CINEMATIC SUMMER

Three films that made me fall in love with cinema all over again, three that left me uncertain about my final reaction to them and a couple of films that will be released in autumn and winter 2018...


The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - This film is nothing new, yet, when I watched it for the first time I spent another three days going through all of Wes Anderson's movies (or at least a majority of them because The Darjeeling Limited slightly killed my enthusiasm) and searched for videos from behind-the-scenes (did you know that in this film Anderson uses different types of aspect ratio based on the film's time setting?!?!). The main story takes place in 1930's in a hotel operated by Gustave H. When a new lobby boy, Zero, is taken under his wings, things take an unexpected turn. From wonderful Ralph Fiennes, the master of transformation Tilda Swinton, my beloved Irish Saoirse Ronan to Tony Revolori, who plays Zero, the film will warm up your heart (well, at least it warmed up mine). 

Call Me by Your Name (2017) - I actually do not know where to begin when talking about this film. With the beautiful camera work that makes you want to go to Italy for your summer vacation? With brilliant performances of Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet? Or with the well executed overall plot? This tender story about two young men who fall in love in the middle of hot Italian summer will force you to slow down and fully enjoy every minute of the film. After finishing the film I immediately bought the book on which this film is based and I cannot wait start reading it. 

Begin Again (2013) - Once you see the trailer for this film with Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, you will think that you have just come across yet another romantic movie with a cliché ending. At least that was my initial reaction. But the reality was so much better! Gretta moves with her boyfriend (played by Adam Levine) from England to New York to pursuit their musical careers. But soon she finds herself single, planning to return back home the next morning. And that is when Dan, a record executive who now drinks more than produces, comes in. Both Knightley and Ruffalo know how to play, their characters are not annoying, it has original soundtrack, a plot is spiced up with some catchy songs, and the ending is nothing you would expect. Compare to Call Me by Your Name, the film is much easier to watch as it does not make you rethink your entire world perception (yeah, the above mentioned film does make you think twice, about everything!), but it is not just another empty love story. 

... still not sure how I am feeling about these...

The Big Sick (2017) - I remember when my mom told me about it last year, urging me to watch it. And she was not the only one praising the original love story about a Pakistan comedian who works as an Uber driver, Kumail, and an American graduate student, Emily. In the world divided by religions and nationalities, the plot gently reflects on the questions of belonging, family and love. As much as I adore Zoe Kazan, and Kumail Nanjiani is brilliant as well, I simply do not have a reason to see the film again. I laughed, I was sad, but that still did not make me to talk about the plot for another two months (as I am still talking about The Grand Budapest Hotel! Boy, I love that one so much!!!).

The Bookshop (2017) - I came across this movie by accident and wanted to watch it because A) it is called 'the bookshop', so as a booklover I was immediately hooked on, and B) any films with Bill Nighy and Emily Mortimer are usually more than pleasing. Oh well. I would compare the idea behind the plot (which is based on the book of the same name by Penelope Fitzgerald) to the film Chocolat released back in 2000, in which a single mother with her daughter turn a provincial town upside down with their shop full of pleasure, chocolate (together with the film The Boat That Rocked, these are the only two movies that can actually make me cry). In The Bookshop, Florence Green does not have a daughter, but is a free-spirited widow who has no intention of finding a new husband for herself but instead she opens a bookshop in a small English town, upsetting a bored, rich housewife (if I may simplify it like that). It is more than possible that the book properly explains why Mrs. Gamart is against Florence's presence in town, but the film fails to do so, making the overall outcome of the plot fall rather flat. As much as the interactions between Bill Nighy and Emily Mortimer are more than adorable (the scene with the two of them having afternoon tea is brilliant), it does not make up for the rest of the film that leaves you feeling more empty rather than enriched with a new story (like Begin Again did in my case). 

Moonrise Kingdom (2012) - After watching The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson, I went on a mission to watch a majority of his work (although, I still need to see his newest release, Isle of Dogs). This time we follow two children who fall in love and together they try to escape the world controlled by adults. As dreamy as the story can look from the inside, Anderson reflects on themes such as loveless marriage or a lack of confidence and courage to stand up to other people (notably to a scout leader), which gives this story a whole new level of depth. Although Moonrise Kingdom shows some of Anderson's great work with camera and his pedantic attention to colours, in the end I do not think that I would watch the film again...


Films I cannot wait to see:

Mary, Queen of Scots (December 2018) - Besides the fact that my favourite actress, Saoirse Ronan, will play Mary, I have always enjoyed films based on real historical events. And for some reason, I have been really into the stories about Henry VIII, his six wives and his children. Mary, Queen of Scots is going to follow the extraordinary story behind the relationship between Elizabeth I and her cousin, Mary Stuart, which evolved from friendship to Mary's death. So now I am only hoping that they will not change too many historical facts (because for example based on this BBC documentary, Queen Elizabeth I and Mary never met in person, however, from the film's trailer it seems like the two women are talking together...).

Bohemian Rhapsody (November 2018) - Those who know me in person are more than well aware that as much as I enjoy reading and talking about books, I am rather ignorant towards music. But when I came across the first trailer for the upcoming film about Freddie Mercury, I immediately fell in love with Rami Malek's performance and energy on screen. And that had been even before the second one was released about a week ago. I cannot wait for November to be here! (Also, yes, so far I have watched both of the trailers at least four times...)