Firstly, I saw LaLa Land. I know that it is getting mixed reviews from my amongst my friends, but I enjoyed it. I loved the homage to the magic of jazz, musicals, and Hollywood. I loved the way that the movie was shot, the colour and movement. I must confess I was a little surprised that it is a current setting. I think I was expecting that it was set in the 1950s or 60s but no. There was a particularly fun little section in the film which featured some 80s music which was amusing and enjoyable.
At first, I wasn't keen on the ending of the . The friend I went with and I both agreed that we were left feeling a little bit melancholy at the end of it, but maybe it had the effect of leaving you with something to think about rather than walking out of the cinema and just forgetting about it. Or maybe the ending didn't quite work. Maybe one day I will decide, after watching it again.
The next film I saw as A United Kingdom.
I am part of a group that meets up once a month to watch movies. It's kind of like book club, but for movies instead. Part of the reason we meet on a Monday is that the cinema we go to is super cheap on that day, but is also central for us all. One of the good things is that we all take turns to choose the movie. This means that we have on occasion seen movies that we didn't like, or that we did like despite the fact that we possibly wouldn't have chosen to see it ordinarily, some Australian films, some mainstream films, some foreign films, some documentaries. Basically, it's help broaden all of our horizons.
I really enjoyed this choice. It is the story of the last king of Bechuanaland (modern day Botswana) who fell in love with an ordinary English white girl in London just after the end of World War II. It covers the opposition that they faced both in the UK and in Africa when they decided to marry, but also the constitutional crisis that it prompted in the Commonwealth, particularly in respect to the fact that neighbouring South Africa was introducing the policy of apartheid at the time.
One of the things that I didn't make the connection to until very late in the film was that it was about Botswana, but as soon as I did make that connection it made me think of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. The main character in that book often talked about the beloved president of Botswana and it was this man that she was talking about.
One of the movies I am looking forward to seeing when it comes out here is Loving, which is another film about mixed race relationships. I think I am attracted to these stories because my ex is African, or maybe I just love a good story where love overcomes the odds, and if it's based on true life...even better.
The third movie I have seen this year is Jackie, which stars Natalie Portman, and tells the story of what happened in the immediate aftermath of the assassination of her husband, President Kennedy.
Given the subject matter, it is quite a heavy movie, but it is so well done that it didn't feel overwhelmingly heavy. Natalie Portman was excellent in her portrayal of a woman facing the loss of her husband, and to a degree her identity as the first lady.
One of the things that was a bit odd about going to see this movie was a bit of a drama around allocated seating. I know that it is pretty much normal now for cinemas to have allocated seating but I really don't get why it has to be this way. That is especially the case when the ticketing system breaks down and they still insist on manually allocating the seating. Whhhyyy. Once we got inside there were all sorts of issues as people were complaining that people were in their seats etc etc, It's not like there weren't any empty seats because there were, but they wanted their exact seats, to the point where one woman refused to move one seat over to help resolve the issues because she had paid for THIS seat. I'm pretty sure you paid for a seat, not that exact one, but never mind. One of the bonuses with all this dramas was that the movies were all running late, so they chopped out all the ads and the previews. It's not uncommon for those to go for 15 minutes or more these days, so that was a welcome omission for me.
And actually...don't worry about the popcorn. I will have a couple of pieces if someone else has some but other than that I am not particularly fussed about it.