The Watch List – 19/09/2020

I haven’t seen many films by Wes Anderson, even though I have enjoyed what I’ve seen. Anderson’s Rushmore from 1998 is a film that I hadn’t heard of until rather recently. The premise is about a too smart for his own good student, Max Fischer, played by Jason Swchatzman, who I’m a big fan of, and his friendship with Herman Blume played by Bill Murray. They both fall in love with the same woman, Rosemary Cross played by Olivia Williams. I loved this film. It’s darkly funny, sad and has a real heart that so many high school films seem to lack. It feels unique even 2 decades later and I really enjoyed it. I will be watching more Wes Anderson films soon.

Recently me and Tabby have been making our way through Noah Baumbach’s films. He directed Marriage Story, which was nominated for best picture earlier this year. This week we watched Frances Ha, his 2012 film co-written and staring Greta Gerwig (Who wrote and directed Litte Woman from last christmas, also nominated for best picture this year) as Frances. A 27 year old dancer who is lost in the word. Her life seems to be going backwards while those aroud her are moving on without her. Her best friend is moving in with her partner and at the same time Frances breaks up with her boyfriend.

At first I really struggled with this film. It just didn’t grip me straight away. It feels like a student film and the beginning is very jarring from what I’m used to. After I got over that minor hurdle which was probably more my problem than the films, I really enjoyed it. Frances is a very relatable character and I’m sure that most people feel like their life isn’t moving at the pace they thought it would at some point. There is so much heart in this film and by the end I was rooting for Frances to succeed. A young Adam Driver also makes an appearance in this film. One of the best actors of our time and one of the few who is actually different in each and every film he’s in. I would really recommend this one.

We rounded up the weekend with Unforgiven, staring and directed by Clint Eastwood. I haven’t seen many western films, barely a handful so I don’t have many expectations of the genre. I really enjoyed this film. It follows a retired assassin played by Eastwood who comes back for one more job so he can feed his children. Right from the opening scene it had me hooked. It’s so brutal and shocking right from the start. There are also no conrete good guys and bad guys in this film. You would think te assassin’s would be the bad guys, but you still care for them. Gene Hackman’s sheriff should be the good guy, but he is so unrelentlessly brutal and uncaring that he isn’t.

I really like the way the film deals with killings and death. It really shows the weight of ending someone’s life and how hard it would be to actually kill someone in cold blood. Any ideas I had of how fun western films are, were completely subverted and taken apart. This isn’t a fun a watch. It’s dark, gritty and grouded. The last 15 or so minutes are also some of the most tense scenes I’ve seen in a long time. I really enjoyed this film and I’m going to make an effort to watch more of Eastwood’s films.

The New Mutants has also finally been released, after being i deveopment hell for the better part of 3 years. The final film in Fox’s X-Men series. I’ve never been a fan of the X-Men. I like First Class and that is pretty much it. I was still interested to see The New Mutants. I like the idea of a superhero horror film. The problem is that this film isn’t really scary. It’s creepy in places. The smiling men are unsettling, but that’s it. It’s not scary and it’s not that exciting once the action kicks in. The whole cast is really good, especially Maisie Williams and Anya Taylor-Joy. The biggest plus for this film is the characters. They are real and I did want to know what happened to them. Beyond that there isn’t much to say. The New Mutants is the perfect example of a film that ‘is what it is’. It did make me want to read some of the comics, which is another plus.

The best of the bunch this time is Frances Ha. Which to be honest I’m suprised about. This is a film that really grew on me as I watched it and I know it will stay with me for a long time.

The films on the watch list for this weekend are Blue Iguana, Moonrise Kingdom and While We’re Young. I don’t know anything about these films, but I’m excited to watch.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Ashley

About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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