Talk to anyone who has been to Lisboa, and they will tell you that you must also see Sintra. For some, you haven't seen all the wonders of the world until you've seen Sintra, and it was also a love of Lord Byron's. So, with the little planning I actually do for any trip, I knew there was at least one place we had to visit whilst in Lisboa.
Sintra was once the summer getaway destination for the Portuguese royal family, and after they were no more, Lisboa's elite continued the tradition as it is now a posh suburb of the city. It's a quaint town built on the foothills of the Sintra mountains. The 19th Century style architecture and colorful buildings give it a particular fairytale charm. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
First, the train ride is an easy 40 minutes from Lisboa's Rossio train station. Something to note, you can only purchase one ticket per person, so each ticket requires a separate transaction. It's a little annoying, but we learned our mistake when one of us got stuck behind the sliding gates. On the bright side, each roundtrip ticket is only 3,10€. That's the cheapest train ticket I've ever seen in my life. Along the way is when you really see how poor the country is, and there is just neverending scribbles of graffiti everywhere.
As soon as we got off the train, we worried we had gravely underestimated the weather. I was in a little sundress, and Chris was in a thin t-shirt and shorts, and it was very much overcast. When I had checked the weather before we arrived, we were expecting hot, hot days; and when we arrived we had two days of hot, hot sun. So, we didn't think to expect different. In fact it, was so grey that day, that it was even slightly drizzling, and many people were in puffer jackets, while some even had rain coats. Before you worry if we suffered the entire day, let me just say that we walked so much we ended up being perfectly dressed for the weather.
Our first stop was the National Palace, where the royal family used to vacation. Just around the corner from the train station, it's a white palace sitting at the edge of one hill. The thing that makes it stand out are the two cone shaped points that are the palace chimneys. Out in front of the palace is a large open courtyard, great for photo ops and for taking in the view. I bought a little bag of kettle corn for 1€ from a guy with a little red cart like the ones you see at Disneyland. The kettle corn were nice and large, which I really liked. It made eating them easier. We then toured the palace climbing and descending more stairs, and taking in the intricacy of the details that only these old palaces possess. The Portuguese are famous for the beautiful tiles and there was certainly some lovely tile work in this palace. There was also an incredible kitchen, which I feel like would be any chef's dream.
After this Palace, it was about time for lunch, and I also wanted to see Palacio de Pena and the Moorish castle, but especially the former. Palacio de Pena truly makes Sintra its own unique fairytale land. None of the restaurants in the main square were particularly appealing other than for people watching so we decided to head towards Palacio de Pena and see what we could find along the way.
Along the way we found a restaurant on the edge of a hall called something Garret. It looked nice so we decided to opt for that. It was okay. We both ordered baccalau in different forms. Mine ended up being deep fried like fish and chips style, which it basically was. The patatas fritas in Portugal though, are not regular fries, they're actually chips...as in crisps. It was a bit heavy for me. Plus, baccalau bones can be annoying to deal with. After lunch we continued to stroll up the mountain towards the palace. What we didn't realize was that we'd be "strolling" up the entire mountain, and Pena sat at the very top.
It was a long climb up, but ultimately very worth it. Though once we arrived, we realized there were buses you could take for 3€. The palace itself is relatively new, and unlike any other palace I've seen, it's very colorful with red, and yellow, and bluish-purplish walls, and the design incorporates Moorish influences.
Upon arriving at the palace, there are great opportunities for photos and it's almost surreal, because it feels like a set. Let me just say, it was probably a great idea building the palace here, because it would take a lot of effort just to reach the palace, for any wrongdoers. This palace was full of more stairs and some interesting rooms. At the end of the tour, you come out onto a nice big terrace where you can grab a snack and drink. To be honest, I would've much rather have grabbed a sandwich here over what we had for lunch. There's a particular Portuguese multi-grain bread that I love and it is so delicious. We also picked up some Queijas, which is a little pastry famous in Sintra. It tasted to me like a mince pie, but the other crust was a bit strange...like uncooked dough.
Of course, we figured we made it this far so we walked down instead of taking a bus or tuk tuk. We were far too exhausted to continue on to the Moorish Castle. Our walk down was quite interesting actually, because we saw the posh side of town on our way down. So, it was here I realized there are Portuguese people living well. I mean, I guess I knew that Christiano Ronaldo couldn't be the only wealthy person in Portugal.
Sintra was an adventure, and if you've got the time and ability to, I'd recommend the hike. Just bring good shoes--I was not prepared! Even on an overcast day, the views were delectable. There's so much more we didn't have time to see, too. Another time!
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Our arrival in Lisboa was a vibrant one, and began lively like a funny movie. Our Uber driver (yes, you can order Uber at the airport in Lisboa!), Thiago, zoomed up to us and popped out of his little white Hyundai wearing bright pink polarized sunglasses. He was full of the vibrancy you see all around the city and we realized we could communicate in Spanish together. Although, at some point he switched back to Portuguese, but we still had a largely, mutually comprehensible conversation with him speaking Portuguese and us speaking Spanish. This was much the case throughout our trip. Portuguese in Portugal sounds very different from Portuguese in Brazil, I have to say. It's much harder, and oft sounds like they're speaking Russian or German. It was strange and a little confusing, but if they spoke slow enough I could understand them.
We stayed in Alfama, the Old Town, and he couldn't actually drop us off in front of our Airbnb, so he got us as close as possible, dropping us off at Portas do Sol, a spot with a breathtaking view over looking orange tiled rooftops and out onto the river. There was a giant cruise ship docked in the river and it made it feel all the more like vacation had arrived. Then we walked down several flights of winding stairs until we we were greeted by a woman yelling down the alley way in a wretched voice that echoed between the centuries old walls and I thought she was crying and screaming at someone. When I turned my head to look at who she was yelling at, I realized she was just greeting her friend. Loud, and I mean LOUD fado music bellowed from her windows and I thought, "we made it!" This is Lisboa! A loud bellowing woman!
I picked the spot particularly for the old town charm, and there's certainly no shortage of charm here. The stairs and buildings are colorfully picturesque, with pretty paintings on random walls, and sometimes random paintings on random walls, football team flags hanging from windows, clothing hanging out windows, and on our street in particular, colorful streams lined the alley above our heads as if they were preparing for a large quinceñera or parade. You never know with old European towns, because you could just wind up in a dark, crumbling alley that smells like piss. Thankfully, I've not had that pleasure. So, we've been really fortunate with our Airbnb stays. It's also nice, because we like to stay in each city for at least a minimum of five days, we feel like we become part of the city and live a little like the locals.
Alfama reminds me of the Gothic center in Barcelona--you never know which each street is going to take you, and what you might stumble upon...sometimes literally, so be careful walking the cobble stone roads. I highly recommend bringing good shoes, because you'll walk a lot of hills, stairs, and cobble stone roads. I oft bring and wear my wedges when traveling because they look nice and they're comfy to walk in, even all day. However, I did not once touch my wedges on this trip. After realizing how uneven the streets were, and never knowing what we'd encounter, I opted for safety. Also, bring shoes or sandals with good grip on the soles if you can, because a lot of the cobble stone can be slippery. I was quite careful when I walked.
The guy who let us into the building walked up a few minutes later looking like Jesus got a bad haircut and was a character himself. He was also named Thiago. After we settled into our quaint studio apartment, we walked down to the grocery store located in a train station and picked up some basics like water, cheese, saucisson, chips, and cherries. Again, we really like to settle in and make each city our home for the few days we're there. It's actually really great for budget travel, not just because the accommodations are cheaper. We then also don't have to eat out for every meal. Eating out for every meal gets heavy and sometimes after a long day of sightseeing you just want to put your feet up and have a light meal.
Our first evening I made a reservation for us at Sr. Fado to help fully immerse ourselves into Lisboa culture. Alfama is like the center of Fado where there are loads of places you can dine at and enjoy a taste of Portuguese and Lisboa culture--literally and figuratively.
That was a full evening. We arrived at the restaurant at 19h30, as soon as they opened, because after 15 minutes you risk losing your table and left around 23h30. It's a very quaint space, family style. The whole experience is much like dining in someone's living room, and what I loved about it was that there were guests from all over the world--Poland, Germany, Sweden, Australia, France, Iraq, the States. As soon as you arrive, a basket of soft fluffy bread sits on the table next to a tray of cheese and charcuterie. This is all included in the menu, unlike regular Portuguese restaurants where they charge you even for bread. The cheese gave off an unpleasant odor which made me question how I was going to enjoy the long night, but then it was so delicious I soon forgot the smell. The second course was seafood heaven! It was a big pot of baccalau, shrimp, clams, and squid all stewed together and we ate it over rice. The dessert was very interesting. We were both anticipating one of Portugal's famed pastries, so what we received was a bit underwhelming--a plate of strawberries, whipped cream, and something that looked like thinly shredded cheese. It was not cheese though. It turns out it was actually egg yolk, that they somehow made look like shredded cheese, and it was sweetened. It tasted lovely, and the strawberries were so fresh and delicious, they came straight from the family's farm. I suppose it was a good choice for dessert because it wasn't too heavy. Finally, around ten past ten the Fado started. Fado reminds me of the lyrical storytelling of classic country songs like that of Hank Williams, it has the power and soulfulness of Etta James' voice, and sometimes sounds like Russian folk music. It's certainly comparable to the blues, as it's very poetic and sad, but it moves through you like a particular energy that only music can create. The melody is led by the 12 string Portuguese guitar and it's a beautiful experience. Make sure to experience fado when you're in Lisboa. For us, it was the perfect introduction to the city, which like the music, is like a sexy old woman...neglected, but as alive as ever. My friend describes Lisboa as a beautiful old woman, like an opera singer. That's a much prettier description, and just as accurate.
Keep in mind, Portugal is quite a poor country. The gap between the wealthy and poor is great. We did see some nicer neighborhoods outside the center, and our apartment was nicely renovated; but in general, the infrastructure is not well maintained, and the working wage is low. Chris and I noted, that the city reminds us of a mixture of Barcelona and Tijuana--which we enjoy both. It's great fun and a wonder, and it is becoming more and more popular a destination.
If you get the chance, we highly recommend it. Stay tuned for more on our experience in Lisboa.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
(Updated April 4, 2017)
I wrote this blog too soon, and needed to update it when I saw the final episode.This is one of my new favorite shows. Not only is it a stellar cast of kickass women, but it is a masterful blend of art and telling real stories about real issues without the usual Hollywood face lift. I hate when films or series gloss over serious issues, and use, for example, abuse as a mere dramatic effect, or they glamourize it someway. Here, you don’t just have an abused housewife, you go through the confusion, the shame, the fear, the anger, the denial, the escape, and all the various wavelengths of an abusive relationship with her.
This is a woman’s kind of show, where many of the issues the characters face are issues that many women can relate to. Right up front, we are confronted with one of the major themes threaded throughout the series—that is, the issue of working mom vs. stay-at-home mom. Mothers are either judged for working too much or they’re undervalued, but in the end everyone is just trying to do what is best for her children.
Much of the dramatization is carried out through bullying and competition between women. I hope mothers aren’t really so vicious with each other, and that that part of the show is dramatized. However, it begs an important question, why are we so threatened by each other? Sometimes we see something one woman is great at that we ourselves might not be great at, and we feel like we’re failing. We forget that she might be good at that thing, but I’m good at this other thing. She might look like she has it all together, but we don’t really know her whole story. We often let our insecurities take over like an ugly disease.
Moreover, the bullying between the moms makes you think about how we set examples for our kids. I recently read an article about a mother who realized that her young daughter was at the early stages of becoming a bully, and so nipped that in the bud by making her daughter get to know that other little girl that she and her friends were secluding. Eventually, these girls became best friends and the daughter became a very open-hearted and inclusive woman as she grew up through grade school and went to university.
One thing I really like is that when any of the characters realize she was wrong, or is in the wrong, she apologizes. We need to see that. It's important to have humility. And as I wondered where all this bullying and drama was going to go, because I didn't read the book, the final episode wraps it all up spectacularly. I cried. The show starts off with clear divides. There are friends, frenemies, and enemies. However, I was moved to tears when I saw how the women all came together and fought together when Celeste (Nicole Kidman) is being brutally beaten in front of them by her husband, and our other leading and main supporting female characters jump in to try to fight him off, and pull him off of her. The beauty of this scene, when it is finally revealed, gave me this adrenaline rush of girl power vibes. I love seeing girls get together and fight for each other and with each. The truth is, despite whatever differences we may have, we girls need to stand up for each other, we need to stand up together, we need to help one another out when someone is in need. We are all bound by the pains and struggles that create an unspoken sisterhood only we as women can fully relate to.
What I love about this show is that all the women are just trying to be the best women and mothers they can be, but no one is perfect, and yet everyone is perfect in her own way. Plus you have five dynamic female characters. I'm so tired of the generic "female in distress" stories. Those stories are sexist, offensive, and degenerate.
On top of addressing the real issues in a real way, this show has all the friends and frenemies, and pretty people and houses so many of us desire in our consumption of entertainment. Not to mention, this series is like a stunning tourism ad for Monterrey. My childhood memories of Monterrey are overcome with the poignant stench of masses of sea lion. However, now I’m in the mood for some NorCal sea air.
If you haven’t gotten into it yet, I definitely recommend it.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
There was a time after law school my aunt sat with me, and for the first time in my life I could tell she was somewhat disappointed in me. She said, "I just don't understand how someone with your legal background and language background is not working for the UN, making international law for the greater good." I love the UN. To work for the UN and fight for human rights has always been a dream of mine. I just knew in my gut there was somewhere else I needed to be first.
There was something else calling my heart, and I knew I had to start there and God would lead the way to help me see through my purpose in life. Since I was a little girl, music was my first love and I understood the power music has to touch, move, and inspire people. It has the incredible power to unite people as well. Certain movies can do the same, too.
I thought of this conversation with my aunt after watching The Promise, here at the Toronto International Film Festival. It has not received the reviews I think it deserves, so let me tell you why this movie matters and why you should watch it.
The Promise, from director Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, In The Name of The Father), is a love story, a survival story, a family story, an inspiring story...a human story. It's got a great cast, who give strong performances that carry this emotional journey. Michael (Oscar Isaac) is the town apothecary in a small Armenian village. He dreams of becoming a medical student, so promises to marry a girl from his village and uses the money from the dowry to pay for medical school in Constantinople. You can tell he’s a man of his word and he promises that he will also grow to love her. When he gets to the big city, he stays with his aunt and uncle and two younger cousins in a beautiful house. City life is a dream. In medical school he makes friends with a Turk, whose sole motivation is to stay out of the army by attending medical school. He also builds a friendship with his cousins’ nanny, Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) a former dancer who had grown up in Paris, but was originally from another town in Armenia. Predictably, and nonetheless significant, Ana and Michael grow closer, though both are attached to others—Ana to an American journalist, Chris Myers (Christian Bale). During this time, war breaks out and the Turks turn on the Armenians.
It is an eventful story with our main characters brought together and torn apart several times, and Michael is an easy protagonist to invest in; but what struck me the most is that though a hundred years have passed, there are many parts of the story that resonate today—the hatred, the violence, and even the human compassion. It’s a reminder that the events that splatter our news today aren’t events new to human history; but if we don’t look back and learn from those mistakes—those grave human errors—how are we to help ourselves now?
Some people will say that here is another war story trivialized by a love story, but I beg to differ. Sure, you could tell a story focused strictly on the events of the genocide and the horrific atrocities committed, something the Turkish government to this day refuses to acknowledge, and it could be a powerful and moving historical piece. You could achieve great sympathy and open people’s eyes to this particular piece of history, which was the first mass genocide of a peoples in the 20th century. There’s no doubt that that is what is important here.
That's why every part of Michael's journey matters, from his family, to the love story, the comradery, because what we need to remember are the people of the war. By getting to know Michael, his love for his family, others, medicine, and his country, empathy is created. In any lifetime, this could be your son, your brother, or your best friend. Empathy is the power that moves this film from an eventful war movie to something much bigger. The genocide is still what lies at the center of this film, and it is what drives the story. But when we are able to make the human connection to the characters, and realize that Michael might be fictional, he was a real person of the genocide. He was one of the lucky ones that got out. His mother, was many real Armenian mothers who worried about their sons. His slain family was many slain families of the genocide.
I get the sense though, that people are afraid of this movie, but I'm not sure why when I think of the countless WWII movies made--in fact, I screened another movie that took place during WWII at the festival. With everything going on, are we afraid to upset Turkey? I love Turkey. It is a beautiful country with such rich history, and hope to visit it again someday. However, that doesn't mean what happened during the Ottoman Empire didn't happen. We all have history that we must face and accept. If we cannot accept our mistakes and our harm done, we will never be able to move forward. Isabel of Castilla was an incredible woman and leader, but she too committed terror, which I know the Catholic church would not condone despite her religious reasons for doing what she did. The United States had its own version of internment camps during WWII after Pearl Harbor, which President Reagan formally apologized for through the Civil Liberties Act.
The Promise is the kind of movie I know matters. If you took out the genocide, you just have a classic Hollywood hero’s story—a righteous man, who unexpectedly finds true love and does everything he can to protect and save his family. But it's a Hollywood story with a message. Terry George did a fabulous job here. He remembers those who didn’t make it, and reminds us of the strength and hope of those who did. Maybe for some people that’s too Hollywood, but I think that’s just human connection. To do a story like this justice, you have to make the human connection and that’s what George does here. Moreover, whether or not he intended to do so, he brings to light our current world problems. Times are different, but our problems are not always so different.
I really hope that many of you will get the chance to see this film--it really is beautiful.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Maren Morris is the best thing in country music since Kacey Musgraves' "Same Trailer Different Park" and Ashley Monroe's "Like A Rose" albums. And actually, I'm not really sure if "country" is what best describes Maren, but I guess that's the nature of country music today--an undefined, eclectic mix of sounds.
The girl is badass though, and other than her debut single "My Church" being an homage to her country roots, the most country thing about her songs is the honesty in the lyrics and production, which is the beauty of her sound.
Country music fan or not, you MUST check out her album. This girl is rockin'.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
AT LAST...Leo got his Oscar!!! I've never cried so much during an award show. Absolute tears of joy were streaming down my face, I didn't even care what happened next. So, I feel a little bad for the SPOTLIGHT team, because everyone was probably still overjoyed about Leo's win when they got up to accept their awrad. However, I'm really glad SPOTLIGHT took Best Picture home, because it's such an incredible and important piece of storytelling.
Overall, I enjoyed the evening--mostly because I was so anxious to see Leo finally win. Needless to say, Chris rock started off the night instantly hitting it out of the ballpark. However, as he continued to go on with his wordy opening monologue addressing the diversity issue, all he talked about was black and white, and then he tried to include a little more by spending about a minute talking about women. There are more colours in the rainbow than black and white!
Thankfully, the Academy tried to make up for that by peppering some extra diversity throughout the show by having an Asian award escort lady, Sofia Vergara and Byung Hun Lee presenting an award together, adding a rap song to the end of the show as the credits rolled about "fight the power," and even inviting Mindy Kaling! Good job Academy for hearing everyone's anger over the lack of diversity. Good job.
Still, one of the most powerful moments of the night was when Joe Biden came out on stage to introduce Lady Gaga. I could not stop applauding him and crying. He's been so important in protecting women against assault and violence, and it's incredibly important that he was able to stand up with that message on such an influential platform in front of an industry that has a lot to do to improve how it address sexual assault and violence against women. And then I just crumbled during Lady Gaga's performance. I was bawling. Thank you Mr. Vice President for continuing to fight for us, and thank you Lady Gaga for sharing your truth and being such an important and powerful voice.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
When the Oscar nominations were first announced, the first thing I looked for among the list of nominees was Beasts of No Nation, because how could that not be nominated for some kind of Oscar? It had to be recognized in at least one category, but deservedly more than one.
When I realized it had been snubbed, and completely and utterly robbed by the Academy, I was outraged.
From a film lover’s perspective, the cinematography is beautiful, the performances strong, the story gripping…I mean all I wanted to do throughout the entire film was hug all those children. I think even more outstanding than Idris Elba, was Abraham Attah's performance, the kid who played Agu.
From a human perspective, I was so impressed with Netflix for choosing to tell this story. This is an issue that plagues many countries, and we have to stop it. As a global community, we have to protect our children, protect their basic human rights, protect our future.
As I was watching the film, I wondered how they would end it, and I was really pleased with the ending in the school that was trying to reintegrate the children back into a normal life that every child should have the right to enjoy. It was a very real ending that gives us a glimpse into the psychology of what happens to these boys, who are forced to do things they should never have to be able to even imagine. Yet, it's an ending that shows us we can do something to help these boys, and we must do something to help these boys. It's no easy task, but every effort counts.
I hope people who watched this film saw more than a Hollywood movie in this. I hope that people saw their little brothers and sons in those fictional characters, because those fictional characters are also real boys, fighting a war they have no business fighting. When you turn a boy into a child soldier, you’re raping them and robbing them of their innocence and all their basic human rights—particularly their right to live.
I feel like the Oscars not recognizing this film’s excellence is the Academy turning its back on every child. Am I being a bit melodramatic here? Possibly. But I don’t think so. I think a film like this should be greatly and widely celebrated because not only is it a well-executed visual story, it takes on the social responsibility that we as an influential industry have.
If you haven’t seen this film, please awaken your soul as soon as you can. Perhaps the more people that watch this film, the more of us there will be to try to stop and prevent this from happening to more children. I pray for the day.
BIG LOVE & HUGS
I've got another FABULOUS film for you!!! Film lovers, you must check out this beautifully written indie movie that integrates a very real message with a twist of fantasy. I've been hesitant to tell people what it's about, because I know when they hear the general logline they'll assume something totally different from what they'll get. I always have to tell them to trust me...it's magical.
The story, written by Finn Wittrock and Eric Bilitch, is about a Marine who returns from the Middle East, and struggles to acclimate back into "civilian" life. Of course, you'll automatically think, okay so it's like an American Sniper--a war movie, a PTSD movie. What you'll get is SO much more.
Finn, who you'll also recognize from American Horror Story, Unbroken, and The Big Short, stars as our hero Spencer, opposite our mysterious enchantress Alice, played by Emilie de Ravin, who you'll know from Once Upon A Time, Lost, and Roswell. Both give incredible performances. I'm excited to see Finn's star continue to rise. He's an incredible talent and this film well-captures that talent. Perhaps I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the theatre, but he trained in the the theatre and I believe much of his brilliance comes from that stage training.
The story is especially captivating, because it's so emotional from all sides. It's a story about family, friendship, love, survival, struggle, and just trying to catch your breath, feel the ground beneath your feet, and making sense of chaos. The filmmakers spoke to a number of marines to try to grasp some of the struggles some of them face when they come home. A number of these marines are even featured in the film. Everyone's experience is different--PTSD does not have one face--so this film captures one marine's experience, taking bits from various true experiences. It's a very topical issue, because a lot of our veterans come back and struggle, and there are organizations out there trying to help them, but there needs to be more support.
Moreover, while this film is about a marine and his family, PTSD affects many others who are not war veterans, so there's a strong message here relaying the struggles of the person suffering from PTSD, as well as the struggles of those who are trying to understand what is going on in their loved one's head. If you look at it like that, then many more of us can relate.
What I love about this film is that it's a story lover's kind of film. From the script to the screen, it's just beautiful storytelling. Finn and Eric wrote a great story, and I look forward to more from the both of them.
You can now buy or rent the film on various digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and more. Check your cable satellite channel for the film as well!
BIG LOVE & HUGS
Looking for a new show to binge watch on Netflix, but not sure if you’re ready to commit to 6 seasons with 23 episodes each? Well, I’ve got one for you that is a good investment of a few days worth of binge watching. “Broadchurch” is 2 seasons, 8 episodes, 48 minutes each and is a wonderfully emotional, crime, murder, mystery drama. When a young boy is murdered, a quiet beach side town in England is turned inside out and upside down they try to cope with and figure out what happened. The first season is brilliant, and the second season is mostly good, but distracted by the horribly played out court drama. You can never rely on dramatizations of legal proceedings to be accurate, but if the court proceedings in this show are even slightly reflective of the British court system, then God, please do save the Queen!
Still, by the second season, you’re so invested in the characters and the little town of Broadchurch, that you want to see justice happen. Plus, the series finale makes up for it with a somewhat unexpected twist and solid finish, leaving you feeling like you can part with the new friends in your life, whose lives you’ve just invested the last few days of all your emotions into. You’ve cried with them, laughed with them, got angry with and for them, and wanted to hug them all at various times throughout the 16 episodes.
The performances given by the strong cast is what you expect from a good British drama. Jodie Whittaker (Black Sea, The Assets) is breathtaking as Beth Latimer, the mother of Danny Latimer, whose mysterious death is what brings us to Broadchurch. She reminds me of Emily Mortimer—baby’s breath voice, English rose beauty, delicate like a flower, but not fragile…strongly rooted. David Tennant (Dr. Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of FIre) and Olivia Colman (Peep Show, Rev.), who play the lead investigators, are a brilliant pair. I love Olivia Colman, whose character Ellie Miller, is saucy and incredibly caring—She’s just a stand up woman, and she’s quite funny. The pair of them are a nice juxtaposition of contrasting characters. You have Ellie, mother of two, a Broadchurch local who cares about her town and the people of her town, who are her neighbours; and then you have DI Hardy (Tennant), who’s an outsider with his own agenda. Each character has a purpose and is an important piece to puzzle—from the meddling journalist trying to make it to the big times, to the town reverend who is the glue that holds the town together.
What I really like about this show is how this small town is a family. When tragedy strikes, it tears them apart, bonds them, and you run through the emotional rollercoaster that inevitably ensues when tragedy hits a tight knit family. Moreover, there are some really strong female characters here, who are very real and relatable. They’re emotional as women are, and they’re strong as women—particularly mothers—are.
Not only was the production good, but it’s a powerful story. While you hope to God it never happens to you or your loved ones, it makes you think about, what if this happened to you? I certainly know people who have divorced after the death of a child, and it’s a scary thought. It also makes you think about people who do have to go through such tragedies, and you have to hope the justice system prevails for them.
All in all, good watch. I highly recommend it. I hear there's a 3rd season coming, so I'll look forward to that.
BIG LOVE & HUGS