If you sat in the cinema theatre after watching Spider Man: Homecoming saying to yourself, “Wow, having Peter Parker fail so frequently throughout this film and clumsily navigate his way through dangerous missions really has a lot to say about how making mistakes can really be a strong learning experience for a young person to help them to find their calling in life and discover what their true core values are”, then you weren’t the only one, because that’s actually exactly what I was thinking.
When Emma Watson was cast as Belle for the live-action adaptation of Beauty And The Beast, it was pretty much confirmed that this new version of the well-loved story was going to have an underlying feminist message beneath it — and it certainly hasn’t failed to deliver just that. Amidst the controversies of the discussions about Stockholm syndrome, Emma Watson’s Vanity Fair shoot, and the introduction of Disney’s first openly gay character, another, particularly significant theme in the film was overlooked: the topic of education for girls.
So to start this off: I know Lovelace is not the only film out there to depict an abusive relationship on the big screen. I know that it’s not the most fantastically accurate representation of an abusive relationship out there. I know that it fails to address a lot of the abuse and controversy surrounding the story that the real Linda Lovelace – Linda Boreman – experienced in her own life.
Why bother writing this, then?
If all the Oscar nominations are anything to go by, there’s a lot of hype surrounding La La Land at the moment. In particular, people seem to love Emma Stone’s character, Mia – and it doesn’t surprise me. Aside from having a sharp sense of humour and a set of insecurities many artists can relate to (self-doubt is strangely endearing), Mia is extremely comfortable showing interest in Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in a few creative ways, e.g. requesting his band to play ‘I Ran’ by A Flock of Seagulls at a pool party as a way of mocking the serious musician.
If you don’t get why people keep talking about how great La La Land is, go and see it. If you have seen it, and you still don’t get it, keep reading this and I’ll do my best to explain it to you. Grab a snack, settle down in a chair and let me tell you a little bit about being a daydreamer.
How far would you go to save the lives of your family? The latest addition to the Star Wars universe, Rogue One, answers this question with an extreme response through the actions of Galen Erso: Force your family into hiding, place a fatal flaw in the plans to the Death Star and risk your life for the daughter you haven’t seen in 15 years. Is this one step too far, or a reasonable amount of steps in the right direction?
So Doctor Strange is a trippy film to say the least, boasting exploration of different dimensions and a general questioning of reality. It’s an intriguing new approach to an MCU film and raises existential questions regarding careers, relationships and death. It goes beyond the usual “who am I? Why am I here?” and into the realm of “what can I do with myself now? Who can I trust in this world?” when Stephen Strange, a man who’s so good at his job he can get away with being an arrogant asshole about it, can no longer pursue his occupation as a neurosurgeon when his hands are severely damaged in a car accident. From this point onward, we see him having to completely change his perception of reality in order to continue his life in the direction he wants it to go in – and in the process ends up pursuing his newfound skill in the mystic arts instead. As you do.
Beyond Newt Scamander and Percival Graves, a slightly more humble witch steals the show in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Still being a prominent member of the main cast means that she doesn’t go unnoticed, but amongst the rest of the action, Queenie Goldstein’s excellence as a character can get overlooked.
On the surface, Queenie (Alison Sudol) is an angelic woman, warm and welcoming, with a particular talent for reading minds. When we get to look past that, though, there’s far more intrigue to her character. With a bucketload of emotional intuitiveness enhanced by both her brilliant legilimency and sorrowful past, there’s no doubt that these aspects of Queenie will become even more of a crucial addition to the Harry Potter universe in future sequels.
At 43-years-old, even Bridget expected to be settled down and married by now. But, despite the (what we thought was) pretty conclusive ending of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, she’s still single – though this time she refuses to listen to sad songs alone with glass of wine on the evening of her birthday. Now she dances alone to fun energetic songs with a glass of wine on the evening of her birthday. I know which one I’d rather be doing.
With all of her old friends settled down and married by this point in the series, Bridget seems to be slightly more distant from them now; this led me to posing this question: is it really that bad to be over 40 and still single?
The release of Captain America: Civil War carried on the sobering tone that seems to be prominent in recent MCU films. In the past the stories have often touched upon serious topics, but this darker approach to filmmaking seems to be more obvious of late, arguably starting with Iron Man 3 and staying with most films in Phase Two of the MCU, and well into Phase Three. We’ve seen themes of loss, identity, war, internet privacy and politics threaded throughout these Marvel films, but one slightly less noticed subject that appears to be cropping up more frequently is that of mental health.