Living, Series

The Five Films I Watched in January

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Photo by Jeremy Yap

After spending about two years trying to convince myself that I could live without Netflix, I finally bit the bullet and rejoined the Netflix and chill crew. Although, let’s be honest, there has been way too many great shows and movies that I’ve missed, there hasn’t been time to chill.

Here’s what I watched in January.

The Young Victoria

Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée | Written by: Julian Fellowes | Starring: Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend | Year: 2009 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

With Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) as the writer and Jean-Marc Vallée (Big Little Lies) as the director, I knew these 120 minutes were going to a treat. And I was not let down. The film follows the first years of Queen Victoria’s rule, and her romance with Prince Albert. While some historical movies can be boring and confusing, this one kept me entertained throughout thanks to the beautiful visual elements of the costumes and set design as well as the acting. Plus it’s one of those rare period pieces that actually has a happy ending. You won’t need your box of tissues for this one!


Suite Française

Directed by: Saul Dibb | Starring: Michelle Williams, Kristen Scott Thomas, and Matthias Schoenaerts | Written by: Marr Charman and Saul Dibb | Year: 2014 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

I originally watched this film because I was impressed with Matthias Schoenaerts performance in Far From the Madding Crowd (and he’s really good looking), and I was not disappointed in his performance. This film actually ended up being one of those movies that lingered in my mind days after I finished watching it. It’s based on the best selling novel of the same name by Irène Némirovsky. The film is set in 1940’s France during WWII. It’s about a French villager, Lucile Angellier, who lives with her Mother-in-Law, Madame Angellier. Lucile’s husband was taken as a prisoner of war, so she spends most of her days anxiously waiting to hear from him. Lucile’s life changes after France falls to Germany and the Nazi’s occupy their small village. When a handsome German solider, Bruno von Falk, takes up residency in their home, a romance blossoms between Lucile and Bruno. The acting in this film is top-notch. I was especially blown away by Kristin Scott Thomas’s performance. If you’re looking for a compelling story about the homefront during WWII mixed with some romance, than this film is for you.


Mudbound 

Directed by: Dee Rees | Written by Dee Rees and Virgil Williams | Starring: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Gerrett Hedlund, and Mary J. Blige | Year: 2017 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

Mudbound is one of Netflix’s original movies that’s making quite a buzz right now and rightfully so. It has been nominated for 4 Oscars this year for Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song, and Best Achievement in Cinematography (which is the first time a woman has ever been nominated in this category). The movie is an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel Mudbound. The film takes place in rural Mississippi during and after WWII. It’s about two men (one African American and the other white) who struggle with adjusting to life on the farm after returning home from the war. The film’s main focus in on racism, but it also touches on PTSD. This is definitely one of those films that requires your full attention. It’s not really something you can have playing in the background while you do other things, so make sure you can set aside 2 hours and 15 minutes of your time to watch this. Also, I recommend having a box of tissues nearby.

If you want to hear more about writer and director, Dee Rees’s approach to screenwriting, then check out her lecture on BAFTA Guru’s Youtube channel.


To The Bone

Directed & Written by: Marti Noxon | Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, and Alex Sharp | Year: 2017 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

I didn’t think much of Lily Collins as an actress to watch until after seeing her in The Rules Do Not Apply last year and then again after seeing this film. To The Bone is about Ellen, an unruly 20-year-old girl, who suffers from anorexia. She has spent most of teenage years in and out of recovery programs, and each time she leaves weighing less than when she went in. If she doesn’t get help, then she will die. This film is about her struggles with anorexia and her journey to recovery. It’s a very sad film and at times hard to watch, but it sheds light on an illness that people don’t really talk about.


Kung Fu Panda

Directed by: Mark Osborne & John Stevenson | Written by: Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger | Starring: Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Ian McShane | Year: 2008 | Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Chances are you’ve seen this movie before. I, however, must’ve been living under a rock because this was the first time I had seen Kung Fu Panda. The film is about a lazy overweight panda, Po, who unexpectedly is chosen to be the Dragon Warrior and must defeat the savage Tai Lung. Now, this is a great option to have on in the background if you’re doing a project and still want to watch something entertaining. Let me know if the sequels are any good. Usually the sequel is never as good as the first one!

 

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Comment Question: What movies have you seen recently? 

 

 

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