January 2017: Movies

I have never been much of a movie theater person, but I found myself at the movies a lot this month, so here’s what I saw and what I thought about it.

Fences: So I saw this as a one act play at a theater competition when I was 15 or 16, so watching the movie felt familiar. But this movie is meant for the stage, preferably a small stage, not an auditorium. I appreciate this film more than I like it. I am looking forward to seeing it as a stage production at a local theater though, so I will give the movie credit for that.

Hidden Figures: I saw this on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a Monday where most people have the day off, at 1 in the afternoon, and the theater was PACKED. And the theater I go to is a teeny locally owned family operated one. I love that this film is one you can bring your seven year old to, as well as your eighty year old grandmother. This story is beautiful, and I loved the layers of this story, whether it was covering barriers to education, management, or a seat at the table. It was a damn good film, and I hope it wins a lot of awards this season.

20th Century Women: I saw this at the Enzian in a mostly empty theater and this is a film that I can’t really say a lot about in terms of whether I liked or disliked it. This film follows the lives of Dorothea, a 55 year old single mom running a pseudo boarding house, her son Jamie, 15, who almost dies from one of those teen fad games, Julie, his 16 year old friend who doesn’t want to sleep with him, Abbie, a 19 year old cancer survivor coming to terms with her infertility, and William, a sculptor and womanizer. When Dorothea feels she can no longer relate to her son, she requests that Abbie and Julie help her mold Jamie into a man. The fact that a film called “20th Century Women” primarily follows three women who’s lives are focused around a 15 year old boy is an interesting choice, but this film does a lot in encapsulating the mid 1970’s, particularly when it comes to the history of contraception, fertility drugs, and pregnancy tests. I also am a bit critical of the choice to focus the musical score on 70’s punk, but not include any female punk artists. Overall, this film is very much what it is: a two hour long time capsule about feminism and coming of age. It’s good, but also, isn’t something I ever want to watch again.

Arrival: I saw this yesterday, and I want to watch it again and again, on loop, forever. This film combines science and linguistics, and is science fiction without being too dense to follow. I love the script, and I can tell how much I love it because I wish I could write something that well. The twist, the imagery, the blending of worlds is just beautiful, and this is a film I want on DVD to watch all the extra’s and just absorb. I have every intention of reading the short story and falling in love with this beautifully crafted film again and again.

That’s it for this month. Tomorrow, I am going to post a run down of what I read this month. What movies did you see this month? Anything you’d recommend? Let me know in comments.


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