The Last Five Years Review: 5 Reasons To Watch This Film

Whether you love musicals, or hate them, movie musicals are becoming a thing - and yes they all star Anna Kendrick (mostly).

Despite what you've been hearing and thinking about The Last Five Years, this film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's amazing off-broadway musical is on point and beautifully filmed. So instead of finding a significant other, how about we just cry, laugh and sing along to the beautifully blended voices of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan?

Directed by Richard LaGravense, this film first premiered at TIFF (and yes, I did go see it then and went to see it again this week as it premiered in theatres because it was that great) and takes on the story of a young couple, in love in New York and looks on the past five years of the time they've spent together - from the exciting beginnings of falling in love, to marriage, and then the inevitable downfall that lead to their break-up. It's a 100 per cent sung-through film with only enough scripted dialogue to fit about a page and a half (maybe).

Here's why you should watch this:

1. It's a sing-through musical

Although musicals may not be everyone's cup of tea, this is a guaranteed-must for musical theatre enthusiasts. There is only so little that isn't sung through. The songs represents everything a dialogue can and more. Singing along with your feelings and their feelings is a way to go. With great songs like "I Can Do Better Than That," "A Summer in Ohio" and "The Next Ten Minutes" it will have you replaying the entire soundtrack over and over. I love these songs because they really articulated the characters and the transition they go through in the film as time flies by and things turn south. The music arrangement was also timed perfectly to reflect the intersecting timeline of the two characters. You have Jamie in one end, and then later on, the new song he sings references back to what happened earlier. Songs makes things more exciting and not dull. Who needs drama, when you have tragedy through song? (maybe not that tragic.)

2. Cinematography

If you're a film studies enthusiast (and wanna-be minor) like me, you're going to love the way this was filmed. Because of the intersecting timelines and the moods of the film, the colouring, mise-en-scene and cinematography reflects everything important to this film and it's intricate storyline. Young Jamie and Cathy are seen brighter, highly contrasted, and summery to reflect the happiness of their young love and the starting of something great and new and exciting. Cathy's hair is blonde, auburn and highlights, with cute dress and summer clothes - like the seasons don't change in NYC. Same goes for Jamie with his short, choppy and messy hair, and dressing like he's 23. This takes a turn as we jump from happy days to the recent present/future, where their relationship starts to soil and we see that they're older. Jamie mattes his hair down to reflect an older self, and Cathy's hair is shorter and a darker shade of auburn (and no more highlights). She wears less dresses and more pants. The scenery is darker, gloomier and looks like it's going to rain, even though it doesn't. It's amazing what they did in filming to reflect the movie and its storyline.

3. It stars Anna Kendrick 

Why not? Anna Kendrick fans REJOICE! She was great in Pitch Perfect, she was great in Into the Woods, there's nothing to lose musically. She's a theatre baby that has come back to her roots, and she's awesome. Hilarious, doesn't take herself too seriously, and a great actress all around. She also has great chemistry with Jordan, which really makes the film since these two carries the entire thing. If you love her, you'll love this movie.

4. It stars Jeremy Jordan

Now to the musical fans, you know him and he's rising. How exciting is it to see theatre stars making it big?! Jeremy Jordan was the right choice for this, he plays the Jamie character very well and he's got the chops in the singing department. For those who don't know him, no worries you will soon. It's got the broadway credits in his bill, and he is all around adorable to watch. Expressive with his singing, you'll fall in love with him. I personally loved him as young!Jamie, before he became a jerk.

5. The intersecting timeline

I love a good story where there are multiple storylines intersecting together in one universe or interesting timelines that jump all over the place. I find it fun, interesting and all around exciting to watch unfold. The great thing about this story is how we learn of a couple that falls in love and falls out of love, told in the most non-linear way - making this less boring. We learn of what happens in the past five years these two were together and the perspectives of both sides as things happen (both ups and downs). We start with Cathy at the end of the relationship, and Jamie at the beginning of theirs. The two perspectives run their linear course until they intersect in the middle, where Jamie purposes to Cathy and the two sing together for the first time, making this an X story.

This movie was ultimately funny and enjoyable to watch. There wasn't a dry laugh in the theatre, and everybody was bubbling, maybe even a few tears. Take my word, and go watch it, it's highly recommended.

Have a lovely day ~ Oriena :)


PhotoRecap: Nuit Blanche 2014

Nuit Blanche this year was a big ol' line up...in a nutshell, that's exactly what it was.

Sometimes I ask if it's still worth it, but the appeal is always very tempting. We'll see how it goes for another year. But while it's still fresh, here's a photo recap of my night at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2014. (And I promise, more posts in the near future. Then again, I broke my promise from the summer - do you guys still trust me?) Enjoy!

Good ol' Toronto, I still love you. 
Have a lovely day! ~Oriena 


I'm Back! From YYZ to LAX and Vegas

Hello friends, if nobody has jumped ship from my blog then I'm super grateful! But if you have (which you probably wouldn't be seeing anyways) I'm sorry and I don't blame you. Where did the entirety of May posting go? In a slump really.

Then the end of May came and things in life actually got seriously busy, inbetween looking for jobs and activities to do - my vacation finally came! My family and I planned a trip to Los Angeles and Las Vegas for a week and was super stoked to be in the mood for travel again. The weather was looking up and everything, it's was awesome!

And yes I came back since the beginning of June and now it's the third week of June - where did I go once again? Well, things really looked up and my luck started changing :) I found a couple of jobs and a schedule filling up my empty days! Of course, I still have plenty of time off, but I'm also working a bit every single day - whether it'd be personal stuff or summer work stuff, I have no excuse not to blog! So here it goes... I'm back (and I won't make any promises that I can't keep) and I'll be trying to blog at least once a week, even if it's for my own musing.

Anyways, here are some photos from my trip! LA and Vegas is such a wonderful place and of course nothing screams summer like the heat of these two cities. As well as short trip down to the Grand Canyon in Arizona really opened my eyes to the beauty and love for nature and natural settings. Highly recommend anybody thinking about visiting LA to take time out and visit these budding cities and states since they're so close by and you get so much more out of a trip this way.

You can view more of my pictures from this trip on my flickr here in its own album. And if you enjoy my photography, you can view more of it here.

Hope you have a lovely day! ~Oriena


Stars On Ice: Toronto Show

The Canadian tour of Stars On Ice (2014) had a week long tour across the country and finally made their stop in Toronto last Friday. It was enjoyable and I was so glad I bought tickets when I had the chance. It was an all-star cast with so many great numbers, I wished it would never end (but of course it had to).

After watching the Team Canada figure skating team from the Sochi Olympics and seeing how talented they were, especially after watching the figure skating gala, I knew I had to watch figure skating that was contained more performance and showmanship rather than something that was done for competition. To see figure skaters doing a crazy, fun filled show that had group numbers, props, flair and costumes is a must-see for everyone. (Definitely recommend it!)
The cast featured Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Patrick Chan, Joannie Rochette, Kurt Browning, Jeffery Buttle, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, Kaetlyn Osmond, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, and Shawn Sawyer.
They were all so wonderful and an equally talented bunch! Clearly everyone in the audience were very proud of their Team Canada skaters, because it had such a great turn out! The Air Canada Centre was practically filled to the brim! It had lots of great supporters.

Overall I really enjoyed the show and getting to see these skaters preform live was the best experience I could ever ask for. It's unfortunate when not every fan has the opportunity to watch them live during competitions (like during the olympics and we cheer from home) but to see them preform for the purpose of a show - for fun - is something that you can't miss! It only comes around once a year, and I'm glad a got to see this year's show.

(Sorry for the iPhone quality, my seat was in the 120's section; Had to work with what I had!)
Have a lovely day! ~ Oriena 


Strangers in the City

The city often appears to be a wondrous place filled with people. Many people actually. And they are all strange, unfamiliar, interesting, and curious.
But even in a city that's filled with millions of people - people who pass by you and might not ever see again - they find a way to interact, as long as you're bold enough to make the move.
Does it sound like a cheesy love story? Because it's actually much more simple than that.

Riding the subway is like sitting in a cart filled with all those mysterious strangers (a place for people watching and guessing their stories). That's where I became a bystander of great stranger interactions and conversations.

Two ladies of different types. The middle-aged blonde woman, looking tired at the end of the day, sits in the corner seat (next to the door) in a fully packed subway car. She was mostly expressionless but her eyes appeared as if they were looking for thoughts. She seems harmless, perhaps strange at first when her eyes grew bigger because she was trained on a thought of some kind, but mostly she was just tired.
When the next stop pulled up, more people filled the train up to the doors, and in walks another women - shorter, more colourful, and also coming off from a long day of work, but doesn't show any signs of tiredness. She only had a few stops before getting off the train to transfer routes, so she stood and just kept to herself. It wasn't until the woman sitting noticed her designer bag (of top quality) and fawned.
She started with a compliment and the two ladies started chatting up a storm, advising tips on the brand quality and sharing their mutual love for the design.
It might sound a bit materialistic, but human interaction is often bonded over a share of materialistic things and events - what comes out of it is sharing thoughts with someone who views life the way you do.

Sure, this type of interaction may have started over a simple compliment and love of designer purses, but it got two strangers bonding on a random subway train after a long day. It's as good as it gets on a business day.

The city holds millions of people and each day we just walk pass them in our own mindset, but a small interaction can go a long way into finding great, enjoyable people in a place packed with crazies.
Or better yet, the least it can do is make your day just a touch better.

Have a lovely day ~ Oriena
(if you can find the original photo link, let me know!) 


Current Obsession: Oh Honey...

The last week of classes here I come! One step closer to break, and one step closer to free-spirited happiness that comes with the end of semesters.

Currently in love with Oh Honey's "Be Okay" - It's amazing, relaxing and beautiful in a way that just screams summer. Oh how I can't wait for summer weather to come :)

Have a lovely day! ~ Oriena 


The Job Hunting Fiasco

April and May not only signifies that spring is in the air, but it's also ... summer job hunting.

A complete bummer when it comes to the end of a school year, but it's a part of life - getting a summer job is just something you have to (well, should) do once school ends.

Which means, it's time to brush up those resumes and write a dozen cover letters, prepare your professional look and cross your fingers you land the interview. Then once you get to that stage, hope you pass their questions and cold-hard stares as they interview you. No pressure, or more like don't show fear.

Let's be honest, we hate job hunting and it's always tough to keep a long enough part-time job (for the unlucky ones like myself who opts for the seasonal jobs) so the cycle keeps building - we'll always have to go back to apply for new jobs each year. That's what's on my mind lately, and it's driving me mad in a way that I'm just frustrated and worried. And there's also the fact that I can't plan my summer accordingly (i.e. book a vacation) unless I know if I'm going to have to work for most of the summer. And as a student, you should always take the option that produces money, over the opportunity to spend away money.

It really is a fiasco, because you're trying to decide what's good for your life right now, or what's good for your situation as a university student/young person. We can't keep depending on our parents, they clearly aren't made of money (unless, of course, you're anywhere above working and middle class); we're not all that fortunate to keep money while also wanting to spend it all at the same time. I've probably spent quite a bit this year just on eating out with friends on special occasions, and a fair bit on consuming for myself. It's not that spending is bad, but worried about not making it back always makes me a bit antsy - especially when some of the things I've spent money on are unnecessary.

But what's also a fiasco is the process of finding a new job all over again. I know you're probably asking "why don't you just keep one job?" or "why don't you just get a non-seasonal job?" - but you see, it's not that easy! At least for me it isn't.
I've had jobs; and a lot of my jobs just so happens to be seasonal employment because it fits my schedule and it was much easier to score. If I could find a long term part-time job, would I even be bring this up? Probably not.
Seasonal jobs have been great, but unless someone gives me a chance on a long term job (which I always try to apply for), it's just not working out when they see that my experience consists of 2-4 months of work added up together. What does one do? That's my dilemma.

Friends, jobs are not easy to find. They are never easy to get, and they are not always great. But don't give up that easily either! Spend wisely - but also leave room for a little bit of free-spending, and never stop searching for a better job.
I will always wonder how some people do it. How they are able to get jobs at certain places that I have not discovered yet, or just don't fit the criteria for someone to work there. But kudos to them (and probably their connections - unfortunately I'm an only-child and my parents have only worked in fields completely opposite of what I want).

So here's to hoping charisma and charm, the overall personality, can ace your way through an icy interview. And also a well-written cover letter as well. It's a rough time of the year, but don't knock yourself for it - if at first you don't succeed, try again.

Have a lovely day! ~ Oriena 
image via