Songs From The Kitchen Sink: Our Review of ‘Goddess’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - August 28, 2016
Songs From The Kitchen Sink: Our Review of ‘Goddess’

My husband hates musicals and I suppose I understand why.  When done well musicals can be some of the most thrilling and moving cinematic experiences out there but I can appreciate that the artifice inherent in a movie where normal people going about their daily lives suddenly break into song can be jarring and more than a bit off putting.

Goddess, a 2013 Australian import based on the play Sink Songs by writer and composer Joanna Weinberg, is the kind of film that my husband would hate.  It begins cleverly enough, with a wink to The Sound of Music (one of cinema’s all time great musicals), as Elspeth Dickens, a wife and stay-at-home mom, walks the rolling hills of Tasmania and begins to spin around ready to break into song but before she has the chance to get out a single note she is interrupted by her rambunctious two year old twin boys.

Reality interrupts her fantasy, which is a running theme throughout the movie, the story of Elspeth who gave up her career as a singer to stay home with her children in a lonely and remote town so that her husband could pursue his dream – studying whales in Antarctica.  Despairing in her isolation and deprived of a creative outlet she begins live streaming her songs and musings on life to the world via her kitchen webcam.  When she is discovered by an advertising executive she is offered the opportunity of the lifetime which promises to make all her dreams come true – but at what cost?

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It’s a variation on a story as old as film itself and this movie doesn’t add anything new to the discussion.  The songs are catchy enough (in fact, if we are being honest, I’ve had one of them stuck in my head for the last two days) and the film is helped immensely by its talented and affable cast.  Of particular note is lead actress Laura Michelle Kelly who is a stunning presence on screen and a true triple threat.  She is by far the best part of the movie and I hope that this is not the last I’ve seen of her.

Unfortunately, however, despite their best efforts the cast is not able to elevate the film above anything more than a pleasant but ultimately unremarkable version of a tale we’ve seen many times before.  If you like musicals and you don’t want to use too much of your brain it is a pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours, just don’t expect anything new or particularly exciting.  But if you are like my husband and you don’t like musicals, Goddess won’t do anything to change your mind.

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Galadriel fell in love with the movies when she was taken to see Superman at the age of three. Legend has it she watched the whole thing standing up with her jaw on the floor. She went on to see Superman four more times in the theatre and developed a lifelong passion for film. Galadriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto which she parlayed into a ten year stint at Blockbuster Video and more recently a career in nursing. But some things never change – she still loves movies and counts Gone with the Wind, Amadeus, The Shawshank Redemption, La Dolce Vita and the films of Michelangelo Antonioni among her favourites. She is also obsessed with the Oscars and knows more about them than any one person should. Galadriel currently lives in Toronto with her husband and young daughter who is soon to see her very first movie in the theatre.