Thursday Movie Picks: Romance Tropes Edition – Forbidden Love

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy almost Friday! It’s TMP time! The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… Romance Tropes Edition: Forbidden Love.

There are plenty to choose for this week’s topic, which actually makes it harder. Well, I’m going with films that people might not have seen yet, and not one most people would automatically think of when they hear the term forbidden love.

In any case, here are my picks:

NEVER LET ME GO (2010)

The lives of three friends, from their early school days into young adulthood, when the reality of the world they live in comes knocking.

I reviewed this movie nearly a decade ago and it’s the kind of film you should know as least as possible before watching. It’s a sci-fi drama starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield who grew up together in school, and there’s a love triangle that happen between them when they grow up.

Based on a book by Kazuo Ishiguro, directed by Mark Romanek based on a script by Alex Garland‘s (28 Days Later, Ex Machina), the romantic drama sensibilities offers a stark contrast to the cerebral sci-fi nature of the story. Lets just say it’s one of the most haunting film I’ve ever seen as you learn the predestined fate that await these characters.

Fun Trivia:
Keira Knightley admitted that she only agreed to appear in the film because her friend and co-star Carey Mulligan had asked her to. She said she was unable to relate to Ruth’s involvement in a love triangle.


LOVING (2016)

The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision.

I’ve reviewed this one as well and if you haven’t seen it yet, well, might be good to catch this during Black History Month. It’s really astonishing that this happened not that long ago… I’d like to think hope we’ve come a long way since then.

Jeff Nichols is such a talented and sensitive filmmaker and I like that this film highlights the then-forbidden love between the couple, instead of just using their story to make a political statement. Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton beautifully portrayed Mildred and Richard with such quiet grace and sincerity. It’s an understated performance that speaks volumes and conveys the tension as well as poignancy of what they went through.

Fun Trivia:
Director Jeff Nichols was able to tell the story of the Loving family as accurately as possible by relying on Nancy Buirski’s documentary The Loving Story (2011), which captured many details of their private lives.


Suite Française (2014)

During the early years of Nazi occupation of France in World War II, romance blooms between Lucile Angellier, a French villager, and Lieutenant Bruno von Falk, a German soldier.

I have to admit I saw this because of Sam Riley whom I had a huge crush on a few years back, but it also has a great cast including Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie. The forbidden romance is between Michelle Williams‘ character who falls for a Nazi soldier played by Matthias Schoenaerts. Being in love with the enemy certainly is one of the more popular forbidden romance set during wartime.

Schoenaerts is quite an underrated actor and he’s really good in period romance (love him as Gabriel Oak in Far From The Madding Crowd). The way he looks at a woman he loves… well, that’s the stuff memorable romance is made of. There’s a breathless chemistry between him and Michelle, all stolen glances and repressed passion. This movie ends up being a pleasant surprise about love & survival, right down to its poignant ending.

Fun Trivia:
Margot Robbie and Third Assistant Director Tom Ackerley met and began dating during the filming of this movie. They married in 2016.

Sam Riley (Benoit Labarie) and Alexandra Maria Lara (Leah) are married in real life.

The Lover (1992)

In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.

I saw this film ages ago, the details are a bit hazy to me now. Yet it’s definitely one of the most indelible forbidden love stories I remember, and the film is quite risqué as well. Directed by acclaimed French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud (who also made The Name of the Rose with its own forbidden romance elements), it’s actually based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras.

Jane March and Tony Ka Fai Leung played the lovers in the film, and there are plenty of explicit sex scenes that’s quite scandalous given March was only 17 or 18 at the time. In the book, the girl is 15 so it’s also a story of sexual awakening. Annaud also shot the sex scenes in a very intimate, believable way, which at times were tough to watch. I don’t watch too many erotic films so this is one of the few films I’ve seen with such unbridled sexuality. But The Lover is also emotionally nuanced so their sexual relationship is more than skin-deep. If you’re curious about this one, it’s also deliberately slow-paced, as some would call poetically-slow, but that’s par the course with Annaud’s films.

Fun Trivia:
Jane March’s first acting role. In an interview with the L.A. Times in Oct. 1992, she said “I had never done a movie in my life. I had never acted before. The first time I saw the film complete, I sat in the screening room and cried. It was the end of my adventure, the end of my first escapade in life.”


So who are YOUR favorite movies about Forbidden Romance?

MARCH Viewing Recap + Films I’m looking forward to in April

MarchRecap

Well it’s technically Spring and the sun is shining outside, but Winter hasn’t quite left us just yet. Temps is only in the 40s so we can’t exactly plant those Petunias just yet. Heck, we might even still get snow later tonight! But hey, it IS April so I’m gonna pretend Spring IS here.

So here are movies I saw this month:

New-to-me Movies

(in order of viewing)

I’ve reviewed Shaun the Sheep, London Has Fallen, Eye in the Sky, Crouching Tiger 2, Batman V Superman and Before We Go. I’ve pretty much summed up my thoughts on Knight of Cups here. I should have my review of Suite Française later this month as I still haven’t got around to reviewing any of Sam Riley movies [sigh]. I did do a special Music Break post dedicated to Control though. As for Suite Française, lets just say the UK dvd I bought from Amazon (which I had to convert into Region 1 so I can actually play it) was well worth the purchase!

On the TV front, I finished the entire season of Daredevil in just one week! That is quite a record as normally my hubby and I take our time with TV shows. Well, suffice to say Daredevil season 2 was great, I’d say it’s on par with season 1, with an even better adversary in The Punisher. I’ll definitely do a top 10 post for it, just like I did with Jessica Jones.

Rewatches

Yes of course I rewatched a few of Sam Riley films. On the Road and Control are the kind of films I could watch a few times a year, even just to indulge in Sam’s performance. I only have one more of his feature films to watch, which is a British thriller 13 (see trailer below) which has a stellar ensemble cast (Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone, Michael Shannon, etc.) which I plan to watch next week. After that I’ll be done with his entire filmography!


Of course there’s always time for period dramas in my life, so I rewatched BBC’s Persuasion just a few days ago. Apart from the awkward kissing scene, I love this adaptation. Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen story after Sense & Sensibility. Now, A Promise is a very flawed drama, but for some reason I enjoyed it… there’s something about the way Richard Madden pines for Rebecca Hall that I find so irresistible.

Currently reading

SSGB

I’ve been devouring this excellent novel by Len Deighton, which is an alternative history narrative set in a Nazi-occupied Britain, centered on a Scotland Yard detective Douglas Archer. BBC is currently adapting SS-GB as a five-part miniseries with my dahling Sam Riley as the protagonist Archer (yay!) I’ll be blogging about this project specifically, but let’s just say the book is a page-turner, a MUST for all spy fans.

MOVIE SERIES OF THE MONTH

DaredevilSeason2

I actually don’t really have a favorite new-to-me film I saw this month. It would’ve probably be A Streetcar Named Desire, but since I was unable to watch it last week for the Blindspot series, I’m putting down Daredevil Season 2 as the best thing I watched in March. I can’t wait to see the standalone Punisher series, I wonder if they’ll have that before or after Daredevil season 3. Either way, I’m up for both!!


Films I look forward to in April

Born To Be Blue

I’m hoping to catch this one later this weekend. I have the screener link but it has the pesky watermark on it so I’ve sort of been putting off watching it. Hoping to chat with the director too, we’ll see if that pans out. I’m always up for an interesting music biopic and I don’t know anything about Chet Baker so it should be interesting.

Demolition

I missed the press screening of Demolition last month but fortunately there’s another one scheduled next week, so I can’t wait for this.

 

Huntsman: Winter War

This screening is actually scheduled the same time as The Jungle Book. I’d love to see that one too but I didn’t really like the theater it’s screened at so I chose this one. It’s probably not gonna be a great movie, but I’d still see it just for the trio of fabulous women: Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain. I think it’s inspired casting to see Theron and Blunt as sisters.

13 (2011)

Despite the stellar cast, this film never got a theatrical release. I actually heard about it in one of Sam’s interviews where he said he saw it years later and had to find it online somewhere to see it! The reviews haven’t been kind, but really, with THIS cast (esp. Sam in the lead role!) I simply have to see it. It’s interesting too that the Georgian director actually remade his own movie 13 Tzameti and set it in the US with British/American actors.


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