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First Half Of 2020 Film Round Up

I originally wrote a long tract for this paragraph; in sum, thank you Amazon for enabling easy, affordable, and constant, access to films from all over the world. You may be problematic but you (and Netflix most likely – I don’t have that) are doing what other companies and cinemas over here rarely if ever bothered with. On the more usual topic, the list below is a bit patchy, as might be expected at this time, but it also contains more than a usual number of long-awaited films, so for that I’m happy.

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Booksmart (USA, 2019) – Two US college near-graduates realise that by way of working hard they’ve missed out on the social experience and decide to spend the night before graduation at various parties. When I saw this advertised on the Underground, my quickly-get-on-the-train brain may have taken the title literally and considered a film about literature students; never mind, it’s a good film anyway.

Emma (UK, 2020) – Based on the book. Not perfect but a heck of a lot of fun. The way it diverts from the original story had obviously been much considered.

Jawaani Jaaneman (Youthful Lover) (India, 2020) – A 40-something-year-old man who still enjoys a party (understatement) meets a very attractive young woman in a club; it turns out she’s his daughter and he’s soon to become a grandfather. A pretty fun film; goes down a few ‘filler’ avenues and certainly isn’t Saif Ali Khan’s best, but it was a good few hours.

Little Women (USA, 2019) – Covering both part one and part two of the original. I think this is the best adaptation I have ever seen. I’m planning a review of it at some point but in sum, the production team have taken the autobiographical basis and applied it to perfect effect – it’s full of background context and studies of the various ‘controversial’ aspects.

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Oklahoma! (USA, 1955) – A young man invites a woman to a dance but he doesn’t do it in the specific way she wanted so she says no and the rest of the film is spent getting them back together. Wanted to see this one since childhood; didn’t like it.

South Pacific (USA, 1958) – A lieutenant on an island army base is roped into a sudden relationship, and a nurse falls in love with a Frenchman who has taken up residence on the island, but then doesn’t want to be with him because he has children who are mixed race. Absolutely hated this one; I’ve since read that the idea is it explores issues of racism but I didn’t see that myself – the racism is there, certainly, but the commentary…

The Wedding Party (Nigeria, 2016) – Two people from wealthy families become engaged to be married; multiple clashes between the two sets of parents and the interference of an ex-girlfriend lead to many problems but the couple are determined. Until the sequel was released, this was the biggest Nigerian blockbuster and it’s not hard to see why; the characters are fantastic and it is often absolutely hilarious.

The Wedding Party 2 (Nigeria, 2017) – The English bridesmaid and the brother of the groom from the previous film have continued their relationship; owing to a misunderstanding they become engaged after a few short months and plans are afoot for a destination wedding. Even better than the first – you know most of the characters by now so the humour starts early on and the additional jokes work well.

What have you been watching in these strange times?

 
 

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