The newly released films I see in 2023 will appear here. I now include films seen in the cinema and new releases watched via streaming at home, as that’s the future for film releases post-pandemic. The text reviews beneath each film are what I said on social media about each one.
2024 Total: 7. (Seen in cinema: 3. Seen via home streaming: 4.)
The 2023 page is here. It links to the previous year, and so do the others, going back to 2015 when I started the One Film Per Week cinema thing.
Past Lives is worth watching. It’s a tale about a girl & a boy whose friendship is ripped apart when they are 12 due to the girls family emigrating. They reconnect 12 years later online, & then 12 years later in New York where the woman is living with her husband.
A lot of the “action” happens with silences with time for your thoughts to play out. In one scene at the end I was thinking “Don’t do it!” I think most people have the “what might have” thoughts that are teased out in this film.
Upgraded is good. It’s like The Devil Wears Prada and Absolutely Fabulous had a fling, and the result of their boozy night in London got a job in the Art auction business. The film is funny with well above the required number of laughs for a comedy, and the romance stuff isn’t too sentimental. The cast looks like they are having a lot of fun, including Anthony Head, of Buffy fame, who is camping it up in his role. I liked it a lot.
American Fiction is okay. I was expecting more, given the buzz. I liked the basic family drama aspects of the film more than the satire about the largely white literary establishment pandering to Black authors writing about “real” Black experiences. Real in quotes because the stories are not real but are stereotypical pastiches.
From a craft point of view, the film is good. The performances are great. As is the script, cinematography, and music.
If you’ve been following my film reviews for #OneFilmPerWeek, and have a handle on the types of films I like, you won’t be surprised to learn that I liked Anyone But You. A lot.
It has tropes aplenty, but it’s funny enough to clear the comedy bar. On the romance front, you can guess who ends up with whom about halfway through. It’s a fun way to spend 1.75 hours. The ending has enough cheese to use up a years supply of crackers but doesn’t drag the whole thing down. Recommended.
The Holdovers is okay. It’s not the masterpiece I was expecting, given Oscar chatter about the performances of Paul Giamatti & Da’Vine Joy Randolph. They’re good performances, but not in a film that I’ll rewatch multiple times in the future.
It’s a dialogue-driven story about three very different people from different worlds and with various life experiences getting to know each other when circumstances thrust them together over Christmas in a New England boarding school. Catch it on VOD.
James Blunt: One Brit Wonder is a fantastic documentary. It’s a nice companion to his recent book, which is on my favourite books of 2024 list already. The documentary is the first film this year to get a rating that means it’ll be on the list of my favourite films in December. You should watch it.
I liked Role Play. It’s a decent story that’s been done many times. But this is a good addition. There is a definite Hanna vibe from the storyline, settings, and music. Kaley Cuoco is good in the action role. I’m smiling watching the credits. That’s a good indicator. Worth 100 minutes of your time if you have Prime.