Film diary: 1/20

If you’re on Letterboxd, I’m here.

Films seen: 24
Films directed by women: 2
Strong recommendations: Little Women, Marriage Story, The Big Short, Midsommar

Full list follows:

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017, dir. David Soren)
It’s really funny, and I like the 2.5D animation style. Not sure I need another one, though. (1/1/20)

Frozen II (2019, dir. Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee)
Much better than the first one, and back up to the regular standard of Disney movies. I even did a little cry at “Show Yourself”. Then again, there are loads of great Disney movies, so there’s a long queue of rewatches before I’ll choose this one again. (2/1/20)

The Golden Compass (2007, dir. Chris Weitz)
Watching this really makes you thankful for Jack Thorne and box set television. I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed. Full review here. (11/1/20, rewatch)

J’ai Perdu Mon Corps (I Lost My Body) (2019, dir. Jérémy Clapin)
Exactly the sort of animation I like. (11/1/20)

Little Women (2019, dir. Greta Gerwig)
Little Women is only a brilliant film if you want to cry all the way through it. Full review here. (14/1/20)

The Two Popes (2019, dir. Fernando Meirelles)
Not every film is life changing, some are just a few pleasant hours of entertainment. Full review here. (16/1/20)

Wild Rose (2019, dir. Tom Harper)
A decent feelgood British drama, elevated by Buckley and Walters’ performances and the music. Would have liked a little more Okenedo. (16/1/20)

Heavy Metal (1981, dir. Gerald Potterton)
This film should be right up my street. Instead, it’s a listless, tedious, misogynistic mess. (17/1/20)

Amazing Grace (2019, dir. Sydney Pollack, Alan Elliott)
Great fly-on-the-wall music doc, whatever your taste in records. (18/1/20)

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (2018, dir. Morgan Neville)
Heartwarming, not too sentimental, and the right length. (18/1/20)

The Laundromat (2019, dir. Steven Soderbergh)
Stylish and engaging. (18/1/20)

Dolemite Is My Name (2019, dir. Craig Brewer)
I like the films these two write a lot, and this is another good’un. It’s also great to see Eddie Murphy working at his level again. (19/1/20)

Munchausen (2013, dir. Ari Aster)
Excellent, macabre short silent film. (20/1/20)

WHAT DID JACK DO? (2017, dir. David Lynch)
What I love about Lynch’s work is its ability to completely short circuit my brain. Full review here. (20/1/20, watched it twice)

Three Identical Strangers (2018, dir. Tim Wardle)
Fascinating, troubling story, compellingly told. (20/1/20)

Moneyball (2011, dir. Bennett Miller)
Makes me want to revive my Football Manager career. (22/1/20)

Marriage Story (2019, dir. Noah Baumbach)
I’m predisposed to like any film with Sondheim. It’s a film which manages to be an experience, which is one of the best things you can say about a film. Second Laura Dern film this month. I love Laura Dern. (22/1/20)

Midsommar (2019, dir. Ari Aster)
This is exactly the film I wanted Ari Aster to make. Part of “watch everything the young Little Women stars have been in” season. (23/1/20)

Free Fire (2016, dir. Ben Wheatley)
I really like the physicality of this film. (24/1/20)

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story (2018, dir. Steve Sullivan)
A joyous celebration and a cautionary tale, you need this film in your life. (25/1/20)

The Cat Returns (2002, dir. Hiroyuki Morita)
A lesser Studio Ghibli film, which means it’s still fun, charming and well-animated. (25/1/20, rewatch)

The Big Short (2015, dir. Adam McKay)
No-one wants to feel patronised by the director of Anchorman. However, when a film about financial trading is this funny, slick, and horrifying, you have to suck it up and give the film its due. (26/1/20)

1917 (2019, dir. Sam Mendes)
Love the acting and cinematography, but I wish I’d learned something. (30/1/20)

Oh! What A Lovely War (1969, dir. Richard Attenborough)
Oh! What A Long Film (31/1/20)

Addendum: I felt a little guilty about not really appreciating Oh! What A Lovely War, so I looked up Roger Ebert’s review to try and understand it better. His very first paragraph reads:

It’s a mistake to review “Oh! What a Lovely War” as a movie. It isn’t one, but it is an elaborately staged tableau, a dazzling use of the camera to achieve essentially theatrical effects. And judged on that basis, Richard Attenborough has given us a breathtaking evening.

Roger Ebert, 30 October 1969

So now I get why I didn’t get it. Roger Ebert, what a critic.

2 replies on “Film diary: 1/20”

Heavy Metal is a cinematic masterpiece. Who doesn’t like campy cartoon 80’s films about aliens, wars, and intergalactic space battles???


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