I’m still chugging along with my challenge, even though I’m super far behind on reviewing the films I see. So here are ten belated ones to read!
DAY 194- CHRISTINE (2016)
Christine is based on the true story of Christine Chubbuck, a TV reporter who infamously shot herself on-air in the 70’s. Portrayed in the film by Rebecca Hall, Christine is shown as being a hard-working woman who loves her job and desperately wants a raise, while also harboring a crush for her fellow anchor, George (Michael C. Hall). A traumatic event that has previously haunted Christine is hinted at, but is never revealed. As the film goes along, Christine visibly starts sliding deeper into despair and depression, and I could feel my heat breaking along with hers. Even knowing what the ending would be, I rooted for Christine and wanted to reach through the screen and wrap her in my arms. A crushing, yet powerful, biopic about a bright star who sadly passed way too early.
DAY 195- GEMMA BOVERY (2014)
A cheeky re-imagining of Madame Bovary, Gemma Bovery follows the life of the titular character (played by Gemma Arterton) and her husband Charlie (Jason Flemyng) as they move into a rundown farm next to a baker (Fabrice Luchini), who happens to see parallels between the two of them and the characters from the iconic novel that he passionately loves. I was intrigued by this film, and ate up every delicious second of it.
Gemma is beautifully portrayed by Arterton, and I felt myself connecting with her and sympathizing with her, even though she made some pretty horrible decisions. I could feel her loneliness and isolation radiating off the screen, and I related with her immensely as she wrestles with what she truly wants. The other actors are solid, but Arterton steals the spotlight. The French countryside is gorgeous, and every frame of this movie was beautifully choreographed. Gemma Bovery won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel or are a fan of Gemma Arterton, I highly recommend this beauty of a film.
DAY 196- THE TRIGGER EFFECT (1996)
A decent, if forgettable, film about what measures one would go through for their family. Kyle MacLachlan stars as Matthew, a man whose baby desperately needs medication after she falls ill. Sounds simple, right? It is, unless your town suddenly had a massive blackout and your kids prescription can’t be called in. After stealing the medicine from a pharmacy, the family contemplates what to do as the blackout continues and supplies dwindle.
A somewhat typical film about humanity and what we’re forced to do to survive that is bolstered by the incredible Kyle MacLachlan and a scene-stealing turn from Michael Rooker. A good film for a rainy day, but nothing special.
DAY 197- GATTACA (1997)
A smart, fascinating science-fiction film about a society where “perfect” children can be created to fulfill their potential in life, Gattaca is an underrated gem. Ethan Hawke stars as a man named Vincent Freeman, who was conceived naturally and is considered to be a lesser human being than the majority of society. He dreams of being an astronaut and going into space, so he presumes the identity of a man named Jerome Morrow (Jude Law) to accomplish this goal. Everything goes swimmingly until a murder occurs at his workplace, and Vincent becomes entangled in the crime, threatening his false identity and his chances of achieving his dream.
The performances are excellent, and I loved the narrative of this film. It was sharp, fast-paced, and well-fleshed out, and had me on the edge of my seat. Highly recommended.
DAY 198- THE CRAFT (1996)
A cult teen film from the ’90’s, The Craft is a fun, dark spin on cinematic witches. New girl Sarah (Robin Tunney) finds herself befriending three classmates (Neve Campbell, Fairuza Balk, and Rachel True) who practice witchcraft, and becomes a part of their coven. At first, everything is fun and games… until the girls start messing around with the darker aspects of of their powers.
This was a fun, witty film that I’m kicking myself for not having seen sooner. A quintessential coming-of-age movie with a deliciously dark spin.
DAY 199- UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS (2017)
The latest entry in the long-running Underworld franchise, Blood Wars sees Selene (Kate Beckinsale) having to fight off both Lycans and vampires as she tries to end the war between the two species. Unfortunately, she encounters a new enemy, Marius (Tobias Menzies), who wants her dead, no matter what.
Is this the best Underworld film? No, but I had a fun time with this installment. Blood Wars was directed by Anna Foerster, who directed some of my favorite episodes of Outlander, and her direction felt like a shot in the arm after Len Wiseman’s previous entries. Also, Tobias Menzies was fantastic as Marius, and I’ll watch anything he’s in. The battle scenes were fun, and there was plenty of vampire-on-Lycan action to satisfy my supernatural-loving heart.
DAY 200- ANTICHRIST (2009)
A deeply disturbing, yet beautifully choreographed film from the mind of Lars von Trier. Antichrist follows a couple (Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who have lost their young son in a tragic accident. As his wife delves deeper into depression, the husband decides to take his wife to their cabin in the woods to help her confront her fears. As the film progresses, reality starts to blend into nightmarish scenarios for both of them.
Antichrist is definitely not a film for anyone. It is dense with hidden meanings, requiring multiple viewings to glean every bit of information von Trier packed into this narrative and into the cinematography. It also features extremely graphic and gory scenes that churned my stomach, and left me feeling unsettled after it ended. Yet, this film also features some of the most stunning cinematography I’ve ever seen, and the performances from Dafoe and Gainsbourg are marvelous. Proceed with caution.
DAY 201- WONDER WOMAN (2017)
FINALLY, Diana Prince has the solo film she has deserved for 75 years now. An optimistic, powerful, and emotional entry into the DCEU (and the best superhero origin story I’ve ever seen), this is a marvel of a film. Patty Jenkins portrays Diana perfectly, and Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman. She radiates truth, love, and justice. Chris Pine is also strong as Steve Trevor, never fading into the background or taking over Diana. They’re perfectly balanced, and this was incredibly refreshing to see on-screen. I loved the humor that was sprinkled throughout this film, and left feeling lighter and happier than when I first arrived at the theater. A must-see.
DAY 202- BLUE VELVET (1986)
A masterpiece from the brilliant mind of David Lynch. Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, and Laura Dern, Blue Velvet unspools the tale of Jeffrey Beaumont (MacLachlan), who finds an ear in a meadow after visiting his father in the hospital. This ear ends up taking his life in directions he never imagined possible. He meets the mysterious night club singer Dorothy (Rossellini), who may have ties to the ear in question and who also is the catalyst for his sexual awakening. Meanwhile, he also starts falling for his classmate Sandy (Dern), and must decide what to do regarding the mystery surrounding the severed ear and with Dorothy.
Beautifully acted and shot, this is a sumptuous movie that begs to be experienced. My personal favorite David Lynch film to date.
DAY 203- BLUE JASMINE (2013)
A beautiful tale from Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine follows the titular character (played by the incredible Cate Blanchett) as she must adapt to her new life in San Francisco after her husband passes away and she’s left penniless and caught in a scandal. As the days go by, Jasmine starts visibly and mentally wilting, popping pills with booze regularly and reminisces about her previously “perfect” life.
As per usual with Allen’s filmography, Blue Jasmine looks absolutely gorgeous and every actor steps up to the plate. I was captivated by Jasmine and her story, and personally loved the formatting of the narrative. A cold, yet fascinating film.
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