Incredibles 2 UK premiere red carpet

Film review: Incredibles 2 – plus a Jack Jack drawing masterclass with Brad Bird

When I was eight years old, my cinema experiences involved attending a reasonably clapped out West London screen – still with ashtrays built into the seat backs – and being permanently scarred by Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It led to a lifelong love of films all the same. My daughter just attended her first film premiere, alongside Holly Hunter and Samuel L. Jackson, weeks after being given the opportunity to draw alongside an absolute animation hero of mine.The universe likes its little surprises. But that’s parenthood for you. Continue reading →

How to look after curly hair when you’ve never had it before

I didn’t curl my hair. My hair, you might say, curled me. It was a stealth re-style, ordered by nature and art directed by a hurricane.

We know that the emotions connected to hair are rarely simple. It’s usually the first self-directed physical marker of significant change – the post-divorce chop, the big birthday colour job. And I should address the elephant in the room from the off: any black woman who’s had to face the dreaded, ignorant ‘professional hairstyle’ commentary can tell you about the politics of hair much, much better than I can. Here’s just one of many occasions when black women have done the education for us. As a white woman of reasonably copious privilege, my hair wasn’t something I needed to think about very much for a long time. This was partly because straight fine hair flies under the white beauty radar, and also because I had a fair amount of it (female baldness, both voluntary and involuntary, also being the cause of much comment). But over the years I’ve lost quite a lot, and that’s often been tricky to come to terms with, even if my carefully chosen Instagrams hide it well. And along the way, it also changed look entirely, and that had a strong impact on me. If that seems superficial to you, head back to read something else another day. I usually write about films and books and occasionally food.

For now, it’s a hair story. My hairmoir, if you will. Continue reading →

Things that have happened since I got a new job

Towards the end of last year, I cleared my laptop history of feminist film blogs, deleted 418 screenshots of client competitors doing clever things from my phone and handed in the security pass I had almost managed to lose – for the first time since being given it four years earlier, when we moved to that building – at my leaving drinks. I put my mug in kitchen, tucked in my chair and headed out into a cold, November night. And with that, I no longer worked for an agency. Continue reading →

Book review: Mumboss – Vicki Psarias (Honest Mum)

I’m late writing about this. The reasons are many; some of them I can talk about (a flurry of minor family illness, busy work, social obligations) and others aren’t my story to tell so I will simply say… well… let’s go for personal drama. The effects have drained me of both time and mental availability, so I’m about 3 weeks later than I wanted to be to share my thoughts on this book, which was painstakingly and lovingly written by a friend of mine, Vicki of Honest Mum. (Yes, that Vicki.)  Continue reading →

Film review: Mary and the Witch’s Flower

I have a confession to make. I have only seen one – count ’em! – Studio Ghibli film. It’s the one everyone has seen (no, not that one with the friendly cat Moomin, the other one with the pigs). And I liked it! Well, it scared me a little but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and I really enjoyed it. I would absolutely watch more. I will. I just… haven’t yet. Continue reading →

A Wrinkle in Time: A film review with a difference

It’s not every day you have to say “no” to meeting Ava DuVernay.

Having a full-time day job means I do have to decline quite a few of the invitations I get, but this one really hurt. And I was honestly really excited about seeing the film. Luckily, I had the perfect stand-in up my sleeve: web series whizz, producer, actor and writer Rochelle Dancel, who attended a roundtable with Ava and A Wrinkle in Time’s lead actress, 14yo Storm Reid. Continue reading →

Why the most important character in Lady Bird wasn’t Lady Bird.

Some of us are born Julies.

The story isn’t often about us – and when it is, or at least when we get a chunk of the story, it’s usually not a Julie telling it and then they get it all wrong.

(Contains spoilers if you haven’t yet seen Lady Bird. Though you should get on with it now.) Continue reading →