Until I met Justin Decloux I only ever really watched one movie in a day. And then I wanted to impress him so much that I started watching six movies a day. Finally I realized that he liked me enough that I could ease back to maybe three or four a day. And that brings us to our New Year’s Day tradition of binge watching obvious Oscar contenders for best picture.
This year we watched three.
We started the day with Manchester by the Sea. Admittedly I did absolutely no research into this before going to see it, because at this point I trust Justin’s taste in film and what I’m going to like. And yes, I did like it, but I didn’t really love it and I’m trying to figure out why. Technically it’s shot really well, the characters are compelling and the acting is great (yay Michelle WIlliams!) but maybe it was the scattered story-telling that didn’t hook me in the way it may with other people. It could also be that the film made me so sad that it was difficult to watch (sort of like how I had to turn off Take This Waltz because I felt so bad for Seth Rogen). Or maybe it was just that I had a really hard time actually connecting to any of the characters’ stories. It was a male-focused movie. I like my movies a bit more broad. (HAHA) no seriously I like my movies a bit more universal, that’s all.
Next we saw Arrival, which many of my friends kept yelling at me to watch, and I now know why. I think it was my favourite of the three films we watched. For starters, I fucking love aliens, and the idea of making contact with another life form. Every time I watch these films I think about how no matter what we try to conceptualize here on earth, we’ll never actually be able to comprehend what another life-form might look like, or feel like. But hey, I liked these whacky septo-pods and their knobbly knees. So aside from the super cool narrative, I was really just sucked in by the fact that it was an alien movie and I’m ok with that. It took me until the last three seconds of the film to actually get the twist, but as I said to Justin in the end “time means nothing, so it doesn’t matter WHEN I clued in.” And if you see it you’ll get it.
Finally we saw La La Land which is essentially my childhood dream movie (as in, I probably would have watched it on repeat for a full year, fantasizing about how one day I’d make it to Hollywood and fall in love with Ryan Gosling). Although slightly problematic with a white character explaining jazz to a black character, the film is fun and goofy and romantic which is what we all really want to see when we see an Emma Stone + Ryan Gosling flick. I really loved the colours throughout, and the (SPOILER!) happy ending that was a nice diversion from the conventional.
Still none of these compared to Moonlight which is definitely my top pick for 2016, it’s so flipping romantic and wonderful and the acting and the story and the whole thing. So good.