Films in 2019: May

The month of May was filled with plenty of discoveries mixed in with a lot of re-watches. My local arthouse theater hosted film noir screenings every Wednesday in May, so of course, I had to go to every showing, including the first one for Gun Crazy with special guest Eddie Muller, the Czar of Noir himself! I didn’t get around to meeting him at TCMFF in April (sidenote: you can read about my whole experience at the festival here!). That’s mostly because, unlike with the other TCM hosts, I knew I had more opportunity to see him at least around San Francisco, so it was a real treat to meet him here in Sacramento. On a sad note, we lost the incomparable Doris Day earlier in the month, so I watched a few of her movies I hadn’t seen before that were readily available to stream. TCM will have a 24-hour tribute to the star next Sunday, and among my favorites that I recommend catching are Romance on the High Seas, Calamity Jane, and her rom-coms with Rock Hudson and Rod Taylor. Speaking of TCM, this past month I’ve also enjoyed their spotlight on WWII movies, which continues into the month of June in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. So there’s plenty to look forward to this coming month on the movie front, as the summer movie season also kicks into high gear! But anyway, let’s take a look at what I watched in May.

New-to-Me: 23

Re-Watched: 13

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 1
  • 1940s – 5
  • 1950s – 6
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 3
  • 1980s – 4
  • 1990s – 0
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 2

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Sons and Lovers (1960)
  2. Happy Land (1943)
  3. The White Cliffs of Dover (1944)
  4. Rage in Heaven (1941)
  5. The Young Philadelphians (1959)
  6. It Happened to Jane (1959)
  7. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)
  8. Under the Volcano (1984)
  9. The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018)
  10. A Blueprint for Murder (1953)
  11. Walk Softly, Stranger (1950)
  12. The Man with a Cloak (1951)
  13. The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)
  14. The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)
  15. Teacher’s Pet (1958)
  16. It’s My Turn (1980)
  17. Girlfriends (1978)
  18. Hope and Glory (1987)
  19. Journey for Margaret (1942)
  20. The Lion Has Wings (1939)
  21. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
  22. The MacKintosh Man (1973)
  23. Rocketman (2019)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

Girlfriends (1978)

Girlfriends (1978), directed by Claudia Weill

I haven’t watched as many movies on the Criterion Channel streaming service as I’d like (RIP FilmStruck), but I’ve slowly started to watch more movies on there, and Girlfriends was one I ended up enjoying much more than I expected. While the title draws upon the friendship between Susan (Melanie Mayron) and Anne (Anita Skinner), it’s more focused on Susan’s adjustment to living on her own after her best friend Anne moves out of their apartment and gets married. It’s a great, honest portrait of the struggles of adulthood for a young woman, and the characters feel fully realized.

Rocketman (2019)

Rocketman (2019), directed by Dexter Fletcher

This was an early 2019 release I was looking forward to seeing, as I grew up loving Elton John’s music. I had a feeling I’d at least like it for that aspect, but I was delightfully surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. While most biopics about musicians simply feature the songs through stage performances within the story, Rocketman is a straight-up musical, where the characters often break out into song, sometimes in surreal moments that make the movie more fantasy-like. Taron Egerton gives a wonderful, emotionally-charged performance as the music icon, and I especially liked his scenes with Jamie Bell as his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin. I hope both actors, if not at least Egerton, get some attention come awards season.

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