I think we could say I have an (absolutely healthy) obsession with movie watching since I view between 10 and 15 films a week (no idea when I find the time…).
Anyway, here are my 4 favourites from last week: 2 new movies out in the theatres at the minute and 2 older ones that you can stream at home.
Movies in the theatres now
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I honestly thought this one was going to be a The Fault in our Stars part II, and yes the storyline is pretty much the same: a teenage girl with cancer starting this new cute friendship with this other teenage boy. I still went to see it because the critics were so positive and I wanted to judge it for myself and I admit I could not have been more wrong. Don’t get me wrong, The Fault in our Stars was okay, but just a bit too americano-sentimental for my taste. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was, in my opinion, much more interesting and original.
Basically the story is that Greg (Thomas Mann) and Earl (Ronald Cyler II) are what Greg calls “co-workers” since they were little and they make a habit of shooting short remakes of famous movies for fun (Senior Citizen Cane, The 400 Bros, Ate 1/2 (of my lunch), Rosemary Baby Carrots, Death in Tennis just to name a few).
Greg’s mum makes him hang out with a girl from school, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who he knows since they were kids but not very well, as she was just diagnosed with leukaemia. He goes reluctantly really just to please his mother, but then, of course, this great friendship starts between the two. Rachel starts watching all the Greg and Earl movies avidly while her health gets poorer and poorer. Then, Rachel’s super-hot best friend manages (pretty easily…) to make the boys promise that they would make a film for Rachel, which then happens to be the most difficult task they ever had to do as they want it to be perfect and not too goofy like most of the movies they’d done before.
I’m not going to say more because I don’t want to spoil too much, but what I can say is that it’s of course very moving, which could easily have fell into something really sappy and emotional, but it’s not, it’s just a really well done movie. The three teenage actors are also pretty amazing: Thomas Mann as this lost teenage boy with very low self-esteem and who is afraid to commit to any friendship too much, Olivia Cooke as a scared sick girl torn between fighting for her life and for her mum and giving up, and Ronald Cyler II as the best friend of the main character, who’s used to taking his crap all the time up to a point. Also, Parks and Recreation fans, you are going to loooove seeing Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) as Greg’s hippie father, always dressed in long boubou robes and only eating tofu and seaweeds! Priceless!
Ricki and the Flash
Meryl Streep like you never seen her before! She plays Ricki, a middle aged rock’n’roll redneck-ish woman who works at a grocery store during the day but who really lives and breathes for her rock band Ricki and the Flash with who she plays at night in an LA bar.
Her ex-husband calls her one day to tell her that their daughter is deeply depressed after her husband left her for another woman and he asks Ricki to come over to help. Ricki flies over rather reluctantly only to find that neither her daughter nor her two other sons are particularly happy to see her… She’s not so much of a traditional caring and loving mother, you see. Ricki is obviously not part of the same world as the rest of her family, but she still tries her best to help her daughter get through this rough patch and to reconnect with her family.
It’s not the film of the year I’ll give you that, but it’s a nice feel good movie, and I’m sure I’m just stating the obvious here, but Meryl Streep is absolutely perfect in the role, as always! You obviously dislike the character who has never been around for her kids and who plays it cool and rock’n’roll but who votes Bush, is kinda racist and who doesn’t think much of homosexuals, but nevertheless, you somehow can’t help liking her a bit because she’s moving and she lives for her passion. Pretty good music throughout the film too if you’re a rock’n’roll buff! Oh and gosh Meryl can sing, so she can!
Movies to stream
The Debt (2010)
First in 1965, three Mossad agents, Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain), David Peretz (Sam Worthington) and Stefan Gold (Marton Csokas) are in East Berlin for a mission to capture a Nazi war criminal known as “The Surgeon of Birkenau” for his horrible medical experiments on Jews during WWII and bring him to Israel to be judged.
Then in 1997, Rachel (Helen Mirren) is now an honourable old woman with a huge scar accross her face. Her daughter is having a release party in Tel Aviv for her book based on the 1965 accounts of her mother, Stefan and David. Older David (Ciarán Hinds) is shown escorted from his apartment by an Israeli government agent. He sees older Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) waiting in another car and mysteriously kills himself by stepping in front of a truck under the eyes of a shocked and confused Stefan.
The rest of the film is a mix of past and present and we get to understand more and more what really happened in 1965 when Rachel, David and Stefan did manage to capture The Surgeon of Birkenau compared to what they said happened.
It’s a truly captivating movie that will keep you breathless until the very end! But what did you expect with such a brilliant cast!
Winter’s Bone (2010)
Jennifer Lawrence plays 17-year-old Ree who cares alone for her little brother and sister and her mentally ill mother in extreme poverty while her father Jessup, a meth dealer, is missing.
One day, the local Sheriff comes to tell Ree that they will lose the house (the only thing they have), if her father does not show up for his court date as the house was put up as part of his bond. To protect her family from eviction, Ree sets out to find Jessup, in a world of meth, violence and inbreeding.
Gosh, Jennifer Lawrence is excellent in this role that must not have been easy to play (no wonder she’s the best paid actress in the world!). It’s a difficult film to watch, however it makes us remember that we don’t have to go far to see people living in extreme poverty and violence, and we should feel lucky to have food and a roof over our heads (and not live in a meth-head village…).
Hope that I’ve made you want to watch some of these films! If you have, let me know your thoughts on them!
Thanks for reading folks!