Because I’ve been so lazy, here’s ten movie reviews to feast your eyeballs on! (Also, if you’re interested in purchasing any of these films, please use my affiliate links. They help the site stay up and running!)
DAY 124- THE GRADUATE (1967)
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me!” I finally saw the iconic film this phrase was birthed from, and I was a little disappointed. It’s still a good film, but not as great as I was expecting it to be. The film follows Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), who has just graduated college and is unsure of what to do with his life. He ends up entangled in an affair with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), but also falls in love with her daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross).
The acting was great, and I loved the visual style of the film (plus I couldn’t help but laugh at the use of “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garkfunkel). The story was what let me down, though. It felt flimsy and aimless. For a film that’s considered to be one of the best films of all time, I only found The Graduate to be ok.
DAY 125- OTHER PEOPLE (2016)
Other People is centered on David (Jesse Plemons), a comedy writer who has recently come back home to care for his ailing mother (Molly Shannon), after he’s suffered a breakup and is left unemployed. The acting is really good, but the story feels familiar, and I almost couldn’t watch the film due to being emetophobic (warning to any other emetophobes: this film is extremely triggering). Ultimately, I found Other People to be a sweet, charming, but ultimately too familiar movie.
DAY 126- HAIL, CAESAR! (2016)
A beautiful, well-acted, if messy film from the Coen Brothers. Hail, Caesar! traces the abduction of a leading actor named Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) by a rival film company. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is tasked with finding him, while also keeping tabs on the film currently in production. All of the actors are uniformly excellent, the film is beautifully shot, and the story drips with dark, satirical humor and sly digs at the Hollywood machine. It’s a tad overstuffed with characters, though, and the story suffers a tad because of the multiple storylines. I still thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this film and its myriad of characters, though, and would recommend it to fellow Coen Brothers fans or anyone who loves films based on the film industry.
DAY 127- ELLE (2016)
A beautiful, dark masterpiece of a film that IS NOT for everyone, Elle follows Michèle (a wonderful turn from Isabelle Huppert) in the aftermath of being raped. She calmly cleans up, takes a bubble bath, and heads back to work at her videogame development company. She’s more concerned with releasing her company’s new, violent game than dwelling on the trauma that has just been inflicted on her, and as the film progresses, it becomes clear why this incident barely ruffles her feathers. The way the topic of rape is broached in this film will split audiences, but I found the story to be excellently paced and nuanced. Elle is the best film from Paul Verhoeven in quite some time.
DAY 128- RUSHMORE (1998)
Wes Anderson’s second film, Rushmore chronicles the life of Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman), who is more involved in extra-curriculars than with actually studying, resulting in his academic probation from the titular private school. This is a disaster for Max, because he happens to be in love with a teacher at Rushmore (Olivia Williams), and he’s developed a friendship with the father (Bill Murray) of fellow students at Rushmore.
This film is typical Anderson: quirky, colorful, and character-driven. If you enjoy Anderson’s film or these aspects, then Rushmore should be up your alley.
DAY 129- BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)
Watch my video to find out my thoughts on Disney’s latest live-action adaptation!
DAY 130- THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984)
Unpopular opinion: I hated this movie. I found it utterly unfunny, boring as hell, and a mess. The only aspect of this film I enjoyed was the concert performances from the fictional band. I wanted to love this film; ultimately, I was left wanting more.
DAY 131- TEMPLE GRANDIN (2010)
Based on the true story of Temple Grandin, this is a remarkable film. It effectively portrays Temple in a respectful light, while also showcasing the difficulties she faces being autistic. She overcomes so many obstacles to go to college, and ultimately changed the cattle management industry for good. An informative, well-acted biopic that is highly worth your time. You might not enjoy every aspect of the film, but this is an important story that demands to be heard.
DAY 132- TAKE SHELTER (2011)
A powerful film from Jeff Nichols, Take Shelter sees us following the life of Curtis (Michael Shannon), a husband and father who is convinced that a major storm is headed to their town. He keeps having hallucinations and nightmares, much to the worry and chagrin of his wife Samantha (Jessica Chastain). Figuring out if Curtis is crazy or if he’s actually correct is a thrill ride, and the long run time passed by in the blink of an eye. The performances from Shannon and Chastain are superb, and Nichols’ close, tight direction is masterful.
DAY 133- NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (2016)
What an incredible ride Tom Ford takes us on in his second directorial effort. The story finds us looking at the life of Susan (Amy Adams), a woman with a supposedly “perfect” husband (Armie Hammer) and life. One day, she receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), which happens to be his new novel “Nocturnal Animals”. As she reads the book, she chillingly realizes his dark crime novel echoes their lives.
Told in three different stories, this is a wonderfully directed film. Following the life of present-day Susan, the novel’s plot, and the life Susan and Edward had previously, it takes a masterful director to pull of such a complex film, but Ford does it beautifully. Adams is perfectly cold as Susan, Jake Gyllenhaal is excellent as both Edward and his novel’s lead character, and Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson give outstanding supporting performances. Some will find the structure of the film to be too confusing, but it’s well worth a watch.