Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Eleven year old Margaret Simon (Abby Ryder Forston) feels like her whole life is turned upside down when her parents (Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie) move the family to New Jersey. Growing up in a household of mixed religion, Margaret never had the pressure to make a choice on her faith, though her paternal grandmother Sylvia (Kathy Bates) can’t agree. When Margaret chooses this topic for a school project, she turns to God to help her in endeavours.

Based on the beloved novel by Judy Blume, the adaption of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret has been anticipated for many, many years. While I cannot recall as to whether or not I read the book, it has become a staple for many women because of it’s sheer relatability.

All of the predicaments that Margaret found herself in were reminiscent of my preteen years that it was scary. Dreaming that my bust would grow at a faster rate, that the cute boy in class would notice me and that I’d get my period so that I could be just like my friends were times that I had deep buried long ago. Wanting to grow up and be treated as an adult seemed so important then whereas now I wish I didn’t have all these responsibilities.

The cast was so on point. Ryder Forston killed it as our protagonist, perfectly capturing those moments of awkwardness. She’s got a bright future ahead of her and I look forward to seeing where she goes next. Bates has always been one of those household names and I thought she was great as the hip grandmother. It was McAdams as Margaret’s mother Barbara whose performance was absolutely charming, however – she gave up a lot for her family and we see how she overcomes it. It made me realize as well that I missed having her on screen.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is the type of film I never knew I needed. Not only for my childhood self, but for the self I am now. It really was quite the experience and I am so glad that films like this exist.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️.5

Pieces of a Woman

My first review of the new year and I feel like I chose the right movie to kick things off! Pieces of a Woman has been getting a lot of praise since its premiere at the Venice International Film Festival back in September. Despite the heavier nature, I was curious to see what all the fuss was about. I am pleased to say that it really did live up to the hype.

Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are expecting their first child. They couldn’t be more excited and have been waiting for this day for ages. Unfortunately, during the home birth, complications arise and it all ends in an unthinkable tragedy.

What follows is a year of Martha attempting to deal with the aftermath of her loss. Not only will her relationships change, but she must learn how to live with what happened to her so that she can move on.

Though the story was hard to watch at times, I do think it was eye opening. The first half hour alone was heartbreaking and I was holding my breath throughout. I hadn’t seen anything like it before! The performance by Vanessa Kirby was outstanding. I understand why so many are saying that she’ll be nominated for all the awards.

Similarly, Shia LaBeouf as Sean was a pleasant surprise. It had been awhile since I had seen him act in anything, but I do think that he is talented. The side characters including Martha’s mother Elizabeth (Ellen Burstyn), her sister Anita (Iliza Shlesinger), brother in law Chris (Benny Safdie) and cousin Suzanne (Sarah Snook) only helped enrich the story. And who could forget the midwife Eva (Molly Parker) who tried her best to save the baby’s life?

Pieces of a Woman is a raw story of loss, but it is also about finding yourself in the wake of it. I highly recommend the movie!

Rating: ♥♥♥♥