Hey everyone, hope you’re doing well! Somehow it’s February 2022, how’d that happen, huh?
If you’ve followed this site much, you may have realised I like films a lot, and tend to enjoy talking about them analytically, too. Frankly, though, I can’t review and write at length about every film I watch, or I’d never get anything else done! However, a friend recently pointed me to the site Letterboxd, which has started to act as a fun tool for logging my quickfire opinions of the movies I see. You can browse through a comprehensive list of releases, leave your personal star rating, write a short review, make lists of films, and more. All in all, I’m really glad to have discovered it.
As I write this, it sounds a bit like an advertisement… Conversely, it’s more just a head up for any movie fans out there who might enjoy it. Also, I’ve started doing some short reviews on there – shorter even than my Film in 500 articles here! I’m considering packaging those reviews up and posting them in compilations here, too, but time will tell on that.
For example, here’s a couple recent reviews I did for a couple of films I saw recently, Death on the Nile and Parallel Mothers:
★★★ Watched by William Robinson 11 Feb 2022
Two things felt retro about this one; firstly, finally watching a film I first saw marketing years ago (COVID, eh?), and secondly, to see a whodunnit movie again, as it feels like they’re pretty rare in the mainstream nowadays.
I’ll be honest; nothing this film does is particularly innovative. However, if you like the traditional, moustache-twirling, slightly melodramatic style of detective mystery, you might well find a lot of enjoyment here.
Characters are generally larger than life, with varying levels of depth. Branagh does a great job as Poirot, adding layers to the character that let the audience in to experience some empathy. However few of the other characters have the same effect – it’s a cast full of names you may recognise, but few get enough time or investment.
Still, the mystery was sufficiently riveting to keep me intrigued, and there’s some genuinely exciting moments dotted through. I will say that one of the ways the film does manage to stand out is the production value and the Egyptian setting, containing some extremely beautiful establishing shots.
★★★★ Added by William Robinson 12 Feb 2022
After watching the brilliant Pain & Glory and subsequently going through some of the Pedro Almodovar back catalogue, I’d now call myself a fan of the filmmaker. Therefore, I was excited to see his newest creation, Parallel Mothers, starring his longtime collaborator Penelope Cruz.
Once again, Almodovar has crafted something wonderful here, in a film focused on the diverging lives of two single mothers who meet whilst having their babies in the hospital. They keep in contact, and through various events I won’t spoil, their lives interweave in unexpected ways.
I always love how Almodovar films excel in the character department, with witty conversations that feel real but also contain rich drama. Also, they put a welcome focus on female characters. Additionally, they tend to succeed (it’s again the case here) with flying colours at the Bechdel Test, and a lot of other filmmakers could take cues from that.
My main criticism is probably how quickly the main twist becomes obvious, and yet the film takes a long time to build up to the reveal. It feels purposeful in some ways, but does leave you waiting for that moment, taking away some of the tension.
Overall, though, this is another excellent, heartwarming, and intelligent picture by Pedro Almodovar, with strong lead performances.
You can also scroll through my list of watched movies on there and see the films I am particularly planning to see soon. If you do have an account, or think you’d enjoy it, let me know and I’ll give you a follow!
That’s basically it for this post! Letterboxd may well become a valuable resource for me in terms of creating more reviews, more often, and that should also bolster the content I can publish here as well. Hopefully you can get something out of it too!
Either way, I hope you have an amazing day! Really, this wasn’t an ad read…