Posts Tagged ‘Cher’

Bella Donna

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Director: Ol Parker

Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Lily James, Dominic Cooper, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgard, Colin Firth, Cher, Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner, Jessica Keenan Wynn

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel screenwriter Ol Parker does behind the camera as director for the much anticipated sequel / prequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again featuring the original cast from Mamma Mia! (2008) including some fabulous additions such as pop diva Cher and Cinderella’s Lily James as the young Donna.

Shot mostly on location in Croatia, doubling for the Greek Isles, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is strictly for ABBA fans and those who loved the original 2008 film.

Thanks to a preview screening organized by United International Pictures at Suncoast Cinecentre, Durban, I was fortunate enough to see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again whose highlights included Cher’s superb rendition of the song Fernando sung to her long lost love and some crisply orchestrated numbers featuring Lily James and a plethora of gorgeous young men played by Jeremy Irvine, Hugh Skinner and Josh Dylan respectively, who all represent the younger versions of Sophie’s three Dads played in the original film by Pierce Brosnan, Oscar winner Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) and Stellan Skarsgard.

While the storyline is as haphazard as a lost yacht in the Mediterranean, the singing and the music for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is what audiences should come and see this musical comedy for.

With a bigger cast and some daring lines uttered by the wine swigging Tanya played by Christine Baranski (The Bird Cage) including “Be Still my Beating Vagina”, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a sparkling musical comedy with the pure aim of reviving all those toe-tapping ABBA songs.

There is sufficient Man Candy both young and old to satisfy a diverse range of female audiences and in the immortal words of BBC Talk Show Host Graham Norton on interviewing pop diva Cher – “This is one of the gayest films being released in 2018!”

Leave your worries at the door and enjoy Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again which gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10, held together by two sensational performances by Lily James and Cher.

Divas, Pearls and Persistence

***Burlesque***

The fabulous poster for Burlesque is divided between Cher and Christina Aguilera. So the question remains can two divas like Cher and Christina share the same stage without the pearls flying?

Stars are legendary

In their collaborative film, Burlesque, a perfect dance drama filled with enough vanity, glitter and eye candy all set in the city of Angels, shows that while Christina can sing and boy she can sing, Cher can still hold her own in the acting stakes. After all Cher did win an Oscar for Moonstruck, as did Liza Minelli for Cabaret.

Life is a Cabaret

Christina plays Alice who escapes a dreary Iowa town to fulfil her dream of becoming a dancer and stumbles upon the Burlesque nightclub on Sunset Boulevard, the strip in Hollywood. Cher is the no nonsense club owner Tess who controls the rowdy dancers, who are wanna-be Vegas showgirls and runs a raucous establishment  which seems to be forever beset by the approaching gloom of foreclosure and greedy real estate developers. Burlesque draws very much from Bob Fosse’s Cabaret and supplants Nazi Berlin, with a celebrity-obsessed 21st century Los Angeles, which was once the home of classic Hollywood of the 40s and 50s, a style that the filmBurlesque is aiming to eternalize.

Burlesque’s storyline is nothing new, but who cares? Audiences will be seeing this film for the fantastic costumes, the brilliant singing by Christina and Cher, the racy dancing, Cam Gigandet and of course the two main Diva’s if not sharing the spotlight, but rather making it sparkle deliciously.

Christina, miss poor Iowa girl soon becomes a Diva and eclipses the leading dancer, a sour yet vulnerable performance by Kristen Bell, and gives Cher a run for her money. Which is good. As dollars are what is needed for the Burlesque club to stay open. In the tradition of Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Moulin Rouge, Burlesque is as much about the dancing, the gorgeous costumes including a dress made entirely of pearls, the makeup, Louis Vuitton shoes which sparkle all adding to the best line in the film, said by Sean, played by the irrepressible Stanley Tucci, in a similar bitchy vein to The Devil Wears Prada supporting role, as stage manager when he says to Alice  “Welcome to Wonderland” after she becomes a Burlesque dancer.

If viewers love outlandish dance films, watch Burlesque, writer and director Steve Antin’s timing is impeccable in splicing the raunchy dance numbers with the characters dialogue, particularly an hilarious number performed by Alan Cumming as the Maitre’d Alexis with a Banana, cut with a flirting repartee between Alice and Marcus, played Grey’s Anatomy’s McSteamy, Eric Dane. Burlesque is about idealists fulfilling their dreams and Diva’s remaining persistent in holding onto that glitter-tinged dream right to the spectacular closing number, all set against the Boulevard of Dreams, Sunset Boulevard.

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