A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to a colleague that there were a load of new DVDs in the library to hire (£2.50 for a week? Yes please!). She loves her films and so buys them regularly to watch again and again and she offered to lend me a load. The result is that Tom and I have finally been able to see quite a few films that we’ve meaning to watch for ages, but never got round to seeing.
Coming home to a good film when there’s nothing on TV, or looking forward to having one to watch on a lazy Sunday has got to be one of life’s great pleasures and you all know I like something simple that makes me happy, so I thought I’d share some short reviews of the films we’ve watched recently.
I’m so glad I was finally able to see this and am slightly annoyed with myself that I didn’t listen to everyone who told me to go and see it at the cinema. A true modern classic: beautifully made, a fantastic story and memorable performances – what more could you want? The Artist wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, it’s much better and even more so because of the lack of sound. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to beg, borrow or steal it (please don’t steal it, just go to your local library!) NOW.
Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen’s latest, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, is typically weird, funny, slightly off-the-wall but also main-stream at the same time. I won’t ruin it by saying what happens, but you will have to take this film with a pinch of salt. We enjoyed it because of the way it was self-ashamedly ridiculous but also drew you in. Paris is not my favourite city, but this made me want to give it another go.
I read The Help fairly recently and so really wanted to see the film. I’m happy to say that the film adaptation is well done and hardly changes the story at all, letting not only the storyline but also the history shine through rather than making it too ‘Hollywood’. Viola Davis who plays Abileen is really fantastic and even though I knew what was going to happen, I cried at all the sad bits and got frustrated along with the characters.
Another film we’d been wanting to see for ages, because of how amazing Natalie Portman was supposed to be in it. I’ll admit that I was in two minds about watching this film as I knew it was going to be really good, but I also hate all scary films. And this was scary (by my standards, anyway). Natalie Portman was really, really good (can you believe that was really her dancing? Amazing) and I was completely drawn into the story – even if I did ‘watch’ a lot of it from behind a cushion. It was so well done that I almost watched it again as soon as it finished to try and work out what actually happened. Tom was keen, but that might have more to do with Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman in the same film and, you know… Tip: do not watch this film with your parents. Or your teenage brother. Trust me.
The Iron Lady
Talking of amazing female performances, how incredible is Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady? I mean, wow – she is completely convincing both as Margaret Thatcher in power and as an old lady struggling with her memory and definitely deserved that Oscar. The film is partly true, with flash-backs to real events in Thatcher’s life mainly as PM, and partly imagined, showing how she might be now, living with dementia and learning to live without her husband, Dennis Thatcher. I thought it was very interesting how the events in the film (the minors strikes, the Falklands War, etc.) were portrayed in a way that could be taken as either awful travesties or proud times for Britain, depending on your politics. I tried to watch it as the story of the life of a woman who has played a key role in our history, however you look at it, even if I did find myself frowning at the screen at several points.
My Week with Marilyn
Although it was not my intention to watch a load of films with strong female performances, Michelle Williams was clearly the star of this film. A true story, based on the book written by Colin Clark who had the job of Third Assistant to the Director (Lawrence Olivier) during filming of The Prince and The Showgirl, starring Olivier and Marilyn Munroe, My Week with Marilyn gives you a brief insight into the weird, showbiz and sad life of one of the world’s most famous actresses. It won’t change your life, but if you’re intrigued by Munroe, you’ll enjoy this film.