Weekend Viewing Roundup & Updates on my pledge to #52FilmsByWomen

Hello everyone, hope you had a pretty nice and relaxing weekend. Those in the Northeast, hope you’re doing ok and not buried under the snowmageddon! It’s crazy that we Minnesotans have been enjoying relatively uneventful Winter lately, I mean we got the subzero temps last week but as far as snow, there’s really not much to write home about.

Well, I haven’t been to the movies since before New Year but starting this coming week, there’ll be at least one press screening a week, starting with Pride + Prejudice + Zombies this Thursday! Yep, I’m a big Jane Austen fan, but I’m not really a purist so I enjoy mixing of genres, especially as bizarre as this one!

I did see quite a few movies at home, mostly rewatches though:

Learning to Drive
is a cross-cultural comedy drama by Spanish filmmaker Isabel Coixet that’s instantly elevated by the two charming cast. Sir Ben Kingsley once again played an Indian man, and for some reason I just learned that the British thespian is actually half Indian. Did you know his birth name is Krishna Bhanji? In any case, Learning To Drive is sweet and poignant, albeit rather predictable. Patricia Clarkson is lovely as a woman ditched by her husband. Her character seems insufferable at times, but she displays such affecting vulnerability that you instantly root for her. I haven’t seen too many films of hers but I certainly will do so now.

I still LOVE Notting Hill and my hubby and I actually watched it right after Learning to Drive. He said he’s forgotten most of it but he loved the movie. I think Richard Curtis is one of those rare directors who can make fun rom-coms that appeals to both men and women. Rogue Nation is of course so immensely watchable, glad that my hubby bought the Bluray last week!


As for Gosford Park, it’s been ages since I saw this one so it’ll feel like the first time. I’ve always been fascinated by films about the English class system and this was written by the writer of Downton Abbey, Julian Fellows. It’s part of the three films we’ll be discussing at Cindy’s Lucky 13 Film Club on Feb 13. The cast is filled with the who’s who of British cinema: Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, Derek Jacobi, Michael Gambon, Clive Owen, etc. Ryan Phillippe seems out of place in this lineup, playing a Scot no less!


I’ve mentioned this when I posted my 2016 Blindspot list earlier this month. Well, I’ve seen the first one of my Blindspot film which happens to be directed by a woman: Marie Antoinette (review upcoming). If you haven’t heard of this *movement* yet, well head to WomenInFilm.org announcement here, hope you can take part!

Well, so far I’ve watched three films by women this month, but one is a rewatch (Belle by Amma Asante). I hope to watch another one by end of this month. Most likely it’ll be another cross-cultural drama, Cairo Time, which also stars Patricia Clarkson, directed Canadian filmmaker Ruba Nadda.

TallulahMovieSpeaking of movies directed by women, my good friend Kirsten Gregerson‘s in Sundance this weekend and one of the films she’s been talking to me about is Tallulah. It’s a drama by female director Sian Heder starring Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard and Zachary Quinto, which has just been picked up by Netflix!

No trailer yet but the film’s been getting great reviews, including this one by Variety. I’ll be blogging more about Sundance films later this week.

Well, what did you watch this weekend? Anything good?

50 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup & Updates on my pledge to #52FilmsByWomen

  1. I didn’t really watch a lot of things this weekend other than a short film by Alejandro Amenabar and a re-watch of Only the Strong. I’ve just been busy not really doing anything as I’m now a 1/3 done on my upcoming Auteurs piece on Amenabar.

    As for the 52 films by women series, I have a couple of films by women that is part of my Blind Spot series but I’m unlikely to take part in that project as I’m doing other things at the moment including a possible monthly project devoted entirely to the music of David Bowie.

    1. Wow, another Auteurs piece! I’m afraid I’m not that familiar w/ Amenabar. Interestingly enough, I also watched a film by a Spanish filmmaker (Learning To Drive).

      A monthly project devoted entirely to the music of David Bowie! I look forward to that!

  2. Paul S

    I revisited The Age of Innocence and Flesh and Bone over the weekend. Two films released in 1993, totally different settings, but equally heartbreaking and devastatingly romantic.
    I’m hoping to have a look at Gosford Park (and Howard’s End) before the 13th. They should make for a mesmerizing double bill.

    1. Hi Paul! I actually just watched the trailer of The Age of Innocence this past weekend which made me want to see it again. I haven’t seen Flesh and Bone yet, does that one has Le Pfeiffer in it?

      I look forward to you joining the discussion next month, Paul!

      1. Paul S

        Hey Ruth, The Age of Innocence is gorgeous isn’t it? Such beautiful hearbreak.
        Flesh and Bone doesn’t feature Michelle, if only, but it does have Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan and a young Gwyneth Paltrow. For me it’s one of the great overlooked films of the 1990s.

        1. It is indeed, beautiful & heartbreaking which has such a haunting quality to it. I should check out Flesh & Bone. Interesting that it has Ryan & Quaid, they must’ve still been together then. I’m not too fond of Gwyneth generally though.

  3. Had a good weekend. I was working on finally finishing Jessica Jones…still two episodes to go. Also watched this Japanese movie called An, which I really liked. Small movie, but it had a heartfelt story. Went to a kids movie with my daughter, which was a horrible movie…at least she enjoyed it. Also watched one of my Blindspot movies, Russian Ark, which really wasn’t for me.

    1. Hello Nostra! I have about 3 more episodes of Jessica Jones to go. How do you like the series? I still like Daredevil more but JJ is still pretty good.

      I’m going over to your blog to catch up on your posts!

  4. Nice idea to combine your blindspot series with #52FilmsByWomen. We need more diversity and female directors. After The Wedding is my favorite of the 8 Susanne Bier films I’ve seen, I hope you like it too. I watched Fishtank 2-3 years ago and I still remember it vividly.

    1. Hi Chris! I’m just trying to be realistic as I don’t have that much time to watch SO many films. I really hope I can actually watch 52 films by women by end of year, but I think I could if I insert some rewatches on there. Glad to hear you love After The Wedding! I might watch that one next month. Fish Tank gets a mixed review but I’m still curious to see it.

  5. Ruth, sounds like a cuddly time on the couch minus the East Coast’s dumping of snow. I’ve been watching Robert Mitchum films and football and devoted the weekend to working on my novel. How’s your script going? I’m so glad you will be co-coasting Feb 13 event. I’m about to revisit Being Julia. Yay, J. Irons. As for Talluhah, I remember decades ago reading a book by that name, and I wonder if it’s related to the film. I’ve really missed Ellen Page, so will watch it. Three cheers to the 52Films by Women!

    1. Cuddly time on the couch, ha! Yes it’s always tradition for my hubby and I to watch a movie after dinner on Fridays. Glad you had time to devote to your novel. I spent maybe 2 hrs total on my script which is a bummer as I wanted to devote more time to it. It’s going well though I hit a snag on one of the scenes that I keep rewriting it, I guess they say 90% of writing is re-writing right?

      I don’t know if Tallulah is based on a novel but the story does sound intriguing. I hope you participate in 52 Films by Women, I’m thrilled someone is starting that movement!

  6. Between football (Go Broncos) and a ridiculously busy weekend at work, I didn’t get to watch a single movie! Grrrr.

    But that will change. I’m off Tuesday and Wednesday and I have a few movies I’m trying to choose from.

      1. Yep! And get this, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre will be showing on the big screen near me on Wednesday! A fabulous Bogart picture. I’m there!

        1. That’s awesome, good for you Keith! I missed seeing Roman Holiday in a theater near me back in December, but I’m glad that there are more and more classic films being shown on the big screen nowadays.

  7. Great work, I love that you’re talking about female directors. There are so many good ones out there that never seem to get the deserved credit. I need to watch more movies directed by women and your posts has inspired me.

    1. Thrilled to hear that Vinnie! Yeah I think sexism is even more rampant in Hollywood than racism, which is even more baffling in this day and age.

  8. I’m still without a projector so no home movie watching for me the last few weeks, hope I’ll have a new projector soon! But I just picked up Rouge Nation for $10 at Best Buy, can’t wait to watch it again with my home Dolby Atmos sound!

    I did go see The Revenant again with a friend last night at the Icon Atmos theater, when I saw it at a press screening, it’s in a smaller theater; still love the film and of course the Atmos surround sound is spectacular.

    You know I didn’t find out about Ben Kingsley being half Indian until after I saw Gandhi. I thought to myself at the time, why the heck did they cast a white guy in such an important role. Lol.

    1. Oh no! Are you buying a new one? Was your current one broken Ted? Well hopefully you get a new one soon. Rogue Nation is so awesome to watch over and over, definitely worth buying!

      Wow you saw The Revenant again? I’m sure it looks spectacular on the big screen, if only I had the stomach for all the gore.

      I think most ppl probably knew about Kingsley being half Indian. He sure likes to play ethnic roles, not just Indian but Egyptian, Jews, etc. and now I understand why!

      1. Yeah there was something wrong with the previous projector and I sent it back to Panasonic. But unfortunately for me, Panasonic is no longer producing new projectors so I’m still waiting for them to send me a replacement; not sure if it will happen anytime soon. I might have to just buy a new Sony one but I love that Panasonic and don’t want to get another brand.

    1. Hello Mark, I’ll be posting my friend Ted’s review of Hateful Eight. I don’t think it’s my cup of tea. LOVE your Iceland photos btw, glad you shared them!

    1. Hello m’dear! You must’ve been busy that you got your cousin blogging for you now. Yes Gosford Park is intriguing if you love the upstairs/downstairs storyline, but upon second watch, I actually prefer the story of Downton Abbey more.

      P.S. I have a new crush! Back w/ a Brit now after almost a year crushing on a Frenchman 😉

  9. Pingback: 12 films debuting at Sundance 2016 I can’t wait to see

    1. Notting Hill still holds up after all those years, it’s still funny and romantic. For some reason I wasn’t as in love w/ Gosford Park on rewatch, I actually like Downton Abbey more from Julian Fellowes.

  10. Pingback: Bye bye 2016! End of year recap & musings on favorite films we saw this year

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