Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Favorite Cinematography

When I first got in movie blogging in 2014 I was only really watching the same kind of movies I’d ever known, all romcoms, comedies and blockbuster action flicks. Being a blogger has obviously opened my eyes to the whole spectrum but back then I had no time for what I know as ‘Oscar movies’. I actually laughed at the trailer for Whiplash (2014) but when I saw it? Wow.

That year, like many movie bloggers, I put together my predictions for the Oscars. They were all blind guesses, I’m not going to lie. Even now there are some categories I still have to make a guess at, I don’t think I’ll ever understand the difference between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. But one category in particular confused me more than ever, and that was Best Cinematography. To try and explain it to someone else would make me look like a tit, but my best understanding of it now is the way a movie looks. You know those moments where you think wow, that looks beautiful? That’s cinematography.

And that’s the topic of Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks this week. So before I make a bigger fool of myself, let me share some of my favourite shots.

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1917 (2019)

I could have picked 100 shots from this movie, it’s absolutely stunning. But this moment during night time is the one that sticks with me. I was already exhausted and on edge, and then in this quiet, stunning moment there’s a shadow in the distance and we have no idea if they’re a friend or foe.

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La La Land (2016)

Los Angeles has a special place in my heart. My husband and I first visited in 2016 on our honeymoon, and we went back last year with our daughter and my parents and brother to celebrate our 30th birthday. My favourite way to spend the day there was at one of its many beaches, walking the pier was just so peaceful. That’s just one of the many reasons I love La La Land.

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Sicario (2015)

Sicario was one of those first few movies to really shock me when I was still discovering movies outside my comfort zone. It was so tense, and yet absolutely stunning at the same time. The scenes shot at night time were incredible.

Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2015

Past the half-way point and we aren’t half-way through January yet, okay, I can do this! 2015 has been an easier year strangely enough. There were a lot of movies I really liked, but not as many that I loved so I didn’t feel as bad striking movies off my list like I did with 2014’s list. Does anyone else feel the same about 2015 or was I grumpy that year? Perhaps I’m just toughening up by making all these lists.

You can find my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists here.

2015 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Room, Brooklyn, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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#10 Anomalisa

Not going to lie, I forgot all about this movie until I checked my Letterboxd list for 2015. There was no way I couldn’t mention it, though. I’ve always had a love and appreciation for stop-motion animated movies and Anomalisa is one of the greater ones. It’s quite a dark tale but very thought-provoking and definitely a must-watch for fans of the genre.

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#9 Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s forever a thing that the movies I watch unwillingly turn out to be some of the best ones. I remember clearly seeing Fury Road at the cinema with my guy pals, ready to roll my eyes at it. I hadn’t seen any other Mad Max movie then (and still haven’t, whoops) but it’s hard not to get swept up by the beauty of it all. This was my best-rated action movie until John Wick 3 came along.

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#8 The Martian

Never will I ever take a bottle of ketchup for granted after watching The Martian. I rarely understand space movies but this was the exception, and I never expected it to be so funny as well as nerve-wracking! I told myself 4 years ago I would read the book and still haven’t. Ah, the best-laid plans…

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#7 The Gift

If you’ve never seen The Gift, do me a solid and give it a go. Just don’t look at a poster or watch a trailer, because the marketing team behind it are idiots. I thought this was a horror and it couldn’t be further from it. Jason Bateman plays a dark and serious role which was a first for me. It’s the kind of story where you don’t know who to root for… because you don’t know who the bad guy is.

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#6 Sicario

I’ll never forget making the mistake of putting Sicario on the TV after just sitting down with my dinner. That opening scene…ergh. Anyway, the sequel wasn’t that great but Sicario is still a fantastic movie as a stand-alone. It’s gritty, it’s dark and some of the scenes made me feel almost as tense as the closing scene of Whiplash (2014).

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#5 The Dressmaker

We don’t get enough movies like The Dressmaker, seriously. What looked to be a dull drama is actually a fascinating drama, romance, black comedy and murder mystery movie all in one. It’s quirky, odd and just downright entertaining from start to finish. One of those movies I wish I could watch again for the very first time.

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#4 The Hateful Eight

I still stand by the fact that the first hour of this movie drags like a bitch but after that, I was glued to my seat. My experience was probably helped by the fact the UK was having a snowstorm of its own when I went to the cinema so I felt fully immersed, but I just love a whodunit and so The Hateful Eight ticked all the boxes for me.

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#3 Inside Out

Who would have thought a movie about emotions could be so good? This came out in the cinemas during a really tough time of my life and maybe that aided my enjoyment of it, but it’s still an absolutely stunning movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me want to watch it over and over, and it doesn’t get much better than this.

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#2 Spotlight

You know you’re a movie blogger when you can say one of your favourite movies is about a team of reporters uncovering the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic churches. Definitely feels weird to say. Still, Spotlight is just a downright fantastically well-made movie and fully deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

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#1 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Not going to apologise for any Star Wars sequel movie making these lists! The Force Awakens deserves extra love because it was the movie that finally converted me into a Star Wars fan. It also kicked off my Adam Driver obsession, which I guess I should be grateful for!