November and December’s viewing consists of Call Me By Your Name, Paddington 2, Justice League, The Big Sick, Get Out and Chance Season 1.
Call Me By Your Name
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois
Guadagnino’s film is visually stunning and features some incredible performances from its actors, in particular, Timothée Chalamet. Set in Italy in 1983, CMBYN features wonderful chemistry between Chalamet and Hammer; passionate yet delicate, and Michael Stuhlbarg gives one of 2017’s best supporting performances as Chalamet’s caring father. Stuhlbarg’s final scene is so beautiful it brings tears to your eyes.
Beautifully shot with a divine script by James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name is a sensual and delicate love story that feels like a devastatingly romantic summer song you hope never ends.
Director: Paul King
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Imelda Staunton
Paddington was the delightful highlight of 2014 and its sequel, thankfully, is just as good, if not better. After trying to buy a book for his Aunt’s birthday, Paddington ends up in all sorts of trouble. It’s a simple plot but a great one and, as usual, Ben Whishaw is perfect as the voice of Paddington. Hugh Grant is having the time of his life as the washed-up actor, Phoenix Buchanan, and Paddington’s scenes with Brendan Gleeson and co. are downright hilarious.
Paddington 2 is the perfect family film. You won’t have a better Sunday than watching either film, marmalade sandwich in hand.
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Ciarán Hinds
Wow, this film is horrible. The DCEU, once again, did everything wrong and rushed the assembling of the Justice League. I was, however, looking forward to it. I knew it would be bad but I thought maybe there could be some redeeming qualities I could enjoy, but no. This film is hell to watch, but not the good kind of hell where you dance naked with a pitchfork on the bodies of your enemies. This is the hell where you spend two hours wanting to tear your eyes out just to make it stop. The “villain” is completely forgettable, the CGI is shockingly awful (don’t get me started on Henry Cavill’s lip) and Ray Fisher seems asleep as Cyborg. Gal Gadot is still great as Wonder Woman and Ezra Miller is a lovely surprise as The Flash. Those are the only nice things I have to say. What a waste of a film.
The Big Sick
Director: Michael Showalter
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Bo Burnham
The Big Sick is, perhaps, the biggest comedy surprise of 2017. Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, have crafted such a wonderfully witty script. Loosely based on their own relationship, Kumail and Emily, here played by Zoe Kazan, are forced to deal with cultural differences and family issues after Emily becomes ill not long into their relationship. Hunter and Romano are fantastic as Emily’s parents and Kumail’s interactions with them are a delight, but this is Nanjiani’s film. He is warm, kind-hearted, hilarious and, perhaps most importantly, perfectly handles the more emotional and nuanced scenes the film later requires. One of the year’s best breakout stars.
A wonderfully funny look at interracial relationships and how people cope in times of crisis. Nanjiani and Gordon are the new ones to watch. Brilliant!
Director: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Lakeith Stanfield, Lil Rel Howery, Betty Gabriel, Marcus Henderson
Get Out is an extraordinary film but one very difficult to describe without spoiling. Jordan Peele has crafted a remarkable look into the average life of a black man and the difficulties they face every single day. Lanre Bakare from The Guardian notes that, ‘the thing Get Out does so well […] is to show how, however unintentionally, these same people can make life so hard and uncomfortable for black people.’
Peele is an exciting new voice who is unafraid to comment on a complex situation. He tackles this painful and difficult subject matter in a memorable fashion and the film features a star-making performance by Daniel Kaluuya. It’s also massively fun.
Developed by: Kem Nunn and Alexandra Cunningham
Starring: Hugh Laurie, Ethan Suplee, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Greta Lee, Stefania LaVie Owen, Paul Adelstein, Gretchen Mol
Chance is an interesting show. Focusing primarily on the relationship between neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Eldon Chance (Laurie), and his mysterious patient, Jaclyn Blackstone (Mol), Chance is one-part psychological drama and one-part mystery thriller. Laurie is always wonderfully watchable but Suplee is mesmerising and the highlight of every episode. He is astonishingly good. Laurie and Mol have a natural chemistry but the show is at its best when Laurie and Suplee are together.
Dark, well-written and perfectly performed; Chance is far from exemplary, but remains enthralling and very entertaining.