R.I.P. Ennio Morricone

One of the greatest film composers in history has died after complications from a broken leg after a fall.

By far my favourite thing he ever composed was the score for The Mission. I have some big issues with the colonialism theme of the movie (and some trauma from the horrific massacre at the story’s end!), but this music always gives me the chills.

This is my favourite version of it, performed in Verona in 2002, and conducted by Morricone.

Florence Foster Jenkins

I randomly came across this movie when it was on free to air TV a couple of weeks ago, and it was amazing. Based on the life of a real person – and I actually looked up the real woman and was happy to see how historically accurate the movie is – Florence Foster Jenkins tells the story of a Gilded Age New York socialite who, near the end of her life, decides she has what it takes to become a famous opera singer.

The problem? She can’t sing to save herself. She becomes infamous rather than famous.

This is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. You laugh and laugh … and then suddenly you’re crying because it really is a tragic story.

Meryl Streep actually trained as an opera singer (something I just learnt), and – much like the character of Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera – in order to sing badly, you first have to learn to sing properly.

The real woman really was an appalling singer, and because she paid to have records of her voice made, you can listen to her even now. She’s even worse than in the movie.

The costumes in this movie are worth your time alone.

Streep was ROBBED of the Oscar for this performance (it went to La La Land that year), and both Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg (who is most famous as a sitcom actor, but who is actually a trained concert pianist) were nominated for Golden Globes for their parts. They’re both brilliant, too.

I’m so glad I stumbled across this.

Zombies or Maria von Trapp?

Since this pandemic began I’ve noticed people tend to go one way or the other with their entertainment choices: fluffy, happy books and movies – or anything to do with a zombie apocalypse.

The Sound of Music has been on TV so many times in the past few weeks I’ve started screaming at the screen (I mean, seriously, why do they hide in the mausoleum thingy at the end when their getaway car is parked Right Next To Them?!).

Warm_bodies-376212

I’m definitely not a zombie apocalypse sort of person, but last night Warm Bodies was on, and even though parts were kind of disgusting, it was also hilarious – and had a romance at the centre of the story!

If you can get past the fact the zombie romantic hero falls in love with the human heroine by eating her dead boyfriend’s brains and seeing his memories, it’s worth your time. I mean, it’s utter silly trash, but maybe we need that at the moment. You’ll even get an appearance by John Malkovich and a happy ending!

Historicals in 2020

I randomly discovered my next book appearing in this article (linked below) today. Am I the only one who didn’t know they did a remake of West Side Story?

This is the first time I’ve been in a promotional piece where The Landowner’s Secret wasn’t the book featured. I feel a little sad that it’s time to move on to the next one!

The Artist's Secret (Brindabella Secrets #2) by Sonya Heaney

Love all things Historical? Here are the historical movies, TV shows and books we’re most looking forward to in 2020.

The Week: 18th – 24th November

Spring Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 15th November 2019 Sky Nature

Bushfire Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 21st November 2019 Sky Sun Garden Nature

Dust Storm Drought Tuggeranong Valley Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney Friday 22nd November 2019 Smoke Haze

Our crazy weather in three images:

  1. Our usual late-spring sky.
  2. Sunset with smoke from all the bushfires ravaging Australia at the moment.
  3. There should be mountains clearly visible, but after the fires came the dust storm on Friday. It covered huge parts of eastern Australia.

It’s a little hard to not think we’re in the middle of some apocalypse at the moment, with disaster after disaster …

Jane Austen’s Emma

Emma_poster Jane AUsten 2020

Romance.com.au Christmas Competition

Romance.com.au Christmas Competition 2019

Cover Love

The Hope Book 2 in The Amish of Cedar Grove series. Coming in December from Author Patricia Davids

The Week: 12th – 18th August

End of Winter Flowers Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 13th August 2019

First signs of spring (however, there’s one last blast of winter on its way over the coming few days!)

I am VERY busy at the moment. VERY. That is all I have to say this week! (Except that if you’re having a bad week, maybe watch this Belarusian man driving his horse-drawn car!)

thumbnail_landownerssecret

It is now less than one month until my book comes out, and you can read the first two chapters HERE or HERE.

Hannibal Brown Burmese Cat and Grey Crazy Cat Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia 13th August 2019

Hannibal Brown Burmese Cat and Grey Crazy Cat Sonya Heaney Canberra Australia 13th August 2019 2

Hannibal from next door now comes to hang out with Crazy Cat.

Crazy Cat (the grey one) is ENORMOUS.

Danger Close

Danger Close Long Tan Movie Vietnam War Travis Fimmel Australian Army 1966

Children’s Book Week

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen cover

Danger Close

Danger Close Long Tan Movie Vietnam War Travis Fimmel Australian Army 1966

I had the opportunity to attend a special screening of Danger Close – The Battle of Long Tan last night with some Vietnam veterans (including my father) and other members of the Australian Defence Force. They actually had a counsellor there just in case, and now I understand why – it was quite the experience.

Long Tan is the best-known battle Australia (and New Zealand) fought in the Vietnam War, but I was still amazed both by the quality of the movie, and the actors in it. The “face” of the movie is Major Harry Smith, played by Travis Fimmel, of Vikings fame.

In the 1960s my father was an armoured personnel carrier driver stationed in Nui Dat, which is the base under attack in the movie. He later fought another major battle only a few kilometres from the base: Binh Ba, which had its fiftieth anniversary this year.

It was amazing to see people my father knows portrayed on the big screen, and to know people who consulted on the film.

I would strongly recommend this movie, as long as you’re prepared for it. It’s very confronting, and that much sadder because none of it is fiction.