Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

I have waited all year for this movie! Part of my birthday celebration was seeing the first showing at my local theater. As a passionate Agatha Christie fan, I have thoughts both good and bad so settle in for a semi-bumpy Orient Express ride.

Many people had doubts about Kenneth Branagh’s portrayal of beloved detective Hercule Poirot. If you’re a doubter, I want to put your mind at ease. Mr. Branagh is hands down the best part of the movie. He kept the spirit of the Poirot we all know and love while adding humor and his own unique touch to the character. He is a constant source of smiles and laughs, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Overall the ensemble cast did not disappoint. Johnny Depp is fantastic as always (SPOILER) even though his part is short-lived. Michelle Pfeiffer and Penelope Cruz have some shining moments, and Dame Judi Dench’s monologue about little Daisy Armstrong made me tear up. Lucy Boynton and Sergei Polunin’s respective portrayals of Count & Countess Andrenyi are dark, a hidden gem that is impressive considering their inexperience. Josh Gad was good for the most part, but the chase scene involving Poirot felt awkward. The conflict between Hercule and Dr. Arbuthnot also felt clumsy. Daisy Ridley acted well, but I did not like Mary Debenham’s demeanor. In the book, she is polite and reserved which leads Poirot to suspect she might be the mastermind behind the murder; his suspicion makes little sense in the movie because Mary is much too bright and happy.

The book’s methodical layout is not perfectly suited for a movie. Some may find the added action irritating, but I understand the necessity to shake up the format onscreen. That being said, some of the clues got lost in the shuffle due to a speedier pace. As far as I remember, all the clues from the book were included, but they weren’t given the time they needed to simmer and encourage the audience to consider possible outcomes. Perhaps the extra, non-book stuff could’ve been trimmed to accommodate character interviews and clue discoveries, making the final reveal much more grand than it actually was. I also want to mention that I don’t remember Biniamino Marquez being named at the end. (SPOILER) The twist relies on the shock of twelve people being involved, each with a specific connection to the Armstrong family. The cast may seem large, but those who know the story well won’t miss anything, even if only one name is passed over. This goes back to details being muddled at the end. Murder on the Orient Express is one of the greatest stories ever written in the mystery genre. If you don’t lay it out correctly, you spoil the thrill and fun of the twists and turns.

I love two-thirds of the movie, but the ending is a disappointment. Things can surely get better from here so I hope Kenneth Branagh is giving the chance to continue the series, perhaps with a book that has less adaptations. I truly believe he can do great things with Poirot. The final scene hints at a sequel based on Death on the Nile. How great would that be?! 😄

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boSSSZpAkyw&t=25s

🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂 🔪 👨🏻 🔍 🚂

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– Lauren Michele ❤︎

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Peter Sallis | Wallace & Gromit

🧀 Correct me if I’m wrong, but many young adults don’t know about Wallace and Gromit. I feel fortunate to have grown up watching it. When The Curse of the Were-Rabbit premiered in movie theaters, I was thrilled. More of the world was going to experience the genius of Nick Park’s creation. To this day, my family quotes Wallace and mimics his signature hand gesture. ☕

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0qagA4_eVQ

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrmZIgVoQw4

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36GfaI0_B8E

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXYNHHj4KDw

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXBmZLmfQZ4

🎬 Peter Sallis brought Wallace to life with his voice. Because of him, I will never say cheese the same way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Peter for adding something special to my childhood. You will be dearly missed by the W&G community. 💕

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Cinderella Part II – Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella 2015(Source: http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141119151633/disney/images/b/b4/Cinderella_2015_1.jpg)

Good evening and welcome to the 2nd and final part of my Cinderella series. Part I was posted on my art blog yesterday. If you did not read it, I suggest you read it now.  After all, what is part II without part I?? Here is the link: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/cinderella-part-i-a-little-magic/

Part I was all about the beautiful costuming created by designer Sandy Powell.  Tonight’s post focuses on the main motto of the movie: “Have courage and be kind.”  Ella’s mother expressed these words before [SPOILER] her death.  Ella took the phrase to heart and recited it in order to endure harsh treatment from her stepmother and stepsisters.  Despite being treated like a servant rather than a relative, she was gracious.  However, when her happiness was on the line, she had the courage to speak up.  What an example!  In negative situations, it is always a better choice to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek.  But, never let your kindness be mistaken for meekness.  The unfortunate truth is that there are people who will attempt to take advantage of compassion.  Kindness should always stem from genuine desire, not obligation or fear.  Have the courage to speak up if you feel uncomfortable and/or threatened.

I hope you have enjoyed this two-part Cinderella series.  If you have not already seen the movie, I highly recommend you do so.

Cinderella Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20DF6U1HcGQ

“Have courage and be kind.  Where there is kindness, there is goodness and where there is goodness, there is magic.” – Ella’s mother, “Cinderella”

– Lauren Michele :)

Cinderella Part I: https://laurenmichelephotography.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/cinderella-part-i-a-little-magic/

Previous Post: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/in-the-barnyard/

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Oscars 2015 Part II – Best Dressed

Here it is readers: Oscars 2015 Part II.  Tonight I will be discussing the top five dresses that caught my eye on the red carpet.  The following information and images are brought to you by the New York Times.  Let’s skip the chit-chat and get things started counting down from the #5.

Oscars 2015 Jennifer Lopez

Designer: Elie Saab.

Celebrity: Jennifer Lopez

The warm nude color is gorgeous against Miss Lopez’s skin.  Although I approve of the monochromatic details and minimal styling, this was not my #1 pick because I am not a fan of wide V necklines.  In my opinion, the neckline ruins an otherwise perfect Saab creation.

Oscars 2015 Anna Kendrick

Designer: Thakoon Panichgul

Celebrity: Anna Kendrick

This gown missed the top spot because of simplicity.  I find no fault in simplicity, but many of the red carpet looks this year were eye-catching because of the details.  However, Anna can do no wrong in my eyes.  The pink hue and jewelled collar, appropriately accentuated by soft neutral makeup, make her skin glow.  She did more than enough to make my top five.

Oscars 2015 Emma Stone

Designer: Elie Saab

Celebrity: Emma Stone

I am not a fan of the yellow-green color family therefore this dress is not my “Best Dressed” pick.  However, Miss Stone earned her #3 spot by miraculously pulling off this color and embodying the style and grace of “Old Hollywood.”  The styling– side curls, coral lips, and matching bracelets –was well done and assisted in making the color easier to accept.

Oscars 2015 Felicity Jones

Designer: Alexander McQueen

Celebrity: Felicity Jones

First of all, I am thrilled to see Felicity evolve from female lead in the British television film “Northanger Abbey” to Oscar-nominated actress in “The Theory of Everything.”  She was gorgeous then, and she is gorgeous now.  The color of the gown is surprisingly flattering.  It is light gray, and yet shine and a hint of periwinkle keep Miss Jones’ skin looking alive rather than washed out.  The detailing in the bodice is what edged out the competition for this #2 spot.  The color reminds me of space, and the bodice accents remind me of the ocean.  In a nutshell, this look is a chic ocean/outer-space hybrid.

Drum roll please!!  I am giving the “Best Dressed” title to…

Oscars 2015, Lupita Nyong'o

Designer: Francisco Costa, Calvin Klein Collection

Celebrity: Lupita Nyong’o

I stand and applaud Ms. Costa.  APPROXIMATELY SIX THOUSAND PEARLS!!!  I think we can all agree that not many people could wear this gown and pull it off effortlessly.  Mission accomplished Lupita!  The silhouette is elegant, and the pearls make Miss Nyong’o’s skin glow.

If you would like to see other red carpet looks, here is a link to the New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/red-carpet-watch/oscars-2015/felicity-jones

I hope you have enjoyed my two-part recap of the 87th Academy Awards because I had a lot of fun writing it.  Perhaps I will do this again next year and add on more information such as a movie review and/or men’s fashion.  Until then, stay classy readers!

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part I: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/oscars-2015-part-i-and-the-oscar-goes-to/

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Oscars 2015 Part I – And The Oscar Goes To

Oscars 2015(Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Wxtzw0UVkcw/VMO4JhBZANI/AAAAAAAAMrc/_5CAcxONTrs/s1600/poster1.jpg)

The 87th Academy Awards took place last night, and all the media outlets are buzzing about the movies that got snubbed.  This year’s tight race was made up of outstanding nominees; no matter who won what category, the other nominees would have been snubbed in the eyes of the general public.  Congratulations to both the winners and nominees!!  Here is a complete list of winners, courtesy of ABC News and Washington Post:

– Actor: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

– Actress: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

– Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

– Animated Feature Film: “Big Hero 6”

– Animated Short Film: “Feast”

– Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”

– Costume Design: Milena Canonero, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”

– Documentary Feature Film: “Citizenfour”

– Documentary Short Film: “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

– Feature Film: “Birdman”

– Film Editing: Tom Cross, “Whiplash”

– Foreign Language Feature Film: “Ida”, Poland

– Live Action Short Film: “The Phone Call”

– Makeup and Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Original Screenplay: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”

– Original Song:Common and John Legend, “Glory” from “Selma”

– Production Design: Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration), “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

– Sound Editing: Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, “American Sniper”

– Sound Mixing: Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

– Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”

– Visual Effects: Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher, “Interstellar”

If you would like to see the nominees in each category, ABC News has that covered: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/oscar-winners-full-list-2015/story?id=29148491

If you are like me and have, unfortunately, not seen any of the nominated films, here are the trailers for all the winners:

“American Sniper” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MItGoIxoVGk&index=14&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Big Hero 6” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcqbqeXIjZ8&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=2

“Birdman” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jAfBd3g6bA&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=7

“Boyhood” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiDztHS3Wos&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=9

“Citizenfour” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiGwAvd5mvM&index=4&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSxt1GNQX-c

“Feast” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAIf4aIOYyY

“Ida” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JIXxo8qUn0&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=3

“Interstellar” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LqzF5WauAw

“Selma” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

“Still Alice” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrXrZ5iiR0o&index=10&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgGXL5lJ-6g&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=8

“The Imitation Game” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuPZUUED5uk&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS&index=12

“The Phone Call” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0NggvtmNeg

“The Theory of Everything” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUayjO_KgsQ&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

“Whiplash” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHDEZXoh4-c&index=11&list=PLn106HlSzrNs__tjQTVVj4bqZ44S4kvzS

Stay tuned for Oscars 2015 Part II, which will be posted tomorrow.  I am warning you now: The topic is my best dressed pick as well as honorable mentions.  I am only discussing the actresses, not the actors.

“I have a theory that movies operate on the level of dreams, where you dream yourself.”  – Meryl Streep

– Lauren Michele :)

Oscars 2015 Part II: https://laurenmichelelifestyle.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/oscars-2015-part-ii-best-dressed/

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