Film Reviews, Uncategorized

Call Me By Your Name- A Film Review

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)

“People who read are hiders. They hide who they are. People who hide don’t always like who they are.”

Isis just put out her review of Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman that you can read here. We saw the movie together, but decided if she reviewed the film it would just be a comparison to the book. So that’s why I’m here even though I usually don’t do film reviews.

So like the book the movie follows seventeen year old Eilo as he falls in love with his father’s summer intern, twenty-four year old Oliver. It takes place in Italy in 1983. The director is Luca Guadagnino, and James Ivory wrote the screenplay.

The age difference between the two was very jarring to me. Even as Elio showed time and time again how mature he was, it didn’t particularly help the situation that Elio looked around fifteen and Oliver looked like he was in his thirties. And as I’ve heard many predators comment that their victims are maturer than their age, I don’t even like pointing out that he was. 

Elio spends the film trying to figure out his sexuality. He’s been flirting with Marzia, a longtime friend, yet is completely captivated by Oliver. In fact, everyone is captivated by Oliver. If Oliver was a girl I would call him a manic pixie dream girl. I spent a lot of the film thinking it was simply sexual attraction they were experiencing, but when they got together, I found myself thinking they were cute. They were relaxed, for once, and laughing, and I was surprised to find that they actually enjoyed each other’s company. The actors had great chemistry together so that only helped the film. 

I also disliked how their love was portrayed as being one for the ages, something that would never die. With some of the conversations at the end of the film, especially with Elio’s dad, it felt like they wanted it to be more than it was. I’ve became aware of this review that talks about the review as an abusive relationship instead of an amazing romance.

Elio was weird, to put it simply. He talks in odd, mysterious ways so I was always wondering how anyone was understanding the conversation with him. He masturbates with a peach, sniffs Oliver’s used swim trunks, and tries to swallow people’s noses when he kisses them. And Timothée Chalamet played him perfectly. His acting was so good, honestly, I want to see him other movies. He is nominated for Best Actor for his performance, and it is truly deserved.

The way the movie was filmed was great. The music that was incorporated throughout really added so much more to every scene. The movie was truly a beautiful film. Weird but beautiful. And despite this review being mainly complaints, I would recommend it. I enjoyed it. I’m still thinking of how beautiful it was a couple days later. 

 

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Film Reviews, Uncategorized

The Big Sick-Movie Review

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The Big Sick is a romantic comedy based on a true story. It’s about Kumail, an aspiring comedian, and Emily, an aspiring therapist, as they go through their relationship. They deal with commitment issues, Kumail’s parents wanting to arrange a marriage for him, lying, trust issues, and a medical coma.

The Kumail in the movie is actually Kumail in real life. He and his wife actually wrote the script too. I think that really added something special to this movie. I’m not a big fan of romantic comedies. I usually think they are boring and typical. This movie was a breath of fresh air. The two love interests had actual chemistry together. It was actually funny and heartbreaking and well acted out. I also loved that both of their parents were featured heavily.

This is a small film. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January where  it was picked up by Amazon Studios. It was a limited release last weekend which is when I saw it, but it’s a wider one this weekend. I strongly recommend going out and watching this movie. Kamail Nanjiani is definitely somebody to watch and support as he grows bigger. 

 

Film Reviews

Beauty and the Beast – Film Review

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Yesterday, I finally got around to seeing Disney’s brand new live action Beauty and the Beast adaptation. Everyone and their mother has been raving about this movie, so I bought into the excitement and took my niece and nephews to see it.

I should note beforehand that I heard a lot of controversy over this version having a canonically gay character, which offended a lot of people, for many different reasons. Not knowing enough about the original story (Belle was not my favorite princess growing up, sue me) I went into it unsure pf what to expect in regards to that. (Side note: one of my bigoted coworkers assumed I was only watching the movie because of the gay character). So this fact has been pretty significant, since mostly everyone knew about it going into it.

First, let me talk about the actual film. Emma Watson played an amazing Belle. I had no idea she had such a beautiful voice, but it was quite stunning. No complaints there. Emma’s a talented individual and I think she took to the role perfectly. The film was reminiscent of the animated Disney film, and it was really neat seeing all the characters come alive. The romance was believable and it made me nostalgic. And can we talk about that insane growl at the end from the Beast in human form? That was also very nice. There was so much humor, and it was just adorable sometimes. I laughed a whole lot, especially during the Gaston and LeFou parts. They were an interesting pair, and I loved their dynamic.

So, halfway through the movie, it occurred to me that I still hadn’t seen this supposed gay character. I noticed hints between Gaston and LeFou, but I wasn’t sure if Disney would actually pair them up romantically. I noticed that LeFou was effeminate, but that does not make a man gay. LeFou was trailing behind Gaston, but that’s what sidekicks do in every film. I waited for something to happen, either between them or someone else.

And then by the end of the movie, when Belle and Beast finally kiss, and all the secondary characters suddenly appear, everyone starts pairing up. Couple after couple started kissing on screen or making googly eyes at each other, hinting at a romantic connection. I get it, Disney’s a big believer in true love, so this was a trademark somehow. It’s fine. But then I was still waiting for this supposed gay character to get his love interest, like everyone else in the movie. And since LeFou was the only one alive from the pair, I counted on him. Eventually, I noticed LeFou dancing at the ball, with a woman. Okay, I thought, that’s cool. I guess it wasn’t him after all.

A few moments later I hear my niece whisper, “He was dancing with another man. Did you see that?” I turn to her, wondering if she was messing with me. I probably looked away for one second, and I missed this mystery man LeFou was dancing with. I kept my eyes glued to the screen until the credits, but there were no other signs of this happening. And that was that.

Leaving the theater, I was still completely unsure whether all those rumors were true. Was there really a gay character in the film? I’m still not sure. I’m not saying that anyone needs to be with someone else to prove their orientation, but in a movie that promotes true love and urges couples to get together, I would think the one gay character would get someone, too. And how is this representation?

From my perspective, LeFou was just an effeminate character, sassy and cute, yes, but that raises other questions. Are these the traits we’re supposed to connect with homosexuality, so much that we don’t get any real confirmation?

This turned more into a rant than a film review, but I’m still wondering why there was such a fuss about this supposed gay character when I had such a hard time just figuring out who this character could be. I see you, Disney, taking the safe way out of this. When are we going to get a gay princess?

Film Reviews

10 Cloverfield Lane – Film Review

I went into this movie without any expectations. Only one person recommended this to me, and other than that, I heard absolutely nothing about it. The title, though, sounded familiar. I vaguely remember watching Cloverfield back in the day, but I never made it through the film because I don’t do well with shaky cameras. Although I’ve heard this movie called a sort-of sequel to Cloverfield, I found very little in common.

With a main cast of only three characters, the movie captures suspense wonderfully. It follows Michelle, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as she packs her bags and takes off into the night road. She has a car wreck, and wakes up at a bunker with two men, the very eerie Howard, played by John Goodman, and my personal favorite Emmett, played by John Gallagher Jr. In here, understandably believing she’s been kidnapped by Howard, a paranoid man with one too many conspiracy theories, she is told that the outside world has been destroyed.

My favorite thing was the constant feeling of doom, even once Michelle felt a little more comfortable in the bunker. Howard’s unstable character kept me doubting his good intentions, and I wasn’t sure what was true and what wasn’t. In contrast, I loved Emmett’s innocence and quick alliance to Michelle, who was one of the best characters I’ve ever seen in a horror film. Michelle was a quick thinker, and she was so clever in all she did. I was actually rooting for her the entire time.

Nothing that happened in this movie was predictable. I was not sure what I was expecting, if anything, but I was left beyond astounded. There was something so original about this film, even though it had elements that are so overused. It was so well put together. I’m not sure what genre this film really fits into, but it left me a little disturbed. In a good way. I think this is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time.

My rating: 9.5/10

Film Reviews

Becoming Jane – Film Review

As a Jane Austen fan, I went into this film ready for another epic romance. I mean, sure, I know that Jane Austen’s real life was not like the beautiful romance novels she wrote, but I still hoped. And I was so wrong in hoping. This film caused me more pain than anything else.

Becoming Jane, starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy, follows the life of the legendary author Jane Austen. It is not an entirely accurate depiction of her real life (what is known of it). In the film, Jane struggles to prove her independence in a world where her only aspiration as a woman is to get married in order to stop being a burden to her parents. Jane wants to make a living off of her writing, though no one believes she’s capable of it. Then comes a beautiful boy, Tom Lefroy, to shake up Jane’s world. As it goes.

The story then follows Jane and Tom, in their seductive dance. Literally and figuratively.

Let me tell you. Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy had such strong chemistry, that I expected them to rip off each other’s clothes at any point. I’m not sure why I thought that was plausible, considering the many tight layers of clothes they’re constantly wearing in every shot. Anyway, Jane and Tom? Yeah, I was all over that ship. And of course that’s why they tortured me so much.

I believe the real Tom Lefroy did court the real Jane Austen, but then their financial differences made a marriage union impossible. This is a topic of which Jane has explored greatly in her novels. I was glad to see the variations of that expressed in this film.

Jane Austen is not the type of gal to marry for money, despite her family’s necessity. Although it’s obvious that Jane sympathized with those women who had no other choice. Fortunately, Jane was able to sell six of her novels, and after her death, gained the recognition she deserved for her talent.

And on a final note, I’d just like to show the beauties that were Jane and Tom throughout this beautiful, painful story.


I adored this film, but I would think twice before watching it again. I recommend it to anyone into Jane Austen’s novels, literature in general, or masochists.

My rating: 8.5/10