How do I review a film that I unabashedly adore, and one that receives a rare perfect score from yours truly? It’s my favorite film of 2020 so far — there’s still more to see, but I highly doubt anything will be able to top this. Promising Young Woman marked my first time at a theater in person in several months…I’d heard amazing reviews from critics lucky enough to get to see the film a year ago, at Sundance; some even praised it as the best film of the year, and even though I was excited to see it, I doubted it could possibly be that good.
I didn’t watch the Paddington films until recently, and in quick succession, as I was so taken with the first one that I had to see the second one (and am now eagerly anticipating a third film). Strangely, I reviewed Paddington 2 first, although it doesn’t really matter; it helps to have seen the first film before watching the 2nd, as the first introduces you to the character of Paddington and the Brown family, with whom he ends up living.
I was semi-excited to see On the Rocks, because I knew Sofia Coppola was a talented storyteller — Lost in Translation is so original and clever, and Marie Antoinette is a unique take on the famed figure — and I was curious to see Bill Murray in a new role, which some deemed as his best work since his [sole] Oscar-nominated performance in Lost in Translation. And, while I was impressed with Murray’s work here, I found the film to be incredibly disappointing and a waste of my time, despite only being 96 minutes long.
People may complain about the historical inaccuracies of the events that transpire in the film, but what they may not realize is that it is based on the play written by Peter Shaffer (who also wrote the screenplay). The play itself isn’t based on fact; rather, it is a dramatization of events that probably didn’t happen, and a sort of fantasy about the rivalry between two talented composers, Mozart and Salieri, one of whom (Mozart) is obviously more talented (a genius, really).
Ocean’s Eleven is one of those movies that is probably nearly impossible to dislike, even if you find nit-picky elements that you dislike or find off-putting; I find it to be a near-perfect film that I’ve seen more times than I can count (most recently, just a couple weeks ago).
An American Pickle is one of those movies that is enjoyable to watch but you don’t expect it to exceed expectations — which, for the most part, it doesn’t. And, as the first film released exclusively on new streaming service HBO Max (of which I am now a subscriber), the expectations weren’t all that high.
Sure, it’s not a perfect film, and clearly critics disliked it enough to give it a disappointingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of 44%; but, I’d have to say I disagree with the critics, for the most part. The plot is fairly basic and not all that original, but the characters, dialogue, and actors are so entertaining and charming that it is nearly impossible to dislike.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 is a mouthful of a film title, but you’d expect something like that from Aaron Sorkin, the creator of The West Wing who is known for his verbosity. In his sophomore directorial effort (after Molly’s Game), Sorkin has opted to depict a moment in American history which with many of us may have been unfamiliar (I certainly was): the trial relating to protests at the Democratic National Convention in the 1960s.
First Wives Club is the kind of film that lifts your spirits and is good to watch in between viewing dramatic, heavy movies. Sometimes, you just need to to watch a trio of A-list actresses engage in hilarious, ridiculous shenanigans, even if the execution isn’t perfect.
Fargo is, in a way, a difficult film to review because it’s so bizarrely unique and sometimes difficult to watch that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to watch it again. That’s not to say that I didn’t find the movie entertaining and funny, but it is also uncomfortable and jarring at times — what we have come to know as a typical Coen brothers film