Please do not adjust your set, normal service will resume shortly. For the first time since starting this feature in June 2009, I have failed to post my movie of the month list. Hit by cold, chest infections and chronic man flue not only have I not being writing about movies, I have not being going to see them. I had plans to see the last two Best Picture Oscar Nominations Fences and Moonlight; as well as the one off screening of Foreign Language contender Toni Erdmann. Sadly none of this happened, I still have a couple of days to catch Moonlight and Fences but have missed my chance to see Toni Erdmann until it crops up on Netflix or similar. So what did I see?
Hacksaw Ridge: A film of two halves, the war film is brilliant, the build up was to sentimental and preaching.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: The final Resident Evil movie until the inevitable reboot. It is as dumb and convoluted as the previous five films, but it is also good fun and never boring.
Hidden Figures: The true story of Africa American woman working at the heart of NASA at the height of the space race. A feel good movie without the baggage of sentiment. Octavia Spencer received an Oscar nomination, the other two leads: Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe are just as good as is Kevin Costner in a supporting role.
Loving: The true story of Richard and Mildred Loving a mixed race couple whose marriage was deemed illegal in 1958 Virginia. Cleverly concentrating on the couple and not the legal case, Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton are both outstanding.
Fifty Shades Darker: It’s easy to poke fun at this film, I would rather look for the positive, sadly there is little positive to say beyond the charisma and comic timing of star Dakota Johnson, she and co star Jamie Dornan deserves so much more.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: An interesting little film told mainly in flashback. Surprisingly good largely thanks a great performance from unknown Joe Alwyn. There are also some great supporting performances especially from Kristen Stewart.
20th Century Women: Back in 2010 writer / director Mike Mills gave us Beginners. A film about his late father. Now he is back with one about his mother. Set in the late 70’s it is a very modern movie with some quirky storytelling. Annette Bening is sensational, Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig are also great in supporting roles.
John Wick: Chapter 2: Three years ago John Wick gave us a bonkers over stylised ultraviolent revenge thriller. This sequel is basically the same again. It doesn’t offer anything new but is just as much fun as the original.
Lion: True story of a five-year-old Indian boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta before being adopted by an Australian couple. 25 years later he attempts to track down where he is from with the help of google earth. Both Sunny Pawar and Dev Patel are excellend as the older and younger versions of Saroo.
What a choice, we have the worthy of Loving and Hidden Figures or the fun of John Wick: Chapter 2, which is movie of the month? I could make a case for all three as well as 20th Century Woman. Close call but movie of the month goes to: