Evenings At The Shore: Sooner Than Expected

As I mentioned in my season five premiere re-cap, I was looking forward to learning more about Luke and discovering why he is the way he is. Figuring any information about this new character wouldn’t come right away, I expected to wait until it was revealed in an upcoming episode. But in this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Luke shared more about his backstory than I thought he would. Because it is only the third episode of the season, I was surprised by how soon this information came. At the same time, receiving these pieces of the story now is probably for the better. Now that the foundations of Luke’s character are being placed together, we have a starting point of where Luke could go from here. However, we’ll probably have to wait for that to be discovered, as we’re only toward the beginning of the season.

Just a reminder: If you did not see this episode of Chesapeake Shores, there are spoilers in this re-cap.

Chesapeake Shores Season 5 poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel.

Season: 5

Episode: 3

Name: Are the Stars Out Tonight?

Abby’s story: Abby is having difficulty reaching a new client named Evan Kincaid. He’s interested in building a hotel in Chesapeake Shores, but the soil surrounding underground pipes in contaminated with asbestos. One day, at the O’Brien family home, Mick and Abby discover why they have been struggling to contact Evan. Through a Zoom video call, they learn Evan has been mountain climbing in New Zealand, which means Evan is in a different time zone than Abby and Mick. During this call, Evan reveals he might pull out of the project. But Abby convinces Evan to check out Chesapeake Shores, giving him a sales pitch on why her hometown is, in fact, prime real estate. Later in the episode, Evan arrives at the building site, riding a Hoverboard. He says he arrived early to view the property, saying it reminds him of his home in Ireland. But he’s still not convinced of the project’s reality. While crossing paths with Evan at the mini golf course, Abby explains how the asbestos in the soil can be easily removed in a short amount of time. Evan tells her that if he gets a Birdie, he’ll reconsider. Since he does get a Birdie, he stays true to his promise. Toward the end of the episode, Evan surprises Abby to showing up at the O’Brien family home. He agrees to go through with the hotel project, only if Abby is the lead contractor. Evan says this is a perfect business plan because they not only don’t like each other, but that Abby also tells things like it is.

Mick’s story: While sitting by the outdoor fireplace, Mick learns that Abby offered Thomas their Hampton property as potential office space. He is unhappy to hear this, telling Abby he doesn’t want to risk ruining his relationship with his brother again by working together with him. As Abby reveals, this concern is partly due to Evan’s hotel project and the Dilpher case. Several days later, through a conversation between the brothers, it is revealed that Thomas loves the Hampton property. While talking about a past business project, they become distracted by old photographs. This is because Abby and Megan are searching through photo albums, in an attempt to find pictures for Jess’s wedding. When they come across a photo of a camping trip from 1967, Mick and Thomas reminisce about their camping experiences. This inspires them to take a weekend camping trip, promising to discuss the Hampton propriety during the trip.

Megan’s story: While shopping at a local store, Megan comes across a painting of Chesapeake Shore by an artist named Arthur Driscoll. After discovering the painting’s eight-dollar price tag, Mick, who happens to be shopping with Megan, agrees to buy the painting for her. Megan explains that Arthur was a well-known artist in the ‘60s, but fell off the map in the ‘70s. She also reveals that if the painting was created by Arthur, it could be financially valuable. At the O’Brien family home, Megan continues to inspect the painting, trying to locate a signature. She experiences difficulty contacting Arthur as well. She eventually receives a phone call from the artist, only to have him rudely give his blessing to display the painting anywhere Megan’s heart desires. This doesn’t stop Megan from continuing to contact Arthur. She tells Kevin she has ridden on her bike past the artist’s house. Megan says that she also turned to Nell for any information. Nell told Megan she used to be close with Arthur, but lost touch when his wife died. Several days later, Megan visits Arthur at his home, bringing the painting with her. After unenthusiastically answering the door, he recognizes the painting as one of his own. Arthur also tells Megan she paid too much for it, after Megan reveals she only paid eight dollars for the painting.

Illustrated image of bicycle created by Freepik at freepik.com. Background vector created by freepik – www.freepik.com

Luke’s story: Luke arrives at The Bridge while Thomas and Mick are having a conversation. Instead of being an interruption, Luke is given the opportunity to be introduced to both men. While Luke is telling Mick about his search for employment, Mick reveals how The Bridge is having electrical and plumbing problems. After volunteering to look at the fuse box, Luke quickly discovers the issue. Mick is not only impressed with Luke’s electrical knowledge, but also agrees to hire him. On his first night at The Bridge, Luke tells Mick he fixed the aforementioned plumbing problems. He also asks Mick for a favor. Luke wants Mick to keep a record of his employment. He reveals that he will give this information to his parole officer. After Luke embarrassedly leaves The Bridge, Mick demands to know what has been going on. Luke shares that, years ago, he dropped out of college after his dad died, in order to take care of his mom. After his mom died, he started to lean more toward alcohol. One night, while consuming a lot of alcohol, Luke got into a bar fight with another patron. This fight not only caused the patron to become seriously injured, but it also caused Luke to get arrested for assault and battery. Even though his original sentence was three years, he got out after two for good behavior. Mick appreciates Luke’s honesty and agrees with work things out with Luke.

Bree’s story: At the University of Maryland, Bree shares one of her lesson plans with Jerome. She tells him her play-writing class will revolve around memoir writing. During this conversation, Bree asks Jerome why he became a professor, after dreaming of becoming a politician in high school. Jerome shares that law school was his original plan. But after reading The Great Gatsby, he fell in love with reading and didn’t look back. Later, in Chesapeake Shores, Bree is struggling to come up with an introduction for her class. After Kevin agrees to hear Bree’s ideas, he suggests she find a way to grab her students’ attention. This causes her to think of a quote from one of her favorite writers, one that revolves around what the writer wants the reader to hear. Kevin’s advice and the aforementioned quote give Bree the confidence she needs for her new job.

Connor’s story: Connor is still working on the unequal pay case that was mentioned in the season five premiere. He, Linda, and Margaret attend the case’s hearing, to determine whether the case will go to trial. When the judge asks Connor if he agrees that men have more physical strength than women, Connor says he agrees. But he also says that women are capable of having emotional strength, using his sisters as an example. At his next hearing appearance, Connor reveals the case’s issue is not necessarily about unequal pay, but unequal employment opportunities. His findings show that women are being denied job offerings for fork-lift operator. As the case goes on, Linda and Margaret are pleased with Connor’s work. One day, at the firm, Connor sees Paul Dilpher and Linda go into her office. Connor later tells Linda that Paul is trying to fight his father in court, which would cause a conflict of interest. Linda assures Connor that as long as he isn’t given information about the case, everything will be fine.

Library image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/stack-of-books-on-library-desk_2509490.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/school”>School image created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Some thoughts to consider:

  • In this episode of Chesapeake Shores, Kevin is looking for a swimmer to join his Triathlon team. This Triathlon has been brought up a few times this season, so far. It provides a consistent part of the story, as well as giving the fans something to look forward to. With the introduction of Luke, I wonder if he will join Kevin’s team?  We already know Luke is athletic and he is familiar with the O’Brien family. Since Luke doesn’t have any known family, maybe he will be “adopted” by the O’Briens?
  • As I mentioned in this re-cap, Nell tells Megan she was close with Arthur. When I heard Megan tell Kevin this, it made me wonder if Arthur and Nell will form a relationship? Throughout the course of this series, Nell hasn’t been given many stories of her own. In fact, her presence hasn’t been as consistent as the other members of the O’Brien family. If Nell and Arthur did form a relationship, it would be a win-win for the both of them. Not only would Nell receive a new story, but Arthur could also have the opportunity to grow as a character.
  • During this episode’s credits, there was an announcement about Jess and David’s wedding. It stated that there were two episodes left until the wedding would air on the show. What surprises me is how the wedding is being shown in the middle of the season instead of the season finale. This decision reminds me of how most of the weddings on When Calls the Heart have taken place in the middle of a season.
Evening view from the shore image created by 0melapics at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/landscape-in-a-swamp-at-night_1042860.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by 0melapics – Freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Are you looking forward to seeing Mick and Thomas’s camping trip? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun in Chesapeake Shores!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Ladies in Lavender Review

This is my first time participating in the Luso World Cinema Blogathon. Because I’m not familiar with the subject of Luso World Cinema, I gave my submission careful consideration. A movie I have wanted to watch for a while is Ladies in Lavender. When I discovered Daniel Brühl was one of the blogathon’s recommended subjects, I decided to review his 2005 film, as he is one of the starring actors in that movie. I haven’t seen many projects from Daniel’s filmography. In fact, the only film of his I’ve seen is Captain America: Civil War. So, this is a good opportunity for me to see what his acting talents have to offer outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The synopsis of Ladies in Lavender reminded me of Swept from the Sea, a movie I reviewed two years ago. Because of this, I will compare and contrast these two films from time to time in this review.

Ladies in Lavender poster created by Tale Partnerships, Scala Productions, and Lakeshore International.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: For this part of the review, I will take a moment to talk about Daniel Brühl’s performance, as he is the reason why I reviewed this movie. His portrayal of Andrea was enjoyable to watch! It combined both comedic and dramatic elements that helped make Daniel’s performance entertaining. One example is when Andrea is peeling potatoes with Dorcas. What also worked in Daniel’s favor was how he was able to portray his character realistically. Whenever Andrea is trying to make his wishes known to the other characters, you can see him becoming frustrated at times. This was achieved through Daniel’s facial expressions and body language. Despite not being familiar with Natascha McElhone as an actress, I did like her portrayal of Olga. She appeared throughout the film as an approachable character. Natascha also had a good on-screen relationship with Daniel Brühl as well as with the other actors. A perfect example is when Olga is interacting with Andrea in her cottage. Speaking of on-screen relationships, I liked seeing Judi Dench and Maggie Smith work together in this film. While they have similar acting styles, their characters were allowed to have their own district personalities. This let them shine individually as well as together! One of their best scenes is when their characters, Janet and Ursula, receive terrible news over the phone. As Janet is telling her sister what happened, Ursula immediately crumbles into tears. This scene showcases how the sisters have an unbreakable bond!

The scenery: Similar to Swept from the Sea, Ladies in Lavender takes place in the English countryside. This particular environment provided photogenic scenery that visually complemented the story! Because Ladies in Lavender is set in a seaside town, there are some scenes that take place around the ocean. It was captured very well on film at various moments, from a morning scene where the rising sun perfectly contrasted the water to a night-time shot of the rolling waves. Country landscapes were also included in the movie! In one scene, Olga is painting a landscape of rolling hills with a nearby tower. The location itself contained beautiful green hills that looked great on a sunny day. The gray of the nearby tower paired surprisingly well with the rolling hills’ green hue. Because of how picturesque this space was, it makes sense that Olga would want to capture it on canvas!

The cinematography: I was pleasantly surprised by the good cinematography found in Ladies in Lavender, especially when it came to scenes involving water! In films where a character is drowning, those scenes are usually presented with a fast pace and quick cuts. When we see Andrea’s flashbacks, they are presented at a slower pace. This allowed the audience to see what is happening on screen as Andrea is shown in the water. One of the most beautifully shot scenes I’ve ever seen is when Andrea is playing a violin on a rocky ledge at night. His dark silhouette perfectly contrasts with the deep blue ocean that looks like it sparkles in the evening. The color scheme of blue, white, and black are prominently featured and is visually appealing!

The Second Luso World Cinema Blogathon banner created by Le from Critica Retro and by Beth from Spellbound by Movies.

What I didn’t like about the film:

An unclear direction: In Swept from the Sea, the overall story is a drama with a romance included. This is a clear creative direction that was consistent throughout the film.  Ladies in Lavender is different, as the story went in many different directions. It gets to the point where it was difficult to determine what the plot was about besides the main premise. Was the story supposed to be about a forbidden romance? Or was it meant to revolve around the strained relationship between two siblings? Maybe it was supposed to partially focus on Andrea’s musical dreams? The story of Ladies in Lavender adopted too many ideas. That decision made the overall film feel like it was bouncing around from place to place.

Telling more than showing: At various moments in Ladies in Lavender, the audience is told how Andrea was washed up ashore. We are even shown flashbacks where he is seen drowning. However, we never get to see the events that caused Andrea to fall overboard. Because of this, the audience is not given a complete picture of what happened. At one point in the story, Janet and Ursula meet Olga. They express how they don’t like this new visitor. But the audience never receives an explanation for why Janet and Ursula do not like Olga. Visuals should have been used to illustrate the sisters’ point. If this had been the case, we might have gotten a better glimpse into Janet and Ursula’s perspective.

The exclusion of Andrea’s perspective: I know this movie is called Ladies in Lavender, with the title referring to Janet and Ursula. But because the overall story primarily focused on Janet and Ursula’s perspective, we don’t see the story from Andrea’s perspective. In Swept from the Sea, the story is narrated by Dr. Kennedy. Despite this, the audience is allowed to see that film’s world from Yanko’s perspective. That aspect of Swept from the Sea also gave the audience an opportunity to truly get to know Yanko as a character. With Ladies in Lavender, I feel like I barely know Andrea. The inclusion of Andrea’s perspective would have easily solved this issue.

Paper Boats in the Sea image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-of-paper-boats-with-hand-drawn-waves_1189898.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Ladies in Lavender is a film that I found to be just ok. Yes, there are aspects worth appreciating, such as Daniel Brühl’s performance. As a matter of fact, this movie made me appreciate Daniel’s acting abilities more! But if I had to choose between Ladies in Lavender and Swept from the Sea, I’d choose Swept from the Sea. This is because I find that movie to be stronger among the two. With Ladies in Lavender, the direction of the overall story was unclear. While there was a main conflict, it was difficult to determine what the main plot was. More telling than showing was also one of the movie’s flaws, not giving the audience the full picture when it came to certain areas of the story. I found the lack of Andrea’s perspective to be disappointing as well. This prevented me from truly getting to know Andrea as a character. Even though Ladies in Lavender will not be one of the best movies I saw this year, I am glad I participated in the Luso World Cinema Blogathon. I wonder what I’ll chose to write about next year?

Overall score: 6.3 out of 10

Have you seen Ladies in Lavender? Are there any Luso World Cinema films you’d like to see me review? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen