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My Year in Movies: 2020

I’ve been wanting to write this post for ages now, but I keep putting it off. Mostly because I don’t think it would be interesting for anyone else to read, but I’ve always used this blog primarily as a journal for myself anyway and if I don’t write it soon, I’m going to forget things and it’ll be pointless!

You know how certain songs, or even smells can remind you of a place and time? I get that, but with movies too. A lot of them just fade into the back of my memory but some I always associate with whatever was going on when I watched them. So that’s how this idea was born – I wanted to look back on 2020, the movies I watched that have specific memories attached to them. I’ve used Letterboxd to keep a film diary since 2014 so finding the dates is easy as pie.

January 2nd: Five Feet Apart (2019) – Went into work, found out everyone else decided to work from home and didn’t tell me. Joke was on them, I watched Netflix whilst manning the phones!

January 2nd: The Gentleman (2020) – Same day, first cinema trip of the year. Found myself wondering whether the first cinema watch of the year was deserving of a full 5 stars. It was!

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January 9th: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – 3rd rewatch of this, a cinema trip to celebrate the bestie getting a cinema membership. We cried over Ben Solo (again) in the car on the way home!

January 31st: Cats (2019) – Finally decided to see for myself if it was as bad as everyone said it was. Still certain that it was the start of the world turning to s**t.

February 9th: Birds of Prey (2020) – Got a ‘code green’ text from my husband and had to leave half way through to assist with a sick toddler. Went back the next night to finish it, and I freaked out at that same moment in the film.

February 14th: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) – Our annual Valentine’s Day watch! Will it ever get boring? Nope!

March 1st: Dark Waters (2019) – Watched this with the bestie, we came out of the cinema terrified of our Teflon pans. Little did we know what was around the corner!

March 7th: Contagion (2011) – Pretty sure we all watched this around that time, didn’t we? Remember how we laughed at the time, never thinking things would get so bad?

March 16th: Misbehaviour (2020) – There was only me and 1 other person at the cinema. The next day, UK cinemas announced they were all closed indefinitely. Lockdown 1 happened just a few days after that.

April 2nd: Impractical Jokers: The Movie (2020) – My husband was working late shifts due to his work staggering shifts, and I was watching terribly mediocre movies after putting my daughter to bed. These were bad times!

—– Then a huge break of still watching movies but not really enjoying them. Things sucked and I definitely lost my passion for movies and blogging during then —–

May 20th: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend (2020) – When our daughter was a newborn and things were tough, we watched a lot of Kimmy Schmidt to cheer ourselves up. So this movie came at a great time!

June 26th: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) – The real Eurovision was cancelled but Lockdown 1 was lifting and hope was in the air. This was the movie that reignited the spark in me. JAJA, DING DONG!

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July 5th: Hamilton (2020) – The first of MANY, many watches of Hamilton, followed by an absurd amount of listens on Spotify. I’m still absolutely OBSESSED.

July 10th: Black Water: Abyss (2020) – Cinemas were reopening, although there was virtually nothing to see. I vowed to watch anything and everything, and although this movie was garbage, it felt so good to be home.

July 19th: Back to the Future (1985) – With no new releases, cinemas were showing the classics. With hindsight, I wish I’d watched more, but it still felt pretty awesome to watching something as grand as this on the big screen.

August 11th: Host (2020) – Ah, the first movie to feature COVID. We’ve got many more to come. Host scared the living daylights out of me, I had to watch the last 20 minutes on mute!

August 26th: Tenet (2020) – The only summer blockbuster we got! And a few days after my birthday too, what a treat. Love it or loath it, I’m still grateful for it. It was hugely instrumental to actually keeping the cinemas running through the few weeks they could open!

August 28th: Twilight (2008) – There were signs that a second COVID wave was coming, reading the news was depressing. Tenet had reignited my Robert Pattinson obsession and those things combined led me to start a Twilight marathon…

September 13th: The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020) – All of the big movies were being pushed back again, leaving the smaller movies no-one had really heard of to pick up the slack. This ended up being one of my all-time favourite romcoms!

October 31st: It Follows (2014) – Halloween! Boris decided to ruin everyone’s fun by giving us a week’s notice of Lockdown 2. Tried to make the best of it with a family movie night.

November 1st: Horizon Line (2020) – Knew this would be my last cinema trip for a while. Didn’t realise it would be the last time my local cinema would be open for another 7 and a half months…

November 14th: The Gift (2015) – Watched this for a ‘virtual’ movie night I had with my family where we watched at our own homes and tried to synchronise our pause breaks!

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November 26th: Happiest Season (2020) – Christmas is the best time of the year, hands down. I’m still so sad I couldn’t watch this in the cinema but I was grateful that we were still getting some new releases through the streaming platforms.

December 16th: Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) – Lockdown 2 lifted at the start of December but with the country divided into ‘Tiers’ depending on the level of infections. Cinemas were banned in Tier 3 (my area) so I ended up driving for an hour to see this. Bittersweet!

December 21st: Promising Young Woman (2020) – I got emailed a screener for this as part of the Online Association of Female Film Critics, and with the buzz surrounding the movie I was absolutely over the moon!

So there we have it, what a year! A lot of lows but still some highs in there, too. It was fun to look back over the year and reflect on what happened and how I felt at the time! If you ended up reading all of that, you deserve some internet points for sure!

Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#27) A Whole New World…

I knew it had been a while since my last Going Off Topic post, but I didn’t realise my last one was in June last year! I guess I’ve stuck all my off topic rambles into my actual review posts so uh, sorry about that. Anyway, instead of moaning about doom and gloom, I’m reflecting on a great week last week. Loads more COVID restrictions eased in the UK and almost all our outdoor activities have resumed. We can go to the pub, a restaurant, a cafe, only if we sit outside. A bit risky when you consider UK weather but it’s starting to look better. Theme parks, zoos and other activities for kids have reopened too which, as a parent of a three-year-old is HUGE news. It really does feel like a whole new world out there…

Last week we drove down to the coast with my parents and stayed in a caravan for the week. It was heaven, a little bit of reality and my daughter has been desperate to visit a beach. Needless to say, it was impossible to get her to leave. Give her a bucket, spade, and a beach with “real sand” (pebbly beaches aren’t real beaches, apparently), and she’s entertained for hours. Please excuse my general appearance in that third photo, hairdressers and salons have reopened but I haven’t been able to get an appointment yet!

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It’s another 3 and a half weeks at least until cinemas reopen but I’m so excited. I’ve still been watching plenty but I haven’t felt creative enough to actually write which is why I’m so behind on everything, including reading all the wonderful blogs I follow myself. Tomorrow is a new day!

Random Posts

Lockdown Day 14 & Downhill (2020)

Here we are, at the end of week 2. I feel strangely better about all of this than I did this time last week. Maybe I’m starting to accept this as my new life now. Who knows when our lives will be back to normal and we can see our family and friends again? One thing is for sure, my Facebook feed is as toxic as ever. Our lockdown rules allow us outside once a day for exercise and yes, there are people ignoring the rules. They’re gathering in huge groups and filling parks, etc. So today’s big news was that if that doesn’t stop, we won’t even be allowed exercise.

My question? What are the police/government doing about these large gatherings? Because if they can’t control them now, how do they expect to be able to enforce a full lockdown? It’s an empty threat, at the end of the day.

For our little household, we’ve been enjoying the nicer weather in our garden and in the woods for our 1 trip out, as well as doing lots of arts and crafts at home. It mostly leaves me too tired to really do anything else by the time the little one is in bed, but it fills our day so what more can I ask for? My daughter wakes up each morning with a big smile on her face, and never wants it to be bedtime in the evening so if all my efforts mean she’s shielded from this mess, I reckon that’s enough.

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Last night I watched Downhill (2020) which was a movie Ii really wanted to see at the cinema, but the times were always rubbish and it only showed for 2 weeks. That’s a thought though, I don’t think I’ll complain about crap timings at the cinema again when they reopen. I’ll go and see everything I can, at whatever time they show it!

Anyway! I was expecting Downhill to be a complete disaster, and it kind of was. I almost turned it off after 15 minutes from sheer boredom but it got better. The mood and vibe of the movie was all over the place, though. With Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the leads I was expecting a comedy but it was surprisingly…more of a drama? Like, it wanted to be Marriage Story (2019) but it just felt…awkward. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was brilliant though, she stole the show in every scene.

I’m sorry I haven’t been catching up with anyone else’s’ blog lately. Weirdly, in a time we’re all stuck at home I’ve found myself with less free time on my hands than ever before, but I’ll make it up to you eventually, I promise. For now, I just hope you’re keeping happy and safe ❤

Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#24) You’re My Therapy

Does anyone else’s January suck, like, hard? Because man, I’m so over this month. I know things always have a way of looking up after a while but I’m struggling right now. And I’ve always felt better by writing/typing things out so, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do some venting. You can just scroll down to the more colourful section of this post if you like where I’ll actually be talking about fun stuff.

My car went in for a service and afterwards I was handed a long, expensive list of parts that needed replacing. That meant almost 2 weeks worth of driving a dodgy car, trying to sort out my work situation so that the car could actually be in the garage, and of course the money. It was a lot. So much in fact that my credit card is maxed out. Which wouldn’t be so bad if I could just slowly pay it off, but I have no money left at the end of the month to do that. Not until my little girl gets some free childcare time, which won’t happen till January 2021.

Our house has been plagued by the usual germs and illnesses that January brings. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 5-6 hours on any night this month so far. I’m exhausted. Work has been awful. I only work for a tiny company so when 2 of my colleagues are treating me like shit on their shoe, it leaves me with basically no one to talk to in the day. I stormed out of the office last week and worked from the sofa area of the building, and they haven’t spoken to me since.

At the start of Feb in 2018, I accepted I was struggling too much with being a Mum, saw a doctor, and went on anti-depressants. Things got better and I went off them in the summer. At the start of Feb in 2019, I accepted I was struggling way too much again, saw a doctor, and went on anti-depressants. I stayed on them longer that time, but was off them again by the end of summer. You can see where this is going, can’t you? Every day I struggle, some days harder than others. I really, really don’t want to go back to medication though. Am I good Mum? I don’t think so. I sure don’t feel like it half the time. I love her more than anything in the world, and there’s nothing more upsetting than feeling like I’m failing her.

She’s amazing. She’s hilarious, she’s adorable, and she’s so darn smart. But she’s 2. She throws tantrums that amaze me. Sometimes I stay strong and other times I either shout back or hand her a chocolate biscuit to calm the storm. She’s never slept well, and everything I read or am told is that it’s normal, but I can’t help but feel like maybe I did something wrong. I don’t know. It’s a constant feeling of not knowing if I’m ever doing the right thing. But I love her, and I’ll never stop trying.

Right. This is getting a bit depressing, isn’t it? Let’s talk movies!

Despite it all, I’ve kicked 2020 off right when it comes to movies. I usually managed around 10-11 per month but I’ve already seen 17 so that feels good. Apart from last week I’ve been going to the cinema twice a week too which I’ve really enjoyed! I’m hoping to catch The Personal History of David Copperfield this week. The Grudge is out too, but I don’t think I’ll be making that trip!

The BAFTAs are this Sunday so expect a predictions post from me very soon. I’m hilariously bad at predicting anything so you can always have a laugh at my expense. I’m also very close to finally finishing my Top 100 Movies of the Decade posts which I thought I would have done by New Year. Whoops.

I finished Season 2 of You. Man, I love that show so much. I actually held back on watching the last episode because I didn’t want it to be over. I still haven’t finished The Witcher but Toss a Coin to your Witcher plays on repeat on my way into work lately. Everyone is raving about Season 2 of Sex Education but I couldn’t get into it when it first came out. I tried again last night and liked it a lot better so who knows?

So for now, I’m a bit behind on blog stuff but I’m not going anywhere. You’ll find me on YouTube watching Adam Driver‘s SNL skits from Saturday, cheering myself up.

Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#20) A Short Hiatus

I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. Since I got back from holiday last month I’ve really struggled to stay active, and it’s led to me having a huge catch-up day of writing my own posts and reading everyone else’s posts, then feeling burnt out and staying away for 3-4 days at a time, only to play catch up again. It’s honestly starting to make blogging feel like a chore and I don’t want it to be that way!

I just feel so out of the loop at the moment, there are movies coming out in the cinema and on Netflix etc that I’ve never even heard of, and I’m usually so in the know. I just want to take a couple of weeks to get my head sorted and my personal life in check, and perhaps get a few posts drafted up ready for when I come back.

I’m far from giving up on my blog though, I absolutely adore it. I love logging in to see new comments, and reading other posts to add to my watch list!

There are a few new releases I’m really excited about. Zombieland: Double Tap comes out in the UK this week, I’m growing ever more impatient for Knives Out to be released, and we’re bound to be getting a Rise of Skywalker trailer soon! Speaking of which, we’re getting THREE Adam Driver movies before Christmas. So there’s that!

I’m trying to catch up on TV Shows, too. I gave up on Mr. Robot for a while but I’m working my way through Season 3, and I’m all caught up with Superstore now which I really enjoyed. Plus, we’re getting new episodes of The Good Place on Netflix so there’s a lot to look forward to.

My little girl turns two tomorrow. I’ve actually kept a little human alive for 2 whole years! Go me. She’s growing up into the funniest kid as well, she brings a smile to the face of anyone and everyone who meets her! The lucky little kid has 3 birthday cakes, too. She took one into nursery with her this morning to share with her friends, and they’re all going to sing happy birthday to her. Then we’ve got family over on Saturday evening so I bought a cake for that. On Sunday, she’s got her official party with her friends so there’s another cake for that!

But yeah. I’m sorry to up and leave for a while. But it’s taken me over 5 hours to even write this post, so I need to step back for a little bit. In the words of Arnie, “Put that cookie down, now!”

Err, I mean…I’ll be back.