If you do not find your voice, we will all have wasted our time. “The Best of Men” (2012)

directed by Tim Whitby
© 2012 BBC. All Rights Reserved.

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you may have realised that I’m very much concerned about minorities rights. I believe that we should be “giving them voice” more often and educate people, for example using films. Today’s film is one of those which may explain you the life of men with disabilities. Men, not generally people, because I believe the situation here is slightly different. It’s my personal opinion, so you’re welcome not to agree with it, but I believe that disabled men may feel greater embarrassment. It’s because men are hoped to become householders, who can take care of their family, business and finances. While in wheelchair, all that becomes way more complicated and they may have this huge and horrible feeling of failure. Obviously, women in such case go through a horror as well, but this pain is different. Not slighter, yet different. And today’s film presents what young men’s reality looks like after losing their ability to walk. And it’s actually based on a real story, because we’re following Dr Ludwig Guttmann (Eddie Marsan), a Jewish refugee and a neurologist, who was against giving up. His patients weren’t allowed to be lying in beds and staring at the ceiling or clock. He was the one who decided to activate them using sport. He’s one of the people thanks to whom we may watch and take part in Paralympic Games. It’s a very manly film, full of very manly pain, but it’s something that should be seen by all, as I believe it’d be a great inspiration, whatever is going on in your life right now. And a bonus: you may see George Mackay in one of the roles, whom I admire from the moment when I saw him in “1917”… and my heart is still in pieces because it wasn’t appreciated enough.

My rating: 7/10
S.

This, Madame, is Versailles. “Marie Antoinette” (2006)

directed by Sofia Coppola
© 2006 Sony Pictures Releasing. All Rights Reserved.

I have a very difficult viewer-director relationship with Sofia Coppola. On the one hand, there are several film by her that I enjoyed, but on the other there are those, which I wouldn’t like to see again. Ever again. So it’s like a roulette that I actually like playing. “Marie Antoinette” is one of those productions that I’ve seen at least three times, I believe. As you might be guessing from the obvious title, it’s about Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), a queen of France. We get to follow her life from the moment when she was sent to marry the Dauphin of France (Jason Schwartzman), the one who became king Louis XVI a bit later. Thanks to that marriage, France and Austria sealed an alliance. And back then nobody cared about feelings, romance or compatibility. Nah. Back then daughters and sons were used for political reasons. Therefore young Marie Antoinette moves to France and starts living in Versailles, where she has to learn very French and very specific rules. But that’s not her only problem. You see, back then it was expected that right after marriage, the couple will have children. Preferably right away. And preferably boys, who were much more useful. Once again – politics. Marie Antoinette, however, had problems with getting closer to her husband and obviously nobody blamed him, so the girl felt this horrible pressure, as if living in Versailles wasn’t enough. Personally, I get back to this film because I like how they presented the character of Marie. It’s not a serious production, during which you have to be drinking litres of coffee to stay awake. It’s actually an unusual comedy, full of adorable jokes and gags, which also reminds us that Marie was just a teenager, completely lost in that political world. So even though the story looks pleasant, its messages aren’t anyhow close to that. And that’s why I’m recommending you this film. One of Sofia’s best works for sure.

My rating: 6/10
S.

Know that you hold my hopes, my heart in your hands. “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (2021)

directed by Augustine Frizzell
© 2021 StudioCanal. All Rights Reserved.

That’s a love story I needed. Thank you Netflix for making one of my recent evenings more enjoyable. I had a decent production to aww to. And I’d like to recommend it to you for the upcoming weekend, so you can also eat tons of food and cry a bit at the end. We’re following Ellie (Felicity Jones), a journalist, who accidentally finds mysterious letters while searching for some information for her next article. Ellie reads about a woman identified as “J”, who turns out to be Jennifer Stirling (Shailene Woodley), the wife of one incredibly wealthy man. According to the letters from the 60s, Jennifer had a car accident in which she lost her memory. Luckily, she has her husband and friends to support her in getting back to life. Still, Jennifer feels like something is missing. Soon, together with Emily who’s living in the present, we find out that Jennifer was having a very interesting relationship with a man named Anthony (Callum Turner). So we’re actually discovering the whole story from the perspective of both Jennifer living in the 60s, and Emily reading her letters now. The film is based on a book by Jojo Moyes. Unfortunately, I haven’t read it, but I find the idea quite interesting. Oh and this is one of those romances that end with a big “aww” and not shoddy at all moment. Besides, I couldn’t stop admiring Shailene Woodley. This lady is talented, and I hope we all know that. Yet, she still managed to surprise me and I believe no other actress could do equally well in this role. I’m serious, fantastic performance. So grab your significant other, even if it’s a bottle of wine, and enjoy.

My rating: 7/10
S.

No one can tell this story better than you can. “Apt Pupil” (1998)

directed by Bryan Singer
© 1998 Sony Pictures Releasing. All Rights Reserved.

What would you do if you knew that your neighbour is responsible for murdering thousands of people? Not the best place to get your sugar from, am I right? Today’s film is based on a novella by Stephen King, and if we’re speaking about King, we know it’s going to be a creepy story. Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) is a teenager who finds out that his elderly neighbour, Arthur Denker, is actually not Arthur Denker. His real name is Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellen) and he used to be a member of SS (a paramilitary organisation under Hitler). The man is officially responsible for killing many people, therefore he’s hiding using a different name. Todd decides to take advantage of this situation and forces Arthur to tell him all about World War II from his perspective. Otherwise, the boy will go to the police. So from now on, those two are meeting to share these stories, and the more Arthur is telling, the stranger their relation becomes. This film is disturbing and I think it must have been a very difficult role for Ian McKellen, but he did a great job. However, this story is quite unusual because even though we have a man who worked for Hitler, which is automatically considered horrible, we also have the boy, who isn’t an angel either. So at some point you may start feeling more hate towards Todd than Arthur a.k.a. Kurt. It’s sick, I know, but that’s what this story can do with our minds. And because of that the film was a really interesting experience for me. Oh Stephen King, you know how to play the game.

My rating: 6/10
S.

Just wait for me. “The Lake House” (2006)

directed by Alejandro Agresti
© 2006 Warner Bros. Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

In case you feel like nobody loves you and there’s absolutely no person on this planet who’s there for you, I recommend you to see today’s film. It makes all lonely souls feel a little bit better, because all you need is to find a magic mailbox, using which you can communicate with Sandra Bullock or Keanu Reeves – it’s for you to choose. Okay, seriously speaking, it’s an adorable love story with a pinch of fantasy. Kate (Sandra Bullock) is living in 2006. She’s about to move out from her lake house and decides to leave a note in the mailbox for the next tenant. She informs in the letter that the paw prints on the path had been there before she moved in. The message gets to Alex (Keanu Reeves), who is living in 2004 and how surprised he gets when after reading the letter, a dog actually leaves those prints. Somehow those two can communicate, even though they’re living 2 years apart. Weird, huh? I thought so too. And when I was younger, I found this film way too silly. But after years I decided to give it another try and I was “awwing” a lot. Am I becoming a sad cat-lady? I don’t even like cats, so I guess I’m just becoming a sad lady. Not sure which option is worse. Anyway, of course I was a bit angry that it’s not logical and those who enjoy such films like “Tenet” will definitely roll their eyes, but it wasn’t supposed to be a good fantasy film – it was supposed to be a cute romance. And that’s what we got. By the way, if you manage to find this mailbox in real life, message me.

My rating: 6/10
S.

It’s been really hard to be a human being. “Unlovable” (2018)

directed by Suzi Yoonessi
© 2018 Orion Classics. All Rights Reserved.

Do you know that you can not only be addicted to sex, but also to love? It’s a very interesting case, which is still a mystery for psychologists, scientists, doctors and especially for the people, who struggle with such addiction. Today’s film is about one of them. Joy (Charlene deGuzman) is a young woman who has a huge need of affection. She’s in a relationship with Ben (Paul James), but the man doesn’t treat her seriously. Joy keeps searching for people to fill this void caused by not having a decent loving partner, and she often ends up with alcohol, drugs and random one night stands. When Ben finally breaks up with her, the woman decides to start a therapy, during which she’s not allowed to date, have sex or even flirt with other people. To keep herself busy, she starts playing music together with her friend’s brother, Jim (John Hawkes), who’s also struggling with his own problems. And seems like you really meet good people when you’re in need… The rest is for you to see. Personally, I like this film for the topic, which isn’t that common and I believe we should be talking about it more often. I bet there are plenty of people who struggle with the same addiction, if not with sex addiction, then for sure with the love one. Especially since we’re living in a strange world where it’s enough to swipe people left or right if something goes wrong. And I love the fact that Joy starts focusing on herself and putting herself first, no matter what others say. You should never feel like you’re unworthy, especially not when someone makes you believe so. Screw them. Screw worthiness. What is that really? Nobody can say who’s worthy or not, it just doesn’t apply. So keep your head up and do something for yourself today. Maybe watching this film will be the thing.

My rating: 6/10
S.

Nothing is real. “Pig” (2021)

directed by Michael Sarnoski
© 2021 AI Film. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve read somewhere that his film is small. And I agree, whatever it means. In my opinion, it means that this film isn’t anyhow visually spectacular and doesn’t have an incredibly fascinating story, but it’s still worth your time. The main character is Rob (Nicholas Cage), who used to work as a chef, but decided to move away and start living in a deep forest, where he’s currently a truffle forager. But he wouldn’t be able to do that without his beloved companion – pig. Unfortunately, one day some random guys steal the pig and Rob is devastated. He decides to get out of the forest and search for his companion, even if it means dealing with a whole bunch of people that he’s run away from. If you think this description seems strange, well, so is the film. Personally, I found the dialogues intriguing as even though this story is about a man who’s lost his pig, I feel like there’s a lot of messages we can all receive from watching it. I wouldn’t like to spoil anything, but the moment that I particularly liked was when Rob has a conversation with a chef in a restaurant. Keep it in mind while watching. Besides, many film critics believe that in this film Nicolas Cage has shown his hidden skills, which we might not have seen before. And I agree with it. I don’t think that Cage is a bad actor, I actually believe that he has become a “meme” by accident, because I know several performances of his which are on point. But indeed, I was impressed by what he did in “Pig”, so maybe you’ve just got curious and will check it out as well.

My rating: 6/10
S.

Why are they running in slow-mo? “Baywatch” (2017)

directed by Seth Gordon
© 2017 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

How many of you are currently on holidays? Lucky bastards… Since I cannot have tasty drinks on the beach now, I need to support my mental health in some other way. And this week we’re finishing with good-looking people running in slow motion. If you’re a little bit older, I’m sure you remember “Baywatch” as a TV series, with David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. Is it just me or when someone mentions that series, I immediately remind myself of the into? Anyway, this post is about a film based on the series, which in my opinion is better than one can expect. I guess I won’t surprise you if I say it’s about a bunch of lifeguards. In the film they are dealing with a much more complicated problem than just a random guy who cannot swim. They’re trying to stop a dangerous drug smuggler, while still being gorgeous and still running in slow motion. I have to admit that I was sure this wouldn’t be anything special, but I watched it anyway. And how surprised I was! This film is full of magnificent lines that made me laugh hard. So if you’re on holidays, enjoy! And if you’re not, then perhaps “Baywatch” will cheer you up a little bit.

My rating: 6/10
S.

The helpless have dignity. “Ajji” (2017)

directed by Devashish Makhija
© 2017 PVR Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

If you associate India with overly cheerful musicals, then let me change your point of you a bit. Today I’m recommending you a heart-breaking story, which could have happened to all of us. Ajji (Sushama Deshpande) is an elderly woman living with her family. One day, her 10-year-old granddaughter doesn’t get back home and the woman decides to look for her. When she finally finds her, it turns out that the girl was caught my some stranger and brutally raped. The child is alive, but is in much pain and trauma. Ajji takes her home and the family calls the police, but the officer cannot do much to help them. First, because the whole family do somehow illegal jobs and they would have to face the consequences. Second, because the person who attacked the girl is one politician’s son, so he can basically do whatever he wants. The family give up and decide to stay quiet, but Ajji feels like she has to get revenge for what that bastard did to her granddaughter. The woman begins a secret mission to find the man and make him pay for this crime. I have to admit that the screenplay is the weakest part of this film, as sometimes I felt like the pace was irregular and several elements were unnecessary. Still, in the end, I find the story incredibly satisfying, because it shows that we’re all puppets in the system and if we don’t do something ourselves, nobody will do it for us. Maybe the message coming out of this film is depressive, but let’s face it – that’s our reality. And in case a similar tragedy happens to you, which I obviously don’t wish anyone, Ajji is a true inspiration, so make sure to see this production.

My rating: 6/10
S.

Have you ever seen an ox eating meat? “The Game Changers” (2018)

directed by Louie Psihoyos
© 2018 Netflix. All Rights Reserved.

Do you think that in order to build muscles you need to eat a lot of meat? Are you afraid that if you don’t eat meat, you won’t have enough energy? Maybe you’ve been told that without eating meat you won’t have enough iron in your organism? If so, you should watch this documentary. It presents numerous professional athletes, who’ve been on a vegan diet and they share how much their health has improved. Not only their health, but also their physical condition and results. You can also learn about different types of research on the harmful influence of meat. For example, did you know that processed meat (so basically most available meat nowadays) is officially classified as a product that causes cancer? Or that sex life may highly improve after switching to a plant-based diet? Well, I know that talking about veganism is still considered controversial and a lot of people don’t want to believe in it, but I think this documentary is a good start. It shows examples of real people, who care very much about their bodies and strength, and yet all they eat are plants. Personally, I am vegan and for me this documentary wasn’t eye-opening as I knew it all before, but I believe that it can change your perspective if you’re still a meat-eater. Although there was one moment when I actually got surprised – Arnold Schwarzenegger is mostly on a plant-based diet. Yes, my dear, Terminator doesn’t eat animals. I guess the world will keep surprising me.

My rating: 8/10
S.