January Viewing Recap, Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards + A New Crush


Well, the first month of 2016 has come and gone. After two weeks Christmas break, work was quite hectic. Somehow I didn’t get as much time to write either, and it seems the closer my script is to *completion* the more I feel like rewriting. I suppose that’s what they say, writing is 90% rewriting.

In any case, here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

(in order of viewing)


Belle (2014)

Anna Karenina (2012)

Sense & Sensibility 

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

Notting Hill



I’m kinda late to the party but it’s easily the BEST film I saw this month. It would’ve made my top 10 of 2015 if I had seen it sooner.


I didn’t watch it but based on the articles and tweets I’ve read, it seems that the big takeaway from the night is the focus on diversity, as was Sundance Awards the same night, which seems to sending a big message to the Academy. Idris Elba, who was overlooked by Oscars this year, took home two SAG awards, one for Beast of No Nation and the other for his TV work in Luther. (view complete SAG winners at THR), whilst similarly-named that also have a mostly-Black cast Birth of a Nation swept top awards at Sundance, winning U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award.

Glad to see the terrific ensemble cast of Spotlight won SAG, too. Woo hoo! As for Leo and Brie, methinks there’ll be a repeat at the Oscars, don’t you? Check out Brittani’s post on SAG winners.


Play it again Sam 😉

So I saw Pride + Prejudice + Zombies which I actually enjoyed quite a bit [review upcoming]. It was as entertaining as I expected, but what I wasn’t expecting was how much I um, enjoyed seeing Sam Riley as the leather-clad, musket/samurai-wielding zombie killer extraordinaire Mr. Darcy!


So yeah, suffice to say I’m besotted by this 36-year-old Yorkshire man 😉


I’ve been familiar with him for a while but for some reason I hadn’t seen anything Sam’s done before (what a shame!) so I have a lot of catching up to do (yay!). So I saw Byzantium Saturday night, the Neil Jordan’s unconventional vampire drama that’s been in my Netflix queue for some time. Then Sunday afternoon I watched the sex-drenched road movie On The Road based on Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name.

The film is as aimless as the character but it was immensely watchable thanks to Sam’s narration with that irresistible raspy voice and soulful performance. He’s the character we the audience live vicariously through, as the film was seen through his eyes.

I can’t wait to catch up on more of his work, especially his breakthrough role Control about the UK band Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis.


Well that’s my recap of January. What’s YOUR favorite film of the month?

45 thoughts on “January Viewing Recap, Quick Thoughts on SAG Awards + A New Crush

  1. I’d say Sicario for rentals and The Revenant in a theater. Oh, and Southpaw. I was so impressed by Jake G. He is as good as Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, and Christian Bale. That’s saying a lot! As for your new crush–it’s hard for me to wrap my head around zombies in Elizabeth Bennet’s world, but if you liked it, I guess I’ll have to check it out 😉

    1. I think Sicario is already gone from theaters now Cindy. I heard mixed reviews about Southpaw but I might still check it out for Jake G’s performance.

      Ahah, well I think the very idea of Austen + zombies is inherently ridiculous and that’s why it kinda works. Sam is more of a character actor who mostly did indie films, so it’s cool to see him play a classic character like Darcy here. And he’s quite good!

    1. Oy, I’m very curious to see Brighton Rock as I love Andrea Riseborough AND Helen Mirren in it. I’d still give it a shot, but with tempered expectations 🙂

  2. I think the only “new” movie I saw last month was THE INTERVIEW, I was bored and decided to watch it on Netflix. I chuckled a couple of times, it’s just a time waster of a movie. Since I’m still don’t have a projector, I haven’t watched any new movies at home. The only rewatch movie I saw was THE REVENANT.

    1. Hi Eddie! As a huge fan of period dramas AND Jane Austen, I couldn’t resist and it was pretty darn entertaining. Even my hubby had a great time. I still need to see Control, maybe even later today 🙂

  3. I don’t have a favorite film for January but rather an entire trilogy which is the Apu trilogy.

    As a fan of Joy Division, Control is an excellent film but I more prefer 24 Hour Party People which I think is a more enjoyable film though it’s more about the history of Factory Records that Joy Division was a part of in its beginnings.

    1. Hi Steven! Riley was actually in ’24 Hour Party People’ as well but he said his scene was cut. Poor guy, but thankfully he got the lead role in ‘Control.’ I can’t wait to see that one!

  4. Sicario is just bloody awesome. Reminds me, I should do a top ten list.

    My film of the month was White God. Incredible Austrian film.

    Glad you have a new crush Ruth 😛

    1. I’m just glad I finally caught Sicario, better late than never 😉 YES do a top 10 list Jordan, and send me the link when you’re done.

      Oh I’ve heard about White God, I still need to see that. He..he.. I love having a new crush, esp when he’s got a lot of interesting films in his CV 😉

      1. White God is amazing. I’m watching a few films from last year that might make the list before I make the list.. If that makes sense. Plus I’m in Australia, we are always behind 😉

            1. I’m still baffled by these gaps in release dates, but we’ve been over that before. I actually just saw a trailer of a movie I REALLY want to see and I found out it’s already opened in the UK back in March 2015, yet we still don’t even have any dvd or streaming version of that film for us in America to see the darn thing. It’s so darn frustrating!

              1. That really is crazy. There was a movie released last year in May, a great Aussie movie. Don’t think it has hit DVD or anything. So frustrating!!

                And yeah we’ve talked about the release dates before, but during awards season it gets truly absurd. Anomolisa(sp?) only just came out today, same with Steve Jobs. Brooklyn isn’t out till later this month, and all the main oscar contenders didn’t release here till late January. We really get shafted this time of year. The only one was The Revenant, we got that one on time. I guess that is what an Oscar will do for you!

                Sorry for the long rant Ruth! Take care 🙂 And check out my latest post, would love to hear your thoughts if you have seen it

    1. Hello Allie! Yeah I felt the same way, I made my top 10 list about a week before I saw it. I really think both Emily and Benicio were robbed of their Oscar nominations!

  5. Paul S

    I didn’t know Sam Riley was from Yorkshire, I didn’t even know he was a Brit. He was fine as Sal Paradise in On the Road, although I really regretted watching that one, for me it really didn’t do justice to the book.

    1. Hi Paul! I knew Sam was a Brit and a great actor from stuff I’d read but strangely enough hasn’t seen any of his work before PPZ. I think On The Road was tough to adapt cinematically, but Sam was terrific and soulful as Sal, and he made the film watchable for me.

  6. So glad to see your love for Sicario. I absolutely love that movie and it really holds up strong a second time around. Such great performances and the tension is fabulous.

    1. Hi Keith! I’m glad I finally saw it too, I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing it again despite how intense it was. Yes the tension really was incredible, yet there’s not a lot of action. Superbly directed/written/acted piece.

  7. YAY! Sicario at #1, and you watched Phoenix! My favorite of the month would easily be Carol.

    Thrilled for Leo, Elba, Vikander, and Spotlight at the SAG’s. Happy for Larson, too, though I’d vote for Ronan.

    Hope you like Control! It made me a Joy Division fan.

    1. Sicario was unbelievably good, it stands to be a noir classic I think. And yes, Phoenix is excellent as well.

      I do LOVE Ronan and I’m rooting for her, but I think Brie would win again at Oscars.

      So you like Riley’s performance as Ian Curtis? It’s crazy that it’s done a decade ago, but it still resonates w/ people. I’d think Riley would be a more famous actor considering how well-received that film was.

        1. Yeah it’s really a bummer as he actually won the unofficial Mark Kermode’s Best Actor and was nominated for BAFTA Rising Star. He’s still young though, I’m hoping he’d get another shot at it. I don’t care about him being famous, I just want to see him in more movies!

  8. I’ve seen Control which I consider a strong biopic. Especially the cinematography and the actors playing the music live impressed me. It’s easily my favorite Sam Riley performance in terms of making me feel something emotionally for his character. I hope you like the film too!

    1. Glad to hear! I can’t wait to see CONTROL which remains his breakthrough role. It’s a bummer he didn’t get more roles because of it. I’m sure I’ll love that movie.

  9. abbiosbiston

    I am currently reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for my book club and I can’t decide if I love or hate it. I change my mind on a daily basis. I am struggling a bit to imagine Sam Riley as Darcy though. I loved him in Control and On the Road but he just seems a bit… weedy… to me. Maybe my mind will change when I see the film. I think in my mind Darcy is a bit more… Michael Fassbender, Lol!

    1. Hi Abbi! I think I read that some people think the film version is more fun than the book. I think the actors did a great job, maybe I’m biased as I’m so fond of Riley now. I also never imagined him as Darcy as he’s got this rock ‘n roll vibe but he’s perfect as the brooding, bad ass Darcy IMHO. What’s ‘weedy??’ That’s a term I haven’t heard before. Well Fassy’s played Rochester, he can’t play Darcy too!

  10. Very cute I was not expecting him, but I knew it would be someone that is not a huge huge star. Yay I love the unveiling of a new crush. haha. He is super cute and I have only seen him in On the Road, which if I remember he was pretty good in. Look forward to hearing more about him because I know you will uncover it all. Awesome!

    1. It’s funny but I don’t usually go for someone like Sam who’s more boyish, have straight hair & brown eyes. But I was won over by his portrayal of Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and then of course I saw him in On the Road and voila!! I also love his sarcastic and self-deprecating sense of humor, typical Brit y’know, soooo witty! I also love that he’s married & has a baby, he seems like a family man which is refreshing. Glad you’ve seen On the Road, I quite enjoyed it despite its flaws and Sam is definitely a major factor. Oh yes I’m planning a big Appreciation post on him as I found sooo many great materials to blog about. I remember seeing him in one of those Burberry ads a while ago but I didn’t know it was him, I just thought he was just some hot male model!!

      1. I thought the same thing like hmmm he doesn’t really seem like her type, but I know you always like those guys who seem really soulful. He is totally cute and seems normal from what you say. I just saw Hail Cesar and really liked this guy Alden Ehrenreich he was in a few movies I have seen, but never really stood out like he did in this one. He is super cute adding him to my new crush list too. And he kind of reminds me of yours. Look him up! I look forward to your post on Sam!

        1. Oh I know Alden from when I saw Beautiful Creatures! I didn’t care for the movie but he made an impression. He actually looked a bit like Riley when he was his age (he’s now 36), and even a bit like Stanley too in this photo: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/meet-the-coen-brothers-new-breakout-star-alden-ehrenreich-20160204 Ooooh I think I’d be crushing on him too, I thought he looked good in the trailer. He’s also in Stoker.

          But what makes me in love w/ Sam right away is his wit. If you look for some of his interviews on Youtube you’ll know what I mean. He’s just so irreverent and I like actors who don’t try to maintain an image y’know, he’s completely oblivious to the Hollywood *game* or whatever, so he’s free to say whatever he thinks. I find that so refreshing!

          1. Yes I saw him in those films too, he was good, but they never really highlighted him. When you see Hail Cesar because I have a feeling you will, you will see what I mean. He’s really good in it, probably the best part of the whole movie. He’s so damn cute!! Ok I will look up Mr. Sam … and thank you for the Rolling Stone link…oh girl you are right up my alley right now. You should have been a private investigator!!

                1. Hot dayuuum… I was literally hyperventilating when I saw it. I’ll tweet you the cover photo of that magazine, wish I had bought it!! He’s so laid back yet when he puts on a move for a photoshoot he sure knows how to ‘riley’ me up, mwahahaha!!

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