The voice of Aretha Franklin shines in full operatic aria in ‘The Upside’ movie with star Kevin Hart

Music travels with us throughout our lives. It makes the world go round. For many, it is a lifesaver, gateway to the soul and makes up the soundtrack of our lives. Like the great reggae artist,  Bob Marley so eloquently says, “When the  beat hits, you feel no pain.”

photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

NYC based Influencer @debrafrombrooklyn rocks stripped pants and purple booties at a screening of ‘The Upside’ movie in Manhattan

 

This brings me to the recent release of ‘The Upside‘ a comedy-drama starring funny guy Kevin Hart taking a spin at a serious role opposite thespian Bryan Cranston and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman. The movie which features the music of late music icon, Aretha Franklin is a remake of the 2011 French movie, ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy and  Francois Cluzet.  In this American remake, the concept is kept pretty much the same but lacks the full-on heartwarming charm and inspiration that the  French version exuded thanks in parts to Sy.  The movie, based on a true story, tells the story of two men from different backgrounds culturally and financially, who change each other lives for the better. Hart plays Dell, an ex-con out on parole hired as the caretaker of Phillip (Cranston), a billionaire and quadriplegic, the result of a paragliding accident. Kidman plays Phillip’s assistant.

The movie is the first comedy-drama released for  2019. That it includes a soundtrack featuring the music of the “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin   who passed away in August of 2018 will definitely lend to getting lots of music fans talking and filling theater seats. I had the opportunity to attend a recent screening in New York City, given by the  MOMS .

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert  and Melissa Gerstein

New dad Kevin Hart chats with The MOMS, Denise Albert, and Melissa Gerstein …..photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Aretha’s musical chords are woven perfectly into scenes. Hart himself even gives it a go, with a comedic spin, of course, singing on the much beloved  “Think”.  Four of Franklin’s songs appear on the movie’s soundtrack, each song adding flair to the storyline, like when  Dell is overcome with his appreciation of classical music while attending the opera alongside  Phillip and hearing  Nessun Dorma sung superbly by the Queen of Soul.

Surprisingly, taking the #1 Weekend Box Office opening position away from front runner  ‘Aquaman‘ which is holding high with billion dollar sales worldwide, ‘The Upside’ on its Jan 11-13 opening weekend cemented itself to the list of movies featuring  Aretha’s music that went on to become memorable.

 

Like I said music makes everything better.  I felt that the music saved the ‘Upside.’  The movie could definitely have been better. If I had to watch the movie again I would probably opt for the French version as Hart and Cranston didn’t fully click like Sy and Cluzet. The movie did showcase that if given more opportunities  Kevin Hart should really try dipping into more dramatic roles but without the funny.  Finally,  I would also ask Hollywood to stop going back to that old drawing board script that depicts black male characters as ex-cons, dead beat dads or not privy to a socially elite lifestyle.

 

With that being said out of 10  popcorn bowls The Upside  gets 5

Want to check out ‘The Upside’ movie  soundtrack take a listen here at the website Lyric Soundtrack.

Want to see the 2012 French version  ‘The Intouchables’  which starred  Omar Sy as the lovable  Driss a down and outer from the projects of Paris and Francois Cluzet playing the role of Phillipe. Watch here

download

 

by Debra Lewis-Boothman

 

Advertisements

I froze my bum off to see the House of Louis Vuitton’s exhibition “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez and it was worth it!

Taking the solo trip in single digit temps to the former New York City location of the American Stock Exchange to see  “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition, one day before its closing on Jan 7th, was in two words- worth it!

Debra at the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra at the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Yes, I went solo and yup, it was a frigid  6 degrees outside in the Big Apple, but your girl survived. I was happy to see that I was amongst hundreds vying to get into the exhibit before it shuttered the next day. The exhibit which opened on October 27 drew a slew of celebs and fashion industry who’s who. With my fingers freezing and my feet going numb I jumped in place to keep warm and gawked at a group of fashionably dressed fashionistas standing in front of me passing out hand warmers amongst themselves. What I would have given for just one of those warmers to place in the bottom of my silver sneakers. I didn’t have to wait much longer for an answer.

Debra at  the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition  photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

The lines kept getting longer and longer as  Debra waited her turn to finally  get inside  of the NYC “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Thankfully my hour long wait ended. My line finally reached its way to the front door of the former American Stock Exchange and we entered inside.Major thanks go to curator, Oliver Saillard who brought to life the installation taking attendees on a journey of the Vuitton legacy starting in 1954 to present day. The exhibition was free to the public and stands in my opinion, in a class all by itself.

 

Louis Vuitton subway pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Louis Vuitton NYC subway from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic taken by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

With my family out of town for the holidays going solo turned out surprisingly to be lots of fun. Meeting new friends to take my pictures and chat about the installation added to the excitement.

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Some of my favorite and memorable pieces from the House of Louis Vuitton includ collaborations with other designers and brands like  Marc Jacobs, Supreme, Steven Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Yayoi Kusama

20180106_16275520180106_162928

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

Debra strikes a pose at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition pic by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

 

20180106_16300620180106_163023

20180106_162610

 

 

20180106_16125320180106_160835

 

It was wonderful to see many people from all over

 

Humble beginnings indeed. Louis Vuitton who in 1835 at 14 years old, left the Jura Mountains in eastern France by foot, reaching Paris two years later and working as an apprentice to a box, crates and wardrobe maker to go on nineteen years later to start his own company attracting the likes of socialites and dignitaries including Empress Eugenie is in of itself impressive.

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrookly

Photo of a young Louis Vuitton taken at the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

More wonderful images from the exhibition that wowed.

 

20180106_16172920180106_161631

Fashion rules everything and the House of  Louis Vuitton have always been a top choice of starlets and socialites through the years.

20180106_15464720180106_154735

 

 

Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

Early Louis Vuitton fashions -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrookly

Louis Vuitton fashions are red carpet faves of Hollywood starlets -from the Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton exhibition in NYC -photo by @debrafrombrooklyn

 

If you missed this exhibition you definitely missed out. It was an installation definitely worth attending. For more on the House that Louis Vuitton built, please visit the site here for US  residents and  International here for more.

By Debra Lewis-Boothman