By golly it’s August already!! Summer is almost over though it’s so sweltering hot here in Minnesota that makes me want some Autumn weather! I am looking forward to fewer blockbuster movies and more prestige, award-worthy dramas. I am still bummed that I missed applying for TIFF press coverage, though I’m not sure I can actually travel to Toronto anyway. I sure hope film festivals haven’t abandoned virtual screenings completely now that Covid seems to be more manageable.
In any case, here are what I watched last month:
A Call To Spy* (2019)
Mr Malcolm’s List* (2022)
My hubby loves watching America’s Got Talent so that’s when I first saw Grace VanderWaal when she was a pre-teen. I never watched the first movie as I didn’t even know it existed. This movie follows Stargirl, yep that’s her actual name, and her costume-designer mother Ana (Judy Greer), who relocates to L.A. when she’s hired to do a movie.
Obviously, there is some singing involved given Grace’s musical background, boasting gorgeous singing and hummable songs. The tentative romance between Grace and her neighbor Evan (Elijah Richardson) is wholesome and sweet. Grace might not be the most skilled actress but she more than makes up for it in charm and well, grace. It’s a pleasant surprise to see Emma Thurman as a former singer who’s left the music scene to become a producer. A cute and frothy movie about following one’s dreams that’s pleasant to watch for the whole family.
The Sea Beast (2022)
Don’t Make Me Go*
Mrs Harris Goes To Paris
The Gray Man (2022)
I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie and when I was reviewing The Sea Beast, I found out the director Chris Williams was credited for Moana so I decided to finally give it a shot. It’s pretty enjoyable and Auli’i Cravalho did such a splendid job as Moana, and Dwayne Johnson is perfectly cast as a demigod. Great to see a mostly Polynesian voice cast, including New Zealanders Jemaine Clement and Rachel House. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous and the songs are memorable which are to be expected from the Mouse house, definitely one of the best Disney animated features.
I had been curious about this one for some time, mostly because of the subject matter. Johnny Depp had been in the news a lot lately because of his legal troubles. Apparently, MGM buried this movie for that reason, but Depp is actually quite good here as war photographer W. Eugene Smith who travels back to Japan to document the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in Minamata’s coastal communities.
The environmental disaster cover-up reminds me a bit of Dark Waters, but I’d say this one has some really memorable imagery that grabs me emotionally. The story is one that’s hard to shake and the cinematography is stunningly beautiful, which is appropriate considering the movie is a tribute to an acclaimed photographer.
My rewatches this month was largely ‘inspired’ by my absolute disdain for Netflix’s ghastly Persuasion… I pretty much watched the 1995 version of Persuasion the very next day though one still couldn’t recover from such a monstrosity. [shudder]
Mamma Mia 2 (2018)
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Downton Abbey (S6) – Amazon Prime
Only Murders In The Building (S2)
52 Films By Women pledge
Movies indicated with * (asterisk) indicate those directed by women.
Wooo weee!! I’m happy to report that I got to watch five movies directed by women this past month! Apart from Persuasion, all of them were very good. Despite my disappointment about that Austen adaptation, I still wish Carrie Cracknell would get another chance and more in film directing, though perhaps she should stay away from literary adaptations
JULY MOVIE OF THE MONTH
This is SO my kind of movie… I love movies set in Paris, European actors, and pretty clothes, and this one has all of those and then some! Lesley Mansville is absolutely delightful, hope to see more of her in a leading role.