Ah, the month of the Beast from the East.
It started with a bang.
I travelled down to London with my brother at the very end of February. I’d bought tickets for us to attend the Warner Bros Studio Tour on the 1st as a 30th birthday present.
The trip down was fine, and the first afternoon was spent pottering around London during tourist things (I don’t get down much).
And then the snow came.
We luckily made it to the Studio Tour fine on the Thursday morning. It was fantastic. I wouldn’t call myself a massive Harry Potter fan, though have read all the books and seen all the films. And yet, I loved the whole experience. I could have easily spent a whole day there, but the three hours it did take us to make our way around was plenty. It all went downhill after when our flight was cancelled, and we found ourselves staying an extra night in London. Not the best when it’s cold and you’re supposed to be working the next day.
In terms of the rest of the month, I finally saw Lady Bird, which I liked but didn’t love. I’m a fan of Greta Gerwig and admire Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn didn’t do it for me either). But, I don’t know, something about the film didn’t sit right with me. That said, for a directorial debut, it’s right up there. I am worried, however, about Mary Queen of Scots. The accents are all over the place. Game Night, in which one of my favourite and most underrated actresses starred (Rachel McAdams), was a fun time at the cinema. Her next film Disobedience is at the very top of my most anticipated list and has been ever since it premiered on the festival circuit late last year. Tomb Raider, on the other hand, was not fun, despite Alicia Vikander’s most tried efforts. It was, I have to say, better than its trailer, which bored me to tears every time.
The two big blockbusters that month were Ready Player One and A Wrinkle in Time. Like many others, I admired Ava DuVernay’s ambition with the latter, though it ultimately fell short. The former, while not without its own faults, really won me over. I’d read the book a year or two before and really enjoyed it, so it was even more fulfilling to see the film come to life in the way it did.
I didn’t like Blockers as much as many, though will always appreciate Leslie Mann’s comic timing. I had missed Isle of Dogs at the Glasgow Film Festival, so was pleased to finally see this. It has a lot of dark charm and deliciously sumptuous voice acting. I have since looked back at the release schedule for this month and it pains me to see all the films I didn’t see, including Journeyman, Proud Mary, Pacific Rim: Uprising and, by no means last, Duck Duck Goose.
And the film that made me cry this month? Love, Simon. It’s hard to put this film into words but I’ll try. If you’ve seen the film, then you’ll know the sit down emotional scene involving both Simon (Nick Robinson) and his mum (Jennifer Garner). This was the moment when I broke. It’s not like my coming out wasn’t accepted, but to have this kind of reaction from a loved one… Wow. That scene will stick in my memory for a long time. It’s not the easiest telling your family that your gay. There’s the initial shock and then disbelief. But it all settles down. That was for me anyway. I hate to imagine what it’s like for people who’s family and friends aren’t as accommodating. The film was very well done. Robinson makes for a dashing, relatable lead. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do.
Best film of the month: It’s a toss up between Ready Player One and Love, Simon
Best performance: Saoirse Ronan
Random thought: If you haven’t been already, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is well worth a visit, just try and avoid any snow storms
Films seen this month: 7
Films seen to date this year: 26