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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Movies, Movies, Movies! by Marilyn Levinson

This past month and a half I've watched several wonderful movies in a local movie theatre and at home on Netflix, and via CDs I've borrowed from my library. Given the outstanding selection offered as 2019 drew to a close, it's no wonder that for once I clocked in more movie-watching hours than reading hours during this period.

I pride myself on knowing which movies I'll enjoy and I'm rarely disappointed. I was pleased that almost all the movies I chose to watch were honored at the recent Golden Globe Awards. So many good movies were released this past December. Part of the reason is that Movieland, in its infinitive wisdom, releases its crème de la crème as close to the New Year as possible so that those movies will be eligible for this year's awards. And then there's the wonder of Netflix. I consider myself lucky to have seen the newly released "The Irishman," "The Two Popes," and "Marriage Story" in the comfort of my own home.

My taste in movies is broader than my literary preferences. Character and subject matter still matter most, immediately followed by setting and cinematography.  I loved Greta Gerwig's looser, free-er updated version of "Little Women" the ongoing dialogue between Benedict and Francis in "The Two Popes," the excruciating breakup in "Marriage Story," the amazing cast in "The Irishman."

As a mystery writer, I took great delight in watching "Knives Out," tickled to have learned immediately after seeing the movie that the movie makers had asked the Malice people for an Agatha teapot to set among the murdered mystery writer's objects. I loved "Blinded By the Light," based on the life of a teenaged Pakistani boy in 1980's England, who is dazzled by Bruce Springsteen's songs. And "Rocket Man," Elton John's story, was spectacular from beginning to end.

I've discovered that the movies I like best are either based on the lives of real people, like so many I've already mentioned including the heartwarming "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," and movies based on books, like "Little Women."

Two movies I meant to catch when they came out—"Parasite" and "JoJo Rabbit"—have already garnered praise and awards. I'll see them when they become available on CDs.

What were your favorite movies this past season? Do you prefer watching a movie at home or in a theatre?


Kait said...

I always seemed to be behind trend - I recently met and binged on Longmire. Loved all but the last season. The Irishman is up next on Netflix for me.

Our nearest theater is 35 miles away so we don't go often. I'm waiting for Knives Out to make it to DVD or streaming, same with Little Women. I do miss the old converted from live theater movie houses that populated my youth. There was magic in them, and I miss that.

Annette said...

I'm envious. I haven't seen a movie in a theatre in years and rarely sit down to watch one beginning to end at home either. I always see the ads on TV for new ones and tell Hubby, "I really want to see that one," but it never happens anymore.

Kait, have you read the Longmire books? As is often the case, the books are better, but I did love the series too.

KM Rockwood said...

I'd like to see more movies. There's a very nice theater nearby that has a great price for Tuesday matinees. That used to be the slowest day, but now it's packed on Tuesdays. I don't watch much TV at all. I'm learning to use it now (just figured out how to get Amazon Prime on it) since my husband can't do it any more, and he likes to watch some things. A few winters ago, he went to St. Croix to visit a friend, and it occurred to me that I didn't even know how to turn it on.

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

We enjoyed "Knives Out" and are looking forward to the new James Bond movie this spring. Movies come out, but by the time I get organized to find a theatre, they're gone.

I'll grab an opportunity to see "Little Women" and wait for "The Irishman" to hit the library on DVD.

Last year, we saw a Metropolitan Opera broadcast in a theatre with cushy seats and foot rests. Long, but lovely, and we did get an intermission.

Marilyn Levinson said...


It took me years until I took advantage of watching the Prime Amazon movies, even though I belonged to Prime. My "Smart" TV wasn't smart. It took gifts of firesticks from my kids for me to watch all those wonderful shows, though I did watch a few on my computer.

Peg Cochran said...

My husband adores movies so we go to a lot of them at the theater--we're lucky enough to have a "cheapie" movie theater nearby that shows movies just after they leave the big theaters--and we have Netflix, Acorn, Prime etc. as well. We loved Knives Out and the Good Lie (superb acting.) I confess to falling asleep during Once Upon a Time n Hollywood. We loved Downton Abbey--it was like seeing old friends again. We haven't seen as many recently because of the holidays but plan to catch up in the coming weeks!

Marilyn Levinson said...

I intend to see The Good Lie. And Jojo Rabbit and Parasite are back at my indy movie theatre. This time I'll make it my business to see them!

Marilyn Levinson said...


The movie theatres near me have comfy seats, too. I'll be seeing Porgy and Bess as a simulcast, but that I'll be watching at StonyBrook University next month.

Grace Topping said...

My husband and I rarely go see movies in a theater, but some films we make it a point to see on a big screen like Master and d Commander and Harry Potter films. We recently saw Knives Out and enjoyed it.