a barbie girl in a barbie world

I saw “Barbie” last night! (Wearing pink, of course.)

It’s a beautifully made and absolutely fascinating movie that I hope is dissected for years to come. I am mildly disappointed it didn’t feature my all-time favourite Barbie, though, the Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie I had as a kid! Sadly no pictures exist of me with her but here’s what she looked like. I was OBSESSED with her golden tail.

The other fun thing was seeing all these reviews posted on the review board at the cinema! Said cinema was the Phoenix in Leicester and I love it, and I think more cinemas should have a review board.

(There’s a few for Oppenheimer in there as well!)

Glass Onion

Glass Onion is a movie where you cannot, I repeat cannot, point at any particular plot twist and say “This is bad writing, because no person would behave this incredibly unfathomably stupidly.” We have all lived through the same past few years and if anything Elon Musk, I mean “Miles Bron” isn’t stupid enough. Close, though.

Glass Onion is a James Bond film just a little bit to the left. (A lot to the left.) I am OBSESSED with this. It has all the ingredients: Daniel Craig, a megalomaniac who wants to take over the world, beautiful women in bikinis, weird tech, important things getting blown up. A fabulous deconstruction. I bet no-one would have blinked an eyelid at the movie’s explosive ending if Bond was involved, but that’s genre, baby.

Glass Onion is the best Among Us movie they could possibly have made.

Glass Onion is a Greek tragedy (even set in Greece!) when it comes to the sisters plot. There’s a great post on Tumblr about Cassandra and Helen. The moment I realized the significance of the naming I fell even more in love with the movie than I was already.

Glass Onion is also the best modern-day Sherlock Holmes movie they could possibly have made.

Glass Onion is haunting my dreams. Last night Benoit Blanc showed up and we looked at text messages of condolence sent to the family of a murder victim. “You know how I know who the murderer is? It’s always the last person to send a text,” he drawled. WHAT IS GOING ON(ION).

Glass Onion is angry as hell and long live its anger.

The Lost King

A film I was very excited to see, because I live in Leicester and saw snippets of both the car park dig and the King Richard III funeral! The man himself is interred in the Leicester Cathedral which I walk past all the time on the way to therapy.

Opposite the cathedral is the Richard III museum, which is fascinating and walks you through many of the same issues which were discussed in the movie.

Everyone around here seemingly knows someone who was involved with the discovery/dig story, I went to see the movie with someone who’s met the person Amanda Abbington played. So maybe I’m biased because I know the story so well, but-

Well, the good stuff first. As someone whose life has been touched by M.E. I appreciate that The Lost King portrays it as an actual disability (which it is), and that it shows that Phillippa Langley was drawn to Richard III because he too had a disability. And I like that this film shows fandom in a positive light. It’s the fiercely enthusiastic Richard III fan club who end up getting a lot of important things done. And also I can relate to Langley as, well, a fangirl, what with her developing a hyperfixation on something that was helping her navigate her own life.

Oh and Sally Hawkins was great, she’s great in everything.

But now I’ve learned about what all the controversy surrounding this film entailed, and seen exactly what was causing it… yeah. It casts Langley as the hero at the expense of everyone around her. Really, no professional historians thought to impose one map over another until she came along?

I can’t really see many folks in Leicester – a much more diverse place than portrayed here, by the way – being pleased about this movie, no matter the quality of the production and the acting, and I don’t blame Richard Taylor in the slightest for suing. If they wanted someone to represent sexist institutions in the film, why not make up a character instead of using a real person?! How terribly ironic that a film about how cruel it was to villainize one Richard ended up villanizing another.

Come see the museum instead.

Five Thoughts on “Not Okay”

I saw this movie a month or two ago during a period where I was, ironically, very very much not okay. And yet, for whatever reason I was able to engage with it, enough to end up watching it twice even, and I’m not completely sure why. I guess it’s just a good film? (Spoilers ahead.)

1. So this is basically Cancelled: The Movie. Did Danni learn anything at all from her experience? She says she didn’t towards the end, which is more honesty than I expected from this absolute car-crash of a human being, but I noticed… She kept her highly distinctive hairstyle even post-cancellation, even though it made her more an easy target for the people harassing her. Maybe that was her way of subconsciously punishing herself.

2. Mia Isaac as Rowan is really the highlight of this movie, she’s just totally and unnervingly believable as a teenage school shooting survivor. You can tell that Rowan is a very kind-hearted person who’s just been constantly destroyed over and over, and then by the end she’s not going to take it anymore. Her last scene with all her righteous anger is really good.

3. And speaking of school shootings… god, I’m just never going to be over seeing shooting drills as a normal part of some people’s high school life. That is accurate to reality, right? I’m not American so I’m getting this info from movies and TV but god, what a way to create a generation of traumatized kids.

4. There aren’t really any sympathetic characters in this movie apart from Rowan and her family, and maybe Danni’s parents. Harper does the right thing by exposing Danni but she admits upfront she was motivated mostly by jealousy. And pretty much everyone else in the movie is incredibly vacuous, hedonistic and self-centered. You kind of wonder if maybe Danni would have turned out at least a little different if she wasn’t working in a world that was celebrating those qualities.

5. Danni’s pet guinea pig (named, rolls eyes, Guinea Weasley) strikes me as an oddly important character. No good guinea pig owner would keep just one of them, they’re social creatures who need a companion. If they don’t have any social bonds, they develop depression and can even die. So Danni is keeping this creature in what’s probably a lot of misery, another indication of how ignorant and selfish she is. And on top of that the guinea pig is a metaphor for Danni herself: right from the beginning she’s clearly deprived of meaningful social contact, and so over the course of the movie her mental state starts to deteriorate. Unlike the guinea pig though, she can choose how to act. And chooses terribly.

Thirteen Lives

Man, Ron Howard really excels at making disaster films with “thirteen” in the title, doesn’t he? I feared going in that this would be a Hollywoodized white saviour type movie, but nope, just a matter-of-fact dissection of events. The British rescue divers are portrayed as competent but it’s made clear they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did without the co-operation and sacrifice of people from all over the world.

The fact that everyone going into this movie knows exactly what happens doesn’t make it any less nerve-racking. It does show Saman Kunan’s death up close which I found very hard to watch.

A great film overall, and it also does the correct thing in not mentioning Elon Musk’s “involvement” at all. I’m sure he was longing to be the star of the kind of movie this movie isn’t.

Oscar nominations

I have more thoughts on the Oscar nominations than I realised so here they are in bullet-point form.

  • I’m so happy Kirsten Stewart got nominated, Spencer is a great movie and finally finally this will shut up the “She’s a terrible actress cos she never smiles/some other misogynist reason” people.
  • Both Encanto and The Mitchells vs The Machines are up for best animated feature and I don’t know which one to root for cos I loved them both.
  • Speaking of Encanto, you can add my voice to the ones staggered that Disney didn’t put “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” into the best song category, absolutely bizarre to think they didn’t have faith in it but ah well, it made them loads of money and LMM still has a nomination so I guess everyone wins anyway.
  • I’m willing to put money on this: Will Smith will get Best Actor as a sort of “make-up” award for all the times he didn’t win and for his long career. I’m SO SURE
  • I am honestly REALLY SALTY that The Last Duel didn’t get anything, not even an acting nomination for Jodie Comer. It’s incredibly good. I’m also really salty that the Razzies swooped in and nominated Ben Affleck, presumably without ever watching the movie. God I hate the Razzies.
  • I don’t know if anyone was genuinely expecting Spider-Man: No Way Home to be nominated for Best Picture, but I did briefly consider that maaaaaaaybe Willem Dafoe would get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. He didn’t, but ah well, he was clearly having so much fun in that movie it doesn’t really matter.

On “Cruella”

(spoilers ahead)

Cruella is not a particuarly bad movie or anything, it just feels so unneccessary and ultimately pointless. The outfits are STUNNING-

-but the problem is, the original Cruella De Vil is just a flat-out irredeemable woman. She’s a nasty rich bitch with no compassion for any living thing. She’s a vampire bat and inhuman beast who ought to be locked up and never released, one could say. And this film tries so hard to make her sympathetic but why? We know the story, we know that a few years after the credits roll the woman formerly known as “Estella” will be skinning puppies and abusing her only friends. The fact that she has an evil mother who killed her adopted mother with a Dalmatian (no really) doesn’t exactly excuse her, you know?

So basically Cruella the movie had to scramble around to find another irredeemable woman to blame and that’s Emma Thompson’s character, the Baroness, Cruella’s unfathomably evil biological mum. The Baroness is obsessed with fashion, mistreats her underlings, is rich enough to never face consequences and would definitely skin 101 puppies to make a fur coat. In other words… she’s Cruella De Vil.

So I keep wondering, why couldn’t they just have run with that? Cast Thompson as Cruella… and have Stone be Estella/Cruella Jr, her daughter. Because you’d barely have to change a single thing in the script, a few names and that’s it! Estella could go through the exact same journey, have the exact same fear of turning out like her mother. Then she can get a true happy ending, no dog-murdering in her future, while Cruella Snr gets punished for her assassination-via-Dalmatian ways. You could even have the fun of not revealing in the marketing who Emma Thompson is really playing and wait for the reaction when it turns out Cruella is a sequel, not a prequel to 101 Dalmatians!

Anyway Disney no longer return my calls.

I have finally seen “Cats”

It was the greatest Bad Movie I have ever seen. None of it made a lick of sense. The word “jellicicle” comes up A LOT and we’re never told what it actually means. Several ballet dancers give it their all but the camera cuts away so quickly we barely see their actual movements. There are human cockroaches?!? which Rebel Wilson eats? Also she licks herself, which cats obviously do but she… really shouldn’t. Judi Dench monologues for about three minutes at the end while the movie desperately tries to roll the credits.


Five thoughts on “Arrival”

So I watched Arrival on Saturday and then today (Monday) NASA flew a helicopter on Mars! Good time to talk about this particular film, right?

….I LOVED it and I really wish I’d seen it when it first came out. I think it would’ve been a great one to actually see in a cinema, alongside a whole crowd of people, too. Still.

After the poster comes five thoughts: most of them spoilery:

1. My god I hate the poster for this movie! One of the most visually stunning films I’ve ever seen and the poster is a five-minute Photoshop job with floating heads? I get not wanting to show the aliens but COME ON!

2. The twist in this film is one of the best I’ve seen, ever. When I realised that Louise’s daughter hadn’t been born yet, that it was the future rather than the past, I think I yelled “HOLY SHIT” or something alongline those lines just because of how invested I was. And when I write down the twist like that it sounds like something obvious and gimmicky but it really, really isn’t I promise you.

3. Amy Adams should’ve been Oscar nominated for this movie. This isn’t remotely an unpopular opinion but my god, why wasn’t she?!

4. So Hannah in some sense isn’t even dead? I mean… okay, she is dead, but since Louise no longer perceives time in a linear fashion she may still get some well, time with her, right? Flashes here and there. Maybe? Looking back over the beginning of the film knowing what the ending was, I sort of assumed that what was meant by Louise saying “Come back to me,” after Hannah died. Maybe I’m wrong but I guess that thought makes the ending less sad?

5. This movie is all about communication and how VERY important it is. So it sort of struck me as interesting that Louise loses something (her relationship with Ian) because she cannot or will not communicate something (the fact that their daughter will die) to him.

Also on a much lighter note man I really wanted to start learning languages after seeing this movie! I don’t think I have the brainspace for it, but I WANTED to?