Another week and another potential Oscar nominee. This is another that I was really desperate to watch and its mainly because of Olivia Colman. I adore her and it definitely has something to do with Peep Show. Anyone who was a fan of that show and doesn’t still have a massive soft spot for Sophie is insane. Obviously, she has proved time and time again that she is a fantastic actor in any situation but she is such a fantastically funny woman that she deserved a great role like this. The trailer more than hinted that this was going to be a comic creation like we’ve not seen before and I was all for it. The Lobster is the only other film I’ve seen by Yorgos Lanthimos but I loved it. So was excited to see what he did with this story. Everything I’d seen or heard about it was weird. Everything seemed to have been planned, right down to the justification of the credits, to make The Favourite as disconcerting as possible. And I was ready. But before we get into this, one more word about the credits. I’ve heard and seen a lot of people complain about how the words are set out on-screen but I don’t see the problem. Everything is perfectly readable and, maybe its just me, but they sort of end up having the effect of a tapestry. Plus, it’s a historical thing. It fits and, frankly, I think it worked brilliantly. But I’m getting off topic.
So it had taken me a month between posting my first review to posting the next. Apparently, in order to make up for the deficit, I posted two film reviews on one day. I don’t know what it was about the 25th October 2011 but clearly I was feeling quite motivated that day. Right after I uploaded my review of Fantastic Mr Fox, I also posted a review of that year’s The Three Musketeers remake. I vividly remember going to see that film with some friends because I almost got into an argument with one of them on the way home. I had criticised the film for being bad whilst she tried to give it a positive spin. I had no time for her suggestion that it didn’t matter how good it was if it was fun. Especially as, years later, she took the opposite stance by proclaiming Now You See Me was utterly terrible because it was too stupid. But, we know how bitter and petty I am so let’s leave that for another time. Back to the film in hand. I can’t say I was desperate to see this film but went along to try it out. It turned out to be such a mistake that I couldn’t wait to rant about it online. I would have been happy to never watch this film again but, at the same time, was interested to see if I’d mellowed over the years. After all, I’ve watched some absolutely shocking films last year. Surely, my bar has moved a little lower?
If you’ve read my blog or followed me on Instagram for a little while at this point then you’ll probably know that I have a bit of a long history with the Man Booker nominees. I always get really excited when the longlist is released and desperately get my hands on loads of the books. Not only do I rarely get round to reading them but, inevitably, my favourites never end up on the shortlist. Maybe it’s my fault? Maybe I’m so cursed that any nominated book that I enjoy reading or like the sound of will never win the prize? My last read is one of those books. From the first time I heard about The Dinner Guest I was intrgiued. Telling the story of the author’s grandfather who was murderd before she was born, it sounded like nothing I’d ever read before. So, I bought it almost immediately and promptly left it on my shelves for ages. But, as I’m trying to make my through my unread books this year, I finally picked it up. It’s a pretty short book at only around 140 ages so I expected to have this done in a matter of days but, being me, I only finished it last night. And it’s safe to say I got a little emotional towards the end. But that’s been a fairly common theme this week. Let’s not talk about how many tears I shed watching the Gilette advert…
It’s getting near to that time of the year when I madly try to watch all of the films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As I only just managed it last year, I’m trying to get ahead of the curve and watch the most likely candidates before the nominations are even out. Luckily, they’re all films that I want to watch anyway so, even if none of them end up with a nomination to their name, I won’t have watched them for nothing. First film on the agenda is one of the most talked about film of the end of 2018. I was too busy watching shitty Christmas films to watch Roma when it was first released on Netflix. So, I made it my mission to watch it at the beginning of January. I’d only ever read absolutely positive things about it so, it’s fair to say, my expectations were pretty damn high. But could it really be as magnificent as we’ve been allowed to believe? We know what Netflix films can be like after all? Obviously, as you’ve already seen my star rating, you’ll know that it did live up to its reputation but, let’s be honest, there wasn’t any real doubt was there?
We’re already on our second Thursday of the month and, in keeping with my nostalgic film, I’m rewatching the second film that I reviewed on this blog. It was nearly a month after I posted the first one so, it’s safe to say, I had a pretty relaxed start to this whole thing. I’m so invested in my schedule these days that it’s hard to cope with the fact that I used to just post whenever I had something to write about. It could be weeks or months between writing. I’m not saying that these days I write to gain any kind of response but, back then, I definitely wasn’t writing with the belief that anyone was going to read it. To be honest, I probably only went through with it because I didn’t believe anyone was going to read it. I’d have been mortified to think anyone I knew would see what I was doing. I’m still a little mortified that so many people in my life know about this now but I my love for doing this outweighs all of my natural instincts to hide away. I wish I had more confidence. The kind of confidence it takes for a fox to steal food and drink from under the noses of three angry farmers. Oh, look at that. Brought right back round to topic in hand. It’s almost like I’ve done this blogging malarky before.
There was a point when I didn’t think I would finish this book for today’s post. I was well on track until I got horribly distracted by a podcast I listen to. A friend from work and I are obsessed with the My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast and love discussing it. I’d been saving series 4 for a bit to give me a break after series 3 but, the other day, she announced she’s finished book 4. So, naturally, I have to catch up with her and I may have listened to that instead of Stephen Fry one night this week. It was enjoyably listening to this book as an audiobook but I’m not convinced it’s the greatest way to do it. For one thing, I fell asleep in the middle of several chapters and had to go back the next day. For another, it took me way less time to read a chapter than it took Stephen to narrate it. I’ve never considered how much longer saying something out loud is compared to reading it in your head but it must have a major impact on the time you spend with a book. But this feels like a topic for another time. It’s late and I have to get this review finished.
Today is January 8th, which means we’re already over a week into the new year. But, as we all know, January is the longest month of the year and those 8 days have felt like twice that. Christmas is a but a distant memory: a brighter time without work or responsibilities. So, obviously, the thing everyone wants is to read my review of a Christmas film. Yes, I should have posted this sooner but I was already behind with Into the Spider-Verse. Let’s not worry about it too much. The twelves days of Christmas may be over but who really worries about that kind of thing anyway? Bad luck? I can’t get a job I want, my health is all over the place, I’m currently single: I think I’m pretty good on bad luck right now. How much worse can it really get? So, I’m just going to do this. Regardless of how appropriate it is. After all, I only watched this for this bloody blog… and, to a lesser extent, Cumberbatch. At this point, the obsession is so strong I’d watch him in any old shit.
I want to start this TBT post by saying that, no matter how much fun it was discovering films from 1988, I’m so fucking happy that my Throwback Thirty series is over. The problem with watching films for this blog is that, more often than not, I don’t get to watch the films that I want to. It can be a bit of pain having a craving to watch something but having to put it permanently on hold to watch a shitty film from 1988. However, there was a part of my that really liked having a themed TBT series. So, I was all ready to start a new series in which I go back a re-review films that I’ve already written about on the blog. (Which, as it turns out, is something of a fuckload.) I thought it might be interesting to compare my feelings then and now. But, I’m not sure if it’s actually a thing worth doing so, disclaimer, I might very well abandon it in the next few weeks and just review films I haven’t done before. But for now, and partly because the New Year is about reflecting as much as it about looking forwards (thank you Janus), I’m going to get all nostalgic and go back to the start.
Do you have any reading resolutions for the year? I know a lot of people like to challenge themselves by setting a reading target for the year. This isn’t something that I tend to do because I don’t want to go down the road of seeing reading as being competitive. If that were to happen, I worry my life would become less about the book and more about the numbers. I want to be able to read at my own speed and not feel guilty. However, as I’m trying to be an active Goodreads member this year as well, I have set myself the modest target of reading 30 books this year. Last year I read 34, which is including a massive slump towards the middle of the year and a fairly shitty December. So, hopefully, I’ll make my target. At the very least I’m off to a good start as I finished my first read of the year yesterday. I may have started it in December but it counts to this year. Thank you very much Goodreads.
I’ve only just started it but this is already turning out to be an extremely odd post to write. For one thing, it’s that time between Christmas and New Year when nobody ever knows what day it is so I wasn’t expecting to have to post until tomorrow. For another, I’ve already posted my Top 10 Films of the Year list with this in the top spot. So, it feels like I’ve already reviewed this and should probably just move on. Finally, my family and I only really celebrated Christmas together today. We exchanged presents after a New Year’s Day lunch and it’s making it even harder to figure out what day it is. I just don’t know what to do. It’s going to take the rest of the month before I really know what day it is. But who cares. At the very least, I have a wonderful day with the people I love and I’m planning on finishing (or getting as close as possible to finishing) my current read before I go to bed tonight. If the first day is anything to go by, 2019 could turn out to be quite a lovely year. But then again, the world is still going to shit… if only superheroes were real and could sort this mess out for us.