Thursday, June 2, 2016
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We've seen many great movies, but this one tops them all for films we've seen recently.
The story, the execution, the props and the overall package by an extraordinary team make Me Before You an obvious summer blockbuster starting tomorrow in the USA by Warner Brothers Pictures! Based on the book by Jojo Moyes, Me Before You is a quintessential romantic comedy: the story of Lou (Emilia Clarke) and Will (Sam Claflin) that's sure to delight everyone with a heart.
“Lou and Will…Me Before You…to me it basically means ‘who I was before I met you,’” Jojo Moyes informs. “It refers to how each of them has changed the other. Lou is intimidated by the house, by the class of people she’s dealing with. She’s deeply out of her comfort zone. Will doesn’t want her there, so he’s going to do his best to be annoying and not give her an inch. They start off as two people who never should’ve met, but the more they get to know each other, the more they appreciate each other’s strengths. He realizes that in some ways she’s as trapped as he is—by her own expectations, her own history. Ultimately it’s Will who pushes Lou to look outward, to expect more from life, but he’s only able to do so after she opens his eyes, and his heart.”
Emilia Clarke says, “What drew me to this movie were the words of Jojo Moyes, the book first and then the script. I was hooked on page one and so excited to play a character with such charm and sincerity, who is so authentically and brilliantly British, and with such a lovely arc in her story.”
Sam Claflin adds: “The writing itself was so beautifully done, and the subject matter surrounding this very challenging character was handled so well, it really got me thinking. That was a big draw for me.”
Emilia looks much better as a brunette, and you all know her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen or the “Mother of Dragons” on HBO’s award winning series “Game of Thrones,” and her twice Emmy-nominated performances in that show are only topped by her sublime character execution in Me Before You. Last year, we also thought she was amazing in the newest Terminator.
Lou is a brilliant character throughout, and her thought evolution from small-town ideas to the big world becoming her oyster mindset is so beautiful to see as she perfectly embodies her character. From her beginnings at a small cafe (and yes, of course, there are fewer calories when you eat standing up!) to her ultimate destination which brings bittersweet sentiments, Lou and her depth of personality and warm spirit are conveyed so well by Emilia Clarke. And, we love the houndstooth. The fashion in this movie is practically an additional character! (But Lou, you needed to go see Ellen before the races.) She fixes his pillows, she gets him painkillers, but the ultimate painkiller is her own bright personality. Their chemistry is pure electricity that radiates off the big screen! You can feel it.
Claflin had to lose over 40 pounds for this role in order to portray his character's immobility for two years accurately, and his evolution is just as notable as Lou's. He must have eaten standing up for a long time! The gaunt nature was not only physical, but also showed in his few effective actions, which he nuanced brilliantly to communicate the loss of the world he once lived in.
Lou's tactile and technicolor effervescence color his world in ways he would have never seen without her. We truly could have slapped him early on when he told her to be unchatty, and Will, for your information, "I Love Clothes" is not only a hobby, but also a career if you do it right...and not everyone in New York that works for a bank is a monster. Both Lou and Will's comedic line delivery was perfect: "You better not move in case you pop a tire."
The amazing Patsy Stone has a cameo in the wedding scene, and her screen presence is of course Absolutely Fabulous.
And look below: do we see a BowlOver in Lou's basket? They would have been used well in that cafe she started at!
Two thumbs up to costume designer, Jill Taylor. Of course as we saw all of Lou's fabulous outfits right down to her shoes, we kept wondering if she ever wore Lotus!?! (oldest shoe brand in the world dating back to 1759 in England. We can't remember a film in recent memory where we liked the clothes as much as we did in this one. Though the costumes were both stunning and at times bold, they matched and enhanced the story flawlessly, as did the settings and layout of the shots, which supported the narrative and added dimension to the tale, so richly portrayed by the brilliant actors who were cast so well across the board. As you know, we only publish our positive thoughts and do not identify specifically any weak links in terms of a character's specific performances, but most of the time in our minds we absolutely see weak links in films and they make us cringe. But in Me Before You, we saw no weak links.
For everyone that also loved Downton Abbey, you will be delighted to see Bates (Brendan Coyle) plays Lou's father. (Where's Anna?) Also, we cannot see Charles Dance and not think Tulkinghorn because Bleak House was so phenomenal.
Here, Mallorca plays the character of Mauritius:
“Let’s go somewhere, anywhere in the world, just you and me.” — Lou
“On a really fundamental level, I would love for people to take away from this movie the joy that life has to offer, the joy that love has to offer. It’s a story that touched people when they read it and all of us as we were making it, so I hope it would touch the people who watch it, as well,” Emila concludes.
“The film poses a lot of questions, especially as regards my character,” Sam Claflin says, “and I hope people do talk about it and are willing to learn more. I think I can safely say there are many inspiring stories and many heartbreaking stories of people like Will and Lou, and I think this movie has both and, ultimately, is very uplifting.”
We even loved the music, which could be perhaps our most fussy discipline. Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” and “Photograph,” “Unsteady (Erich Lee Gravity Remix)” from X are part of Me Before You, and we predicted Sheeran's Grammy success prior to his win.
“I have become a whole new person because of you.” — Lou
Now we would love to review the book!
Not only did we love the story but also we loved many references.
We love the L'Artisan Parfumeur mention (see our past interview with Mover and Shaker Bertrand Duchaufour, Perfumeur with L'Artisan Parfumeur) especially since we believe we heard the reference to Papillons. And you KNOW wearing the right pair of tights can change your life!
“When I was little my mum got me a pair of glittery wellies and I refused to take them off…My favorite outfit was the glittery boots and my bumblebee tights…black and yellow stripes!” — Lou
Me Before You is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know!
You can't miss this: go see it and live as fully as possible.
Based on the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, New Line Cinema’s and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ “Me Before You” stars Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”) and Sam Claflin (“The Hunger Games” series), under the direction of Thea Sharrock, making her feature film directorial debut.
Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…
Louisa “Lou” Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet. Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined.
The film also stars Charles Dance (“The Imitation Game”), Jenna Coleman (“Dr. Who”), Matthew Lewis (the “Harry Potter” films), Vanessa Kirby (“About Time”), Stephen Peacocke (“Hercules”), Brendan Coyle (“Downton Abbey”) and Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs,” “Tumbleweeds”).
Sharrock directs from a screenplay by Jojo Moyes and Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (“The Fault in Our Stars”), based on the book by Moyes. The film is being produced by Karen Rosenfelt (“The Twilight Saga” films, upcoming “Max”) and Alison Owen (“Saving Mr. Banks,” upcoming “Suffragette”), and executive produced by Sue Baden-Powell (“Elysium,” upcoming “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”).
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Remi Adefarasin (“Elizabeth”), production designer Andrew McAlpine (“An Education”), editor John Wilson (“Downton Abbey”) and costume designer Jill Taylor (“My Week with Marilyn”).
“Me Before You” is a presentation of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM). Set for release beginning June 3, 2016, it will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company, and MGM in select territories.