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Going Off Topic (#25) Crazy, Stupid, Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Whether you’re on a fancy getaway this weekend or having a microwave meal in front of the TV, I hope you have a fab time. I feel like my last few Off Topic posts have been a bit dull and depressing, so I’m going to try and lighten the mood today. Tonight, once the kiddo is in bed, me and my husband will be cooking up a storm with the fancy meal deal we picked up from Marks & Spencers and polishing off a bottle of red wine, whilst watching our annual traditional Valentine’s movie of Crazy, Stupid, Love!

Speaking of the kiddo, when she isn’t robbing me of sleep or causing me endless anxiety, she’s absolutely hilarious lately. She always has been, but she’s starting to speak in full sentences and she’s so crafty and clever. The other day I offered her a dinner of pasta or chicken and her response was “Ermm…chocolate coins”. Yesterday she spent most of the day telling me she wanted to go and see Santa. I work from home on Wednesdays so we spend the day together and usually try to sneak in a trip to the library or soft play. Here she is – eating a cake in her own special way and just generally looking cooler than I ever wish I could!

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February has been a very mixed month for movies, so far. I’m keeping up my momentum of watching as many movies as I can which has been great, but I’ve seen very few great movies this month. The huge exception is Birds of Prey, or Harley Quin: Birds of Prey, or whatever WB decide to call it in an attempt to stick a plaster/bandaid on the hurt they’ve caused by not bothering to tell anyone their own movie exists.

I’ve finished Season 2 of Sex Education finally, and I’m fully on board with the hype now. My brother was telling me that his college’s bathrooms are plastered with posters of Eric and his famous line “Wash your hands, you detty pig!” I’m so, so angry with Isaac though! I hated his character at first but really warmed to him, and I’d have been happy for him to get together with Maeve, but what he did in the last episode was unforgivable.

I also started to watch The Outsider which is looking really promising so far. Out of the very few books I’ve actually read – this is one of them so I’m excited to see how closely the story follows the book! In amongst all of this I’ve been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix which is a terrible guilty pleasure of mine.

So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – have a fantabulous weekend!

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What I Watched: December 2019 & January 2020

Hello February! Thank goodness those 20 weeks of January are finally over. I got so caught up in putting together my Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists that I forgot to do a little roundup of everything I watched in December, so you’ve got a double whammy from me today. I’ve watched loads, and just haven’t found the time to write full reviews for a lot of what I’ve seen! Shame on me, but here are a few words on what I’ve been watching over the last two months.

Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

Yes, I’m having a weird Andy Samberg phase, okay? Don’t judge me. There’s only so much joy rewatching terrible Adam Driver movies can bring me. I didn’t love Celeste & Jesse Forever as much as I hoped, but only because they were so funny together at the start I never wanted it to end, even though I knew it made sense.

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Funny Games (2007)

This movie was WILD. Thank you to whoever recommended it to me probably about 4 years ago, it’s been sat on my watchlist ever since. At face value it’s a fairly straightforward house invasion movie, but just with that little extra. Such a good ending, too.

The Kitchen (2019)

Honestly? This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It got a bit too much towards the end but I was really into Elisabeth Moss’ character’s story and how she completely turned herself around from being pushed around to being a badass. It also has a vest-wearing Domnhall Gleeson sawing up a dead body in a bathtub. Which isn’t even the weirdest thing I’ve seen him do in a movie.

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Klaus (2019)

I can’t believe I never got around to doing a full review for Klaus. What an amazing little gem of an animated Christmas movie by Netflix! I was thrilled when it won a BAFTA and at this rate, if I even bother to stay up for the Oscars it’ll be to find out if Klaus wins again.

Black Christmas (2019)

Absolute garbage. I always try to find the good in a movie but the only thing Black Christmas had going for it was that it was so trashy, it was kind of fun to watch and poke fun of it.

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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

The first Jumanji remake was surprisingly decent, and even though I knew The Next Level was getting okay reviews I still didn’t believe it could be any good. For me, it worked, because it was very much more of the same, but if you weren’t a fan of the first then you won’t like this, either. The highlight for me was Awkwafina, who somehow does a better Danny Devito impression than the man himself!

Parasite (2019)

What a movie. I thought I knew where the story was going. I was comparing it to Us (2019). Then wow. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! To anyone hesitant about getting into foreign-language movies because of the subtitles – give this a go. I’ve seen woefully few myself, but if this movie doesn’t convince you to watch more then nothing will.

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Five Feet Apart (2019)

I put so much pressure on myself on New Years Day to start 2020 with an amazing movie that I watched nothing at all. I saw Five Feet Apart instead on January 2nd. Cried like a bitch. Regretted nothing.

Hot Rod (2007)

Yes, I started hunting down Andy Samberg movies on Netflix. DON’T JUDGE, remember? I had a blast watching Hot Rod and I’m gutted I waited so long to see it. It’s one of those movies where if I watched it when it first came out, I’d have seen it 20 times by now, and still be quoting it on a daily basis.

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The Irishman (2019)

I only watched The Irishman because I try to see all the Oscars Best Picture nominees before the actual night. Yes I know it’s got legendary actors, yes I know it’s directed by Martin Scorsese but it was LONG and it was DULL and you’ll never change my mind.

The Other Guys (2010)

After slogging through The Irishman I needed something fun and dumb to relax, and a bunch of you recommended The Other Guys when I made a list of my favourite Will Ferrell movies. I love you guys. This movie was so funny!

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That’s My Boy (2012)

…oh, this awful Adam Sandler movie stars Andy Samberg? Huh, weird. It’s almost like I’m stooping to really low levels…*cough*

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

I love a good mystery, and despite the lukewarm reviews, I was still keen to see Motherless Brooklyn. It was worth it for Edward Norton’s performance but it was lacking in so many places. It was too slow to make the reveal worth it, sadly.

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Ford v Ferrari / Le Mans ’66 (2019)

Can we not give movies 2 very different names, and use both? My brain can’t cope. Anyway, I enjoyed this so much more than I expected. I like Christian Bale but I’ve never really raved about him, but he was so good here! The final race was thrilling, and I was kind of sad when the whole thing was over.

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019)

This just wasn’t my cup of tea, to be honest. It took me at least half the movie to really get into it, and as much as I love Margot Robbie (she’s amazing) she just felt a bit wasted here. Some of the editing was really weird, too!

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Cats (2019)

Oh, what a movie to end on. Silly, naive me thought all the negativity around Cats was overexaggerated, and musicals usually win me over so I thought I might actually enjoy it. I didn’t. It was weird. Creepy. And every time someone said ‘Jellicle’ I only heard ‘genital’ which I can’t tell made it better or worse.

I also watched The Shining (1980), Doctor Sleep (2019) and Your Name. (2016) but haven’t included them here because I’m planning on writing full posts for them. If you missed any of my full reviews over the last 2 months here they are:

Knives Out (2019)
Frozen II (2019)
Noelle (2019)
Marriage Story (2019)
6 Underground (2019)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Little Women (2019)
The Gentlemen (2020)
Just Mercy (2019)
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
1917 (2019)
Bad Boys for Life (2020)

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LAMB Devours the Oscars 2020: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Originally posted at The Large Association of Movie Blogs as part of their LAMB Devours the Oscars 2020 feature. Original link here.

I was so happy to take part in last year’s LAMB Devours the Oscars feature where I reviewed Green Book (which then went on to win Best Picture – huzzah!) so it’s great to be back again, this time discussing the Actor in a Leading Role category. I started a draft of this post a while ago starting off by saying something along the lines of how great the performances were, but how I thought it was very much a two-horse race and, well, you’ll believe me when I say I scrapped that draft.

Let’s take a look at the nominees, shall we?

Antonio Banderas, PAIN AND GLORY

It was a surprise to see Antonio Banderas here, I thought there was a chance Taron Egerton for Rocketman might just slip in after the Academy’s love for musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody but regardless, Banderas put in an excellent performance.

Jonathan Pryce, THE TWO POPES

I haven’t seen The Two Popes in full yet, I’m not embarrassed to admit it’s not my usual kind of movie, but Jonathan Pryce’s performance has kept me engaged and it’s great that he’s receiving recognition for his efforts.

Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Leonardo DiCaprio has now received 5 nominations by the Academy for Lead Actor, which is an amazing achievement. Even though I don’t always love the movies he’s in, I can’t ever say he’s turned in a bad performance. I struggled with his character in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood to begin with but he’d won me over by the end.

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Adam Driver, MARRIAGE STORY

What happened, guys? Before the awards season started, if my Twitter feed was anything to go by, Adam Driver’s name was already etched onto that shiny statue, but now I’m having to watch him lose it every awards night. Bigger film buffs than me might be able to tell you if an Actor has ever lost all the big awards but gone on to take the Oscar, but I don’t think it’s going to happen on Sunday. It’s a shame, because his role in Marriage Story is fantastic. The anger and sadness he expresses feels all too real, and I’ve always believed Adam Driver can say more with his facial expressions than he can with words. If nothing else, I hope his nomination gives him a springboard into finding that role that will eventually win him the recognition he deserves.

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Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER

Being gutted about Adam Driver losing would be manageable if it weren’t for the fact I really enjoyed Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the Joker. It’s been a very love or hate movie for most, and I can see both sides of the coin. For me, I never felt compelled to feel sorry for Phoenix’s character, Arthur. I felt saddened by what led him down the dark path he took, but never condoned his actions. Heath Ledger won an Oscar for the same character 11 years ago, and so it’ll be quite poetic when Phoenix wins.