2020 really was a year like no other. It started off promisingly, but before we knew it, we were living through a global pandemic. Cinema has never been more important as it was during this time. Having that escape was a way for us to cope when everything else was falling apart. While the way that we watch movies has changed drastically, it is quite impressive to look back and see how the industry has gone out of their way to get new content to an audience.
There have been some amazing titles that came out this year! Despite a lot of movies being pushed back a year, we did have some stand outs regardless.
I thought it would be a great idea to share my Top 5 best and worst films of the year. It was particularly difficult for me to narrow down the ones I liked the most, but here goes!
The Wrong Missy
Life In A Year
Wild Mountain Thyme
It has been a pleasure sharing my movie thoughts with you this year. Starting Credits Rolling began as a hobby, but it truly became a savior during these trying times. Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see you all in 2021!
I think that this was one of my most anticipated films of the year. Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan starring in a period piece where they fall in love? Sign me up! I’m still beating myself up for not getting tickets to see it at TIFF. Instead I had to wait ages for it to be released to the public and when I finally got my hands on it, I was excited. Unfortunately, this wasn’t worth the hype or the wait. In fact, it wasn’t at all like I had hoped it would be.
Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) is a palaeontologist who works on her own, selling fossils to tourists in order to support her mother. When she is approached to care for a customer’s wife, Charlotte, (Saoirse Ronan), Mary’s life is forever changed.
I initially wanted to see the film because of its two female leads. I love them both separately and have supported their careers for as long as I can remember. Both of their talent shined through in these roles and their chemistry was on fire.
But that is where the enjoyment ended for me. I did not find the story to be interesting or original. Instead, it was predictable and bland. Also, I don’t understand why there is always the obstacle of a man when it comes to two women falling in love. I’m sure it doesn’t happen that way in real life?
On top of that, I thought that the pacing was incredibly slow. The first half of the film especially seemed to go by at a snail’s pace and it was hard for me to stay invested as a result.
In conclusion, I am glad that Ammonite was the last new movie I watched this year. I only wish it had lived up to my expectations.
Pixar, you have done it again! I honestly wish I knew how they are always coming up with these fresh and new ideas but I don’t think I will ever come close. I was initially on the fence about Soul when I first heard about it though I can’t remember why now. My doubts were for nothing and I do believe that this is one of the best movies to have come out of this year.
The story follows Joe (Jamie Foxx) a middle school band teacher who is still waiting for his life to start. His life long dream was to break into the jazz scene – turns out he’s actually a great musician – but unfortunately it never worked out. In an unlikely turn of events, Joe is transported to another realm where he must help a soul by the name of 22 (Tina Fey) find their passion.
By helping 22, Joe will also help himself, and in the process, he will learn what it means to have a soul.
So first of all, the graphics in this were brilliant. The way that New York was depicted was so vibrant and realistic which surprised me. In addition, the scenes that took place in the other realm were detailed and colourful that it really did feel out of this world. I was very impressed.
I also loved the casting choices. Jamie Foxx was the perfect choice for Joe and Tina Fey as 22 really tied everything up nicely. They had a great on screen friendship that I enjoyed watching blossom. They were joined by other talented Black artists such as Questlove as fellow musician Curly, Daveed Diggs as Joe’s acquaintance Paul and Angela Bassett as jazz singer Dorothea. Plus, who could leave out the hilarious Graham Norton whose portrayal of Moonwind was top notch?
The best part of all, however, was the story and how beautiful it was. It hits you right in the feels and doesn’t let go until the final moment. It also makes you think about life and the many ups and downs someone can face throughout the course of time that they are on this earth. Soul helps you realize that living every day to the fullest is important, regardless of how you do it.
I truly believe that Soul is a movie that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Everyone can relate to it in one way or another and that is really special.
I cannot believe that the wait is finally over. Those who know me are aware that I have been waiting for this movie for what seems like forever. I am the biggest Wonder Woman fan and having the long awaited sequel pushed back way too many times truly made me think that I would never get to see it. So when I finally settled down to watch on Christmas Day, I couldn’t help but think that I had just received the best present ever.
It’s the 1980s and our heroine Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) has been trying to quietly live her life among mortals as a curator of ancient artifacts at a local museum. Her alter ego, Wonder Woman, is someone she tries to keep separate from her every day life.
But when Diana encounters Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), a man who is hungry for power, she must do all that she can to stop him from taking over the world. However, Max Lord isn’t the only foe that Diana must look out for – her former friend and colleague Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) has become The Cheetah, a villainess with superhuman strength. She wants Diana out of her way so that her plan to stay powerful doesn’t get thwarted. With the help of old flame Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Diana has this covered. Or does she?
There was a lot that worked here. The special effects were great and really made me feel like I was brought into the film. I also really liked the stunts performed by Wonder Woman. They were super cool, very bad ass and definitely had that girl power essence to it.
Speaking of Wonder Woman, I absolutely love Gal Gadot in the titular role. She was the perfect choice for me ever since I saw her in the first movie and I don’t think that will ever change. I believe that she has become a great role model for girls of all ages to look up to; I know I do. Actually, I must say that the other casting choices for this installment were well done too. It’s hard to imagine these characters played by anybody else going forward.
I must admit that despite my utter excitement, Wonder Woman 1984 did not surpass the amazingness that was its predecessor. The multiple, interwoven storylines were a bit too much at times and I found it difficult to keep track of everything that was going on. There were also some slower moments, particularly in the beginning to get everything set up that I didn’t really find necessary. And I do feel like the extra waiting time had an affect.
With all that being said, the movie was still a ton of fun and exactly what you would want from a superhero story. I’m so happy to have finally seen it!
Sometimes you just need a movie that will allow you to have a good cry. All My Life fit the bill perfectly. Back when I saw the trailer, I was wondering whether or not this would do the trick for me. Like most films these days, this one was put on Demand shortly after it’s initial cinema release. I did have to wait longer to see it, but not as much as in the past. Luckily that didn’t take away from my enjoyment.
When Jennifer Carter (Jessica Rothe) meets Solomon ‘Sol’ Chau (Harry Shum Jr.) she knows that he will change her life forever. When Sol proposes to Jenn after a whirlwind romance, the two are over the moon and cannot wait to start their lives together. But then they get some devastating news. Sol has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
Jenn and Sol’s time together is running out. So their friends and families pitch in to give the couple the wedding of their dreams before it is too late.
This movie was everything that Life In A Year should have been. It had heart, it was relatable and the chemistry between Jessica Rothe and Harry Shum Jr. was very believable. Despite the sad ending, I was still rooting for them and I liked seeing their journey unfold.
I think what I loved the most about All My Life was that it is actually based on a true story. I didn’t know this fact going in, but it really made more of an impact. If you like movies based on real people and stories and are looking for something to make you weepy, then this is the one for you!
I knew Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom would be the perfect addition for this blog for many reasons. The main one, though, was the fact that this marked Chadwick Boseman’s last acting role. His death was certainly untimely, but I am glad that we were given the chance to enjoy his talent one last time. The story itself was one I hadn’t heard of and I liked the fact that it was based on true events. In addition, anything having to do with music and being transported back to the 1920s is always a good idea and so I was excited to dive in.
The movie takes place over the course of an afternoon at a recording studio. A band of musicians is waiting for the legendary ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) to arrive so that they can get started. Ma, the no nonsense spitfire, is not exactly the easiest of people to get along with – is constantly arguing with her manager and producer to have control over her own music.
Meanwhile, trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) is determined to do whatever he can to stake his claim in the industry even if that means ruffling a few feathers here and there.
I thought it was interesting to see two people at different stages in their careers come together. Ma is clearly very established already, but she still faces struggles every day. Levee, on the other hand, is just starting out and will stop at nothing to achieve his dreams. Despite their opposites, I do think they are quite similar at the end of the day because of their drive and passion.
I already mentioned Chadwick Boseman though I didn’t say just how phenomenal his performance really was. I actually haven’t seen him in many things outside of Black Panther, but this showed his top notch acting skills and it’s crazy to think that he put his cancer aside to give us all these roles. Similarly, Viola Davis was almost unrecognizable as Ma. That woman is such an enigma and she really is amazing in everything she does.
If you love music and want to lose yourself in a bit of history, I recommend checking out Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. You won’t be disappointed.
Wild Mountain Thyme was a movie I should have liked. Romance is one of my favorite genres, I am a fan of both Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan, and it takes place in the gorgeous Irish countryside. Sad to say that none of these things were enough for me this time around. I simply could not get into the story and thought about turning it off at various intervals. The only reason I didn’t was because I kept hoping it would get better.
It did not get better.
Rosemary (Emily Blunt) and Anthony (Jamie Dornan) grew up across the way from each other on their family’s adjoining farms. It was always clear to anyone who knew them that they would end up together, but they were too stubborn to realize. Then Anthony’s father Tony (Christopher Walken) thinks about passing the farm down to Anthony’s American cousin Adam (Jon Hamm), knowing that Adam would have a better chance at settling down to have a family. Rosemary and Anthony decide to put their differences aside to prevent this from happening.
I can’t think of any other reasons why I initially wanted to check out this movie. The biggest problem I had with it was that I was bored. The plot didn’t interest me in the slightest and I even had trouble buying the chemistry between the two leads. It was also way too slow burn for me – I hated how long it took them to figure their shit out.
Also, I have to admit that the accents were pretty questionable. We know already that Jamie Dornan is in fact Irish and it was pretty attractive listening to him speak in that way, but everyone else’s attempt just made me cringe.
Overall, Wild Mountain Thyme was not what I hoped it would be at all. I should have stuck to my initial thoughts about it back when I saw the trailer and avoided it all together.
I love musicals! I am such a sucker for them. No matter my mood, I will automatically be transported into the story and everything in my life will feel better. The Prom was a title I had been excited for since hearing about it however many months ago. I mean, how could I not be? Directed by Ryan Murphy and filled with such a star studded cast, I knew I would love it.
All Emma Nolan (Jo Ellen Pellman) wants is to go to the prom and dance with her girlfriend Alyssa (Ariana DeBose). It should be simple, but the PTA members lead by Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington) are doing whatever they can to put a stop to this happening. Even Principal Hawkins (Keegan-Michael Key) is struggling to settle the matter.
Enter a group of washed up, self-obsessed Broadway stars: Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep), Barry Glickman (James Corden), Angie Dickinson (Nicole Kidman) and Trent Oliver (Andrew Rannells). Looking for something that will get them back into the spotlight, they make the trek over to Indiana to help Emma make her dreams come true.
I briefly mentioned the cast earlier, but I must reiterate just how phenomenal they all were. To have such a big budget movie with so many household names is a gift. I really do feel like everyone was casted perfectly and their roles will live rent free in my heart forever.
The music and dancing was amazing. It needed to be and I was so happy at how it was executed. I also appreciated how each actor had some sort of singing capability. And I was very impressed with Jo Ellen Pellmen. I believe that this was her first major role and she definitely has a bright future ahead, especially with that angelic voice of hers. The costumes were full of glitter, lots of bright colors and patterns. It really fit with the Broadway theme. Even the sets were outstanding.
There was a slight dip about midway through and I would have liked to have more ensemble numbers throughout. Also Nicole Kidman could have been in more scenes, but that’s me being biased.
If you love musicals like I do, then you need to watch The Prom. It’s a ton of fun for people of all ages to enjoy and is just the type of film we need nowadays.
The hype for Freaky has been real! The movie was released in cinemas about a month ago, but due to the pandemic, I had to wait until it was on Demand in order to watch it. This genre isn’t even my usual go to and I think I only wanted to check it out because it reminded me of Jennifer’s Body. I am so happy to report that this did live up to my expectations though it did not exceed them. It was a ton of fun though and highly enjoyable.
When Millie (Kathryn Newton) magically swaps bodies with a serial killer by the name of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), she learns that she only has one day, Friday the 13th, to find him and change back or else the swap will become permanent. In The Butcher’s body, Millie needs to convince her friends to help her before time runs out for good.
As you could imagine, this film had a lot of funny moments. In particular, I loved when the two leads had switched bodies and Vince Vaughn had to act like a high school girl. That was something I never thought I would witness and it still cracks me up just thinking about it. Alternatively, Kathryn Newton as a deranged serial killer was kinda genius and sort of bad ass because she didn’t take anybody’s shit.
I also appreciated the supporting cast of characters in Millie’s best friends Nyla (Celeste O’Connor) and Josh (Misha Osherovich), her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton), as well as her sister Charlene (Dana Drori) and her mother Coral (Katie Finneran). The dynamics helped to strengthen the story and made it more relatable.
While I did really like Freaky, I do believe that the extra wait time affected my overall enjoyment. I had built it up for so long in my head which isn’t always a good thing. Still I had a blast while watching and would definitely revisit it again in the future.
One is never too old for Disney movies. I actually think I gain a new appreciation for them as the years go on. Godmothered wasn’t a title I had heard much about. Despite having Disney +, I often forget to check what they have on there. It was my husband who told me about this movie and when I discovered that Isla Fisher was the star, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I needed to check it out. I have seen so many of her films and loved every one. Luckily Godmothered lived up to my expectations.
Eleanor (Jillian Bell) is a young fairy godmother who, clumsy at times, is eager and willing to learn the tricks of her trade. Over the last few years, the use of fairy godmothers hasn’t been as great as before. With talks that the Motherland is closing for good, Eleanor decides to set out on a journey of her own to prove that she can turn things around for her people by finding Mackenzie (Isla Fisher), a little girl who wrote to the godmothers and whose letter ended up in the archives.
When Eleanor makes it to America, she discovers that Mackenzie is no longer the ten year old who wrote that letter all those years ago. Instead, she is an overworked, single mother of two who never got her happily ever after. Eleanor only has a few days to help Mackenzie turn her life around or the portal to get back home will be closed forever.
This movie was so freaking cute. I couldn’t get over how adorable it all was. I felt major Enchanted vibes while watching which is awesome because that is also one of my all time favorites. In true Disney fashion, the backgrounds, costumes and make up were completely magical and served as a perfect escape for me. Additionally, the fact that the storyline takes place around Christmas was very fitting.
I loved the friendship that grew between Eleanor and Mackenzie. The adventures they went on together were fun and definitely otherworldly. The fact that the film was helmed by two strong, female characters was much appreciated.
If you are in the mood for something lighthearted, I recommend giving Godmothered a try. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face and envelope you in a giant hug.