Summertime Mini-Reviews in 100 Words or Less

A year ago I did 6 Movie Reviews in 100 Words or Less. Today, amid preparations for our annual “deep housecleaning” and continuing the long, hard slog of finishing Lionhearted 4.0 (finally hit the halfway point, thank goodness), I’m once again setting for myself this fun little summertime challenge!

Here are four mini-reviews for you in 100 words or less: one TV show and three movies.

Lark Rise to Candleford: Season 1*

I’ve seen this delightful series described as “a British Little House on the Prairie,” and I think that’s a fair assessment. The small-town drama in Lark Rise* does occasionally border on the soapy side, just like in Little House (I mean, seriously–how many suitors/boyfriends do Dorcas Lane and Mary Ingalls really need? What would that have done to their reputations in real life????) but both shows share the simplicity, humor, and celebration of community and family that make them and their characters so endearing. I’m definitely looking forward to watching the next few seasons!

(98 words.)

Song of the Sea*

Ben, the son of a lighthouse keeper, resents his baby sister, Saoirse (pronounced “SEER-sha”), as the cause of his mother’s apparent death. Unbeknownst to Ben, however, Saoirse is a selkie—one of the half-human, half-seal creatures of Irish mythology—and it’s up to both of them to free the faeries of Ireland from the evil witch who’s turned them all into stone. This hauntingly beautiful film*, nominated for an Academy Award in 2015, contains a powerful message about handling emotions in a healthy way. The music and the animation are gorgeous.

(94 words.)

The Zookeeper’s Wife*

This movie tells the true story of Antonina Zabrinski and her husband, who ran the Warsaw Zoo before the Nazi occupation of World War II and hid about 300 Jews within the tunnels and storerooms beneath the zoo. The Zookeeper’s Wife* is heavy and adult (there are four sexually-charged scenes, two between Antonina and her husband plus two involving rapes/attempted rapes), but like all solid movies about the Holocaust, it shows the depravity of man as well as the selflessness of the people the Jewish nation now calls “the Righteous Among the Nations.”

(95 words.)

The Mission*

I’ve been familiar with the music of The Mission* for years, but hadn’t seen the movie—one of my dad’s favorites—until this past week. It tells the (mostly) true story of a Jesuit mission in South America caught between the prevailing political powers, Spain and Portugal, and a pragmatic Roman Catholic church. Father Gabriel responds with submission and pacifism; Mendoza, however, a converted slave trader turned Jesuit brother, fights to defend the now-Christian natives from European attackers. Native nudity would be my only major objection to this otherwise poignant, thought-provoking film*.

(94 words.)

10 thoughts on “Summertime Mini-Reviews in 100 Words or Less

    1. Oh wow, that’s so neat! Gabriel was definitely my favorite character. I was also a bit in awe of Young Jeremy Irons. I’ve only ever seen him in The Hollow Crown and Batman v. Superman + Justice League (we don’t count The Lion King–he only did voice work), and Father Gabriel was very different from both Henry IV and Alfred Pennyworth.


  1. Congratulations on managing to keep your reviews under 100 words!! As someone who likes to use 5 words when one would probably suffice, I am in awe, haha!

    While I haven’t seen the films you featured, I have been in love with Lark Rise to Candleford for quite a few years, and am so glad to hear you love it too, and for pretty much the same reason I do! That feeling of family and community represented by two small but intertwined English hamlets is absolutely my cup of tea, and they portray it so beautifully.

    Two episodes in particular left a permanent imprint on me emotionally, the one with the tortured postal inspector Mr. Rushton, and the one with the male school teacher James Delafield. I’m curious; what was your reaction to them?

    Lastly, I definitely hear and understand you when it comes to Dorcas’ plethora of suitors; in fact, Delafield was always the one I liked the most. And speaking of falling in love with male characters, keep this name in mind to watch out for as you enjoy Season 2… Fisher Bloom.


    1. I’m like that too: I tend to use five words when one would suffice! That’s probably why this is such a good exercise for me: I have to be both concise and informative.

      Yes, I love stories revolving around close-knit communities! I appreciate the Cranford miniseries and Wendell Berry’s novels for the same reason I’ve enjoyed Lark Rise to Candleford so much. I probably would’ve liked Mr. Rushton’s story better if he and Dorcas hadn’t had their simmering mutual attraction; it just didn’t make sense to me, especially since he was so abrasive to begin with. He didn’t seem like the kind of person she’d be attracted to. Mr. Delafield, on the other hand…I really liked him despite his–ahem–Communist sympathies, and I hoped he and Dorcas would get together. I was so mad at Sir Timothy for getting rid of him.

      To tell the truth, I started out liking Sir Timothy the best, thinking for sure I’d be falling in love with another period drama gentleman…only to be sadly disappointed. He did the good and honorable thing in the end, yes, and I was VERY proud of him for it, but he ended up not being my favorite. That said, he was an incredibly well-written character. And in the end, Robert Timmins became my Lark Rise hero.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cranford is still one of my top favourite British miniseries (although I have to admit that I would watch the Hiddleston Christmas sequel over the original every time!) I also see where you’re coming from with the Rushton story-line, and 100% agree that of all the central male characters, Robert is definitely one of the top choices for the designation of hero.

        YAY, I’m so happy to hear you fell in love with Delafield as well! That first kiss scene, and then the one in the rain… romantic tension and angst GOLD; the chemistry was literally just POURING off them. But, I have to say, Sir Timothy’s role in so selfishly cutting off Dorcas’ chance for a second shot at love with a wonderful man, when he was the one who married another and CONTINUED to string her along, kind of turned me against him forever; it’s been over 4 years since I watched it the first time, and I’m STILL bitter!

        Continuing to talk about Delafield for a minute, the actor who played him, Stephen Campbell Moore, also portrayed another character I absolutely adore in the miniseries He Knew He Was Right; have you seen it? He’s set to appear in the upcoming Downton film as well!


  2. Love love love this post! Okay, I NEED to watch Larkrise to Candleford. I love Little House on the Prairie, so a British version is glorious to me. And the Zookeeper’s Wife sounds like a great film. I’ve been wanting to watch it for a while, but yeah, the sexual bits kind of deterred me. I’m sure if I watched it with my parents they could sensor me through it. I really love WWII movies, though. The war ones and the Nazi ones. Those stories are some of the richest ones in history. They will NEVER grow old. I’m reading The Book Thief right now, and I’m almost finished with it. It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read. I love reading about that time period. You should watch Downton Abbey…have you? I can tell you’d really enjoy it especially since you watch Victoria and The Crown and Larkrise to Candleford. Can’t wait for the film this fall! 🙂
    P.S. OH! and I nominated you for the sunshine blogger award 😛


    1. You would LOVE Lark Rise! It has all the delightful whimsy we love so much. Occasionally the melodrama gets to be a bit much, but it’s all very clean and wholesome and, for the most part, relaxing. As for The Zookeeper’s Wife–YES, if your parents will censor it, the rough parts are very skippable. My mom just covered the screen with a pillow and/or muted the movie when those scenes came up. The IMDB Parent’s Guide is helpful, too.

      The Book Thief only gets better with time: the more I read it, the more I love it. The movie is wonderful, too!

      Confession Time!!! I have never seen Downton Abbey. HOWEVER. A friend whom I highly respect recently told me I should give it a try. She said if you can get past the first couple of scandal-ridden episodes, it’s a fantastic and well-written story. My grandparents own the entire series on DVD, so my mom and I may borrow the first season and see if we like it.

      Ooh, a tag! Thank you, friend–I’m looking forward to doing it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES YES YES Downton Abbey is amazing. And yes, there are a few scandal-ridden episodes scattered around throughout the series, but it’s my favorite British show next to Sherlock. OH, and I thought I’d let you know that I watched The Eleventh Hour. It was pretty good 🙂 ! LOL there’s a crack in the wall in the hallway near my room here in our London flat and all I can think of is “prisoner zero has escaped.” I’m in agony!!!


      2. I do something similar with the crack in our swimming pool’s plastic ladder: I tell my little sisters to watch out for the rip in the fabric of reality, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.