The Eurovision Song Contest, which pits each country on the continent against one another in a battle of balladry, has existed since the mid-1950s and has always been a good 10 years behind every musical trend. Though successful acts do emerge from time to time—most famously ABBA, who won with “Waterloo” in 1974, and Celine Dion—the event is better defined as a celebration of opulent pop nonsense from far-flung acts you might never hear from again. A favorite one year could be a crooning vampire or a demonic metal band or a bunch of older Russian ladies baking cookies onstage. It’s a world with its own strange rules that can be bent in the name of satire, just as Ferrell did with local news and NASCAR, and the result is his best comedy in years.
Ferrell plays Lars Erickssong, a wayward Icelandic singer who dreams of debuting his disco ballads on the Eurovision stage. He and his childhood pal Sigrit Ericksdottir (Rachel McAdams) make up Fire Saga, a group that has not managed to graduate beyond performances at the local bar and still earns the scorn of Lars’s salty fisherman father, Erick (Pierce Brosnan). Somehow, the film, written by Ferrell and Andrew Steele, manages to thread the satirical needle with Fire Saga. Their heartfelt music isn’t bad, just a little out of step with the times and hampered by Lars’s bumbling immaturity.
After all kinds of plot machinations, Fire Saga ends up being selected as Iceland’s Eurovision entry, and it’s off to Edinburgh, where the contest is being held. The plot smacks somewhat of The Producers—Fire Saga is being offered up in the hopes that it’ll fail, but the duo somehow keeps finding ways to succeed. The miracle is that the story always makes some sort of sense, because Dobkin and Ferrell understand the crucial Eurovision balance of absurdity and triumphant confidence. That combination is perhaps best defined by Ferrell’s decision to sing his own vocals (most of the cast is dubbed by professionals)—he’s not exactly Broadway-ready, but what he lacks in polish he makes up for with gusto.
The character of Lars is familiar territory for Ferrell, though, a lovable goof who somehow succeeds. The film’s biggest weapons lie in the rest of its ensemble, especially with McAdams, a great dramatic actress who is not-so-secretly one of the funniest people in Hollywood. Consider her expertly calibrated villainy in Mean Girls, or her brilliantly vapid line readings in Game Night—she’s a terrific comic foil. The loopy but sincere Sigrit, who firmly believes in the power of invisible elves, is a delight to root for. Just as winning is Dan Stevens as Alexander Lemtov, a dramatic Russian crooner out to sow chaos among our Icelandic pals.
As someone who grew up watching the song contest, I probably would’ve enjoyed Eurovision if it were simply an acidic satire, mocking the stage antics and frosty geopolitics that play out every year. But Dobkin’s enchantment with the whole event took me by surprise, especially because he’s usually a more cynical, downcast storyteller (his past efforts include the jock-y comedy Wedding Crashers and 2014’s serious The Judge). Midway through Eurovision, Lars and Sigrit attend a party thrown by Alexander that erupts into an extravagant medley of pop classics, with the camera swooping and swerving from room to room as past Eurovision winners belt out famous choruses without a hint of irony. That sequence encapsulates the film’s chipper spirit perfectly—this is a comedy that knows how to make fun and have fun.
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Radhika Apte reveals real reason why she got married
Radhika Apte needs no introduction to Kollywood fans after her appearance as Superstar Rajinikanth’s wife in ‘Kabali’ directed by Pa Ranjith. The intense actress impressed with her performance of a meek girl to a mother of a grown-up and especially her reunion scene with Rajini took the audience on an emotional ride.
Radhika is happily married to her British boyfriend Benedict Taylor who is a singer and she shuttles between Mumbai and London to balance her personal and professional life.
Radhika Apte in her most recent interaction with Vikranth Massey on social media from London has admitted that she does not believe in the institution of marriage. When asked why she got married the talented performer replied that it is easier for married people to get a British visa and that’s why she and her man opted for it in 2012.
Radhika is currently chilling with Taylor in their London home during the lockdown and will soon start filming her next English film ‘Noor Inayat Khan’ in which she plays a spy based on a true story.
Jacqueline Fernandez shares picture of her being in ‘happy place’
Actor Jacqueline Fernandez is working on a secret project where she found herself in a ‘happy place’. Taking it to Instagram on Sunday, the 35-year-old actor shared a picture dressed up like a traffic police officer as she is seen laughing her heart out.
“How was everyone’s Sunday?? Fun project coming up soon! #myhappyplace,” wrote Fernandez along with a picture where she is also seen holding a coffee mug. The ‘Kick’ actor also shared a few Instagram stories of her getting ready for the upcoming project.
Recently, the actor extended gratitude to her fans after the number of Instagram followers hit the 46 million mark.
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Why an ‘active’ approach to risk modelling is key to navigating markets today
Whether investors are aiming for a cautious approach or a riskier investment profile with the potential for higher returns, Architas’ Blended Fund range is designed to match a range of investor risk appetites. And like many asset managers, Architas predominantly uses two approaches to define asset allocation within the five risk bands used in the Blended Range – strategic and tactical.
Whilst risk model provider EValue’s quantitative approach to asset allocation takes into account the long-term performance of different asset classes and the likely future performance given current valuations, along with long-term measures of volatility and correlations with other asset classes. Yet as with most systems of its kinds, EValue focuses on the long term; it is unable to analyse short-term market movements and fluctuations. So whilst it would have seen that in Q1 2020 markets fell by a record percentage before rebounding, it will not be able to factor in the cost of the coronavirus and lockdown and its impact on markets. Similarly, it is not able to consider ongoing Brexit woes, geo-political trade wars or the outcome of the US election in 2020.
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