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Posts Tagged ‘The Nightingale’

I normally post my Movie of the Month on the first of each month, this was pushed back as I decided to look at my top ten of the year, and spoiler, one of this month’s movies crept into my top ten.  Here are the nine films I saw at the cinema in December bringing my screening total for the year to 104:

Knives Out – Rian Johnson’s homage to whodunit movies in the vein of Agatha Christie works both on the surface as a frothy thriller but more importantly as an hilarious parody.  The all star cast is fantastic especially Daniel Craig as the detective Benoit Blanc. Knives out

Motherless Brooklyn – Writer, director and star Edward Norton has been working on this passion project for about two decades.  Based on contemporary novel from the 1990’s by Jonathan Lethem, Norton has transported the story back to the 1950’s.  The period setting gives it a strangely more relevant story both tonally and thematically certainly more so than a 90’s or contemporary setting would have given.  The setting also helps the film to look fantastic, and sound even better thanks to a jazz soundtrack. Motherless Brooklyn

Jumanji: The Next Level – More of the same from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  As you would expect from a sequel, it lacks the originality, and therefore the surprise of the previous film, but is still tremendous fun largely thanks to the fantastic cast particularly Karen Gillan, and Dwayne Johnson.Jumanji The Next Level

A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood – I had never even heard of Fred Rogers until this film was made, but understand he was a big deal in America.  The brilliance of Marielle Heller’s movie is all the exposition is neatly handles by the character of Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a journalist writing about Fred Rogers.  Tom Hanks is outstanding as Rogers.Tom Hanks (Finalized)

JoJo Rabbit – A satirical comedy about a ten year old member of Hitler Youth, whose imaginary friend is an incarnation of Hitler, sounds like a bad idea.  But when the Writer, Director, Hitler is Taika Waititi it all strangely works.  The film is light and very funny, that makes it even more hard hitting in the serious moments.  An absolute masterpiece. JoJo Rabbit

The Nightingale – I have been waiting five years Jennifer Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, it was worth the wait.  What has been tagged as a revenge thriller, but it is so much more than that, a damning indictment of colonialism it is brutal but never gratuitous.The-Nightingale

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – The end of the Skywalker saga, again!  Not as good as The Last Jedi, but has some great moments and a fitting end to the trilogy. Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker - Copy

Judy & Punch – Punch &  Judy dates back around 500 years, and is certainly not what you would call politically correct, it therefore sounds like a strange thing for director Mirrah Foulkes feature début about domestic abuse.  It bizarrely works, and is a hugely satisfying feminist fable about empowerment.  Mia Wasikowska is amazing as ever!Judy & punch

Little Women – Many of the best films set in the past tell us about both how things are not just how things were, films like Motherless Brooklyn! But some films go beyond that, they also gives us a glimpse of how they could be, Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s often told story is one such film.  Saiorse Ronan is getting a lot of praise for her performance, but Florence Pugh absolutely steels the movie.  An early career masterpiece from Gerwig makes me wonder what she will do next!Little Women

A fantastic month of movies; Knives Out, and A Beautiful Day In the Neighbourhood, Motherless Brooklyn  are good enough to have won in many other months.  JoJo Rabbit, Judy & punch, and Little Women are even better, but also miss out to the outstanding movie of the month, that also made my top ten of the year: The NightingaleThe Nightingale Poster

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It’s that time of year again, my top ten movies of the year.  The criteria for selection: All films to have been released in the UK during 2019,  and seen by me in a cinema. 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood – The film I was most concerned about turned out to be my favourite of the year. I didn’t particularly enjoy Quentin Tarantino’s last film, The Hateful Eight, do we really need another movie about Charles Manson, and most significantly, is he capable of the sensitivity needed to tell the story of the horrendous murder of actress Sharon Tate?Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The Irishman – Martin Scorsese’s epic tale of mob hitman Frank Sheeran based on the novel I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.  This is not Goodfellas part 2, it is more thoughtful and sombre film than Scorsese’s previous entries into the gangster genre.  A masterpiece by a true master of cinema, the three and a half hour runtime is justified! The Irshman

Styx – Unbelievably this is just Wolfgang Fischer second feature, and more than a decade after his debut.  If All Is Lost is an existential crisis, Styx is a commentary on one of the biggest world issues today.  The title tells you all you need to know: In Greek mythology Styx is the river between the land of the living and the land of the dead.  Passengers must pay the ferryman, if they have no money they must remain on the river for 100 years.styx

Midsommar – I visited rural Sweden for midsummer a few years ago, while I’m pleased to report there was no murder or mutilation, it is a really big deal.  If you hated Hereditary, you will really hate Midsommar!  I was mixed on Hereditary but loved Midsommar.  The film looks amazing and is disturbing rather than scary, the near two and a half hour runtime flew by.  Once again Florence Pugh proves she is the most exciting and talented young actor working today.Midsommar

Apollo 11 – The rare inclusion of a documentary on my bets of year list.  Made up of NASA footage shot at the time of the moon landings.  Much of it on 65mm.  With no voiceover and no talking heads, it’s a wonder the film can hold the attention for its 93 minute runtime.  The key word here is wonder, because the film is filled with wonder, it is nothing short of stunning.Apollo 11

Burning – Its best to go into Chang-dong Lee’s Korean thriller with as little background information as possible.  Wonderfully ambiguous that keeps you guessing until the end and ultimately asks a lot more questions than it answers.Burning

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – True story of celebrity biographer Lee Israel based on her own memoir detailing her decent to rock bottom.  Written and directed by Marielle Heller with both flair, and humanity.  Melissa McCarthy’s gives her best performance to date, Richard E. Grant is as brilliant as ever.Can you ever forgivr me

If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel.  Brilliantly conveying a novels internal monologue in a way that last years On Chesil Beach failed to do. The acting is first rate throughout,  but the true triumph of the film comes in its direction and construction.If Beale Street Could Talk

The Nightingale – I have been waiting five years Jennifer Kent’s follow up to The Babadook, it was worth the wait.  What has been tagged as a revenge thriller, but it is so much more than that, a damning indictment of colonialism it is brutal but never gratuitous.The Nightingale

Under the Silver Lake – The downside to David Robert Mitchell’s follow-up to It Follows is that it has a feel someone trying to emulate David Lynch or the Coen brothers.  The plus side, is that it looks amazing and has some great moments of flair.  It doesn’t always work but it so bold it deserves to be seen.Under the Silver Lake

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