Being ill over the last few weeks has given me lots of time; something I usually feel I have very little of. The problem is that being ill means I’ve not been able to do anything with this time except sleep, cough, sneeze, sleep, watch TV, cough, make warm drinks, cough, watch TV and cough again.
The only plus is that I have been able to catch up on a few films which had been stacking up. None of these were particularly special to me prior to watching. Some were films I’d seen before and some were intriguing. All were ones I was happy to waste a few hours viewing.
Here they are with a few comments and reflections:
My Sister’s Keeper – is the story of a young girl, Anna, genetically selected to help her sister who is suffering with leukaemia, who decides she has had enough and takes her parents to court to gain rights over her own body. Having read the original Jodi Piccoult book I was very disappointed that the ending had been changed completely. Thankfully the rest of the film was extremely moving and beautifully directed as it tells the story of the whole family, not just Anna’s story. Definitely one to keep the tissue box close at hand.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – with a cast list as impressive as this film it would be sad if the film was not a total triumph. And what a triumph! Inspirational, uplifting, moving (yep, you’ll want that tissue box again), funny, delightful and wonderfully acted and directed. I cannot recommend it more highly. A couple of hours well spent.
The Amazing Spider-Man – action-packed with some lighter moments. If you love action movies it is worth an hour or too.
Mona Lisa Smile – sweet, challenging and tear-jerking. An art-loving teacher takes a post in an exclusive school for girls at a time when “modernism” is frowned upon and challenges her students and the authorities through her teaching methods and content. The predictability in the lives of a couple of the girls should be overlooked for the sake of a film which is otherwise beautifully written, directed and acted. Throughout it pours out challenging reminders that being given a choice in what we do and how we become is sometimes the most important point of all.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader – the most recent of the Narnia triology of films. Light, frothy and mostly entertaining. The film misses out on much of the challenging morality of the earlier films and at times seems unnecessarily drawn out. The high points include the return journey into and out of Narnia and the complete transformation of cousin Eustace (in more ways than one). Generally entertaining and enjoyable for kids but I wouldn’t rush to buy it.
The Polar Express – why did it take me so long to watch this? A truly beautiful animation for anyone who loves Christmas. The wonder of hero boy’s journey to the North Pole on the magical Polar Express stayed with me in the dark, gloomy days after watching this. I loved every second and will be adding it to the list of “Christmas classics” for future years. Do I believe? Absolutely!
The Nightmare Before Christmas – a true Stop Motion Animation Disney classic based on Tim Burton’s story of the same name where the land of Halloween accidentally meets Christmas Town with almost disasterous consequences. The film is packed with great innovative songs by Danny Elfman (“What’s This?”, “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” and “Making Christmas” are just some of my highlights) and gorgeously weird characters like the Mayor with the spinning head and Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King and hero of the story. A surprisingly entertaining and tongue-in-cheek antidote to the usual Christmas cheese. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
I am sure there will be more in 2013, if a little more challenging to find the time to sit and watch them. I will keep you posted.
In the meantime, drop me a line and let me know what your favourite film was this Christmas!