MOVIES OF THE MONTH: FEBRUARY

Friday, 2 March 2018

Happy Oscar weekend! In its simplest terms—I am a movie junkie. I spend an unhealthy amount of time eagerly watching films projected through the lens of my cheap (yet reliable) Amazon projector—and I'm not sorry about it. As a matter of fact, one of my resolutions for the new year is to watch every film nominated for best picture at the 2018 Academy Awards (For the record I’ve seen 4/9 so far). So with all of that being said, I present to you:

MOVIES OF THE MONTH (MOTM)
 A series in which I'll share, rate & briefly review any films I've watched throughout the past month. The films may range from old to new, but these will only be reviews on those I watched for the first time. Enjoy!

Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Call Me by Your Name (2017): ★★★★★
THIS FILM IS FAN-F**KING-TASTIC. I must admit that I actually watched this movie at the end of January—but considering the fact that this is my first MOTM post I had to include it.  I am unsure about whether or not I should call this a review, as its more like a diary entry concerning my love affair between the language, cinematography and soundtrack in this film (with honorable mentions going to Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer of course). Call Me by Your Name is the definition of aesthetically pleasing—instantly taking viewers back to 1983, somewhere in Northern Italy. What begins as a catalyst for summertime cravings like bike rides in quant Italian villa’s or indulging in frutta fresca with handsome house guests in your backyard develops into an unlikely yet irresistible summer romance between the films main characters. The way I felt after watching this movie is borderline inexplicable... I'm in love with the love in this film. Essentially, Call Me by Your Name is in a class of its own. Although we're barely into 2018, I'm almost positive that this will be (one of) my favourite movie(s) of the year. Its Oscar nomination for best picture is well deserved. 



Black Panther (2018): ★★★★★
BELIEVE THE HYPE. Marvel has truly outdone themselves with this film. Finally a movie that really is just as good as everyone says it is. I'd even go so far as saying that this is one of my favourite Marvel films to date (I'll get back to this as soon as I finish the Thor films, which have been my favourite thus far alongside Iron Man). Talk about not only black power and excellence—but black FEMALE power. The visuals, cast and soundtrack are incredible. I'm so proud to have Marvel's first predominantly black superhero movie be the coolest. Seeing this film in theatre on the big screen is an experience I'd highly recommend—so try to watch it while its still there. WAKANDA FOREVER.
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya (2017): ★★★
As a big fan of Margot Robbie since seeing her in The Wolf of Wallstreet (2013) and Suicide Squad (2016), I could not wait to watch this film. I, Tonya is a mockumentary of sorts, documenting the life of infamous figure skater, Tonya Harding, who is perfectly executed by Margot Robbie. Once again, I'm stunned by Robbie's ability to drop her Australian accent in exchange for a heavy American one. The star studded cast certainly helps to tell the story, with Robbie nominated for best actress and Allison Janney (who plays Tonya's mother) nominated for best supporting actress at the Academy Awards this year. I think the actors are fantastic, however, the film itself is flawed. In my opinion it wasn't five-star worthy, but entertaining nonetheless.


Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird (2017): ★★★½
It can be easy to group all coming of age films into the same cliché category of tacky teenage dramas, however, something about Lady Bird sets it just above that stereotype. I would have to say that the comedic elements of the film and the quirky likability of Lady Bird herself, played by Saoirse Ronan
(another leading actress who picks up an American accent that contrasts her own) are its greatest assets. While the storyline may not seem too different from other films in terms of its portrayal of adolescent life, the script is richer and much more mature than most of its kind. The film encapsulates both Lady Bird's and her parents' experiences as she traditions into adulthood—which is another quality to set this film apart from others like it. Personally, there was an undeniable sense of relatability to Lady Bird's big dreams and non-conformist attitude throughout the film. A delight to watch, yet not incredibly mind-blowing for me. PS. Did I mention Timothée Chalamet is in it? Watch this movie purely to see him.


Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)
Wonder Woman (2017): 
I cannot stress how high my hopes were for this film, especially since it took almost a year for me to finally watch it. More than that, I cannot stress how disappointed I was to find that Wonder Woman was not at all what I hoped it'd be. I'm all for a badass female superhero, and Diana certainly is badass, however the storyline itself was boring and underwhelming to me. I find it ironic how disappointing this film—with a heavy focus on female empowerment, is when comparing it to other superhero movies (which I love) with a male protagonist as the hero. For a film thats meant to highlight female strength, I believe that a much stronger film could've been made to represent that. Sadly, this film was a let down. 


Coco (2017): ★★★★

Does Pixar ever disappoint? With the Cuban blood of my ancestors running through my veins, I have always been both intrigued and fascinated by Hispanic culture. So, to see the beauty of that culture in a Disney film? I'm here for it. Coco is not focused on true love—as Disney often tends to do, rather, the love of music and importance of family. It is a colourful and cultural tale that I'd recommend to any Disney fan. As much as I enjoyed it, my five stars (in Disney films) are for The Lion King, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. And the princess movies? Don't even get me started. Five stars everywhere. 


The Shape of Water (2017): 
Although I didn't necessarily hate this movie, it just wasn't for me. In the case of this film, I feel like it all comes down to your own film preferences. I was so excited to watch this due to all of the buzz surrounding it, however, I just didn't understand the hype. As some may not like films by Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson or any other non-traditional film directors—I don't think that Guillermo Del Torro films are my style. The film undoubtedly had its engaging moments, but they were only engaging due to the sheer oddity of it. Perhaps this is why some people enjoyed it so much. Personally, I think this was a bit too odd for me. The Shape of Water is both cinematic and beautifully done, but simply not for me. My apologies to Donatella Versace, who says The Shape of Water is her favourite film of the moment.

Love, LAUR

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