Somewhere along the line, Barnum decides his show needs to appeal to the “high brow” society crowd, so he enlists Phillip Carlise (Zac Efron) a socialite who is also a performer, as a partner. From the moment Phillip lays eyes on Ann (Zendaya), a trapeze artist, sparks fly, but the star-crossed couple struggles to come together due to the fact that she’s not only a “circus freak” but a black one at that! No spoiler alert needed here – I won’t give away what happens, but I will say a scene where the two dance and work the ropes to demonstrate the push and pull of their romance is pure magic. I’ve not seen many Zac Efron movies, but I predict Zendaya (her last name is Collins but she’s already known by her first name only) is going to surpass all the other Disney Channel stars that have gone before her…
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose creative, I believe you’ll enjoy this movie. This musical is about creativity, imagination, and making the impossible possible. If you like real life rags to riches stories about the underdogs who win because of their hard work and ingenuity, then this film is for you. Or maybe you just want to be entertained. It delivers that in spades. P.T. Barnum wanted a better world where people could forget about their cares, so without the aid of electronics and technology, he designed it. Considering that, he may very well have been The Greatest Showman.
It’s Day 195 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m excited to review “Wonder”, a wonderful children’s movie we’d all do well to watch, with or without children. My daughter read it when she was in seventh grade last year, and while I used to read most of the great children’s literature books in order to cover them when I was a teacher, I haven’t been able to keep up the practice and am glad this one was made into a film. I anticipated the movie would be good based on the acclaim the novel received, but didn’t expect to be transported back to the days when I was bullied for being different myself.
Apparently the novel is based on the experience of the author’s child when they attended middle school with a student who had the same rare facial condition as Auggie Pullman, the main character. Auggie’s symptoms are extreme and cause his face to be severely distorted. He also suffers a degree of hearing loss. The young actor who plays Auggie does an outstanding job portraying the physical, emotional, and social challenges he faces transitioning from being homeschooled his whole life to attending school with other children for the first time in fifth grade. Though ostracized from day one, Auggie soon makes it clear he doesn’t struggle cognitively. He’s exceptional.
While Auggie is a star in the role, the cast of supporting characters that orbit his universe are the ones who make his performance and the movie shine. His supportive parents and sister are in his corner to a degree that Auggie is the center of their world. Their struggles to let Auggie navigate the complexities of middle school on his own coincide with their own quests to find out who they are apart from him and together as a healthier family. And the friends/frenemies Auggie makes at school demonstrate how difficult it is to choose kind in the midst of mob mentality where the popular kids are anything but. In the end, not only does Auggie emerge a hero, his courageous heart calls out the best in those around him – adults, teens, children, and in the unexpected. Moviegoers as well.
My freshman year of high school was similar to Auggie’s. Though I’d been popular and had my group in elementary and middle school, I didn’t do cliques and would rather have died than leave someone out. Things changed when I got into a college prep school but didn’t start there until ninth grade, unlike most of my friends who made the move in seventh. By the time I got there, the cliques were in full force. Not only was I no longer part of the group, I was bullied by an upperclassman who sunk her talons into my boyfriend and rallied her minions to torture me. Add to that the fact that I didn’t fit in with the Black kids because I wasn’t “Black enough” or the White kids because I obviously wasn’t. I got called Peppermint Patty and Oreo Cookie – Black on the outside, white on the inside. I loved to learn but there were days I didn’t feel like I wanted to live. Thankfully, my soul sister, Josette, befriended me sophomore year. I LOVE HER TO THIS DAY. Still, you couldn’t pay me enough to go back to high school! My peers would have done well to see “Wonder”…
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose lover of movies that teach powerful lessons, I highly recommend “Wonder” if you’re looking for a family friendly movie for the holiday season. Or if just want/need a reminder that darkness is usually overcome by light. In this world of bullying and zero tolerance policies that are nearly impossible to enforce, Hollywood got this one right and we’d all do well to watch it, whether we have children or not. Auggie is the center of his family and they orbit around him. He is the figurative “sun”. Fitting because like so many specially gifted individuals, his light shines bright and illuminates. So does this movie. It’s a beacon of hope: If we choose kind, the world can be a brighter place for us all to learn, live, and love.
Hope you see the movie! I’d love to hear what you think of it and how you can be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose with the lessons it teaches.
It’s Day 193 of The Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and after sleeping all day, I’m feeling well enough to post a review of “The Star” movie, which I saw the day it released. There are many delightful things about this movie. While it takes a lot of creative license, the plot remains fairly true to the Biblical account of the events that led up to the birth of Jesus and the film even credits it as the greatest story ever told. With it’s whimsical animation the stage was set for the miraculous story to unfold in Nazareth and Bethlehem. From the moment the film begins rolling, viewers are swept back to the time where a humble, kind Mary and a loving, protective Joseph are a frightened young couple entrusted with the greatest responsibility ever – bringing the Son of God into the world. Monumentally important as their roles are, the movie focuses more on the part a small donkey and his animal friends play in ensuring the safe birth of baby Jesus. After overcoming several life-threatening challenges, the cast of characters come together under The Star to celebrate the Christ Child. If you’re looking for a great family friendly movie, this movie is entertaining for children and could be considered enlightening for adults whose hearts are open are open to the true meaning of Christmas. Adults can even learn a leadership lesson from a lamb.
Ruth, though only a little lamb, proved herself to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic. Petite, feminine, and with a small voice, Ruth didn’t necessarily look or sound like a leader. But she was also resourceful, strong, smart, and hardworking. Despite these leadership attributes, her previous attempt to lead her flock had been unsuccessful. Undeterred, she believed in her cause and followed The Star through to the end. Along the way Ruth tapped into her strengths and contributed meaningfully to the mission. She even won the support of her former naysayers and caused them to rally around her efforts. Ultimately, her leadership enabled them to collectively achieve more than they ever could on their own. That being the case Ruth’s lamb leadership could also be called transformational.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose “Lamb Leader”, I can relate to Ruth. Sometimes I feel I’m too small, too insignificant, too lots of things to leave a lasting leadership legacy. But like Ruth, I believe in my cause and have to follow where I’m led. I’m compelled to live out my purpose which is to coach, encourage and inspire Pink Collar women to minimize their barriers and to maximize their beauty and best personal and professional lives – all to the glory of God. Though none went with her at first, Ruth still chose to follow The Star. Now she’ll go down in fictionalized history (at least for some children and possibly a few adults) as a lamb leader who had a part in leading others to The Star. Like her, I have decided to follow and pray I’ll leave a lamb leadership legacy of pointing others to The Bright and Morning Star as well.
In what ways are you a lamb leader? How can you maximize your strengths to contribute in meaningful ways? At home? In the workplace?
Though I actually saw “Leap” yesterday, I’m writing a review of it for Day 121 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project. It’s received some rotten tomatoes from critics, but I believe I offer a fresh perspective, so please bare with me a) in case you’re wondering why I’m reviewing a children’s movie, and b) in case you’ve heard bad things/haven’t heard of it at all. Regarding the former, there are some lessons in this kids’ computer animated movie about holding on to our dreams that we adults can all use in real time. The latter was the case with me until my dear friend, Kibby, mentioned it. With my love of children’s movies, I was surprised I hadn’t seen one advertisement for it.
Most people know I love dance and am all about following your dreams, so the fact that the plot revolves around a tween orphan, Felicie, who wants to be a dancer more than anything in the world, and her best friend, Victor, who longs to be a famous inventor, and I was all in. The setting is Brittany, France, that is until the ambitious duo run away from the orphanage to Paris in hot pursuit of their dreams. Of course, their adventure is fraught with conflict and challenges, such as archenemies, wicked witch-like adult saboteurs, bad guys turned good, and even a prepubecent love interest. As if just being orphan children on the run in a huge city with nothing but the rags on their backs isn’t enough! The tactics these two employ to make their elusive dreams come true are unconventional to say the least… Some secondary characters offer both children opportunities and play a large part in making their individual pursuits possible. Some have compared the plot to “Flashdance” but have been very unkind about its weaknesses. I won’t give the ending away, but will ask that you give the movie chance. You will laugh, maybe tear up a little, and be uplifted.
This inspiring story is naive in a lighthearted, refreshing way. And by naive, I mean innocent in a truly family friendly way. From what I can tell, the critics are compairing this children’s movie to the other big name producers who pack so much adult innuendo into the movies to sell to the parents that I’ve often been embarrassed while watching with my kiddos. You know it’s bad when you’re eleven-year-old blushes and says, “Well, that was inappropriate.” Other than a little potty humor, there is none of that in this film. Instead, this little girl, on the verge of becoming a young woman, has always carried a candle for dancing in her heart, from the cradle. Literally, since a music box with a ballerina was the only thing her birth mother left there with her at the orgphanage. A postcard from a ballet academy in Paris fans the flame, and Felicie does light up the stage, something most little girls (and big ones) only dream of doing.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick whose dream of my daughter loving dance didn’t come true due to divorce (it wasn’t encouraged), I’ll still support her in whatever her dreams are. She is a talented artist and has a gorgeous voice. At one point, she wanted to be the next American Idol. Sound lofty? Dreams are. But like the movie demonstrated, you’ll never know how high you can get if you don’t leap.
And you’ll never know if “Leap” deserves rotten tomatoes or is being reviewed by those sucking on lemons. Hope you’ll find out for yourself. Happy Labor Day!