) "Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity!"

Okay, liberals hunting down right wingers. I know. But hold on, don’t get your knickers in a twist. Like I said, this is a satire, a rather nasty one, yes, but there are no heroes here and no victims either. Everyone is really, really unlikable and the movie takes shots at both sides. The "deplorables," are, well, deplorable and the elites are the worst of that group. Everyone is a stereotype, but it's a lesson in what could happen when we all see each other as stereotypes and our political views take precedent over our humanity. And if you like gore, there is plenty of that as everyone gets killed off in unique and grisly ways.

Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof wrote this film directed by Craig Zobel and it's a timely foray into our current political divide -- except it's fun!

Hilary Swank and Ike Barinholtz star along with Betty Gilpin, who most recently starred in the TV series “Glow,” and who steals the show here as Crystal who turns the tables and reluctantly takes on everyone, and Gilpin is so good she just might emerge as a new action star.

Rosy the Reviewer says…no matter what your politics, there’s something here for everyone. It’s provocative, but also hilarious.

(Available on DVD from Netflix and for rent on Amazon Prime and On Demand $5.99)

The Rental (2020)

Two couples take a break from their California lifestyle to rent a fancy Air B & B on the Oregon Coast only to discover that instead of a fun vacation they have found themselves in a horror story.

What does it say about me that I am drawn to films about malevolent houses and landlords and evil psychopaths stalking innocent, unsuspecting victims? Maybe it means I’m depressed about having to stay home and watch movies to avoid the malevolent virus that seems to be stalking all of us.

Anyway, here we have two couples, Charlie (Dan Stevens), Michelle (Alison Brie), Mina (Sheila Vand) and Josh (Jeremy Allen White) renting a posh house. All is well for a time until they discover they are being filmed and then they realize they are being stalked, all while dealing with some romantic and emotional issues that crop up.  Charlie and Mina work together and have a close relationship which Charlie's wife, Michelle, and Charlie's brother, Josh, can't help but notice, so all of that doesn't help when the stalking begins. It's a horror film in an Air B & B but it's also an emotional and relationship horror story where the characters keep making cringe-worthy decisions and you want to yell at the screen "No!!!"  

Written by Dave Franco (yes, James' little brother) and Joe Swanberg and directed by Franco, this is a tight little horror romp and it will keep you guessing. It was also supposedly written because of Franco's dislike of staying in Air B & B's.  Well, let me tell you, don't get me started.  I have some Air B & B horror stories of my own.

Going into this, I was certain that Dan Stevens was going to be the bad guy since that has been his m.o. in several films since leaving his role as Matthew Crawley in “Downton Abbey.” But I was wrong, though his character does cheat on his wife in this, so I guess that could be construed as being a bad guy, right?

Rosy the Reviewer says…this is an atmospheric little thriller about a rental that is also a rental. It’s a first-run movie available to rent on Amazon Prime.

A spoof of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Will Farrell and Rachel McAdams play Lars and Sigrit, a singing duo from Iceland called Fire Saga, and they want to win the Eurovision Song Contest. Lars has been obsessed with winning the contest ever since he saw ABBA win the contest singing “Waterloo.” However, there is a problem. Fire Saga isn’t very good. But a strange set of circumstances that can only happen in a crazy comedy lead them to the contest in Scotland.

Written by Will and Andrew Steele and directed by David Dobkin, this is a fairly predictable and really silly film that reminded me a bit of "This is Spinal Tap (though not as good)", but there is a sweetness to this film that is rather endearing, though, I couldn't help but wonder what my friends in Iceland would think about this depiction. Farrell hasn't had a hit film in a long time but he is actually funny here as he brings back his manchild schtick. The elaborate production numbers (a real thing in the contest), some of which, in the film, include actual winners and participants of the real contest, are great; Rachel McAdams is surprisingly funny, underrated as a comic actress; and, coincidentally, here is Dan Stevens again, playing against type as the macho Russian frontrunner.  He is neither the romantic lead nor the bad guy.  I will watch anything starring Dan Stevens and miss him so much when I watch "Downton Abbey." Pierce Brosnan plays Will's Dad and I will watch him in anything, too!

Rosy the Reviewer says…some of the film works, some of it doesn’t, and it’s silly, yes, but If you like Will Ferrell you might enjoy this send-up of the Eurovision Song Contest.  The film is now streaming on Netflix. (And if you don't know what the Eurovision Song Contest is, Google it.  It defies a short description).

Thanks for reading!

See you again soon!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at 

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database).

Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll down below the synopsis and the listings for the director, writer and main stars to where it says "Reviews" and click on "Critics" - If I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.