Girl Week 2019: Female Directors of 2019

For now the 5th year running, Dell at Dell on Movies is celebrating all things female in the movie world with his Girl Week Blogathon. Last year I decided to write a post about my favourite female directors of the year, and came to a shocking discovery that out of the 47 2018 releases I’d seen so far that year, only 4 were directed by women. FOUR. Can you believe that? It meant that instead of writing about my favourite 4 movies directed by women, I had to talk about literally the only 4 movies directed by women that I’d seen!

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So this year it seemed only right to check my stats for 2019 so far and see if there’s been any difference. At the time of writing, I’ve seen 70 of this year’s releases so far, and 8 of them have been directed by women. That’s still shockingly bad, isn’t it? 2 of those 8 are co-directed by women, too.

To be completely honest – I don’t make a concentrated effort to find female-directed movies. I’d had to look up each movie in my diary on Letterboxd because I don’t pay much attention. Next year, I think I owe it to my fellow gals to actively watch their movies!

Still, 8 gives me a big enough number to at least do a Top 5, so let’s crack on with that. Missing out on my Top 5 are:
#8 Wine Country, Directed by Amy Poehler
#7 Someone Great, Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
#6 Little, Directed by Tina Gordon Chism

Which leave my Top 5 as:

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#5 Late Night, Directed by Nisha Ganatra

I’m of the opinion right now that Emma Thompson can actually do no wrong. Even in the most mediocre movie, her mere presence lights up the screen. I missed Late Night in the cinemas because of the luke-warm reviews but gave it a chance in the end. Whilst I didn’t love it, I still laughed a lot. There’s plenty to like here, even if it does get a little heavy on the politics at times.

Nisha Ganatra has also directed Chutney Popcorn (1999).

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#4 Captain Marvel, Directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden

It’s that time of year now where I sound like a broken record, “NO WAY was this released this year” but seriously, does Captain Marvel feel as recent as it is to anyone else? Perhaps it’s just because the trolls have been crying for over a year now. I’m well overdue a rewatch of Captain Marvel but flaws aside I really enjoyed it, and I thought Captain Marvel made a fine addition to the team in Endgame, too.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden also directed Half Nelson (2006).

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#3 Always Be My Maybe, Directed by Nahnatchka Khan

2019 has to go down as the year of Keanu Reeves, right? Can we all hand-on-heart honestly say we would have watched this little Netflix gem if we didn’t know Keanu Reeves had the best cameo of all time in it? Keanu aside, whilst the movie world is flooded with lame romcoms, Always Be My Maybe is one of the good, if not great ones, and is equal parts hilarious and heart warming. Well worth a watch if you haven’t already.

Always Be My Maybe (2019) is Nahnatchka Khan’s directional debut. 

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#2 Frozen 2, Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

I haven’t written my full post for Frozen 2 yet because it’s one of those movies that I really enjoyed, but ask me to talk about it and I can only nitpick at the parts I didn’t like. It IS good though. It has a big theme around growing up, and maturity, which is fitting really for it’s main audience who are 6 years older than they were when the original came out! Can you tell I’m completely avoiding talking about my feelings towards it? Watch this space…

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also directed Frozen (2013).

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#1 Booksmart, Directed by Olivia Wilde

This one sure divided opinions, huh? There’s a ‘this is the next Superbad’ camp and a ‘this is entirely overrated’ camp from what I could tell. I was never a huge fan of Superbad to be honest, but I loved Booksmart. Not all the jokes landed, but it was a perfect representation of female friendship.

Booksmart (2019) is Olivia Wilde’s directional debut.

Finally – if you don’t already follow Dell on Movies you should right that wrong straight away, keep an eye out on his blog for a Girl Week roundup next week!

Going Off Topic (#22) I Have Spoken!

It’s been quiet here this last week – partly because I haven’t watched any movies and partly because I’ve been playing The Witcher 3 far too much. It’s such a time sinker! I turn it on, tell myself I’ll only play for an hour, and before I know it I’m dropping to sleep in front of the screen because it’s 11pm and I haven’t stopped. It’s made me even more excited for the Netflix show but at the same time…Henry Cavill just isn’t my Geralt. We’ll see.

Last week I complained about Disney+ and well, let’s just say I watched the first episode of The Mandalorian anyway. In fact, by the time I publish this post I’ll have seen episode 2 as well. It’s SO GOOD. Like, better than I thought it could be. What is it with droids in Star Wars? They literally steal the show. IG-11 had me in stitches, I sure hope he can be fixed.

This weekend I’m seeing Last Christmas which I’m so excited about, despite the terrible reviews I saw on Twitter. I’m fairly sure The Report is out too so I’m going to have to stay away from games this weekend to squeeze it in.
(If it’s not blatantly obvious yet – I wrote this post last Friday expecting to post it over the weekend. I’ve seen Last Christmas. Haven’t stopped crying yet.)

In other blog news I need to highlight something that Dell at Dell on Movies is working on. For 5 years now Dell is hosting his annual Girl Week blogathon. It’s running from 25th November till 1st December and it’s all about celebrating women in the movie world. Last year I wrote a post highlighting the female directors of 2018, and I’m planning a very similar post again. Check out Dell’s announcement post here, and if you don’t follow him already, you really should!

2019 Blind Spot Movie List

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Apologies for the radio silence for the last week or so, but I’ve just been taking the time to enjoy the Christmas break, as well as deal with a lot of illnesses (and a broken TV!) in the family. I’ve spent some time planning for 2019 and part of that includes taking part in the Blind Spot challenge, created originally by Ryan at The Matinee and now hosted by Sofia at Returning Videotapes.

I’ve tried a couple of years to take part but always fell behind around Spring. I think it’s because I picked movies that although deemed classic, amazing, must-see, etc – they weren’t movies that really interested me, so it was really hard to find the drive to give up an evening for them.

This year I’ve been more realistic about what I think I would actually like to watch, and so without further ado, here are my choices for 2019:

JANUARY – Oldboy (2003)

FEBRUARY – Rear Window (1954)

MARCH – Saving Private Ryan (1998)

APRIL – Heat (1995)

MAY – The Matrix (1999)

JUNE – Gladiator (2000)

JULY – American Beauty (1999)

AUGUST – Chicago (2002)

SEPTEMBER – The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

OCTOBER – The Shining (1980)

NOVEMBER – Million Dollar Baby (2004)

DECEMBER – Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

Wish me luck! I’ll update this post with links as and when my reviews are up, and I’ll probably pin the post to the menu of my blog for easy viewing.

Girl Week 2018: Female Directors of 2018

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I’ve been following the amazing Dell of Dell on Movies for years now, and for the last 4 years, he’s hosted a week-long blogathon celebrating all females in movies, called Girl Week! I took part in his very first edition but missed the last 2, so there was no way I was going to duck out this year. If you want to find out more about Dell’s Girl Week, check out his announcement post here.

This year, I decided I wanted to celebrate the female directors of movies I’ve seen so far in 2018. Excitedly, I spend a bit of time on my Letterboxd account checking who directed all of the 2018 releases I’ve seen. The results were honestly quite shocking. Out of the 47 movies I’ve seen, only 4 were directed by women. 4! I wasn’t expecting a high figure, but I’m shocked it’s that low.

So although my post won’t be as long as I thought/hoped it would be, let me tell you about these 4 movies and what I love most about them.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Directed by Susan Johnson

This is an absolute gem of a Netflix movie. At face value, To All the Boys is a generic high school rom com with nothing new to bring to the table. Predictable it is, but it has such an infectious charm that you can’t help but love it. I’m yet to find someone who’s watched it and hasn’t enjoyed it!

Susan Johnson has also directed Carrie Pilby (2016).

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The Spy Who Dumped Me, Directed by Susanna Fogel

I only watched and reviewed this movie recently, but it’s one I had been looking forward to for a really long time. Whilst it’s not one of the greatest comedies out there that I’m going to rewatch several times, it was a lot of fun when I viewed it. The chemistry between the two lead actresses really made it worthwhile for me!

Susanna Fogel has also directed Life Partners (2014).

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Blockers, Directed by Kay Cannon

Okay everybody, raise your hand if you expected Blockers to be anywhere near as funny as it turned out to be…no one? I know, right! I’m just so glad for the bloggers out there who gave this movie a chance because I was going to skip it completely. If you haven’t watched it yet – please do! It’s one of the better comedies of this year for sure.

Blockers is Kay Cannon’s directional debut.

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I Feel Pretty, Directed by Abby Kohn (and Marc Silverstein)

From what I can gather, Amy Schumer is a bit like Marmite, people either love her or hate her. I don’t follow her activities closely enough to have formed any real judgement, and whilst I Feel Pretty wasn’t a perfect movie, it had some brilliantly funny moments and I really appreciate the sentiment that it was rooting for.

I Feel Pretty is Abby Kohn’s feature-length directional debut.

I don’t feel like I’ve been able to make this post as positive as I would have liked, but if nothing else I think I’ve highlighted the fact that we need more female directors out there!

Thank you again Dell for hosting this amazing blogathon – I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s posts!

Recap – The Dog Day Blogathon

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Happy Bank Holiday Monday to all of my UK friends! And um, happy Monday everyone else! Thanks so much to everyone who took part in the Dog Day Blogathon yesterday, I haven’t been very active lately so I didn’t work on it as much as I would have liked (lesson learnt for next time) but as promised, I want to share with you all the posts that were published for the day.

Here they are in no particular order:

Reelweegiemidget shared her 5 favourite dogs from TV and Film

Movierob re-watched Marley and Me for the occasion

Dell on Movies shares his fondness for Dottie from Coming to America

Rambling Film gives a big ‘eff you’ to dog deaths in movies, and shares 3 adorable movie dogs too!

18 Cinema Lane entered with a double whammy, with reviews of Logan Lucky and Season for Love

Tranquil Dreams posted a list packed full of her favourite on screen dogs, and even included her own gorgeous ball of fluff!

What About Movies shows us why dogs are the best, both real-life and animated

If I’ve missed your post from this list firstly a huge apology from me, but just give me a nudge in the comments and I’ll add it straight away! Once again though a huge thank you to everyone who wrote a post, tweeted, or simply shared the news of the blogathon – I’m so grateful!

The Dog Day Blogathon

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Happy National Dog Day, everyone! I’m a little early I know, or perhaps not depending on when you’re reading this, but I wanted to be first in there filling up the blogging world with our favourite good boys (and girls!). National Dog Day was started to celebrate all dogs, whether they be our family members, service dogs, guide dogs, all dogs! It’s also a day to highlight the number of dogs that need adopting. With 2 cats, a baby and a full-time job I’m not able to adopt yet (I would love to in the future!) so I thought this Blogathon would be a good alternative way to celebrate.

It’s not too late to take part if you’d like to, you can find all the details in my announcement post here!

For my post, I wanted to share my Top 5 movie dogs. I couldn’t settle on just one, and you all know how much I love my lists! Here they are, n no particular order…

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Feast (2004) – Winston

It’s a fact, all Pixar shorts make me cry, (Bao was an exception because it confused the hell out of me) and none made me cry more than Feast. If you thought your friends felt left out when you met your significant other, just imagine how your poor dog feels to be left out. Worse than that, forced to eat healthy!

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Marley and Me (2008) – Marley

Marley and Me is one of the very few movies I refuse flat out to ever watch again. I watched it in the cinema during a time when actually I wasn’t a huge fan of dogs (they scared me!) and it still made me sob. I realise this list is rapidly turning into a ‘Movies that made me cry’ list – but I mean happy tears! Adding a furry family member really does change your life.

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Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) – Prison Dog

A little bit of a random choice I know but I like to think outside the box, and honestly when I started to think about dogs and this post, the dog carrying the prison key in the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney ride was one of the first that came to my mind! I even picked up the Tsum Tsum version when I was in Disneyland Resort a couple of years ago.

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I Am Legend (2007) – Sam

Again with the movies that made me cry! I’m beginning to see a bit of a pattern here. Sam is the ultimate embodiment of the loyalty that dogs have for their owner, and I honestly think that’s all I can say before I start to think about ‘that scene’ and start sobbing all over my keyboard.

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Up (2009) – Dug

Let’s end on a happy note, shall we? If I Am Legend shows the brave, loyal nature of dogs, then Up shows the funny and lovable side to them with Dug. If only you really could buy collars that allowed you to know what it was your dog was saying!

national-dog-day-harvey-cockapooFinally, I want to share with you my dog. He’s our family dog, although in reality he’s my Mum’s dog. His name is Harvey, and he’s a nine year old Cockapoo! He’s a huge baby – on his first walk in the woods as a puppy he cried the whole way there, and he lets other dogs know he wants to play with them by crying at them. He’s also massively confused by my little 10 month old daughter, which is hilarious. Last time we went to visit my daughter was crawling, and you could see the bewilderment in Harvey’s face!

That’s all from me – I can’t wait to see everyone else’s posts! Also, on Monday 27th August I’ll post a recap with links to your blog post. Thanks for reading!

Announcing the Dog Day Blogathon!

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It’s been far too long since I’ve hosted a Blogathon and for a couple of weeks now I’ve been wracking my brain for an idea. It was actually whilst at work that I discovered that 26th August 2018 is National Dog Day! As a lover of dogs both real and fictional, I thought this would be a great chance to celebrate Man’s best friend whilst still talking movies.

So, what I would like to propose is the following…

  1. Write a dog-related movie post for your blog. Tell us about your favourite on-screen canine, put together a Top 10 list, whatever your creative minds can think of.
  2. Publish your post on Sunday 26th August 2018, on National Dog Day.
  3. Either send me a link to your post as a comment here, send it to me on Twitter, or email it to allieisoftenofftopic@gmail.com. Heck, write the link on a post-it note and stick it on my front door if you like! Just let me know!
  4. Optional: Do you have a dog? Or perhaps you had a dog you sorely miss? Share them with us, all dogs should be celebrated!
  5. On the following day, I’ll create a master post with links to everyone’s posts.

Feel free to use my banner, or create your own, and have fun with it! I really hope to see my Blogroll filled with furry faces on the 26th August.