Breakfast host on The Hits, columnist for nzherald.co.nz Life & Style.

Polly Gillespie: Crying in Star Wars and kissing Baz Luhrmann

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Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the very tardiest review in the history of entertainment journalism. Photo / Supplied
Here, ladies and gentlemen, is the very tardiest review in the history of entertainment journalism. Photo / Supplied

In general, in fact, without exception, film reviewers crawl over each other often with pronged umbrellas and blazing satanic pitchforks to be the first one to review a new blockbuster.

If a movie is apparently mediocre they will slink along begrudgingly. It's awful having to leave the drudgery of the office to attend a movie for two hours of solitude. I've been to a fair few blockbuster previews. I went to The Other Woman in Sydney, and almost got into a popcorn brawl with another writer.

I went to the latest James Bond, promptly fell asleep in the first five minutes and woke during closing credits to my mother saying "Wasn't it exciting!? A thrill a minute!"

I had no words. Just the thought: "Really Mum? Come on, James Bond movies are like U2 songs: They're all the same thing, just cut into 50 sections."

I did go to The Great Gatsby premiere in Sydney. It rained like a Bangladesh monsoon, but I got to kiss Baz Luhrmann. SCORE.

The furthest I've ever been to attend a movie premiere was the last Hobbit movie. I loved it. Almost froze to death on the red carpet. But I was saved by an Australian journalist who was rather afraid I was going to die of exposure.

Most reviewers get an air of bitter boredom. Of the German trenchcoat-wearing reviewer next to me at The Hobbit and the flossy Danish girl who had to keep leaving to vomit (clearly attended the party the night before), neither seemed to enjoy it. Holy smoke, I'd flown business class and was staying on Park Lane. What was not to like?

This brings me to my very central crux. I am arguably the last writer to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I loved the first three from back in the 1970s but couldn't get myself into the frenzy and hype.

I admit it, I was scared I'd roll my eyes and vomit out the words: "Oh God, we've been duped! Another hideous Transformer movie!"

I resisted. I resisted till my eldest son had seen it five times and was ready to see it once more with good old Mama. I reluctantly agreed to the date but I chose to have no expectations.

So here, ladies and gentlemen, is the very tardiest review in the history of entertainment journalism.

I bloody loved it. I was 13. It was 1976. Somehow I was magically sitting in a movie theatre completely gob-smacked again and completely full of wonder.

I loved old Harrison Ford, who's performance was his best in 25 years. It dawned on me very quickly that J.J. Abrams had stayed close to the very essence of the original. It's fun. And you cheer for the goodies and you want to applaud at the end. I confess I cried at the end. I cried big baby sobby tears.

Tom, my geek son, was duly impressed.

Now, here's the clincher. The main characters are strong feminist role models. Rey, the star, is completely androgynous. I mean, she's pretty, but at no time do they prey on her sexuality. Oh, and there is the coolest "today" replacement: A wise wee alien woman with super-cool glasses.

Okay, I admit it. I'm the last reviewer, but what the hell! For me it's a feminist movie with strident females, no gratuitous sexualisation of any characters, a really weird Princess Leia and a surprisingly dashing Luke Skywalker. I'm not sure how they turned Mark Hamill into an ageing hottie, but they did it.

Do I get a prize for being the last person on earth, let alone entertainment interviewer, to see the movie?

- nzherald.co.nz

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Breakfast host on The Hits, columnist for nzherald.co.nz Life & Style.

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