Tag Archives: Toni Collette

Sound & Motion Pictures: unexpected singing scenes

Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised by an unexpected singing scene in films that are not about singing at all. Usually it ends up being a feel-good moment, on occasions it turns out to be a remarkable bit of the film. Here’s my favorite ones:

1. Almost Famous – Tiny Dancer, cast + Elton John

Although the whole film is about music, the ensemble singing along with Elton John’s song on their way home is uplifting.

2. Ten Things I Hate About You – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Heath Ledger + Frankie Valli

Best way to apologise and win back the girl, it’s a tie with John Cusack holding a boombox under his girl’s window.

3. My Best Friend’s Wedding – I Say A Little Prayer, cast + Dionne Warwick

Effective way to tell a story and charm the audience with a classic song, plus Rupert Everett is at his best.

4. Young Frankenstein – Puttin’ On The Ritz, Gene Wilder + Irving Berlin

How would you present your recently-raised-from-the-dead creature to the wide world? With a vaudeville number, of course!

5. Muriel’s Wedding – Waterloo, Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths + Abba

Show the mean girls that you don’t care and sing some Abba!

6. The Fisher King – Lydia The Tattooed Lady, Robin Williams + Harold Arlen and Yip Armburg

A foolproof method to captivate a quirky girl’s attention is to sing a Groucho Marx’s song.

7. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Space Oddity, Kristen Wiig + David Bowie

The confidence boost that an introverted needs: Kristen Wiig singing a Bowie’s song.

Leave a comment

Filed under Odds and ends, Sound & Motion Pictures

Two kinds of people series


Leave a comment

Filed under Odds and ends, Two kinds of people

The Way, Way Back

Directors: Nat FaxonJim Rash, Main Cast: Liam JamesSam RockwellSteve CarellToni ColletteAllison Janney

14-year-old Duncan (James) goes on vacation with his mother Pam (Collette), her boyfriend Trent (Carell) and his daughter. They are staying in Trent’s summer house in a small town on the coast of New England, in a well-to-do neighbourhood. Duncan is rather introverted with low self-esteem and matters are made worse by Trent’s overbearing and unkind attitude. His mother is not particularly helpful, being submissive and too involved in a “spring break for adults” with Trent and his friends. Duncan finds some solace in his lonely bike rides, during which he meets and befriends Owen (Rockwell), the manager of the local water park, who is an easy-going guy with a great sense of humor and a kind streak. Owen gives Duncan a job at the park and helps him to come out of his shell and build his self-confidence. This film might seem a rather typical coming-of-age story but the balance between drama and humor is so well calibrated, the cast, starting with young James, is just brilliant that is much more than that. Faxon and Rash are great at both writing and directing, I’m curious to see what they will come up with next. A nice surprise and heartwarming treat. —8.5/10

Leave a comment

Filed under Seen at home


Director: Sacha Gervasi, Main Cast: Anthony HopkinsHelen MirrenScarlett JohanssonToni ColletteDanny Huston

A film about the making of a film and its creator(s): Psycho and Alfred Hitchcock. As the saying goes “behind every great man there is a great woman” and Hitchcock was no exception. Gervasi shows how his wife, Alma, has always played a cardinal role in creating his films. After three decades of  successfully working together, they embark  in their most ambitious project ever: adapting for the screen a novel about a serial killer with an unresolved Oedipus complex. Hitchcock is so committed that he decide to finance it himself when Paramount balks at the subject of the film. So he finds a suitable screenwriter and cast and begins shooting. When, tired of Alfred’s egocentrism and obsession with his leading ladies, Alma decides to ditch the production of Psycho and do her own thing, the master starts to unravel and the first cut of the film is a disaster. Well, we all know how it ends, since we saw Psycho. Needless to say Hopkins is quite up to the task in portraying this larger than life character (accent, mannerism, body language, etc) but the one who really carries the movie on her shoulder is Helen Mirren, absolutely brilliant as Alma. All the supporting cast does a great job but special kudos to Toni Collette.  —7.5/10

Leave a comment

Filed under Seen at home