Film & TV Picks, Week 42 (2016)

Film & TV Picks Ok, so I think this is going to be more of a fortnightly series because some weeks I don't watch enough to write a full post of recommendations. As always you can head over to my Letterboxd profile to keep up to date with my thoughts on all the films and documentaries I watch, as I watch them. This week I have three film picks to share, all of which are currently available in the UK on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Spotlight

Director: Tom McCarthy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
My Rating: 4/5
Available On: Amazon Prime

Spotlight has a dark premise. It's a biographical film that depicts the investigative journalists of the Boston Globe during the time they spent uncovering the child molestation culture within the Catholic Church. The film handles this sensitive topic with great integrity while providing a real insight into the workings of a newspaper and the moral challenges facing journalists when working on such as case. While the plot is pretty linear in its unravelling, it's within the individual stories of the journalists and the victims that the film finds its emotional roots. Indeed, the film's main asset is its ensemble cast that boasts a great depth of on screen talent. I'm not sure it deserved its best picture Oscar, but there are definitely some very poignant moments that make it a worthwhile watch.

Amélie

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars: Audrey Tautou, Matthieu Kassovitz
My Rating: 4/5
Available On: Amazon Prime
Amélie is an introvert whose introvert nature has been accentuated by her tragic childhood; that is to say, Amélie is me. As an adult she sets out, in a quiet way, to enhance the lives of those around her; through which we see her set free as she finds the best sort of indiscriminate love. This is such a quirky film that played right into my psyche and left me with an inherent sense of tranquil well-being. Yes it's in french, yes you have to read the subtitles, but for me, that only added to its assertive sense that life is straightforward if you dare to let it be. I adored everything about this film from its no-nonsense character introductions to its somewhat trippy visuals and wistfully unfiltered spirit - It didn't move me as much as other films of its type, but it's definitely a film I'll be watching again and again.

The Talented Mr Ripley

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
My Rating: 3/5
Available On: Netflix
The Talented Mr Ripley is described as a psychological thriller. Our protagonist Tom Ripley, played by Matt Damon, is the sort of chameleon like villain who always has the audience on his side. We see him sent on an errand to a world far removed from his own underachieving existence; as the plot unfolds and he runs further and further away from himself, his villainous acts become all the more complicatedly absurd. I enjoyed this film a lot, it was never too predictable and Damon delivers a masterfully complex performance, but there was never enough suspense to really keep me on my toes.

So there we have it, my film picks from the past two weeks. I'd love to hear your opinions on these films, as well as any recommendations of your own!

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