Our World War (BBC Series 2014)

ourworldwar4 Kernels for Content

5 Stars for Bravery

Yeah, yeah, I know most of you don’t like documentaries.  This one is a little bit different because it’s a well-acted re-enactment of three significant events for the British Army during World War I.  The episodes are based on written accounts by the soldiers who lived and survived to tell their stories and the men with which they served.

What can say about it? It’s emotional. It’s heartwrenching.  It’s shocking.  Well done, except for the oddity of the rock music in some of the scenes. The series actually puts you — the viewer — into the battles as if you were with the men and hearing the bullets whiz by your head.  The tension prior to and in engagement with the enemy is palpable. Perhaps that is why this program will undoubtedly leave an impression on you.  And if you lost distant cousins in the war like I did — six of them the ages of 18 to 42 — you will appreciate their sacrifice and you will draw closer to their memory as the young lads who served their country.

The first episode focuses on the first day that the British army encounters the German army in August 1914. Unprepared for the onslaught of Germans and their brutal advance, it’s difficult to watch the slaughter.  The second episode is about the Manchester Pals, as they called them, who served at Somme.  A few of my cousins were from Manchester.  The third episode is about the invention of the tank, and how the British turned the tide of the war toward victory by these new machines.

As a caution before you watch, you might find the lads extremely difficult to understand with the myriad of different British accidents, along with Irish and Scottish.  Hang in there and don’t surrender.  Keep calm and carry on through the end.

If you possess a soul, you might end up a bit tearful watching this series.  As the trailer says, “Modern warfare is brutal. 100 years ago it was unimaginable.”

Check it out – now streaming on Netflix. Read about the series at BBC. (Especially the pages of Interactive Episodes.)

Off the Grid

I’m usually more active tossing around popcorn kernels on my blog, but I’m the middle of editing my newest book, Lady Grace.  It’s sucking the life out of me, giving me dreams, and making me cry.  Here’s hoping nobody throws it against the wall when they read it.

In any event, when I’m focused on writing, my television addiction slows to a crawl and reviews may not be forthcoming.  At the present time, I’m watching Lochness on Acorn TV, but each episode is released weekly.  Sadly, I’ll have to wait to find out who is pulling out hearts and brains after they kill people.  It’s a monster at Lochness but not the sea creature type.

In the meantime, there are plenty of old reviews to read.  Happy binge watching, my friends.

Lochness

‘Wonder Woman’ Contains The Greatest Moment In Superhero Film History | moviepilot.com

Totally agree 100%!  Definitely the best scene of the movie.

Superhero movies are stuffed full of iconic moments, but ‘Wonder Woman’ just smashed them all in a sequence that is soon to be historic.

Source: ‘Wonder Woman’ Contains The Greatest Moment In Superhero Film History | moviepilot.com

Suite Française (Movie Review 2014)

3 Kernels

Currently streaming on Netflix is Suite Française a 2014 movie set in occupied France in 1940. It’s based on a novel written by Irène Némirovsky, a Jewish author, born in the Ukraine but lived and worked in France. Irène died in Auschwitz during the war, but her handwritten manuscript had later been discovered and finally published in 2004. The movie was released in the UK and subsequently premiered in the U.S. only on Lifetime. Thankfully, Netflix picked it up, giving us the opportunity to watch the story unfold.

Michelle Williams plays Lucile Angellier, the wife of a prominent and rich man who is a prisoner of war.  She lives with her mother-in-law, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, who is more intent on collecting the rents from her land tenants than caring about the impending German invasion.  It’s obvious that the relationship between the two is strained.

When the Germans march into their town and settle into homes to carry out their duties, Lucile and the Madame are assigned Lieutenant Bruno von Falk (played by the dreamy Matthias Schoenaerts who apparently learned German for the role). He settles in, behaving more like a polite gentleman rather than an overbearing and cruel occupier. Lucile, though she attempts to stay away from him, becomes intrigued by his personality as their interaction continue. Even though he’s the enemy, he’s a fascinating human being who she discovers is more than a soldier doing his duty. He’s kind, musically inclined, and writes music.

Since he appears to be as intrigued by Lucile, an unspoken admiration builds between the two until a passionate but interrupted moment occurs between them. Unfortunately, war is war, and these two people are on opposite sides of the conflict – the conquered and the defeated. When the war brings her to the decision to take a huge risk on behalf of one of their tenants, it threatens to destroy their love.

The film is well acted. A few scenes show the senseless cruelty and brutality of occupation and the difficult choices the Lieutenant must make in performing his duties. It’s an interesting study, too, in human behavior of the townspeople by the actions they take to stay on the good side of the Germans in implicating others. Loyalties are split. It also raises the question of what would you do in such a situation? Could you fall in love with the enemy?  Would you trust his love while you act treacherousy against his country and cause?

Is there a happy ending? Well, based on the unfortunate situation, love everlasting isn’t in the stars for these two people.  At the end, the narrator states that words of love were never spoken, but it became obvious they were shown by each other’s actions.

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