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Second Half Of 2013 Film Round-Up

I haven’t done as well, these last six months, as I did in the first months of the year. I did manage a variety of films, in age and country, and have thus just about managed to keep up my wish to watch more foreign films, but I think I am seeing a pattern. I reckon it may be the case that for as long as I’m keeping a count of how much I’m watching, there will always be more films in the first six months of a year when I’m most positive about doing so.

So here we go, a short summary followed by summed up opinion. Here are the films I watched in the second half of 2013 for which it was my first time watching them.

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An Education (UK, 2009) – A really good film about not throwing your (good) grades away at the first sign of something more interesting.

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (UK, 2011) – Not bad at all, especially as there isn’t as much rose-tinting as other films, though it is a bit optimistic and not completely without rose-tint.

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Freaky Friday (USA, 1976) – Not bad, and the mother’s (Barbara Harris) acting is top-notch. It’s difficult watching it as an adult, however, because you realise just how much the father needs to change and respect his family and of course as it’s a Disney film you’re not going to get that.

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Gone With The Wind (USA, 1939) – A brilliant film, though it seems very brief when you’ve read the book – for all that the film is 4 hours a lot of elements were missed out. That said, the film concentrates more on Scarlett and Rhett’s relationship which is something that I personally felt the book could have done with – the history may be important to Mitchell, but she created incredible characters.

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Letters To Juliet (USA, 2010) – Generally average, cute at times, but oh dear, that guy from Home & Away whose accent is so unbelievably fake and whose acting makes him seem far, far older. The one good thing is the cinematography, it’s gorgeous.

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Quartet (UK, 2012) – Painful. Pointless scenes, no conflict, bad dialogue, and a very obvious lack of any non-white actors in starring roles – the diversity was limited to the serving roles and one teenager and it was so glaringly obvious you would’ve thought someone would’ve realised. And you don’t sign Maggie Smith to your film only to waste her talent.

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A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære) (Denmark, 2012) – A similar story of ill-fated love and revolution to the more famous story of Marie Antoinette. Just as deserving a tale, just as gripping and disturbing; wonderfully acted. My viewing of this film is thanks to Leander’s review.

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The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader (UK, 2010) – Not as good as the other adaptations but a good effort and the boy who plays Eustace is excellent.

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Wild Hearts (USA, 2006) – Your bog standard predictable and not particularly well-thought-out daytime movie. Cute, but forgettable.

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Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Don’t Live Twice) (India, 2011) – Pretty good, though it’s the first Hindi film I’ve seen in a few years so everything felt very strange to me – so much kissing and sex!

My list is at least full of variety which is what I was aiming for, and I actually have a vast number of films still to watch as Channel 4 hosts its Bollywood season in the early hours of the morning so you inevitably end up with a list of recordings to find time for.

My first 2014 round up, which will be in June, may be very desi as I tend to ‘work’ in phases.

What films have you enjoyed recently?



January 6, 2014, 7:50 am

Those are wonderful films, Charlie. I loved ‘An Education’. It made me watch two more movies of Carey Mulligan. I have seen parts of ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ when it came here on TV. Hoping to watch the whole movie sometime. I have seen the newer version of ‘Freaky Friday’ (it had Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan) and liked it very much. I didn’t know that there was an earlier version. Nice to know that you liked it very much. I would love to watch it and compare it with the new version.

Last year was a bad movie year for me. Normally I watch a lot of movies every year, but last year I read more books and watched more TV series. But I enjoyed the few movies I watched – ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Life of Pi’, ‘The Big Bang’, ‘Skyfall’. My favourite was ‘Life of Pi’. I am hoping to watch more movies this year. Hope you enjoy watching new movies this year. Looking forward to following your film adventures.


January 6, 2014, 2:00 pm

I’m pleased you enjoyed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Gone With The Wind and The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader as I like all of these. I’m afraid I really didn’t enjoy Letters To Juliet though. I would like to watch An Education will hopefully be on the television soon.


January 9, 2014, 1:28 pm

Vishy: I have to say I’m a Carey Mulligan fan now. She was on a chat show before Gatsby, it was the first time I’d come across her (not counting Pride And Prejudice) and I’d noted her as one to look out for then. Now I’ve actually seen her acting I’m looking forward to seeing Gatsby. Hope you get to see Marigold, the casting really worked. I saw the newer Freaky Friday some time ago so I can’t remember it very well, but I’d say they’re each good in their own right. Obviously the gap in time makes for some difference.

If you read more books and watched more TV, fewer movies doesn’t sound so bad :) I know I’m always wanting to count series as movies because of how much time you spend watching them! You watched some brilliant ones – I only saw Skyfall, but the others got good ratings. From the trailers I saw, Life of Pi does look good. Wishing for more films for both of us!

Jessica: Yes, those first three were very good. There were moments when we (I watched it with my mum) thought of turning Letters To Juliet off… I think she liked Vanessa Redgrave before this! I was able to watch An Education because it was on TV – I think it’s one that does get shown a fair number of times. Keep a look out, it’s worth a watch and I’d say you’d like it.



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