Samantha Brick defends herself on ITV’s This Morning

Samantha Brick’s controversial article has caused a worldwide media storm. I originally thought the feature was a hoax, and that Samantha Brick might just be the funniest female comedian of all time – or possibly the cleverest self-publicist. Alas this was not to be, for it would appear Samantha was being deadly serious, and as a result she is now enduring the world’s wrath.

Following the mass media revolt (which has totally eclipsed that Angelina Jolie leg-bombing craze) Samantha decided to go on This Morning and defend her article. During her appearance not only was she trending #1 in the UK, but #2 globally. If you missed the show, here are the highlights…

Samantha Brick This Morning

Samantha Brick: writer, producer, and beauty icon (image: dailymail.co.uk)

1. Hello Samantha Brick

Samantha introduces herself to Eamonn Holmes and the gang, declaring: “I live in the middle of France, I live in the middle of the countryside, with my husband and our dogs, and I’m a housewife first and foremost, I write part-time around my chores at home.” Part-time writing probably for the best Sam, lest you wish to endure written abuse on a daily basis.

2. Samantha takes a trip to Delusion-ville

“Were you asked to write the article?” asks Eamonn. “Or did you say ‘I want to write this article’ because you felt so strongly about it?”

“The background to the article was – and I think I mentioned this anecdote in the piece – I walk my dogs every day, as you do, in the countryside, and I passed a woman that I know. Her kids stay at my house with my stepson, we know each other at social events etc. and I waved at her – everyone does that in the French countryside, we all know each other – she didn’t wave back. And I just thought, ‘Blimey!'”

Samantha Brick This Morning

Samantha Brick on This Morning (image: This Morning ITV)

Except Samantha didn’t just think ‘Blimey’, did she. In fact, I’d say she went about five stages beyond the normal response of “Blimey”. I imagine Samantha’s train of thought at that point in time actually went something like this: “I am incredibly beautiful and this woman is clearly jealous of my undeniable beauty. This, and only this, is the reason why she blanked me.

“It can’t be because she was focusing on the road, nor because she was temporarily blinded by my dazzling smile (although many have been). No, it was definitely because she envies my good looks. And now I must write about this life-changing event on the Daily Mail website.” Rational, no?

3. The quack starts quacking

Perturbed psychologist Emma Kenny then pipes up with, “I don’t think the controversy has genuinely been about the fact that you suggested you get treated a certain way because you have good looks -”

[Samantha randomly cuts across] “And also I’m 41, those things don’t happen to me every day of the week, it’s half a dozen encounters that have happened to me over forty years, it’s not like that’s happening all the time.”

But that’s the point Samantha, you did say it happens all the time IN YOUR STUPID ARTICLE.

Samantha Brick This Morning

Samantha Brick & the gang on This Morning (image: dailymail.co.uk)

4. The quack goes quackers

Emma Kenny gets increasingly wound up: “It’s not necessarily that that’s offended people, it’s the suggestion that women generically and in society don’t like you because you’re pretty, and from my point of view, and as somebody who has varied friends in diverse groups, I have never felt as a woman disliked because of the way that I look – and definitely not disliked women.”

Okay Emma, chill out with the sanctimonious chat. We’ve all been jealous, whether occasionally or frequently, of people that are visibly better looking than us. It’s like, Darwinian or something, innit? Survival of the fittest (in every sense of the word). And let’s be honest, nobody really likes to be beaten on the evolutionary front.

Nevertheless, I would argue that most of us have the intelligence to recognize that there’s more to a person (and indeed to life) than looks. I would also argue that you can appreciate another person’s looks regardless of their sex, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that it’s enjoyable to be around friends who are happy in their own skin.

Samantha Brick

I'd stay inside for a while if I were you Sam (image: dailymail.co.uk)

5. Brick backlash

“I’ve had thousands of e-mails to my personal account not to mention all the rubbish on Twitter. And women have fallen into two camps, they’ve either gone: ‘You’re off your head’, ‘You’re a nutter’, ‘What are you on about’, ‘You’re really arrogant’. Or they’ve said to me, ‘You’ve just reiterated the story of my life – thank you'”.

At this point she actually wells up and I start feeling sorry for her, but then I remember she is a self-indulgent narcissist. Bit harsh? Ah whatevz, she deserves it.

6. Samantha hits a nerve

“It’s really difficult when you’re perceived as being attractive, other women do not like it.”

Sadly, I think there’s some truth in this. I believe most women have the capacity to feel jealous of other women who they deem good looking, but I don’t agree with Samantha that all women instantly dislike a woman purely because she’s good looking. That would be absurd.

I know so many women (friends, family, acquaintances etc.) who are beautiful, but I don’t dislike them. I HATE THEM. Jokes. Seriously though, why would you dislike a friend for being good looking? Surely you’re not really friends if all you think about is how you compare with each other in physical terms…

Samantha Brick

"I am a well-adjusted, hard-working and beautiful individual who likes working out on a daily basis" (image: dailymail.co.uk)

7. Ruth Langsford chips in

“It’s the fact that you say women don’t like you,” says Ruth in a calm and collected (but blatantly peed off) manner. “It’s one thing to say you’re attractive, but to actually come out loud and say it and put it in print and say: ‘I am a beautiful woman’, does have a certain arrogance about it. We don’t hate beautiful women, we don’t like arrogant women – or men actually.”

Samantha then offers a rebuttal, saying: “You’ll appreciate the feature is 1200 words, it’s a compression of all my experiences… a lot of my friends and family have read it and said: ‘God blimey, is that you Sam?’ But you know that’s one tiny aspect of who I am as a human being, and I’ve put it into a feature, so of course I’m not surprised that people think ‘what an arrogant person’”.

Samantha Brick This Morning

"Don't hate me 'cause you ain't me" (image: dailymail.co.uk)

“I don’t have those experiences every day of my life… of course I live in the middle of the French countryside, I see about 2 cars that go pass my house.”

Yes Samantha, you live in the middle of nowhere and have limited human contact, and maybe that’s why you have a warped view of life and a deluded perception of yourself. Just a theory.

8. Emma Kenny brings out the big guns

The psychologist, who by this point is about to implode, turns to Samantha and says, “So what you’re actually saying is, this is a minority of experiences and this doesn’t apply to you…”

“These are experiences that have happened to me without question,” Samantha retorts.

“But on a minor level?” The psychologist snaps back.

“Err, well, no.” says Samantha.

“So on a major level?”

“There’s shades of grey.”

Read: there are shades of bullshit, all of which can be found in Samantha’s article.

Samantha Brick

Samantha on her daily walk where she may or may not be blanked by jealous women (image: dailymail.co.uk)

9. Eamonn plays hard ball

“But what there are not shades of is that you definitely believe that you are very good looking?” asks Eamonn.

“It’s not that I believe it,” says Samantha. “I believe the perception of how men approach me. Do I think I’m attractive? Yes I do. Is that a big crime?”

Eamonn then asks the killer question, “Why do you believe you’re good looking?”

Come on, we’ve all been thinking it. She’s not that hot. If Angelina Jolie had written that article, she may have had a point. But in this instance, and without meaning to sound cruel or brutal, the article seems somewhat disproportionate to the face behind it.

Samantha Brick This Morning

Samantha Brick choking on humble pie. Not. (image: dailymail.co.uk)

10. Samantha stands her brittle ground

“You go to a dinner party or party, there are ten blokes there,” probes Eamonn. “What percentage of those blokes do you know are attracted to you?”

“All of them, all of them Eamonn,” answers Samantha in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

Except it’s not tongue-in-cheek is it, because we know she genuinely believes this to be true. Puke.

Eamonn then asks: “Do you regret writing this article?”

“No I don’t regret writing it. I pitched a headline for the feature, ‘Why Does the Sisterhood Hate Attractive Women“, and I stand by that – women do not like attractive women.”

Err, what about lesbians? Or women who are bisexual? Or women who are related to eachother? Or women who don’t have an inferiority complex? Or women who appreciate aesthetic beauty? Or women who aren’t completely shallow or obsessed by physical appearance? Seems there’s quite a few women who don’t fit into your sweeping statement, Samantha.

Samantha Brick This Morning

The poor dog just couldn't resist Samantha's charms (image: dailymail.co.uk)

11. Ruth Langsford makes a very sensible comment

“I have no problem with you thinking you’re attractive,” says Ruth. “I do have a problem with you saying to me as a woman: ‘I probably won’t like you when you walk into a room because you’re attractive’. And I do take offense at that because I think it’s totally wrong.” Hear hear.

12. Samantha Brick puts in the final nail

“Women do not like attractive women, and that’s been proven to me by the thousands of vile messages I’ve had on Twitter, the thousands of vile e-mails I’ve had to my personal account, the messages I’ve had on my own answerphone.”

If anything, I’d say the countless messages, Tweets and e-mails protesting against Samantha’s article prove that the Sisterhood is actually stronger than ever. Women around the globe are putting up a united front against Brick’s backward and two-dimensional portrayal of how females think and interact with one another. And for being the catalyst behind all this, Samantha Brick, I applaud you.

Pascal and Samantha Brick husband

Pascal Brick, Samantha's husband / bodyguard (image: dailymail.co.uk)

Worth a read:


George Clooney arrested during protest!

George Clooney proved himself to be a badass humanitarian yesterday when he was arrested for civil disobedience while protesting outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington DC. 

A renowned celebrity activist, Clooney used his star wattage to illuminate the imminent humanitarian crisis in Sudan, where U.S. officials say as many as 250,000 people could face severe food shortages.

The Hollywood actor, who recently paid a secret visit to the Nuba Mountain region which divides Sudan and South Sudan (where he witnessed a rocket attack), protested alongside his father, journalist Nick Clooney, Democrat politicians and other humanitarians including Martin Luther King III.

George Clooney outside the Sudanese embassy in Washington DC, March 2012

During the protest, Clooney ignored three verbal warnings from the police to leave the embassy and as a result was handcuffed and led to a waiting van by members of the Secret Service. The day before his arrest Clooney met with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the Sudan situation.

Moments before his arrest, Clooney told reporters: “We are here really to ask two very simple questions. The first question is something immediate — and immediately, we need humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Sudan before it becomes the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

“The second thing is for the government in Khartoum to stop randomly killing its own innocent men, women and children. Stop raping them and stop starving them. That’s all we ask.”

Actor George Clooney, and his father Nick Clooney, take part in a protest at the Sudan Embassy in Washington, Friday, March 16, 2012. The demonstrators are protesting the escalating humanitarian emergency in Sudan that threatens the lives of 500,000 people. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Both Clooney and his father Nick were detained at the Metropolitan police department for three hours, but were released after paying bail of $100 (£63).  Clooney described his arrest as “humilitating”, saying it was his first and would hopefully be his last, but also defended his actions.

“What we’ve been trying to achieve today is we’re trying to bring attention to an ongoing emergency,” he told reporters after being released. “Our job right now is to try to bring attention to it, and one of those ways was, apparently, get arrested.”

“We hope people understand there really is a ticking clock on this and we need to get moving… There’s been amazing progress at times. There’ve been some great strides, but on the other hand, there’s an awful lot that’s still going on.”

Comment

I’m often sceptical about celebrity activists because, similar to some politicans, their actions can seem somewhat self-serving. To me, boastful donations and rash, fashionable adoptions signal a messiah complex rather than an actual desire to help.

Having said that, at least these movie stars are getting off their butts and doing something to help, which is more than can be said for most of us. Indeed, who cares if celebrities are doing charitable things to feel good about themselves? At least they’re helping others in the process.

Whether Clooney’s political activism is partially ego-driven is therefore irrelevant because, on the whole, he is doing something inherently and undeniably good.

More importantly he’s captured the world’s attention and has reached a new (and arguably younger) audience – a group of people who, prior to Clooney’s arrest, might not have cared about the situation in Sudan, or possibly even known where exactly Sudan was.

If Clooney wanted to get the world talking, then he’s certainly done just that – and good on him. Now it’s up to the rest of us to do our bit. To find out what you can do to help Sudan, visit UNICEF.com.

Satellite image showing geography of Sudan, source: Nasa

Images: CNN, BBC, Twitter.


The Descendants: Review

I had high hopes for The Descendants. After all, the film’s been met with rave reviews, five Oscar nominations, two Golden Globe awards and an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

So it came as a surprise to me when I went to see The Descendants at the cinema and almost fell asleep. The film, which centres around a Hawaiian lawyer named Matt King (George Clooney), has a slow-moving, almost non-existent plot that drags on for nearly two hours.

In short, the film is dull. Beautifully shot and well acted, yes, but definitely still dull.

George Clooney in The Descendants (image: typepad.com)

Here’s a quick lowdown of The Descendants for those who haven’t seen it yet (spoilers alert): Matt King is the sole trustee of 25,000 acres of untouched Hawaiian land which he and his cousins are about to sell. In other words, he’s a rich Hawaiian lawyer who’s about to get even richer.

Despite Matt’s apparent fortune, we soon find out that his wife has suffered a boating accident and as a result has been in a coma for almost a month. The film opens with a voiceover from Matt, during which he briefly (and vaguely) explains his life story, before boldly exclaiming: “Fuck paradise”.

Matt then embarks on a life-changing journey, where he makes amends for his past behaviour and faces up to his responsibilities. Namely, he must inform his family and friends that his wife is about to die, become a better father to his two bratty daughters in the process, confront the source of his marital problems, and make an honourable decision regarding his inheritance.

George Clooney The Descendants

George Clooney plays the clueless but loveable father figure (image: media.salon.com)

It all sounds very dramatic, but the film actually bored me to tears. And before you think I’m completely heartless, I should point out that I cried like a baby while watching Ghost (I put the pathetic in empathetic). Alas, I felt no empathy toward Matt King. And that’s not a slight on Clooney’s performance either. In fact, I think Clooney is one of the few actors actually capable of bringing Matt’s two-dimensional character to life.

Clooney’s puppy-eyed charisma is what gives Matt King’s character any sort of substance or feeling. With baffled expressions and a goofy running style, Clooney nails the “clueless-but-loveably-awkward”, “middle-aged-single-father” persona (think Mel Gibson in What Women Want). In fact, if it wasn’t for Clooney’s charisma, I think I would have left the cinema.

George Clooney The Descendants head popping out of grass

George Clooney brings humour to The Descendants

But despite Clooney’s undeniable likeability, Matt’s character still isn’t great. This is particularly true during the scene where he insensitively breaks the news of his wife’s imminent death to his eldest daughter, an obnoxious teenager named Alexandra (played by the beautiful Shailene Woodley).

While swimming in her father’s pool, Alexandra is told that her mother will soon be taken off life-support. Cue an overly dramatic scene where she plunges her head underwater and delivers a silent scream that should represent emotional turmoil, but instead looks completely staged.

And that’s the thing about this film, it all just seems mechanical; as if each character is simply going through the motions. Despite the heart-felt performances, the film lacks soul. Indeed, The Descendants is filled with potentially powerful scenes, but somehow leaves you feeling empty.

George Clooney The Descendants

Scottie (furthest right) played by Amara Miller, is one of the film's highlights (image: thefilmstage.com)

Maybe that’s the beauty of the film; maybe these juxtapositions are meant to remind us of how lonely it can be in so-called paradise. Still, something seems to be missing from The Descendants. Matt’s character in particular is pretty vacuous; in that he’s pretty to look at, but devoid of any real depth.

This is partially due to the fact that we don’t really get any detailed background on Matt during the film, just a few vague and self-depricating lines such as: “I was the back-up parent”. Having said that, Clooney does deliver a cracking emotional scene when he bids farewell to his wife at hospital.

Even so, each time Matt appeared on screen, all I could really think about was how well George Clooney looked (SILVER FOX ALERT). The fact that I was so easily distracted by Clooney’s remarkably well-preserved appearance speaks volumes about the film’s plot. After all, if you’re more interested by the lead’s hair than his character’s journey, then something’s definitely not right.

George Clooney The Descendants

(image: amazonaws.com)

Summary

The bland storyline, soothing soundtrack and vanilla script all contribute towards making The Descendants a one-way ticket to snoresville, which is a shame, because the film could be touching if it weren’t so darn boring.

The Descendants features an array of potentially heart-warming, tear-jerking, and nail-biting situations: a father bonding with his daughters, a mother on her deathbed, a confrontation between a man and his wife’s secret lover… Yet none of these scenarios are poignant or interesting to watch.

Having said that, the film is sprinkled (albeit sparingly) with sharp bursts of humour, mainly thanks to Matt’s 10-year-old daughter Scottie (Amara Miller), gormless “Bill & Ted” inspired teen Sid (Nick Krause) and Matt’s father-in-law Scott Thorson (Robert Forster).

Overall there’s nothing notably wrong with The Descendants. It’s a  gentle “comedy-drama” that lightly touches upon a variety of heavy topics, and while I wouldn’t say there’s anything particularly gripping about it, you should go and see it if you a) like George Clooney, b) enjoy slow-paced films, or c) need a temporary solution to insomnia.


Lauren Goodger’s Banging Balls

Forget Nana Pat’s Sausage Plait, this week it’s all about Lauren Goodger’s Banging Balls…

Lauren proved to be quite the chef last night at The Waterhouse Restaurant in London, where she and three other TOWIE girls battled it out over the stove in a charity cook-off.

The event saw Lauren Goodger, Lauren Pope, Frankie Essex and Peri Sinclair take on the challenge of cooking a 33p meal in aid of Live Below The Line; a national poverty campaign which challenges people to live off £5 on food and drink for a week.

The Reem Rangers vs. The Salty Potatoes at charity cook-off

What happened…

The event kicked off with a welcome talk by Elisha London, UK Country Director at The Global Poverty Project. As Elisha explained the cause to a crowd of paps and journos, we could see the TOWIE girls getting ready to cook up a storm in the restaurant’s open-plan kitchen.

The girls were divided into two teams: The Reem Rangers (Lauren G. and Peri) and The Salty Potatoes (Lauren P. and Frankie). As soon as the challenge began the paparazzi invaded the kitchen area, ravenous for shots of the women at work.

Frankie Essex and Lauren Pope take tips from the head chef

As the photographers snapped away furiously, my celebrity journalist pal and I remained happily seated at our table, guzzling free wine and discussing the relevance of Lady Gaga’s song Paparazzi. How cultured of us.

I did eventually get up to join the photo-taking frenzy, but soon retreated to the table after being whacked around the head with a massive SLR camera. That’ll teach me for trying to muscle into a crowd of hungry paps.

Hopefully no false eyelashes fell into the sauce. Har har.

Dolled up as always, the TOWIE gals wore fake hair, fake tan, and fake eyelashes (looks like the hair-net rule doesn’t apply if you’re a reality TV star). Fortunately everybody’s makeup stayed in tact despite the kitchen heat, and nobody’s extensions caught fire on a gas ring.

Indeed, the ladies were cool-headed throughout and seemed immersed in the challenge. Lord knows how much actual cooking they did (they were assisted by a number of professional chefs) but I’ll say this much: the meals tasted really good!

Lauren Goodger's Banging Balls.... Tasty!

The Reem Rangers served up some delicious, hand-made meatballs which they aptly named “The Banging Balls”. The Salty Potatoes, on the other hand, made stir fry, which they named… stir fry.

After a quick vote, Elisha London announced The Reem Rangers as the winners of the cooking competition. Cue squeals of joy from Lauren G. and Peri, and one last photo opportunity before the girls disappeared out of the room. Probz for a night out in Sugar Hut.

All in all the TOWIE ladies did a great job of promoting a good cause and brought attention to the serious issue of extreme food poverty. If you’d like to take part in the £5 a week challenge or find out more about the charity, visit www.livebelowtheline.co.uk. In the meantime here are a couple of sneaky stalker snaps of the night from my phone…

The TOWIE girls waiting to find out the verdict....

Photo opp! The girls promote a good cause (and themselves, obv.)


Angelina Jolie legs it down the red carpet!

She’s always been a show-stopper, but Angelina Jolie has really gone out on a limb this time. Dressed in a black velvet Versace gown with a thigh-high slit, Jolie flaunted her right leg at the 2012 Oscars; first down the red carpet and then on stage while presenting an award.

The bizarre and exhibitionistic pose Jolie struck during her presentation speech reminded me of the last awkward appearance she made at the Academy Awards. You know, back in 2000, where she said she was in love with her brother during her acceptance speech and then kissed him on the lips afterwards? Yep, hard to forget that.

Angelina Jolie brother kiss James Haven

Angelina Jolie kissing her brother James Haven (image: quotednews.com)

Except it’s not that hard to forget, is it? In fact, up until now, I’d almost forgotten about Jolie’s old brother-loving, blood-vial-wearing, S&M persona. Hardly surprising though, given the amount of times she’s changed her image since.

It seems as if Angelina Jolie’s played more roles in real life than she has in movies; wild child, goth-chick, Oscar-winner, wife, mother, femme fatale, humanitarian, director, the world’s most beautiful woman… You name it, she’s got the t-shirt.

In short, she’s become her own most interesting character, and we’re all on tenterhooks to see just what she does next. Of course, a major part of Angelina Jolie’s allure stems from the fact that she’s insanely good looking. But, perfect facial proportions aside, it would seem it’s Jolie’s sheer unpredictability that really keeps her global audience intrigued.

Angelina Jolie Oscars 2012

Is she pulling our leg? Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Oscars (image: mydaily.co.uk)

Indeed, such is the world’s fascination with Jolie’s ever-evolving persona that nowadays all she needs to do is pop out a leg at an awards ceremony and the media goes absolutely mad. More specfically, the internet goes bonkers.

Point in case: not only has the appearance of her right leg spawned a dedicatory Twitter account (@AngiesRightLeg has over 44 thousand followers and counting) but her leg has also been superimposed onto every iconic image imaginable – an online trend now known as leg-bombing.

I know I probably shouldn’t contribute to what could be considered a ridiculous obsession with one woman’s leg, but some of these photos are just so DARN FUNNY. Here are my top five, oh yes…

TOP FIVE LEGBOMBINGS (warning: contains awful puns)

1. ATAT-GELINA. Ange legging it across the snowy terrain.

Angelina Jolie legs ATAT star wars

ROBO BABE (image: twimg.com)

2. SQUAT! Just doing a little… stretch, on the red carpet.

Angelina Jolie legs Oscars 2012

Girl, interrupted… by photographer. (image: metro.co.uk)

3. VENUS LEGS. Imagine how well this would work for Gillette’s Venus razor ads. 

Angelina Jolie Venus leg

She’s got it, oh baby she’s got it. (image: dailymail.co.uk)

4. ANGE STRIKES BACK.Well she was wearing black, just like old Darth here.

Angelina Jolie Darth Vader leg

May the leg be with you (image: weknowmemes.com)

5. THE FIFTH BEATLE.The most inconspicious of the lot, which is why I like it.

Angelina Jolie Beatles

All you need is legs. (image: dailymail.co.uk)

Check out my beauty blog Yesterface for tips on how to achieve showstopping legs like Jolie’s!


The Artist: Review

Being something of an ignoramus, I’ve always had an irrational objection to silent black and white films. They’ve always just seemed so boring. Alas, I’m glad to say I was proven incredibly wrong when I went to see The Artist.

James Borg states that human communication consists of 93 percent body language and paranlinguistic cues, while only 7% of communication consists of words themselves. After watching The Artist, this theory has never seemed more true.

The extremely handsome Jean Dujardin as George Valentin (image: altfg.com)

Nowadays we’ve become accustomed to films with booming explosions and dramatic scripts, but the soft and silent approach of the The Artist speaks to the audience in a voice that is both loud and clear.

Apart from the lively score, the film’s discernible silence is what makes it so utterly gripping. Never have I gone to the cinema before and seen an entire audience so genuinely engaged, and never have I personally been so absorbed in a film from beginning to end.

In fact I was so wrapped up in the 100 minutes of runtime that I barely touched my sweets (though to be fair, the silence made it quite difficult to go rummaging around my paper bag for white chocolate mice. Lesson: silent films help the waistline).

The fact that you can’t hear the characters speak doesn’t matter. In fact, the lack of words means you focus more intently, and as a result each step of the storyline feels far more poignant. Indeed, the characters’ actions are all the more powerful because of the silence.

Peppy Miller

The beautiful Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller (image: indiewire.com)

It’s easily argued that as a modern audience we’ve become desensitized; we’re used to watching violence and graphic sex scenes without even flinching. But each expression and each romantic embrace in The Artist seems to deliver an acute blow, one which sears through your heart and really makes you react.

When George Valentin smiles, you smile too.  When sparks fly between George and Peppy Miller, you feel excited. When George looks sad, you actually feel like crying. If Hollywood blockbusters are the raging machine guns of the movie industry, then The Artist is the silent sniper; far more subtle, and with precision it hits you right between the eyes.

I think a full analysis of The Artist is better left until a later date, namely when the film comes out on DVD, so as to not reveal any spoilers to those who haven’t seen it yet. I also genuinely believe that, having only watched the film once, I’m not actually able to summarize all that’s so wonderful about it.

George Valentin and Peppy Miller

Sparks fly between George Valentin and Peppy Miller (image: indiewire.com)

But what I will say is this: The Artist is absolutely unmissable. Brilliant in its simplicity, but even more fantastic in its intricacies; striking in black and white, but colourful in all its nuances.

The Artist plays with myriad themes; from the pressures of fame to the wonders of romance. It even touches upon technology and the fickle nature of the economy. The film may be set during the crash of 1929, but its topics and events clearly resonate with those of modern-day society.

The Artist Peppy Miller Bérénice Bejo

Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller in The Artist (image: Telegraph.co.uk)

You’re bound to fall in love with the characters too, all of whom have charm, beauty and charisma in bucketloads. Jean DujardinBérénice Bejo, and John Goodman in particular absolutely steal the show. And, superb acting aside, to top it all off the costumes and set are absolutely beautiful – I predict there will soon be a major revival in flapper dresses and 1920s make-up.

The Artist is filled with glamour, humour and innocence (and also a brilliant canine sidekick) and my bet is that, once you’ve seen the film, you’ll leave the cinema feeling happy and entertained – and possibly with a strong desire to learn how to tap dance. Consequently I would recommend this film to absolutely anyone – especially those who hate silent black and white films.


Essex and the City

It’s been a shaky start to series 4, but TOWIE has totez redeemed itself with the latest episode!

The programme had a lot to live up to after the spectacular finale to series 3, but after watching the most recent installment, I think it’s safe to say that TOWIE is back on track. So, let’s take a look at what made episode 5 so great…

1. Ridiculous animals in ridiculous clothes

Victims of the Essex poochy parlour, these poor dogs look pitiful, but hilarious nonetheless.

Elvis dog Towie

Elvis the dog aka rat in a costume (Image: ITV2)

Dog Towie

Suits you, sir. (Image: ITV2)

2. Good old girly chats

Given this episode had a Sex and the City theme, it was only right that the producers should construct a scene where four women gathered around a coffee table to discuss men.

Essex and the City Towie

Chloe Sims appeared to take on the role of Miranda Hobbs when she expressed a somewhat cynical view on men. Referring to her cousin Joey Essex, she said: “Once he has his heart completely broken he’ll turn into an asshole like the rest of them.”

…And by ‘the rest of them’ she probably means the small pool of people she knows in Essex, rather than every single man on the planet. Because that’d be a bit sexist, wouldn’t it.

3. A burgeoning bromance

As mentioned in my previous post, TOWIE is in need of a good old bromance, and it looks as if Mario & Little Chris may be filling Marg’s shoes.

In this episode Mario was keen to give his more submissive (and arguably less good looking) pal Chris some advice on a) exercise and b) the ladies.

Whilst doing a spot of gentle rowing, Mario kindly said to Chris: “Mate, you’re so sad. You’re shit with women… if you stick with me, train with me, this time next year on Valentine’s day you will not be single.” How sweet of him.

Mario Chris Towie

Could Marris be the new Marg? (Image: ITV2)

There’s also plenty of ‘banter’ going on between the pair. When discussing the prospect of a woman proposing to a man, Chris asked Mario if he could imagine Lucy going down on one knee. Mario, ever the gentleman, replied with: “Yes, as long as she wasn’t proposing I wouldn’t really care.” LAD.

Anyway, there’s definitely some strong parallels between these two and Marg, but will they become the new fave bromance? And if they do what should we call them? Marris, I guess…

4. Essex sushi

Chloe Sims being adorned with sushi (a la Samantha Jones) for Bili and Cara’s “Essex and the City” party was simply brilliant. When discussing whether Chloe was up to the challenge, she and Bili came out with some cracking quotes…

Chloe Sims sushi TOWIE

Something fishy's going on... (Image: ITV2)

“I dunno how people are gonna eat it,” mused a perplexed Chloe. “I’m gonna have like moisturizer, fake tan, a bit of body shimmer – that’s all gonna get in the sushi.”

“I know,” sympathized Bili. “The rice will probably end up bein orange and glittery. It’ll be even nicer though! It’ll be like Essex sushi.” Ah, Essex sushi. Wonder if anyone will try that on Come Dine With Me anytime soon.

Sushi Chloe Sims Towie

Keeping abreast of the sushi situation (Image: ITV2)

Bili then went onto reassure Chloe by saying, “We’ll cover all your bits up and make sure people eat around your bits.” Well that’s good, otherwise guests might have confused Chloe’s trout pout for an edible delicacy.

Sushi Chloe Sims Towie

Sushi, or trout? (Image: ITV2)

Anyway, kudos to Chloe who actually went ahead and did the task in the jolliest manner possible! My personal highlight was when she shouted out “I feel like I’m in a weird fish dream!” around the point where Bili and Cara brought out the lobster.

Chloe Sims sushi Towie

LOBSTER ATTACK! (Image: ITV2)

5. Joey and Arg discuss Manolo Blahniks

Arg, while looking somewhat like Miss Piggy in his dressing gown, unveiled a pair of specially made Manolo Blahniks. Watching Joey estimate the price of said shoes is, well, priceless. See for yourself:

Joey: “Is he big?” LOL.

6. Lucy and Mario make up

Ahh, proof that there’s hope for all couples who have troubles. And as cringeworthy as they are, they do seem genuinely happy together. Awwww.

Mario Falcone Lucy Meck TOWIE

Mario & Lucy 4evz (Image: ITV2)

Mario Falcone Lucy Meck TOWIE

Mario and Lucy's second first date (Image: ITV2)

7. New man on the block

Ricky’s turning out to be quite the ladies’ man! Whenever he appears the women immediately form a swarm and buzz around him. In this episode Lydia, Lauren and Cara couldn’t stop batting their false lashes or flicking their hair extensions in his presence. Could he be the new Mark Wright?

Ricky Towie

Ricky's got the situation under control (Image: ITV2)

8. NANA PAT!

It’s the last thing on the list, but it’s certainly not the least. She may only have had about 2 seconds airtime, but it was good to see Nana Pat’s face again. Now all we need is a sausage plait.

Nana Pat Towie