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La La Land

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Poster for the movie "La La Land"

La La Land

Here's to the fools who dream.

20162 h 08 min
Overview

Mia, an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian, a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars, but as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

Metadata
Director Damien Chazelle
Runtime 2 h 08 min
Release Date 1 December 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Masterpiece
Images

Here’s to the dreamers…

I’ve been looking forward to this film with a ridiculous amount of anticipation which as we know often goes badly wrong, but NOT this time!

Everything about this film is wonderful, except maybe for the cheesy first five minutes.  Get through that, leave your cynicism at the door and prepare for some cinema joy.  This is the musical made fresh with passion and delightful exuberance.  Emma Stone is both feisty and vulnerable as Mia.  Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian with just right amount of buttoned up-ness.  The dancing is gorgeous, the colours are sunny and warm.  I hate jazz (or maybe I don’t now!) but the music was fabulous.  Oh it even has a touch of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.

Seriously this is the best antidote to the gloomy January blues, and if you even have a tiny sliver of romance in your icy, cynical heart go and see it!

The Girl on the Train

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Poster for the movie "The Girl on the Train"

The Girl on the Train

What you see can hurt you.

20161 h 52 min
Overview

Rachel Watson, an alcoholic who divorced her husband Tom after she caught him cheating on her, takes the train to work daily. She fantasises about the relationship of her neighbours, Scott and Megan Hipwell, during her commute. That all changes when she witnesses something from the train window and Megan is missing, presumed dead.

Metadata
Director Tate Taylor
Runtime 1 h 52 min
Release Date 6 October 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images

I had listened to the audio book several months before going to see this at the cinema and was anticipating it in that way you do when you have really enjoyed a book and are wondering how many ways the film can butcher it.  In this case there was also the concern that the British location of the original had been transferred to the USA.

Of course, in a film there is never the luxury of time that a book can give to a story as it meanders through the inner lives of characters, so it’s unfair to judge like for like.  However in this case I was happily surprised, although some parts seemed skimmed (Megan’s backstory, for example) for the most part this was an excellent interpretation.  Emily Blunt did a great job as the alcoholic Rachel and even though the ending wasn’t a surprise this was a much more positive experience than I had anticipated.

 

Bridget Jones’ Baby

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Poster for the movie ""

Bridget Jones's Baby

20161 h 37 min
Overview

Breaking up with Mark Darcy leaves Bridget Jones over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets a dashing and handsome American named Jack. Things couldn't be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mom-to-be must figure out if the proud papa is Mark or Jack.

Metadata
Director Sharon Maguire
Runtime 1 h 37 min
Release Date 15 September 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Very good
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

Leaving the cinema, weeping, at lunchtime…it’s many years since I’ve done that and it’s all Bridget’s fault!  This was the kind of film that manipulates emotions more deftly than an X-factor audition, lays on the corn with a trowel and requires a suspension of disbelief way above and beyond… but all that said, I loved it.  There’s something about the vulnerable, awkward nature of Bridget, mixed with a little kookiness that is just so appealing, you can’t help rooting for her.  There were some genuinely funny lines, a little visual humour, good support from the repressed Darcy, what’s not to love?   And who turned out to be the father of Bridget’s baby? I couldn’t possibly say.

Edit – almost forgot, the soundtrack is great too (awkward little cameo from Ed Sheeran) and includes one of my all time favourites, F*ck You by the lovely Lily Allen.

How To Be Single

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Poster for the movie ""

How to Be Single

Welcome to the party

20161 h 35 min
Overview

New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Metadata
Director Christian Ditter
Runtime 1 h 35 min
Release Date 10 February 2016
Details
Movie Status
Movie Rating Average
Images
No images were imported for this movie.

Trying very hard to be the all new and feminist version of Sex and the City, (complete with voice over) this rom-com about how to find a man in New York attempts to subvert the genre but falls quite a bit short of the mark.  Despite there being a few laughs it felt pointless and devoid of any real feeling, as empty as a really bad one night stand.  I can’t fault the cast, they did what they could with questionable material but in the end it didn’t deliver the goods.  It was neither a shining light of feminism or so funny it didn’t matter.