31 – 0!
This year seemed, on the whole, like a breeze. Perhaps not going out and getting shitfaced on random weeknights helped me focus.
So – takeaways from the month…
- I have total rage about people apologising for working with Woody Allen. Obviously no one knows what really happened between him and Dylan Farrow, BUT the ‘Woody Allen’ debate has been raging for years, ever since he got together with Soon-Yi, so it’s not like there hasn’t been a question mark over his name since the 1990s. People chose to work with him because they thought he was the path to awards and critical credibility, so saying ‘I took bad advice’ is bullshit. On that note, this Scott Rosenberg article about Weinstein is totally worth a read. Remember that actors lie for a living, and that Mia Farrow hasn’t apologised for Rosemary’s Baby.
- I quite like Noah Baumbach’s films.
- Male writers/directors can be quite mansplainy, can’t they?
- Liam Neeson needs to stop it.
- Frances McDormand is bloody good, isn’t she?
I have more to write I’m sure on all the above, however I have a very pressing need to watch some Baby Groot.
The Italian is a total hypochondriac. Sneeze near him and he immediately thinks he’s going to catch the flu from you. I’m not even joking that after watching this he was googling symptoms, convinced he also had A Big Sick.
31: The Big Sick (2017)
“Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.”
As much as I want to believe that love is dead, it’s films like this that keep my secret optimism alight, like a dusty tealight that’s burnt right down to the wick, and is about to go out. It’s sweet, not in a nasty, saccharine Richard Curtis way, but in a ‘yep, people fuck up, deal with it’ way – ‘real’ relationships, not your basic Love is a Many Splendid Thing, all soft-focus and that bullshit. I laughed for about a year when Emily gets up in the middle of the night to go to the diner down the street but won’t say why. I won’t spoil it but, yep – been there, done that.
Great movie to end the month on, definitely worth a watch. 8.5/10.
I studied Theatre and Film at college, and we made more than our fair share of painfully overwrought student ‘pieces’. In one I was birthed through a man’s legs as a screen in the background played a loop of fruit being sculpted into phallic shapes, in another I was both the dead soldier and his gravestone as we bellowed war poems around the Quad.
I fucking loved college.
30. We’re No Animals (2013)
“A Hollywood actor grows tired of making the same corporate movies, so he moves to Argentina to find more experimental and meaningful work.”
The best thing about this movie was that it started with a quote by Artaud, allowing me to crap on about The Theatre of Cruelty to my flatmates, which they were honestly thrilled about. They love it when I crap on about theatre. No really, they do.
As for the rest of it… put it this way – if my favourite lecturer Bill had been grading We’re No Animals, I’m pretty sure he would have put it slightly above me masturbating with a papier mache thigh bone, but way below Andy and Jim drilling through a pigs head. 5/10.
The Italian’s choice, making up for his snafu with The Grey.
29. Certain Women (2016)
‘The lives of three women intersect in small-town America, where each is imperfectly blazing a trail.‘
I know nothing about Montana, aside from knowing Robert Redford has his Sundance Ranch there (and I’m not even 100% about that).
This little curio is based on three short stories all taking place there, and man alive it’s beautiful but the settings are bleak, although the Rocky Mountain backdrop is stunning. We’re watching workaday lives that are slow and sometimes monotonous and full of frustration.
I don’t know how it made me feel, if I’m honest. Technically it’s incredibly good (even though I think Kristen Stewart is too mannered and self-conscious, it hauls you right out of the narrative) and the short stories are lovely little gems. I think I felt a bit wistful afterwards and I’m not sure why. 8/10.
The smell of weed really upsets me. It’s possibly because I’m beyond useless at smoking it. I generally go quiet, go white, and then I get up to go puke.
28. Inherent Vice (2014)
‘In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.‘
Couldn’t tell you in any great detail what happened in this film, it was so sprawling and rambly that it was kind of difficult to keep track, a bit like an overlong Shane Black film.
Not dreadful by any stretch, but by the time I’d figured out I wasn’t really into it I’d already invested too much time in it. 7/10.
I bloody love Kate Winslet. I mean, her husband has a ridiculous name and she’s mates with Richard Branson, but apart from that I think she’s marvellous.
27. Labor Day (2013)
‘Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.‘
Hmm. I feel very conflicted about this.
On one hand I’m not at all on board with its ‘all women really want is to be rescued by a man’ undertones, but at the same time I kind of understood it (this is my blog and I can be contrary if I want to).
This isn’t the greatest film ever made but I really liked it. Strong performances from La Winslet and Josh Brolin (who will never not be Brand from The Goonies to me) kept me watching from till the end, when I admit I may have had something in my eye.
Two things I did 100% agree with, though: 1. Kids ruin everything 2. There is nothing in the world that cannot be fixed by pie. 8/10.
I chose this film on the strength of its poster.
I really need to stop doing this.
26. Miss Stevens (2016)
‘A comedy focused on a teacher who chaperones a group of high schoolers to a state drama competition.‘.
Comedy?! A. It’s not that funny. B. It’s one of those films that I probably would have been a wanker and raved about when I was at college for no good reason other than its an obscure indie film about how we’re all terribly troubled and alone. Also, precocious children are really annoying. 6/10.