I love me a good dystopia and I enjoyed this futuristic satire despite the slightly jarring shifts in tone, especially towards the end when it seemingly abandons all restraint and dives into (still very entertaining) surreal silliness.
I don’t have much use for Valentine’s Day, but it’s as good an excuse as any for more listmaking… so here are my personal favourite celluloid love stories and couples.
Daniel Craig and Eva Green – Casino Royale
Casino Royale is my favourite Bond film and while it’s great from the beginning, it really takes off when Eva Green’s exotic, mysterious Vesper Lynd enters the stage and trades barbs with Bond in the train scene which could have come from a classic 40s screwball movie. But their relationship wasn’t all witty banter and sexual undercurrents; Craig’s raw, unformed Bond was still open to love and his tragic romance with Vesper was genuinely emotional, though I do have to admit that the last 20 minutes of the film don’t quite work.
On the day I saw the movie, I booked my ticket in the morning, and as I got progressively dog-tired at work I was thinking to myself, I could do with some fun fluffy movie right now, not yet another Oscar-season glumfest. In the end though, I’m glad I saw it because, while sombre and sad Moonlight is also a lyrical, immersive, compassionate and tender look at an experience that usually doesn’t get much attention in the media. My only problem was that, in my tired state, I found some of the street slang hard to follow, but in the end, this is a movie that mostly tells its story through the visuals, music, the actors’ expressions and the stretches of silence that convey so much.
Not your conventional biopic, Jackie mostly focuses on one specific period in its subject’s life, the days following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when Jacqueline Kennedy became the world’s most famous widow. As a framework for the film, it uses a fictionalised encounter between Jackie and a journalist (Billy Crudup) who comes to interview her soon after she packs her bags and leaves the White House. The interview is somewhat tense; the journalist’s attitude is not necessarily reverential and Jackie displays candour and calculation in equal measure.