January favorites

I have given myself a little challenge movie/blog-wise this year and I have decided to try and watch at least five movies I have not seen before every month and then briefly talk about them on here. In January I watched Inferno, The Light Between Oceans, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, La La Land, Queen Of Katwe and Léon: The Professional. This is how I would rank them from least favorite to favorite.

6: Inferno

inferno

As a fan of the Dan Brown books and of the previous adaptations of his stories I had high hopes for this movie, but what a disappointment it turned out to be. The plot could have been very interesting but it failed to get past numerous clichés. The characters were very one-dimentional and unrelateable and the dialogue is dull and does not make a lot of sense most of the time. Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones are two of my favorite actors and it was a bit sad to see their potential not being used to its fullest. The camera work is quite experimental, which leads to a few cool shots but mostly takes away the attention from what is actually happening story-wise. They rely on jumpcuts a lot which does not allow the viewer the time to fully appreciate the individual shots and moments in the plot. It felt like the movie had been made in a rush and I really did not like it.

5: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

wtf

I started watching this movie without really knowing anything about it other than the fact that it stars Tina Fey, Martin Freeman and Margot Robbie, three actors that I adore. It has some good, funny and emotional moments in it and I enjoyed seeing Tina Fey and Martin Freeman work together, especially in the more serious scenes. However, it was a bit difficult to take this movie seriously as some of the Afghan characters are portrayed by
caucasian actors, which is a shame because it takes away great opportunities for Afghan actors and it just does not make any sense.

4: The Light Between Oceans

tlbo

After Alicia Vikander‘s breathtaking performances in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl I was incredibly excited to watch this movie and it did not disappoint. Yes, the story is a bit predictable and cliché at times but it is so beautifully made that it is easily forgiven. This is one of those movies that is beautiful in every way. The acting, the story, the scenery, the costumes, the music by one of my favorite composers Alexandre Desplat,… I could go on and on. Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender have amazing chemistry and Rachel Weisz is incredible as well. This is the perfect movie to watch on a rainy sunday afternoon.

3: Léon: The Professional

leon

This film has been on my to-watch list for years and years but I knew that it was a bit of a heavy movie to watch so I kept postponing it. Last week however I finally gave it a try and what a rollercoaster of emotions that was! It is almost impossible to believe that this was Natalie Portman‘s first movie, she is mindblowing. Jean Reno manages to make a solitary hitman charming and Gary Oldman truly scared me with his batshit crazy performance. I am not usually a fan of movies that are this bloody (except for Tarantino because he just does it so so well) but the plot is so amazing that it did not really bother me. This is not one of those films that I will watch over and over again but it was very impressive and I was really into it.

2: Queen Of Katwe

queenofkatwe

Whenever Lupita Nyong’o is involved in a project you just know that it is going to be great. This is an excellent and inspiring movie about strenght, perseverance, making the best out of a bad situation and just straight up girl power. The story of Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi is so important and really deserves to be told. It is very refreshing to see such a sincere movie. It is so full of heart. The cast is phenomenal and Madina Nalwanga absolutely killed it in her first role. I highly recommend this movie!

1: La La Land

lalaland

Alright, this one might have been very predictable but wow, am I blown away by this movie! I can barely begin to describe how much I love it, I am truly obsessed. I am going to write a seperate blogpost about this movie later this week because I could rave about it for hours. I have watched it in theatres twice so far and I am sure that I am going to go see it again soon. The fact that it is refreshing by being inspired by and referring back to movies of the past is so great and the story is simply gorgeous. I have not stopped listening to the soundtrack ever since it came out. This is already my favorite movie of the year.

This month I am going to try to watch as many Oscar-nominated movies as possible, beginning with Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences. I have been wating for them to be released here for ages now and I am so excited to finally see them!

Thanks for reading,

Valentine
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