I don’t always stop posting for a month, but when I do I watch four movies and blog emotionally about them all at once.
Before I begin, I do apologize for going MIA the past few weeks. With a hectic Thanksgiving break at home, my second-to-last semester wrapping up at BU, and getting everything ready for the holidays, I’ve barely glanced at my laptop or had the chance to even walk by a movie theater.
The withdrawals are real, yo.
But finally, finally, finally everything has calmed down and I had the chance to watch not one, not two, not three, but FOUR movies in the past week and a half. My parents have recently become a little obsessed with the iPic Theater experience and even though the closest one to us is a good hour drive away in Boca Raton, they refuse to accept another way to watch movies that doesn’t include complimentary popcorn, reclining seats, and waiter service.
And if they’re paying, then I’m not complaining.
In all seriousness though, if there is an iPic Theater near where you live, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s always an awesome time, and completely redefines a moviegoing experience. Especially if you’re like me and take the entire process way too seriously and insist on weird habits like staying in your seat until all the credits are through…
ANYWAY. So the four films I saw this break were Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I really want to focus on the latter two and get my thoughts down while they’re still fresh in my mind but first a few quick words about Frozen:
1. If you have a sister, go see Frozen.
2. If you complain about Disney princesses, go see Frozen.
3. If you’re in love with Idina Menzel (don’t lie, everyone is), go see Frozen.
4. You know what, just go see Frozen, it’s adorable, funny, heartbreaking, empowering, and wonderful okay goodbye.
And a few words about Saving Mr. Banks:
1. It’s a highly enjoyable family film especially for a family like mine who grew up watching Mary Poppins.
2. Sometimes I think my mom is Mary Poppins.
3. I want Julie Andrews to be my adoptive grandmother.
4. I’m getting a little off-topic.
5. Both Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson give insanely great performances but I do think Tom Hanks didn’t have as much of a chance to really develop and get into the character of Walt Disney as I thought he would. Not by any fault of his own, but the film is entirely focused on the character of P.L. Travers which is totally fine and wonderful but it seems like a missed opportunity to give such an astounding actor like Tom Hanks such a legendary role and then not give him the chance to dive into it as completely as he might have under different source material.
6. My only main complaint with the film is the overbearing reliance on flashbacks. Emma Thompson is a strong enough actress to carry the background of her character in her performance and while a certain amount of storytelling is necessary through those flashbacks, the film really overdid it. We get it. She had a difficult childhood. Show me, don’t tell me. And Emma Thompson did show me. But the film insisted on spelling it out, which sucked.
7. Other than that, I recommend it. For me, Mary Poppins is one of the movies that defined my childhood and if you get as strong a sense of nostalgia as I do from it, then you’ll definitely enjoy Saving Mr. Banks.
8. Side note: my family got back from the theater at almost midnight and the first thing we did was drag out our old VCR, put on our pjs, and watch Marry Poppins in its original VHS format. Absolutely amazing.
Woo. Okay so a few more words than I originally intended but you all know by know how easily I get carried away. I kinda like this list format so without further ado, a list of feelings from American Hustle:
1. I think American Hustle is gonna be one of those movies that in like 25 years people will pull out and talk about the movie stars of our generation.
2. Every single actor gives the performance of a lifetime. The film is brilliantly directed, costume/hair/scenery to die for, excellently written script, and what stands out the most is the tremendous acting talent among all of its stars.
3. The film has already picked up so much recognition from nabbing Best Picture at the NY Film Critics Circle to killing at the Golden Globes nominations with seven nods in all the major categories. After watching it myself, there is absolutely no question that every single award is more than well-deserved.
4. It’s a really crowded year for a movie this good, as the general feeling in the industry still seems to be focused on the showdown between Gravity and 12 Years A Slave. But this film might just jump out of nowhere and surprise us all.
5. Though honestly it really wouldn’t be that grand of a surprise because it’s a damn good movie.
6. I highly highly highly recommend it. Instant classic and a reunion of sorts for David O. Russell whose work I have always admired.
7. Speaking of, can we talk about this guy’s luck? With The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, and now American Hustle, he might just pull of a Hollywood hat trick. Kudos Dave. Kudos.
Annnnd last not but absolutely not least, The Wolf of Wall Street:
1. This was one of my most anticipated films of 2013 and what a fitting way to wrap up the year. Coming from one of my top favorite directors and starring the actual love of my life, I could hardly sit still in my comfy reclining seat with the complimentary blanket wrapped around me (iPic guyz, I’m telling ya)
2. Speaking of, it was almost impossible to get seats for this movie and my parents and I ended up snagging the last three seats of the 11:00pm showing. Knowing the film’s 3hr run time, I was worried I would get drowsy and miss certain subtleties (which kinda sorta maybe happened with the 11:00pm showing of American Hustle). Give credit where credit is due, but I was completely hooked from the first second. Astounding direction and editing made every single minute of those 3hrs completely necessary. I never felt any moment of excess and that’s saying something.
3. Quick note on the trailer/marketing strategy for this movie: OH MY GOD. And by that I mean, the first thing I realized was that the entire trailer was made up of clips from the first 20 minutes of the movie. How insane is that?! It’s so smart. Hype it up to the point of hysteria and then boom, everything you know about the movie from the trailer has been touched on before the first half hour is up and now you have two and a half hours of who knows what and oh my god if that isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever seen… Also sneaky how they have Matthew McConaughey as such an integral part of the trailer and then LOL he has a ten minute part in the movie. Sneaky sneaky. But so smart oh man from someone who wants to go into film publicity, I mean wow. Okay.
4. I know it’s going to sound like I’m biased but I swear this is a completely objective opinion: Leonardo DiCaprio gave the performance of his life. I mean, absolutely blew me away. He just has an approach to acting that is so intensely genuine. He completely delves into whatever character he’s playing, whether or not he’s the right fit for it or not (re: Aviator) and that’s what makes him stand out. But this time… It was unlike anything I’d seen from him before. He straight up killed it and there is no question about it. I can’t stand when people say he’s overrated. You may have your criticisms of some of the roles he’s played but there is no denying his talent. And it’s as clear as ever in this film. I mean, literally completely blew me away.
5. On that note, I’m actually so upset this is such a crowded year in the Best Actor category. There is no doubt Leo deserves a nomination if not a win, but the way things are going who knows if he’ll get even that. And this isn’t one of those give-this-man-an-oscar things. He really really really earned it with this performance. More than anything I’ve seen from him in recent years.
6. But also yeah I’ll say it, somebody give that man an Oscar.
7. I debated touching on the whole debate that’s currently going on about whether or not the film glorifies the actions of its protagonist and doesn’t focus enough on the victims who were hurt badly by his schemes and whether it’s ethical or moral or whatever to create such a film based on such immoral or awful or whatever source material. All I’m gonna say on that note is I think the film is a sort of Rorschach Test. Whether you watch it and sympathize with the guy or hate him or whatever, it speaks more to what the film says about you. Rather than the other way around. And in a way, I think that’s a really interesting thing to get from a movie. All these different interpretations and reactions. That’s when you know you have something good.
Alriiiiiight that is all I have for now. What a year it’s been for movies. And it’s not even over yet! There’s some releases I’ve been waiting forever for coming up after the new year so I’ll be back soon enough. I’ll be out of the country the 30th to the 6th and will probably squeeze in at least 3 more movies before I go back to Boston on the 15th and then of course then there’s the Golden Globes on January 12th and Oscar nominations a few days later on the 16th so lots of stuff to look forward to!
So until next time cinephiles~ happy new year!
See ya on the other side 🙂