Investment Pieces Every Woman Should Own

It seems that we are on a never-ending mission to create the perfect closet.  You may feel like no matter how much you shop, you never have anything to wear.  A well-balanced wardrobe is a little bit trendy mixed in with classic investment pieces.  Try out my shopping motto: less quantity, more quality.  It’s more important to spend more on a few classic pieces that will never go out of style rather than trendier styles that you’ll throw away after a year.  There are certain items that belong in every girl’s closet.  If you are thinking to yourself that it sounds super boring, then clearly you don’t know the power a crisp white button-down shirt can do.  Once you have filled your wardrobe with the perfect staples, you can build your closet around them.  This task is even more useful to those who haven’t quite found what their personal style looks like.  Once you have a strong selection, you will have a better understanding of what you want your clothes to say about you.  Everyone is different but when it comes to the following, I believe we can all get onboard and say that they are pieces every girl should invest in.

 The Right Jean

You can own dozens of pairs of jeans but what is most important is finding the style that works for your body type.  It doesn’t matter if flared is currently the “in-style” jean, if your body type is best for skinny jeans, then spend the money on the perfect pair and take care of them.



If you do not own a little black dress, turn your computer off, and buy one right now!  The LBD is the most important item in a girl’s closet.  It can be worn for any occasion, and it has versatile style options.  When investing in the perfect one for you, make sure it is feminine but not too revealing.   You want to make it appropriate for work and for cocktail hour.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.52.54 AM

Tailored Blazer

Whether it is black, navy, or nude, we can all agree that the key word in this title is tailored.  If the blazer does not fit to your body, then what’s the point?  I own a few (okay 10) blazers and each one is classic and goes with everything.  It can be worn conservatively with trousers for the office, add sophistication to a flowy dress, or dress up a pair of jeans.  There is really no end to what a classic blazer can do!


Black Pumps

Why black pumps?  They go with everything!  We should start referring to them as the LBP because they are as important as a black dress.  Whether they are pointy or round toed, black pumps can be sophisticated, professional, and sexy all at once.  The most important thing when buying your perfect pair is to make sure they are comfortable.   Most women are drawn to high heels but, if they aren’t comfortable to walk in, what’s the point?



Every woman should own a structured tote.  It can be in whatever color you choose.  In my opinion, sticking to neutral colors is the best way to go.  You need at least one bag that is chic,  fits the necessary belongings, and can be worn throughout the day.


White Buttoned Down Shirt

This is the perfect layering piece that also looks good when set apart.  If you put it together with your tailored blazer, jeans of choice, and black pumps, you have an outfit that will never go out of style.  Make sure it is crisp, high quality, and take care of it with trips to the dry cleaners.


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Day to Night Style: Zipped Fall Sweater

In my option, fall fashion is the best.  One of my favorite things to wear is a chunky knit sweater.  If you live in a cold weather state, like I do, you find out pretty quickly how important it is.  I used to think it was more of a casual style, but after last year’s polar vortex, I found creative ways to wear it for different occasions.  It’s important to have an open mind about styling options because, after our fifth snowstorm, you get pretty sick of that sweater you were excited about when you bought it in September.   Knitwear is a cozy, warm option for a casual Saturday but, when paired with a fabulous skirt, you can elevate it for work or an evening out.  Every year I try to add a few new sweaters to my wardrobe, so I can be more excited about the impending cold weather.   But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  Right now the temperatures are cool enough for layers, but it is too soon to need our wool coats.  This is the perfect time to play around with your knitwear as an outer layer to keep warm.  Everyone needs a classic fisherman sweater, but this year I want to play with patterns and embellishments.  That is why I am in love with this new addition to my wardrobe.  The zipper detail gives it an edgy look, but can easily be paired with a feminine midi skirt.  Take a look at the ways I styled my new favorite sweater for a seasonal day to night outfit.

Day to NIght Style: Fall Sweater Day

1. J.Crew – Zipped Sweater | JustFab – Dignified Satchel | 3. Gap – Always Skinny Black Jeans  | 4. Mango – Checked Scarf | 5. Daniel Wellington – Sheffield Watch | 6. Sam Edelman – Petty Booties




 1. J.Crew – Zipped Sweater | 2. Claire V – Foldover Clutch | 3. Dorothy Perkins – Plum Zig Zag Waffle Midi Skirt | 4. Nordstrom – Crystal Stud Earrings | 5. Stella & Dot – Renegade Cluster Bracelet | 6. Nine West – Gushing Mary Jane Pump

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Movies & Films Review

Two Comic Legends Playing It Straight, One Of Them On Purpose

By Johnny Pomatto

 Movies & Films Reviews Birdman


The divide between film and live theater is pretty great.  The two industries don’t seem to know much about one another.  I’ve seen plays attempt Hollywood satire that felt less edgy or knowledgeable than an average episode of “Entourage.”  By contrast, most of Hollywood’s efforts to capture the energy and lifestyle of the theatrical process have been a little underwhelming.  The fact that these two titans feel so separate is puzzling since these days they’ve rarely been closer.  Broadway houses are full with A-list movie stars trying their hand in front of an audience, with varying degrees of success.  Alejandro Inarritu’s new film BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORENCE) tells the story of such a movie star, trying to reclaim his role as an artist by writing, directing, and starring in a play on Broadway, all while gradually losing his mind.  Despite the subtitle, BIRDMAN is hardly ignorant when it comes to the world of the theater.  It certainly doesn’t get everything right (often by design), but it’s still one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen about the medium.

The great Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, an actor who has never matched his superstar success since leaving the titular character’s super hero trilogy. As if struggling with his Broadway debut isn’t daunting enough, Riggan is also suffering a mental breakdown.  He begins to hallucinate, believes he’s developing telekinetic powers, and his gravel voiced super alter ego starts talking to him in his head, trying to convince him that their glory days of fame and heroics are not necessarily over.  With his signature smile and brow, it’s an absolute joy to watch Keaton perpetually on edge and ready to “go nuts” at any moment.  Keaton is also surrounded by an exceptional cast, most notably Edward Norton, as an egomaniacal actor who is only able to function and cope when he’s on stage and in character.  I haven’t loved Norton this much in years, and I often wished that his character could have a movie all to his own.  Also in the mix are Riggan’s newly sober daughter (Emma Stone), his frazzled producer (Zach Galifianakis), his self-conscious leading lady (Naomi Watts), and his current girlfriend and ex wife (Andrea Riseborough and Amy Ryan, respectively).  Many of the side stories from the ensemble are just as compelling as the main thread, so much so that I was disappointed that the supporting cast mostly vanishes for the final act of the movie.  As compelling as I found the story of mentally unstable actors struggling with their craft, it may turn some off.  But those who are not captivated by the dreamlike story should find plenty to love in the masterful direction of the film.

Inarritu blew me away with his debut features, “Amores Peros” and “21 Grams,” but his subsequent films “Babel” and “Biutiful” left me bored and bewildered.  He won me back in a big way with BIRDMAN, which doesn’t look like any of his previous work, nor like any other film I’ve seen before.  Inarritu, along with his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, have choreographed the action of the film like a beautiful ballet.  It’s simulated to look as if it was shot in one continuous take, as the camera drifts along the corridors of the St. James Theater like it’s the labyrinth of Riggan’s mind.  The effect is seamless.  Often I was obsessively looking for the precise moment when a shot would cut and a new take would begin.  Sometimes I would see it happen.  Other times I’m sure I missed it.  But after a while I stopped looking altogether and just enjoyed the ride I was being taken on.  As I said, the film was shot entirely on location in the St. James Theater in New York.  What the film occasionally lacks in true detail of the theatrical process, it more than makes up for in authenticity of the environment.  From the stage to the lobby, to the catwalks and dressing rooms, we get to know the geography of the theater like we’re working there ourselves.  All the choreography and camera tricks employed are dependent on the layout of the actual space of the theater.  It’s become so rare for a film to shoot in an interior location, especially one as specific as this, that it helps give the story an air of authenticity, even while fantastical things are happening around it.  Just when you’ve noticed that the camera hasn’t cut away from a certain actor for about 10 minutes, suddenly a seamless special effect will appear out of nowhere and you marvel at how one tiny mistake could have ruined a whole sequence in the film.

While I was captivated by the many plot threads and stories told in the film, I did sometimes get taken out of it when Inarritu’s odd agenda would slip through.  Occasionally there will be a reference to Facebook or Twitter or cell phone culture that seems to be an attempt for Inarritu to rant about things that make him angry, though he never fully commits to skewering these subjects so their interjections just come across as distracting.  Also, the very premise of the movie seems to suggest that Inarritu has some issues with the Hollywood machine, specifically the super hero genre.  The irony is lost on no one that the character of Birdman is not unlike Keaton’s own superstar turn as Batman.  Norton and Stone also have super hero movies in their repertoire, and when Riggan inquires if Jeremy Renner would be available for his play and learns that he’s an Avenger now, he angrily responds with “the cape got him!”  If I have one critique of Keaton’s casting, it’s that I don’t think the comparison is apt, as Keaton has never been defined by that role the way Riggan has with Birdman.  Fortunately, the movie doesn’t dwell on this notion too much and therefore I need not wrestle with conflicting emotions of one of my favorite comedic actors of all time getting one of the best roles of his career.  And while the spirit of Birdman ultimately overpowers Riggan, it’s Keaton who dominates this film.  I had grown so tired of seeing Keaton’s name fifth billed in a lame comedy or action movie every few years.  He’s finally a star again and seeing him soar on the screen like this couldn’t make me happier.

Movies & Films Reviews St. Vincent


We, as a society, love Bill Murray.  If you don’t agree with that previous statement then we have no use for you here.  On earth, I mean.  We grew up on his comedies and he’s constantly making us happy with stories of his unpredictable antics.  Ever since Murray was robbed of an Oscar for arguably his greatest performance (“Rushmore”), we’ve been trying to find a way to make it up to him.  Anytime a prestigious looking film comes out that features Murray, we get excited and think, “this could be the one…”  “Look!  He’s playing FDR!”  “Look!  He’s the comic relief in a World War II movie!  “Look!  He grew a beard!  I smell Oscar!”  Sadly, the stench of Oscar never lingers for long.  Those of you getting anxious about Murray’s latest film ST. VINCENT should prepare yourselves for disappointment.

Like in “Rushmore,” Murray is once again playing the part of the inappropriate role model.  Melissa McCarthy plays Maggie, a newly single mother who moves her son Oliver (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher, not bad for a child actor) out to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.  Overworked as a nurse, Maggie needs someone to watch Oliver after school and naturally she turns to her alcoholic, gambling addict neighbor next door, the titular Murray.  Hey!  I used the word “titular” in two consecutive reviews.  Sorry about that.  Vincent is supposed to be one of those grouchy old men who is salty on the outside, sweet on the inside.  But it’s a few days now since I’ve seen the film and I’m having trouble remembering any sweet qualities to him.  I guess he deserves credit for taking care of the Russian prostitute he impregnated (Naomi Watts, one of the film’s brightest spots).  Clearly only a lovable scamp like Oliver can melt Vincent’s icy, cold heart.  But it’s not like Oliver has a shortage of eccentric patriarchal figures in his life.  Frankly I would have preferred more interaction with his Catholic school teacher, played by Chris O’Dowd, or even more interaction with McCarthy, in a thankless role that paints her as a devoted mother when she actually seems like a pretty destructive force.

But no one is more destructive than Vincent, who at worst is endangering Oliver’s life and at best, teaching him how to gamble at the racetrack.  It’s all supposed to be terribly cute, and given that the formula has worked well for Murray before, I suppose it could have been.  But watching the movie, I just felt that Vincent never did anything to earn the saint-like redemption he’s given in the end, and nobody wanted to see that more than me.  It doesn’t help that Murray saddles himself with a painfully broad Brooklyn accent, which unfairly feels out of place for the Chicagoan, but it’s also pretty annoying.  It’s no wonder that Vincent appears to be at his sweetest when a third-act plot development keeps him from speaking for a good chunk of the film.

While watching ST. VINCENT, I was overcome with feelings that I had seen all of this before.  While running through a list of films in my head that this was an amalgam of, I was suddenly reminded of Nick Hornby’s “About a Boy” and realized that the film copies that template almost beat for beat.   It even has a nearly identical climax. I usually don’t critique a film too much for being derivative of another, because I understand that there are only so many original stories out there and a great director or performer (like Murray) can make something familiar feel totally fresh and unique.  Sadly that never happens with this film, and I dare say that first time feature director Theodore Melfi’s greatest feat of filmmaking was getting Murray to agree to starring in it at all.  Writing this review has depressed me to no end.  There are few actors who I adore more than Murray, so seeing him in something I disliked so much is genuinely upsetting.  I can only hope that he’s not in the habit of Googling himself these days, as it would break my heart to have him read this.  Still, it might be fun to be the subject of one of those famous Bill Murray stories you read about online.  One day I’ll hear a knock at the door and Bill will be standing there, ready to kick my ass.  And I’ll deserve it, but as I take my licks I’ll be thinking of happier times.  When Bill was busting ghosts, wooing Andie MacDowell, or doing cannonballs into a swimming pool.  Hell, after ST. VINCENT, I’d even happily watch him drive that elephant across country again.  Hope you’re back soon, Bill.  I’ll be waiting.

Hear more of Johnny Pomatto’s reviews on his podcast MOVIES AND FILMS WITH JOHNNY AND FRIENDS available on iTunes

Weekly Finds

Links I Discovered This Week

I am so happy to report that I am now home and finished with my travels for the year.  I’ve been away so much that I can’t remember what my girlfriends look like, my puppy is giving me the cold shoulder, and my apartment is a pigsty.   It’s a great feeling to know that I won’t be boarding another plane until 2015. Even though I love to travel, I need some quality time with NYC.  I feel like we aren’t speaking the same language and it’s because I haven’t been home for seven days straight in months.  I’m planning on doing some exploring this weekend by visiting an area I rarely go to and play.  I’ll visit a museum, shop in quant boutiques, take a walk in Highline Park (before it’s too cold), and enjoy a meal at a new restaurant.  It has taken me a couple of days to recuperate from my recent trip.   I have spent a lot of my time catching up on my weekly reading from my favorite bloggers, online magazines, and researching online.  Here is what I found, and I’d love for you to share with me what has inspired you this week.  Happy weekend and stop by the blog next week where I’ll be back sharing all sorts of fall fashion inspired stories.

DINING OUT:  One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin.  Whether it is in lattes, pie, or soup, I can’t get enough of it.  That’s why I was happy to find this roundup of the best pumpkin dishes in NYC.  After I try them, I’ll report back to you.

HOW DARLING:  Thanks to One Brass Fox, I discovered Darling Magazine and I’m already in love.  So many articles stood out to me but, maybe, the “ A Perfectly Imperfect Host” piece is my current favorite.

TAKE YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO: Stephanie, from A Sparkle Factor, helps you get prepared with these lessons in fashion that every girl should know before she’s 30.  Having turned 30 this year, I can say this is a great list!

OOTD:  When I think fall fashion, two words come to mind: texture and tweed.  That is why I am absolutely in love with this affordable outfit post from Penny Pincher Fashion. 

MONTHLY FUN:  I may have missed the first part of October due to my travels, but it’s not over yet!  Find out what fun activities NYC offers this month here.

STYLISH COSTUMES:  Want to dress up for Halloween but not spend the money?  The gals from Dearest Darling have come up with four stylish costume ideas that can be found in your very own closet.

BEAUTY TREND:  Lately, we’ve been seeing less and less makeup on magazine covers and runway shows.  Next month, Kerri Washington shows that going without makeup is the new trend on the cover of Allure.  Get a sneak peek here.

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Burberry Blanket Trend for Less

Burberry Blanket Trend

Last month’s “Currently Coveting” post featured one of my favorite items for fall:  the Burberry blanket. First spotted during New York Fashion Week last February, it has quickly become a very popular item to own. Is it a blanket, a throw, a poncho, a cape? Who knows! One thing that is certain is, with its colorful patchwork and chic monogram feature, it is the number one outerwear that I want draped around my shoulders for fall. I know for a fact that I am not alone in my obsession with this updated cape. Several celebrities (Sarah Jessica Parker, Olivia Palermo, Cara Delevingne) have been seen sporting it, personalized with their famous initials, and it’s been in several magazines including the cover of InStyle’s October issue. We may all have cape fever, but, that being said, it’s a bit overpriced for what’s essentially a blanket. Now that I have started my fall shopping, I have noticed that several stores are carrying their own style of this trend. Like Burberry’s version, they come in interesting patterns like patchwork, houndstooth, and plaid. Whether you drape it, belt it, or pin it closed, you really can’t go wrong by sporting this trend.  Because of its style, it can be worn as a coat or accessory.  Create the perfect fall outfit by pairing it with your favorite skinny jeans, a blouse, and over the knee boots.  If you think this is strictly a fall item, think again!  When we make the transition from fall to winter, drape it over your coat for a chic way to fight the frigid temperatures.  Take a look at the ponchos that I have rounded up.   Hopefully you’ll find the perfect one for you that will make you forget all about the Burberry blanket.

Burberry Blanket Trend for Less


Burberry Blanket Trend


1. Mango – Waterfall Poncho | 2. Zara – Poncho Coat | 3. TopShop – Mono Geo Cape | 4. Jigsaw – Multi Block Poncho | 5. Asos – Esprit Plaid Poncho | 6. Anthropologie – Houndstooth Boucle Poncho

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Movies & Films Review

New York Film Festival Part 2: Inherent Vice vs. Our Expectations

By Johnny Pomatto




Paul Thomas Anderson’s last film was the challenging religious debate film “The Master.”  Prior to its release, buzz accumulated that the plot was a thinly veiled attack on scientology and the origins of its conception by L. Ron Hubbard.  The final product ended up being more of a tale about two men whose relationship was challenged by rivalry and love for one another, and the details of the new religion in the film turned out to be incidental.  I still thought it was a beautiful and complex masterpiece of a film, but it certainly wasn’t what audiences were expecting to see.  I feel like this same thing is about to happen with Anderson’s latest film, INHERENT VICE.  Many are eager for Anderson’s take on the noir detective genre.  While he does deliver what he promised, it’s in his own style and on his own terms, and I wonder if his core audience is going to be somewhat disappointed after the expectations in their imaginations.

Adapted from Thomas Pynchon novel, INHERENT VICE transports the tone of Raymond Chandler detective stories to 1970’s Malibu, much like Robert Altman once did (more successfully) in “The Long Goodbye.”  Joaquin Phoenix plays Doc Sportello, an aging stoner, surfer hippie who moonlights as a private detective.  When an ex lover shows up at his door with mysterious talk of a possible plot against her current boyfriend, Doc agrees to look into her case.  Please allow me to be vague when discussing the actual case at hand, as it’s so incredibly complex and intricate that I don’t believe I could explain it all if I wanted to.  Much like in Chandler’s “The Big Sleep,” INHERENT VICE is more about Doc trying to figure out what the mystery actually is, rather than seeing it as something to solve.   It does stay true to the twisty nature of classic detective stories, where whole tangents can amount to nothing and some crimes are surrounded by too much corruption and power to be righted.  The setting of Southern California and the hazy world of the fading hippies’ generation is an interesting twist on the genre, but so many different cultures and philosophies are introduced in the film and most of them feel like they’re left unexplored.  The marijuana culture, which is so prominent in the story, alternately is used as a punch-line that’s never all that funny and as a deterrent to advance the story forward.  Needless to say, Doc’s journey takes him to places involving drugs, kidnapping, prostitution, and murder, and he meets a large cast of colorful characters along the way.

The cast is truly impressive and most give game and captivating performances, even if they’re not all used to their full potential.  Phoenix, who is in just about every shot of the movie, continues his steak of fascinating roles and plays it like no one else I could imagine attempting.  While it’s well in line with his character, I do wish we could hear him a bit better through his constant whispers and mumbling.  Josh Brolin is a notable standout as Doc’s nemesis and ultra square police detective.  His presence and demeanor are a mystery in itself, and the interplay between Brolin and Phoenix is the best reason to see “Vice.”  As excellent as most the cast is, they tend to drift in and out of each scene while you wait for them to get some colorful material to work with.  With names like Benicio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Jena Malone, Michael K. Williams, Joanna Newsom, and Eric Roberts popping up, the conclusion I came away with was that there are a lot of great actors who would play any role just for the chance to work with Anderson.  Many of them are quite good in their roles, (particularly Short and Wilson), though there wasn’t a single one that I didn’t want to see more of, but at the same time, I couldn’t imagine the running time of this film being padded even longer than the 2 ½ hours it currently stands at.

Though at times the film feels like two hours of exposition and set up with a 20-minute conclusion, little by little the details of the mystery come together and it starts to make the skeleton of a story.  Much of the remainder filling it out achieves moments of dreamlike brilliance, but I found I didn’t appreciate or absorb these sequences fully until I was walking to the subway after the screening.  My companion and I had a fantastic conversation on the way home analyzing all of we saw and theorizing as to what things meant to Anderson and what they meant to us.  This talk was the most thrilling and satisfying part of our night, and it left me eager to see the film again, to put some of my theories and ideas to the test.

INHERENT VICE doesn’t get released theatrically until mid December and so I’ll have a long time to continue thinking about it before I get the chance to see it again.  And I will see it again, because I’m still haunted by some of the choices Anderson made and I know if I look hard enough I’ll begin to figure out the confounding moments that left me frustrated.  A second viewing could alternatively expose even more fragility to the structure, and given that this is a detective story, the primary allure of seeing the movie at all, (to witness the solving of the mystery), has now been taken care of, leaving me with fewer questions about the plot and more about why the story was told in such a way.  Why has Anderson, who used to be so great at layering human psychology into compelling stories now suddenly feel the need to keep those two things separate?  And why does it bother me so much?  I’ve put my trust in him as a director so many times before, and while strange choices like musical numbers, abandoned plot threads, and rainstorms of amphibians once puzzled me on initial viewings, years later I’ve come to appreciate them as strokes of genius.  I hope the same thing happens to me on further viewings of INHERENT VICE, though it has a lot more questions to answer for me than any of Anderson’s other previous works.  At any rate, come December we will have a lot to discuss with one another.



A warm glow overcame me as I watched MR. TURNER, Mike Leigh’s latest masterpiece about famed painter J.M.W. Turner.  Turner was an artist who many would say painted with light.  One canvas could light up a dark room.  Likewise, Leigh’s beautiful photography seemed to spread a golden yellow wash throughout Alice Tully Hall, and I still can’t stop smiling when thinking of it.  To me, there is nothing more breathtaking and romantic than watching a new Mike Leigh film for the first time, and MR. TURNER ranks with some of his best work.

Audience members fearful of a stodgy, British biopic about a painter they’ve barely heard of need not be afraid.  Leigh is never satisfied with telling a conventional story in a traditional way.  His films are truly collaborative efforts, as he rehearses for months with his actors, who are integral to creating the screenplay.  Like all of his films, MR. TURNER was written during hours of improvisational sessions with the cast, who use what few facts are known about Turner’s life as jumping off points as they craft the film from little scenes about the personal, day to day life of a man who just happened to be a master artist.  This leaves the opportunity open for much levity and humor, as this legend suddenly becomes much more human and relatable than one would imagine a Victorian era painter might be.  Leigh doesn’t hit the beats that one expects in a traditional biopic.  We don’t see Turner as a young boy getting his first paintbrush, nor do we see him master his craft through years at the academy.  Though the film portrays two love affairs that Turner had, almost all of the romance is conveyed merely through mundane conversations about business, the weather, and also the occasional passing grope.  Towards the end of the film, as Turner’s health starts to decline and his eyesight begins to fade, we are never treated to explicit conversations about this.  We know his sight is failing because suddenly his paintings look a little less sharp, with colors blending into one another.  This is all the information we need to convey that a life is beginning to come to an end.

I’ve already spoken praise of the actors’ ability to help create the story of the film, but their performances are just as revelatory.  Timothy Spall, a veteran of most of Leigh’s films, gives quite possibly his greatest performance to date in the title role.  A man of few words, Turner often does little more than offer a swine-like grunt in response to a question or statement, but Spall is able to speak volumes with these grunts, and one gets the sense that he could write a whole dictionary to translate what each of them means.  Spall deservedly won the Best Actor prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and if there’s any justice, he will continue picking up long overdue awards throughout the season.  Dorothy Atkinson and Marion Bailey are also magnificent as the two very different women in Turner’s life, both displaying longing and tenderness in relationships that offered little passion.  The rest of the cast is rounded out with Mike Leigh regulars, including Paul Jesson, Ruth Sheen, Leslie Manville, and Martin Savage, and by now they all seem to be pros at delivering the exact style needed to make an epic story out of little moments.

Last week I saw David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” and remarked that there are few directors better than Fincher at making digital video look like film.  I can now add Leigh to that list.  I was certain that the stunning photography in MR. TURNER had to be shot on film, but I was astonished to learn that Leigh and Director of Photography Dick Pope actually shot the film on video, but achieved a distinct, old fashioned look by shooting it through antique lenses.  Pope mentioned that he actually used the exact same lenses that Stanley Kubrick shot “Spartacus” with.  This achieved a truly gorgeous look, in which we are often shown close ups of Turner’s paintings, immediately followed by shots of outdoor landscapes.  For a brief second, we are unsure if we’re still viewing a painting or real life.  The images blend seamlessly into one another.  I know that there are a lot of high profile films opening this December, and one might want to save their multiplex money on special effects laden films like “The Hunger Games” and “The Hobbit,” but I urge you to see Mike Leigh’s MR. TURNER on a big screen.  It’s a transcendent experience, and watching a master like J.M.W. Turner live and ultimately die in this film, I wondered how many more films the 71-year-old Leigh would be able to bring us.  For me, it will never be enough.  I’m clearly biased in my love for him, but I believe that there is no other director on earth who can make films like Leigh.  And now I’ll start to hold my breath, waiting for his next one.

Hear more of Johnny Pomatto’s reviews on his podcast MOVIES AND FILMS WITH JOHNNY AND FRIENDS available on iTunes

Blogger Collaboration: Not Over Overalls


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A Sparkle Factor | The Rachel Ross | Me | Style Context

I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally share this post with you all.  Thanks to #ChicChat, a fashion chat group on Twitter, I have joined forces with these very talented bloggers to bring you a great outfit to inspire you.  Not only is this my first ever collaboration, but it is also the first time I have used myself as the model. I have wanted to do this for a while now, but I have never been 100% sure I was ready.  This week I stepped out my comfort zone and tried something new for you and I couldn’t be happier with the results!  But enough about that and back to the task at hand, this fabulous post.  It all happened one night during #ChicChat last month.  These lovely ladies and myself started a conversation about fashion trends that you either love or hate.  We decided then and there to collaborate on a story by taking a trend, in this case overalls, that we were on the fence about, and create our own outfit to show of how we’d wear it.  Will it turn us into believers or will we never speak of it again?   When I think of overalls, an image of me from when I was eight years old pops into my head.  I used to wear them all the time with a tee shirt and my hair in braided pigtails.  However, now that I am an adult, I am not sure that they fit my current style.   Could I find a way to style overalls and still look like a grown up?  The hardest part was finding the perfect pair, but once I did, the rest fell into place.   The key to styling overalls is to make sure the fit is flattering, you pair it with a feminine top like lace or stripes, and accessorize it with a structured bag and sleek gold jewelry.  It has been a fun collaboration, and it’s great to see how each of us chose to create a chic outfit. Take a look at how each one of us styled our overalls and find the perfect way that you can wear this trend.



Overalls – Madewell | Sweater – Anthropologie | Handbag – Ann Taylor | Scarf – Zara | Shoes (similar) | Bracelet – Julie Vos | Ring – KT Collection





The verdict is in.  Overalls are playful, comfortable, and a trend I could see myself wearing in the future.  I had a blast collaborating with these ladies and hope you enjoyed it too!   Head over to their blogs to see how they took on this challenge:  Stephanie at A Sparkle Factor | Rachel at The Rachel Ross | Diane at Style Context


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