The Theory of Everything. "There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope." I put off watching this for so long - I'm a total cry baby when it comes to sad films and the trailer alone had me in floods of tears! Fortunately I forced myself to sit through it and my only regret was the fact I hadn't done so sooner. The story follows the life of famous scientist Stephen Hawking; focusing on his diagnosis of ALS, his relationship with first wife Jane and his triumphs in physics. The film is incredibly poignant in parts and I have no shame in admitting that I sobbed through most of it. I was so emotionally attached to all the characters and couldn't help but feel inspired by Stephen's incredible journey. He really is the most remarkable man and Eddie's portrayal of him is just about the best performance I've ever seen - he 100% deserved that Oscar win! This is one of those films that has you going over every scene in your head for days after - it's earned a firm place amongst some of my all-time favourites. My rating: 5/5
La La Land. As a devote lover of both Ryan Gosling and musicals, I was super eager to watch La La Land and arranged a cinema date with a friend not long after it was released. The film centres around Mia (Emma Stone) a struggling waitress who's desperate to make it onto the silver screen, and Sebastian (Ryan), a passionate pianist who dreams of opening his own Jazz bar. The two meet in unlikely circumstances and eventually fall in love.
For me personally, this failed to live up to its rave reviews. While I did enjoy the film (the second half more so), it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. I thought the singing was weak and the soundtrack forgettable.
Saying that, I loved the relationship between the two main characters (Ryan and Emma have amazing chemistry) and I'd be lying if I said I didn't grin like a loon when Sebastian took Mia's hand in the cinema. I also thought the cinematography was beautiful and I enjoyed the nostalgic nod to Hollywood's Golden Age. This isn't a bad film by any means, it just didn't give me goosebumps like I was hoping it would. My rating: 2.5/5
The Danish Girl. I remember the hype surrounding this a few years back and after being so impressed with The Theory of Everything I decided to indulge in an Eddie Redmayne-marathon. The Danish Girl tells the story of painter Einar Wegener, one of the first known recipients of sex-reassignment surgery. Set amongst the backdrop of 1920's Paris, the film is visually stunning - I adored the set design and costumes. Unfortunately that's where the positives end for me.
I couldn't help but feel majorly disappointed in this film - I almost turned it off halfway through I was so bored! I didn't feel emotionally attached to any of the characters nor was I particularly moved or touched by the sadder scenes. Eddie's performance as Lili Elbe seemed almost like a caricature to me - it felt so overdone (although I loved Alicia Vikander, who plays his wife). I really wanted to like this but sadly I was left feeling disenchanted. My rating: 1/5
The Girl on the Train. This is the second time I've seen this film since its release last year - I was worried it wouldn't do the novel justice but it exceeded all my expectations! For those of you who don't know the plot (seriously, where have you been?!) The Girl on the Train centers around Rachel Watson, a lonely alcoholic who becomes dangerously involved in a missing persons case. She spends the majority of the story piecing together clues before everything comes together in a grisly twist.
I know many people were disappointed with the film taking place in America rather than London (the book's original setting). Personally this didn't bother me. I thought Emily Blunt did an amazing job as Rachel - she was exactly how I imagined her - although I didn't care for the other two female characters. My main criticism is I found it a lot easier to predict who the 'villain' was... obviously I already knew what happened but I felt even if I didn't I'd have seen it coming a mile off. Regardless, I thought this was a really strong adaption and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller. My rating: 4/5
Christine. Biopics/character studies are one of my favourite genres so I was really intrigued by this. Christine is based on the true story of Christine Chubbuck, an American news reporter who shot herself in the head on live TV in 1974.
The film begins ten days prior to Christine's death, focusing on her struggle with depression, her frustrations at work and her suffering of an unrequited love. I often think it must be difficult for film makers to keep a plot interesting when the viewers already know how it ends, but this kept me engrossed throughout. The suicide scene is every bit as intense and unsettling as I expected it to be and the story overall just broke my heart. I did enjoy this film but if I'm honest I'm not sure I wholly agree with it being made - I can understand why it was so controversial. My rating: 3.5/5
Beauty and the Beast. "If she is the one who'll break the spell, you must finally learn to love..." Anyone who knows me will be aware that the original Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favourite films, so I had high expectations for the remake! My friend and I went to see it at the cinema last night and I completely fell in love with it. The entire cast was fabulous - they all had incredible chemistry, especially Emma and Dan. I had tears in my eyes throughout!
The film is very true to the 1991 classic, albeit a few additional plot lines. I wasn't a big fan of the extra songs but I understand the writers' desire to put a fresh spin on the original score. The animated version is still my favourite but I was really impressed with the remake - I already can't wait to see it again! My rating: 5/5
What have you been watching recently? x