A Welsh lad, young Taliesin (John-Paul Macleod) suddenly takes an interest in religion when his doddering neighbor and local kook Billy (Ian Bannen, Waking Ned Devine) miraculously heals a stooped woman's back by laying his hands upon her. A skeptical Taliesin is likewise healed of his ugly warts, thanks to Billy's powers (and, therefore, God's powers) -- or did they just go away on their own?
Continue reading: Taliesin Jones Review
Inspired by a group of middle-aged women in Yorkshire, England, who rocked the boat in their local knitting-and-baking club and made worldwide headlines by posing nude for a charity calendar, "Calendar Girls" is a quaintly cheeky comedy very much in the vein of "The Full Monty."
Blessed with sparkling performances from the fabulous Helen Mirren and Julie Walters ("Billy Elliott") as the feisty ringleaders who are bored with their group making a pittance each year by putting out boring 12-monthers with pictures of churches or flower arrangements, the movie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with a harmlessly fun sense of humor. But it's beguiling only throughout the planning and the posing -- and all the public discombobulation and personal-inhibition busting that results. Once the calendar is released, the picture runs out of steam and tries to keep afloat for a long third act by inventing false drama.
The catalyst for the calendar is the desire to buy a comfortable new couch for the waiting room of a hospital where many of the women spent long hours while one of their husbands was dying of cancer. Realizing they couldn't possible raise enough with their usual endeavors, Mirren's character hits upon the novelty notion of posing nude when she see a cheesecake calendar on the wall of a mechanic's garage.
Continue reading: Calendar Girls Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.