Favourite of the year
Jungle Cruise (2021)
I knew when I watched the trailer this was going to be for me and it did not disappoint. Emily Blunt was at her absolute comedy best in this, the character of Dr Lily Houghton was made for her. Dwayne Johnson’s Frank Wolff is a dad joke telling grumpy boat owner who agrees to take Blunt on her journey and it feels so like The African Queen which I absolutely loved about it. One of the biggest surprises was Jack Whitehall, he was hilarious but the script really plays to everyone’s strengths producing high quality, family-friendly laughs. You could tell that the filmmakers were trying to replicate the success and even some of the elements in the Pirates of the Caribbean films which is obvious, the action moments are good but don’t reach Pirates heights. This was such good fun, highly recommended.
A Quiet Place Part 2 (2021)
This was a really great sequel, it wasn’t quite as good as John Krasinki’s original film but that was close to perfect for me so that would have been very difficult. But what this sequel did have was a look at day one which allowed us to see Kransinski back on screen as Lee which was a gift, it also had fantastic performances from the adult cast including Cillian Murphy. But it’s really the kids who take over in this film, again this really pushes diversity with Millicent Simmonds deaf actress showing us that Regan is completely capable of saving the day herself. I really enjoyed widening the world here and seeing what’s happened to the world outside the family farm. This had all the tension of first and lots of heart, I would highly recommend.
This is a story about a couple played superbly by Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci who have been together for many years and go on a holiday together to enjoy the little time they have left as Tucci’s character is suffering from early-onset dementia which is gradually becoming more prominent. This was such a grounded story you could well believe these characters are real people, I truly believed the situations and the feelings these characters were in and feeling could happen just like it’s portrayed. I must stress this is a difficult watch, it has a beautiful relationship that feels like a well-lived partnership with both knowing the other inside out, which makes what they are going through so difficult. I think I cried for the last third of the film so be warned, but this is a must watch it was profoundly beautiful.
Promising Young Woman (2021)
This film really blew me away, it really has its finger on the pulse of the most relevant issues of the day. This won director Emerald Fennel an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and it was so well deserved. This story has stuck with me all year, it is so compelling and there were twists and plot points I just didn’t see coming. The topic of men taking advantage of women is one that has been discussed many times more and moreover the last few years, this is a must watch, I can promise if you watch it with family or friends it’s one that will have you debating afterwards. But I would stress there are some dark themes and trigger warnings here.
The Bishop’s Wife (1947)
One to add to your Christmas movie list for next year, this was a delightful film with an amazing cast consisting of Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta young. Cary Grant is at his absolute best playing an Angel who answers Niven’s bishop’s prayer for help in building his cathedral. But instead, he shows him what’s truly important. This was my first time watching this and from the opening moments, I just knew this was going to be for me. I felt instantly at home with Grant’s Dudley, his twinkle in the eye and instant charm come to the fore in this. It has a beautiful message, is humorous and moving in equal measure. Highly recommend this forgotten gem, it will be going on my annual Christmas movie list.