Films in 2017: February

Well, February and awards season sure went out with a bang (who hasn’t seen that Oscar snafu by now… I’m still not over the craziness!). Now that we’re in March, I can shift my focus back onto more TCM and FilmStruck screenings, as I spent much of the past month catching up on Oscar-nominated movies. I watched fewer new-to-me movies this month but was able to revisit a few great movies as well so I can’t complain. Between work and sleep, I haven’t given myself as much time as I used to throughout the week to watch movies, so instead, I’ve been doing most of my watching on the weekends. I suspect this viewing habit will continue throughout the year… though I’ll try to squeeze in a movie any chance I get because it’s what I love to do the most. But anyway, despite seeing less than usual, it was a great month in movies.

New-to-Me: 16

Re-Watched: 6

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 0
  • 1940s – 1
  • 1950s – 3
  • 1960s – 0
  • 1970s – 3
  • 1980s – 1
  • 1990s – 0
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 8

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. The Song of Bernadette (1943)
  2. The Big Country (1958)
  3. Au revoir les enfants (1987)
  4. The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
  5. Hell or High Water (2016)
  6. The Gazebo (1959)
  7. Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
  8. Elle (2016)
  9. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
  10. Loving (2016)
  11. Captain Fantastic (2016)
  12. A Little Romance (1979)
  13. A Walk in the Spring Rain (1970)
  14. The Lobster (2015)
  15. Jackie (2016)
  16. The Ruling Class (1972)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Gazebo (1959)

The Gazebo (1959), directed by George Marshall

When I wasn’t catching up on this year’s Oscar-nominated movies, I caught a few movies that played during TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar, including this gem starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds. I initially thought to check out The Gazebo because of its stars, but it turned out to be even more enjoyable than I anticipated. It’s a bit of a black comedy as the premise follows Ford’s character and his plot to kill a blackmailer, but it all plays out in a really funny way. Ford seems to be quite underrated among the actors of his era, as he’s great in every film I’ve seen him in, no matter the genre. He does an excellent job with the film’s comedy and shares wonderful chemistry with Reynolds (who is a delight as she usually is in her films). The film also has some nice nods to Hitchcock, as well as a good supporting performance from Carl Reiner.

A Little Romance (1979)

A Little Romance (1979), directed by George Roy Hill

A Little Romance was another film I watched thanks to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar, and again, another one that ended up being more enjoyable than I thought it’d be. It’s a charming little film that follows the blossoming romance between a French boy and an American girl living abroad in France (played by a teenage Diane Lane in her film debut!). What I wasn’t expecting from the movie was all its fun references to older films and stars, especially Humphrey Bogart and Robert Redford (whom director George Roy Hill had previously worked with on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting). It also features Laurence Olivier in a good supporting role, as well as Broderick Crawford in a small role as himself. I also have to add that the film has a wonderful, Oscar-winning score by Georges Delerue, who also did the music for prominent French films like Jules and Jim (one of my all-time favorite film scores).

Jackie (2016)

Jackie (2016), directed by Pablo Larraín

After seeing the trailer for Jackie, I figured that I’d enjoy it, but it really ended up exceeding my expectations. Natalie Portman is simply brilliant in the title role, showing an intimate portrait of grief for one of the most horrifying events in American history. While she’s the focus of Jackie, the film also features a remarkable supporting cast, with standouts being Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, the late John Hurt, and Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy. Along with the performances, I also really loved the score by Mica Levi, which I’ve been listening to practically non-stop since watching it last weekend.

Au revoir les enfants (1987)

Au revoir les enfants (1987), directed by Louis Malle

I posted another entry for the 2017 Blind Spots series yesterday on Au revoir les enfants, a great film I discovered thanks to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar festival. My thoughts on the film can be found here.

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