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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Since 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest has grown into a global event. Primarily judging the best songs from a plethora of European acts, it has seen a colourful array of performers. ABBA, Bucks Fizz and others have used it as a platform for further chart success. ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is a satirical look at the camp, glitter and determination of those wanting to win. It’s as outrageous as the event itself with its trashy antics mirroring its namesake.

Lars (Will Ferrell) and his best friend Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are an Icelandic music duo entering the Eurovision Song Contest. Against the wishes of his disapproving father Erick (Pierce Brosnan), Lars seeks fame and glory. With Sigrit’s equally determined spirit pushing him on, the duo’s path to a golden future is littered with potholes as they chase their lifelong dreams.

‘Eurovision’ is a fun if overlong slice of nonsense. Lars and Sigrit’s earnest self-belief in their minor talents provides most of the comedy. Ferrell is an old hand at doing this type of thing with his ‘loveable loser’ persona given another airing. McAdams is equally good as is Brosnan and Dan Stevens as a flamboyant Russian singer.

Whilst the pacing saps its overall impact, ‘Eurovision’ perfectly captures every facet of the song contest. Trash, treasure and unadulterated decadence is all on display with glee. Eurovision fanatics will have a field day spotting the many references. The songs and musical set pieces are catchy with the cast bringing dynamic energy to the predictable script, making the reheated plot seem fresh.

If you’re in the mood for a ‘no-brain watching’ flick, then ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ is for you. It shouldn’t be taken seriously for a minute and offers mostly consistent laughs. The real event is just as dazzling and offers a great escape from the often trouble world outside the TV screens.

Rating out of 10: 7

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON NETFLIX.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Published in book form in 1850, ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens is a perennial mainstay. Filmed for cinema and TV numerous times, each have had their own take on the timeless story. ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ provides a consistently charming version. Under Armando Iannucci’s skilful direction, ‘Copperfield’ shows how you can successfully reinvent a 19th century story for 21st century eyes.

Living with his widowed mother and wicked step-father, David Copperfield (Dev Patel) dreams of better things. Sent to work at his step-father’s factory, he lodges with the kindly Mr. Micawber (Peter Capaldi) and his family. Desperate to escape his grey existence, he tracks down his wealthy aunt Betsey (Tilda Swinton) and her lodger Mr. Dick (Hugh Laurie). His life takes unexpected turns as he pushes ahead with his ambitions to be a gentleman and author.

‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ is a very entertaining reimagining of the classic story. Those versed in Dickens would likely know the plot inside out but the film is also accessible for newer viewers. This is mainly due to the energetic and enthusiastic performances of its cast. All perfectly embody their roles and perfectly render Dickens’ prose with style.

This style also extends to Iannucci’s handling of the material. ‘Copperfield’ greatly benefits from his visual flair as it pushes the plot along at a cracking pace. This isn’t a standard ‘talk and shoot’ adaptation, but an often exciting and engaging tale all can enjoy. The set design also adds immeasurably to the glossy spectacle without overwhelming the heart of the piece.

If you’re unsure of which ‘Copperfield’ film to see, then ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’ should be high on the list. Far from being an academic, dry exercise, it does justice to Dickens’ prose. More films done in this style should find new audiences for similar classic works proving well written stories can never go out of fashion.

Rating out of 10: 8

CURRENTLY SCREENING IN CINEMAS.