Thursday Movie Picks: Break-Ups

There’s something about the changing seasons, days getting shorter and the weather getting colder that makes curling up on the sofa with a hot drink and a sappy movie so appealing to me. So I guess it’s great timing that this week’s Wandering Through the Shelves Thursday Movie Picks theme is break-ups!

When I started scouring my Letterboxd account for possible choices, I very nearly created a theme within a theme of Ryan Gosling break-up movies, but changed my mind at the last minute! It was a good reminder that there are still far too many of his movies I haven’t seen yet, though…

But without further ado, here are my 3 picks for the week:

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The Break-Up (2006)

I know this seems like the laziest choice ever, but I actually really love this movie! Back in the day when I didn’t watch many movies at all, The Break-Up was the first rom-com I watched with an ending that surprised me, it totally bummed me out and I’ve never forgotten about it! Plus, it has my favourite funny argument between a couple ever. “I don’t want you to do the dishes, I want you to WANT to do the dishes!” “Why would I WANT to do the dishes?!”

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Begin Again (2013)

Excuse me John Carney, it’s been 3 years since your last movie, we’re due another! You can always count on a John Carney movie to be beautiful and have the best soundtrack ever. I loved Begin Again so much. Keira Knightly plays a talented musician who finds herself single after her long-time boyfriend makes it big in the music industry and leaves her behind. It’s just stunning in all aspects!

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La La Land (2016)

I will never, ever, get over the sadness that the ending to La La Land caused me. It’s just not fair. I thought I was over it, and then on holiday we were stuck in some Los Angeles traffic and I found myself singing ‘Another Day of Sun’ and it brought the pain back to me. I do like that the embarrassment at the Oscars where La La Land was announced as Best Picture just to have it corrected a few minutes later was kind of a parallel to what the audience to this movie ends up going through, though. The irony isn’t lost on me!

The 5 Best Movies of 2017…So Far

It’s hard to believe we’re half way through the year already! I’ve done pretty abysmally at keeping up to date with current movies so far, but it would be rude not to do a Top 5 list of my favourites so far! I’m expecting Okja and Baby Driver to be great movies, but as I haven’t seen them yet, they can’t be in this list!

I’d just like to throw in a few honourable mentions first: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, Table 19, Hidden Figures & Hacksaw Ridge.

Just note, I always go by UK release dates for this list, otherwise those amazing Oscar movies would never make my lists as they’re always released in January!

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#5 Beauty and the Beast

Is the Beauty and the Beast remake better than the original? No, it’s not even on par with it, but I feel like one of the few that still absolutely loved it. Yes, Emma Watson was wrung through the auto-tune a few times, but would you rather have a singer play the role who can’t act to save their life? It was the casting that won me over, even for roles I was skeptical about, such as Luke Evans, who turned out to be the perfect Gaston. I honestly couldn’t have asked for much more!

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#4 Wonder Woman

If you told me in January that Wonder Woman was going to feature in any kind of Top list written by me, I would have laughed at you, but I think we were all a little surprised at just how good the latest offering from DC was. Let’s hope this is the turning point we’ve all been waiting for! Gal Gadot has stolen my heart you guys.

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#3 Lion

I might have only just stopped ugly-crying whenever I think about the ending to Lion. I knew from the trailers it was going to be something I would enjoy, but when half of the movie is dominated by a child actor you can’t help but be a little wary. Thankfully, little Sunny Pawar is an absolute superstar, and it’s impossible not to love him. It’s still hard to believe this is a true story, it’s simply incredible. Oh man, I just remembered why the movie is actually called Lion and now I’m crying all over again!

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#2 Colossal

No, I will never stop talking about Colossal. It’s my hidden gem of 2017, and I don’t care if I sound like a broken record! Is it the greatest movie of all time? No. Is the story completely polished? No, but it’s a completely unique tale in a year full of sequels, and Anne Hathaway is a delight to watch in this crazy role. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it seems to be unheard of outside of the blogging world, and I’d love for more people to give it a try.

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#1 La La Land

It’s rare that I actually re-watch movies in recent years, mainly because my watch list is longer than my arm and I love the thrill of finding new, great things to watch, but I’ve seen La La Land 3 times now, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. It’s a good job that Spotify doesn’t keep those records actually. (Please don’t tell me it does). I’m a sucker for anything starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together because of their chemistry, and I seem to be loving musicals lately too, so this was a sure winner!

I’ll be back in the week with my Top 5 Worst Movies of 2017 so far list but for now, I’d love to know what movies have been your favourite so far! What have I missed, that I need to catch up on?

Review: La La Land (2017)

la-la-land-review-2017-posterWhen the trailer first came out for La La Land, I felt torn. Yes, the movie was reuniting Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, the most amazing on-screen couple EVER. But it was a musical. I don’t like musicals. That’s what I told people, I don’t ‘do’ musicals. Well, apart from every Disney movie ever made, The Muppets movie, my undying guilty love for High School Musical, and the musical Broadway show I saw on honeymoon. Hm. Turns out I’m a musical fan after all.

Once I’d come to terms with this, I was hyping so much it literally hurt. With every review that cropped up in my feed, I felt a twinge of jealousy that one more person had seen it, whilst I was still waiting. Yet when my time came, I was terrified. When you’ve been looking forward to something for so long, and literally everyone has said how amazing it is (apart from someone on my Facebook feed who shall remain anonymous) you just get this feeling, what if I don’t enjoy it?

I shouldn’t have worried. I know that now. Mercifully, my worry vanished in the opening scene, when a highway full of stand still traffic burst into song about how how much of a beautiful and sunny day it is. People were dancing on top of their cars, a band was playing from the inside of a lorry, and everything was just so colourful. I was grinning from ear to ear, and then Ryan Gosling blared that car horn and I fell in love. To me, Ryan Gosling blaring a car horn is the equivalent to that boombox scene in Say Anything!

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Love is the theme here in La La Land. Love for your hometown, for your family and friends, for your dreams. Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress working at a coffee shop at the Warner Bros Studio, attending audition after audition to try and catch her big break. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a struggling musician playing piano at a jazz bar ran by a guy named Bill (J.K. Simmons) who has no appreciation for the music genre. Knowing that La La Land is directed by Damien Chazelle who also directed Whiplash, I wanted so badly for Bill to tell Seb that the music ‘wasn’t his tempo’, but complaining about it general kept me happy enough!

Watching Mia and Seb go from hating each other to loving each other was just so much fun to watch. The scene at the pool party was a favourite of mine,┬ámy husband and I were laughing so much I that I think we got a few funny looks for finding it a little too funny. Their musical number whilst walking to find Mia’s car was utter perfection, with the sarcastic comebacks going back and forth. It’s one of those songs you find yourself tapping your feet to without even noticing.

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Ugh, I could honestly gush about this movie for hours if I was given the chance. Just give it all the awards, please. The cinematography was stunning, the costumes were a delight (I would kill for Mia’s wardrobe, and my husband wants some of those shoes Seb wore!) and the ending was so bittersweet. I wasn’t even sure why I was crying in the end, I didn’t know whether I was happy or sad.

It was nights like that night that I was so grateful for Spotify, because I stuck the soundtrack on as soon as we got into the car. It was just a shame home was only 10 minutes away! A full 5/5 chicken on sticks from me.

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