Written and directed by Mike Mills, Beginners is a film that deals a lot with loneliness. After his mother’s death, Oliver (Ewan McGregor)’s father, Hal (Christopher Plummer) is diagnosed with stage-four cancer. At the age of 75, he also comes out of the closet and starts living the time of his life. After Hal has passed away, Oliver becomes depressed until he meets a French actress, Anna. They try to make their relationship work while both struggling with issues of their own.
As you can see, this week’s blog is going to be more of a tangent. I procrastinated a little too much last week so I have to do two blogs this week and I just don’t have the time or energy to write two film reviews back to back. (Learn from my mistakes people) I’m currently binge-watching How I Met Your Mother for probably the tenth time around and I thought it would be interesting to share some of my thoughts on the show. I’ve been writing about some pretty sad and heavy films so it’s nice to have a change of direction and talk about the theme of love in one of my all-time favorite comedy.
I watched Moonlight several months ago and finally decided to write about it. I thought I would just share my complete review for this week’s blog.
Moonlight is definitely one of the most beautiful, most elegantly executed film I’ve ever seen. Written and directed by Barry Jenkins, and based on Tarell Alvin McCarney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, it is a coming-of-age story about a young black man from the hardscrabble streets of Miami. In correspondence to the different stages of the main character’s life and consequently the different names he identifies with, the film is divided into three parts – “Little,” “Chiron,” and “Black.” Chiron has a remarkably high tolerance for pain incompatible with his age. His mother, Paula, is a drug addict. The closest thing he has to a father figure is Juan, a drug dealer whose all-time favorite customer is ironically Chiron’s mother. Kevin, the only person from Chiron’s school who has ever showed him any kindness, beats him up the day after they share an intimate moment on the beach. Yet somehow, as he grows up, Chiron finds it in himself to love the people who never showed him any love when he needed it the most.
I watched Manhattan by Woody Allen for my English class a while back, and I thought I would write about it this week.
The film centers around a television writer Isaac Davis (Woody Allen) and his relationships with three women: his ex-wife, Jill ((Meryl Streep), who leaves him for another woman, a high school girl, Tracey (Mariel Hemingway), whom he at first dismisses but later realizes to be the love of his life, and Mary (Diane Keeton), a brainy, sophisticated writer who eventually leaves him for his best friend.
I decided to write about La La Land by Damien Chazelle this week. It is a L.A. love story between a jazz musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring young actress, Mia (Emma Stone). The brilliant, Oscar-winning (YAY) Chazelle delivered the story in the form of a musical. It’s very nostalgic; Chazelle pays tribute to many classic ninetieth musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris, but the story itself is modern and Chazelle definitely made it into his own style.
I have to say that I’m truly surprised by how much I’m in love with this film. I’m not a fan of musicals and am pretty cynical when it comes to romantic dramas, especially ones like this where everything is just so over-the-top romanticized. So it may seem like besides Ryan Gosling’s beautiful face, there shouldn’t be any reason for me to like this film at all. But in the midst of all the dancing and singing and floating in the planetarium, La La Land really touched me, evidenced by my crying hysterically for the both times I watched it in the theater and the many times on my laptop.
For my project, I’ll be writing reviews on films with the broad theme of love. I’ll focus more on the analysis of characters and storylines instead of the technicality of filmmaking since it’s not my area of expertise.
In light of Valentine’s Day, I watched Blue Valentine by Dereck Cianfrance this week, and here’s my complete review on the movie.