Thoughts on The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Warning: This review is honest and critical. You may wish to skip it if you are a die-hard fan!

Today I finished watching Joel Schumacher’s The Phantom of the Opera, which is currently free to watch on YouTube. Previously I saw the 25th Anniversary musical production, and (in what feels like another lifetime) I once read Gaston Leroux’s novel.

For the uninitiated—The Phantom of the Opera takes place in 19th-century Paris. A young chorus singer, Christine, begins hearing a voice, which she thinks is an angel sent by her deceased father to look after her. The voice actually belongs to Erik, a musical mastermind who lives under the opera house and subjects everyone to his will. He gives Christine singing lessons and begins inserting her as the lead in the opera productions. When he finds out she has a boyfriend (Raoul), Erik asserts himself as her “protector” and determines to get rid of the boyfriend and anyone else who stands in his way.

I must be getting old and jaded because this movie did not strike a chord with me (pardon the pun).

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Interior Designs from Classic Literature – Victorian, Edwardian, Steampunk

Having recently moved to my own place, I now have a new excuse opportunity to indulge my interest in all things home décor-related! Admittedly, most of my tastes have come from costume dramas because those were the films I was obsessed with in my formative years, though I also have a penchant for Japanese and Scandinavian minimalism (who doesn’t, though? 😂). Sticking with the former category, I wanted to share three movies with interior design I absolutely love. These are all films based on classic literature.

Steampunk: Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Have I mentioned this is my favorite film of all time? It’s dated, and a terrible adaptation on many levels, but I adore the aesthetic, the actors, and the music. This movie is a whole mood. I can’t get over the set design for the Nautilus submarine: it combines the elegance of Victorian-industrial with bold, mid-century color-contrast between the ocean blue and the red upholstery. So cool.


Late Victorian: Sherlock Holmes (1984–1994)

The Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett is, by far, the most accurate adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Though they were working on a TV budget, the series features some wonderful sets that match very closely the illustrations by Sidney Paget. They managed to make the late Victorian era look fairly “livable”; this series feels more like going back in time than watching a costume drama. I really like the tea set they used here, Mason’s Mandalay Blue, which instead of reflecting the austere nature of Holmes reflects the warm hospitality of Mrs. Hudson, as it should. 🙂


Edwardian: Howards End (2018)

This spring I watched E.M. Forster’s Howards End starring Matthew Macfadyen and Hayley Atwell. I didn’t like the second half of the story, but the sets and costumes were serious eye candy. Never have I wanted orange walls so badly!!

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Darkest Hour (2017)

I have started sharing movie reviews (of films not related to classic literature) on my personal blog. Here’s the latest one, on Darkest Hour (2017).

gifted w/ thought

Darkest Hour follows the early days of Winston Churchill’s appointment as prime minister, following after Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in 1940. Britain’s position on the continent is fragile and a German invasion seems imminent when Churchill takes office. Eccentric and often drunk, he must maintain a delicate balance in the political parties, as well as gain the support of King George VI, while making decisions that mean life or death for the common man and Britain as a whole.

Though the beginning was a bit awkward, overall I really enjoyed this film. The pace and script remind me of a play; instead of giving us a sweeping overview, it simply focuses on Churchill (vividly portrayed by Gary Oldman), his wife Clementine, and his secretary Elizabeth (Lily James, who played Rose in Downton Abbey), as well as the various political figures in Churchill’s circle. His speeches play a large role in…

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