Wonder Woman and the Strength in Femininity

Via

My husband and I went to see Wonder Woman on Friday, and it was amazing. I had a Studio Movie Grill gift card, and we'd been wanting to spend some time together, so it worked out perfectly. 

There were so many things to appreciate about the film. Of course, it was fantastic that for the first 20 minutes (at least) of the movie, there were nothing but women on screen. The movie was directed by a woman, the amazing Patty Jenkins, and the entire film is dripping with female empowerment.

I loved that they didn't over-sexualize Diana. Her outfit was armor and not just glorified spandex. Of course, she was beautiful, but she wasn't overly made up. You could tell that she had on blush and eyeliner, but the rest of the movie makeup magic was very understated. Plus, it doesn't hurt that Gal Gadot is gorgeous anyway. And speaking of Gal, I very much appreciated that she's Israeli. A couple of years ago, when whispers of a Wonder Woman film were first circulating, I for sure thought that they would cast a well-known white actress as the lead. I'm glad that they cast a lesser-known Middle Eastern woman instead. And Gal was incredible, by the way!

I also appreciated that there were Amazons of multiple races. Some were black, some were white, some could have been hispanic. They were of varying ages, too, and every single one of them were beautiful. None of them were wearing much makeup, which is realistic because they're warriors. And it's even more cool that they cast professional female athletes as some of the Amazons!

Via

There are spoilers from this point forward, so if you haven't seen the film yet and you still want to, stop reading now.

As for the story, I like that it wasn't necessarily centered around a man. Steve (played by Chris Pine) appears in Diana's life and is sort of the gateway to her destiny, but the story isn't really about their love. It's about Diana learning who she is and becoming that person. Everything she believes and knows to be true is challenged, and she has to decide what she's going to stand for, and what she'll actively stand against.

At the beginning of the movie, which has modern-day Diana talking about how she "used" to want to save the world, you think that she's given up hope for humanity. But at the end of the movie, you find out that it's because of her hope in humanity that she fights for justice and truth.

The only thing that I didn't like was that Steve sacrificed himself and died. I guess I understand why they did that, though. I mean, Diana is a demigoddess and apparently doesn't age, and Steve is mortal, so what kind of life could they realistically have together? But it did almost seem like they had to give the leading man his hero moment too, which may have been to appease male movie-goers. For comparison, you don't really see the female love interest in most male-centric superhero movies doing anything that heroic. They're mostly just damsels in distress. 

Overall, the movie was fantastic! It left me feeling like I'm capable of anything, and that my femininity isn't something to suppress or overcome in order to be successful or to do great things. The world needs femininity just as much as it needs masculinity. It needs brave, strong women, just as much as it needs brave, strong men. And bravery and strength aren't exclusive to men. Anyone and everyone can have courage and do the right thing when given the chance. 

Have you seen Wonder Woman? If so, what did you think? Let me know your thoughts!

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Movie Monday: Moonlight

Via

Joshua and I went to see Moonlight on Friday evening, and my goodness, it was such a good movie.

It's the first film I've ever seen where the movie isn't built around a leading actor, but rather the lead character. The lead character, Chiron, is played by three different people, and somehow each of them manages to capture the essence of the character. They really do make you feel like you're watching the same boy at three different stages in life. They all portrayed Chiron excellently, using the same facial expressions and body language. It feels like you're a part of Chiron's life, watching him grow into a man along the way.

As far as the cinematography goes, this film was beautifully perfect. The lighting and the camera angles help to tell the story with incredible detail. It's not an overly-produced film, meaning there aren't car chases and explosions, or lots of CGI graphics. Even still, you're totally enveloped into the story, feeling every scene and not just watching it. 

The score was so well-composed, evoking the proper emotion with every scene. It built the drama in all the right parts. The lack of sound was impressive as well. There were moments where all you could hear was breathing, or the slamming of a door, or the waves in the ocean. It allowed you to feel the weight of the scene, as if you were there in the movie, but the weight wasn't so heavy as to drag you down.

The story was so beautiful and so poignant. It takes you on a non-traditional journey of self-discovery. It truly was deserving of Best Film at the Oscars. It was so good, that I'd go see it again.

It's a movie that I never thought I would have been interested to see a few years ago. I mean, it's a complicated story, with aspects of the black community, poverty, drugs, and the LGBT community. But I am so glad that we went to see it. All things considered, it is one of the best, most artistic and creative films I've ever seen, and I have seen a lot of movies in my life.

If you haven't seen it, please make plans to go see it before it leaves the theaters. You won't be sorry.

Cheers,
LesLeigh J.

Hidden Figures

My husband and I went to see this film Saturday evening, and it was SO good! It is literally the most inspiring movie I've seen in a long time, and I saw Collateral Beauty in December. It's the story of Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Goble Johnson, and Mary Jackson, who were integral parts of launching John Glenn into orbit in 1962.

The movie stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae as the main characters, and they did a fantastic job capturing the spirit of the incredible woman behind the story.

As far as film goes: I loved the soundtrack! The costumes were fabulous. I mean, I would wear everything that Janelle Monae wears in this movie in a heartbeat. The cinematography was wonderful, and the acting was superb! I would pay to go see it again in theaters, it was that enjoyable to watch. 

But more importantly, I want to talk about the women that this film is about...

These women worked for NACA (later to become NASA) at a time when segregation was still very much alive. Not only were opportunities not given to people of color, but opportunities for working outside of the home weren't given to many women in general. Dorothy, Katherine and Mary were in an extremely small minority of educated black women who worked in a white-collar profession. 

They paved the way not just for black women, but for women of all races. They proved that women were worth more than getting married and having babies (even though those are incredible accomplishments too). They proved that women of color were just as smart (if not smarter) than any white man. They are an inspiration to little girls everywhere that you can do and be anything you want in life if you work hard enough, and despite the odds not being in your favor.

It was hard to watch how Mary, Katherine, and Dorothy had to deal with segregation. I am so incredibly thankful that I grew up in an age where segregation is dead, though racism and racial tension are still very much alive. I am thankful that I was able to go to college wherever I please. I am thankful to these women for paving the way for future women of color who are brilliant and just as capable as anyone else. 

We still have a long way to go in this country before women of color are seen as truly equal to anyone else. But I'm proud of the black heritage that came before me. Dorothy, Mary, and Katherine paved the way for generations of women, and I am so proud, humbled, and thankful that they were willing to be the "first." 

Cheers,
LesLeigh J. 

It's Always Going to Be About Love...

On Saturday night, I went with my friend, Shey, to go see the movie About Time. Let me begin by saying that the trailer does not adequately convey how incredible this movie was...

Via Google

Via Google

Not only was it a really great film, but I absolutely adored the story line. It was a love story, but not in the obvious way that the trailer shows. It was about so much more than just a guy and a girl. I don't want to give away too much, because everyone should seriously go see this movie, but it was wonderful. 

I laughed (a TON), and I cried (a little). It was sweet without being vomit-inducing. It was sentimental without being cheesy. It made me leave the theatre with a greater appreciation for life, and the want to love fully for as long as I walk this earth. It also reminded me of how much I loved my dad, and how I wish that I was, to my older sister, the most wonderful thing in the world. It is definitely a movie that will tug on your heartstrings in the best way possible.

Via Google. Quote added by me.

Via Google. Quote added by me.

Here is what I walked away with after the movie:

One- I no longer care how my future husband proposes. I don't care if it's in front of everyone I know, or if it's just me and him. I don't care if there's a lot of fanfare or it's just an intimate moment between the two of us. What I care about is that the moment will be filled with love, and hope, and excitement for the future. I want to look at his face, look into his eyes and know with every fiber of my being that I want to spend the rest of my living with and loving him.

Two- Every possible moment in life should be cherished. Some things in life are just chance, chance in the way that we've got just one shot at every moment, every encounter. There are no do-overs. We have to make the most of every experience we're given, whether it's meeting a stranger on the train or getting caught in the rain without an umbrella. We have to appreciate this life while we have it and celebrate all the moments, whether good or bad, big or small.

It was an incredible movie with a great cast, an amazing screenplay, and great directing. It was one of those that made me glad that I go to the movies. It was well worth the over $9.00 that I paid to see it, and I would, in fact, pay to go see it again because it was that amazing. I don't think I've smiled so much watching a movie in a long time. It literally warmed my soul.

It reminded me of the beauty of life and the small treasures that can be found around every corner. It reminded me that some meetings will change the course of your life forever...

I needed waking up. It's about time that I open my eyes and truly see the life that I've been given. And that life, for me, is always going to be about love...

 

Linking up with Molly today!

New sig.png