Category Archives: drama

If your life is lacking in drama, pick one of these to sink your teeth into.

Darkest Hour

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If you thought Dunkirk and The King’s Speech were epics, wait until you see Darkest Hour. It’s another perspective of the remarkable rescue of British soldiers from the shores of Dunkirk, this time, from inside British parliament… Continue reading

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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk is definitely the best war-based film I have seen since Saving Private Ryan.

This is an incredibly moving and haunting survival film about British soldiers desperately trying to escape the ever-approaching Nazi German forces. They’re attacking by air and land. The British soldiers attempt to evacuate France at Dunkirk to England via ship, despite all odds… Continue reading

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Million Dollar Baby

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I have heard references to this movie within multiple movies (Pitch Perfect in particular), but had never bothered watching it. From the outside, I figured it’s just a violent, shallow and dark tale of a female boxer. So I never showed much interest before I was leant the movie, so I thought I should give it a go… Continue reading

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople

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I really needed this film in my life. 

Another Kiwi classic from director Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is about a national manhunt ordered for a rebellious Kiwi kid, Ricky (Julian Dennison), and his foster uncle, Hec (Sam Neill), who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush. A fantastically hilarious and beautiful tribute to everything that is Kiwi… Continue reading

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Hidden Figures

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This was actually quite a funny film!

I was expecting a super dramatic biopic, but as compelling as the storyline absolutely is, it is intertwined with down-to-Earth humour.

A fantastically inspiring movie based on three real-life black women who worked at NASA in the sixties. It follows their triumphs and successes, despite being completely discriminated against for being black, and for being women… Continue reading

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The Dressmaker

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What I thought was going to be a quirky, enchanting, and uplifting story, turned out to be a dark and twisted tale.

Despite Kate Winslet’s beauty and surprisingly accurate Australian accent, this story was far from a sweet and innocent drama. The Dressmaker is about a woman returning home from Europe to the rural Australian village she grew up in. She endeavors to discover the secrets of her childhood… Continue reading

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La La Land

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IT’S SO MAGICAL!

Despite the trailer making me expect Glee meets Grease, I had heard so many rave reviews about La La Land, that I simply had to see it for myself.

I was not disappointed.

A story about a boy and a girl, with grand dreams (already a refreshing storyline in itself). Ryan Gosling’s character, Sebastian, wants to be a jazz musician, playing in his own bar. Emma Stone’s character, Mia, wants to be a successful actress. Two strong-minded people going in different directions, yet refusing to let go of each other… Continue reading

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Brooklyn

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I am ashamed how close I came to watching Tina Fey’s new movie, Sisters, rather than seeing this touching drama. (I still reckon Tina Fey is a genius, though.)

After seeing the Brooklyn trailer I was prepared to see a slow-paced, sullen and potentially grim film. But this was not the case!

I walked out of the cinema feeling uplifted, positive and encouraged. I felt as though I’d been wrapped up in a big, fat duvet, sung a lullaby while sipping on hot cocoa inside by the fire during a blizzard… It gave me the warm and fuzzies, and made me feel happy… Continue reading

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The Time Traveler’s Wife

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A heart-breaking story about, not the person who leaves, but the person who’s perpetually left behind.

I like this unusual perspective, particularly since time-travel is such an attractive, but foreign, concept. Yet, the story is focused on the more human and deeply relatable themes.

I’ve heard the book is fantastic – I’m going to read it this summer. But, the movie is exquisite. If you haven’t seen or read The Time Traveler’s Wife, the low-down is that a man is a time traveller and his wife is not. The time traveller, named Henry (Eric Bana) can’t control his travelling, so his impromptu disappearances and reappearances become a way of life for his wife Clare Abshire (Rachel McAdams)… Continue reading

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Suffragette

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As you may know by reading my “Looking forward to: Suffragette” post, I have been obsessed with this film for months. I’ve watched every movie clip, interview and behind-the-scenes glimpse.

Unfortunately, it appears the film company have actually released the entire movie throughout their promotion of Suffragette… I felt like I had already seen it by the time I watched it in the cinema.

If you too have watched the trailers that have been released, you have actually seen the beginning, the most scandalous and shocking scenes, as well as the final scene… Continue reading

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A Few Good Men

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“You can’t handle the truth!” Well. Now I know where this famous quote actually comes from. I’ve heard it being referenced in Seinfeld (and probably countless other shows), and hadn’t the slightest clue it was from a good movie – not some Terminator, mindless action film that for some reason I always assumed it would be from. A Few Good Men, a courtroom drama from 1992. I know, I know, I’m only 23 years behind. Man, this movie is my favourite at the moment. I’m assuming I was the only person on the planet who hadn’t seen this film, but if you need a refresher of the plot without any of the court or Marine jargon… Continue reading

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Big Eyes

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This is the story of Margaret (Adams) who is the artist responsible for the memorable paintings of the children with big eyes during the sixties and seventies. She married a salesman Walter Keane (Waltz) after walking out on her previous husband. (Which was a big thing for women of that time.) Keane told her that people don’t buy ‘lady art’, so it would be in both of their best financial interests if Margaret’s art was passed off as his. Over 10 years, that lie snowballed into something much larger, where Margaret was lying to her daughter, lying to herself and losing her identity in a dominated relationship. Continue reading

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Whiplash

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Whiplash, and referred to it as ‘that drumming film with Juno’s dad in it.’

Or, perhaps you first heard of it when J.K. Simmons won best supporting actor at the Oscars for his role in Whiplash. (Which, OH MY GOD did he deserve. He was… Every teacher I’ve ever feared.)

Although, I reckon everyone should have known Whiplash as ‘that amazing film I went to see yesterday for the second time’. Yet, at least in Auckland’s case, it was barely shown – if at all – in the major cinemas… Continue reading

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Hector and the Search for Happiness

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I thought this was going to be an English version of Walter Mitty… I think that was the aim anyway, but it certainly wasn’t the final product.

Unfortunately, this potentially deep and meaningful storyline was not achieved due to the general lack of believability, and the distaste toward the main character, Hector (Simon Pegg).

Basically, Hector is a psychiatrist and he finds himself unfulfilled. So he goes on a journey around the world, visiting countries including China and Africa, to find out what makes people happy… Continue reading

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What We Did on our Holiday

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Like my horse, it’s funny at the beginning, saggy in the middle and a bit crappy at the end.

This is a film – featuring the spectacular David Tennant (Dr. Who!!) and Rosamund Pike – about a family of five going on holiday to Scotland for the grandfather’s 75th birthday party.

Long story short, the parents are having a divorce but only the children know, and they are sworn to secrecy while visiting their sickly grandfather so as to keep his final years pleasant… Continue reading

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Into the Wild

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Based on a true story, Into the Wild is about a privileged young man, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who graduates from university. He has the world in his hands, from the outside he has a top-class education, and wealthy, supportive parents.

But his deepest desire is to distance himself from the material world of money and ‘things’. So he sets off on a journey in search of adventures in the Alaskan wilderness… Continue reading

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Wild

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Based on a true story, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) battles the ghosts of her past: heroin addiction, divorce, the death of her mother and the abandonment of her father. As a way to start fresh, she goes on a 1000-mile journey along the Pacific Crest Trail.

To be frank, the flashbacks made me feel really uncomfortable. But… I guess the world of heroin addicts shouldn’t exactly be attractive.

A classic ‘runaway movie’, although I’m not entirely sure if this is actually a sub-genre. Nevertheless, Wild fits into this category along with Into the Wild, Thelma and Louise, and to some extent: Eat Pray Love, Gone Girl and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty… Continue reading

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American Graffiti

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This movie nearly didn’t get made. Boy, am I glad it was. This is in my top five movies – at least!

American Graffiti is the colourful account of the final night of high school for a group of students who go out cruising, attend ‘the hop’ and hang at the drive-in dina.

It’s not only an incredibly entertaining film, it’s also the most accurate documentation of what the sixties were all about.

This movie makes me upset because it makes me mourn the spectacular sixties. As mentioned in Midnight in Paris, it’s “Golden Age Thinking” – the thought that I’d be happier in another time. And boy does American Graffiti do that; it hits me right in the feels… Continue reading

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Julie & Julia

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I can NOT believe I haven’t reviewed this! I was so certain I had because this movie was the inspiration behind me starting this very blog!

So! Julie & Julia, it is a typical rom-com drama, with a twist! The twist being the gorgeous, wonderful, classic Meryl Streep.

It follows two story lines – both of them based on true stories:

One is about Julia Child (Meryl Streep), an American living in France during the 40s. (That means trilling accents and beautiful dresses). She is struggling to adapt to French culture, so we follow how her love of food provided a comfort, and her plans to write a cookbook.

The second story is of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) in the modern day, a government worker by day who starts a cooking blog as an outlet. She uses Child’s cookbook as a guide: 524 recipes in 365 days… Continue reading

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Her

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(Prepare to see a lot of screen grabs with quotes from this film around. The script is so poetic.)

Her is a sci-fi romance, drama hybrid that premiered at the 2013 New York Film Festival.

It’s set in the near future where rather than keeping one’s head down – staring at a phone screen – people now have an ear piece that respond to voice commands.

The operational system – or OS – that performs the requests now have personalities, and for all intense and purposes, are a personal assistant with feelings and emotions equal in complexity to humans.

This new update is something that the main character, melancholy and lonely Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), becomes immediately interested in… Continue reading

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Young Adult

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Another classic Diablo Cody script! I love the dialogue she writes for characters who are (for lack of a better word) ‘real’. Jason Reitman is the director of this comedy-drama, who is responsible for the likes of Juno and Up in the Air.

Young Adult is about a ghost writer, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), who returns to her home town to try and get back with an old flame, Buddy. Buddy, however, is married and has just had a baby and is in no way interested in what Mavis is so obviously implying… Continue reading

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The Fault in Our Stars

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My friend said this movie was “a real punch in the feels!” I agree.

Do not expect to walk out of the cinema feeling uplifted, inspired or at peace with the world. If anything, The Fault in Our Stars will rob you of the right to complain about your life, and you will find yourself driving home in total silence as you digest this story.

If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, it is about two teenagers with cancer who fall in love, before being faced with all sorts of tragic circumstances. ‘Heard it before’, I hear you say? On paper, you’re right, but on the screen, it is certainly something a little different.

It isn’t sugar-coated, or glazed too much with the flawlessness of Hollywood cinema… Continue reading

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The Way Way Back

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The Way Way Back is a funny, feel-good film, similar to Little Miss Sunshine and Juno. It’s an uplifting tale about Duncan (Liam James) who has to endure a summer with his mum Pam (Toni Collette) and her new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell).

Struggling to withstand Trent’s subtle bullying, Duncan goes out as often as possible. He soon gets a secret job at the local pool, where he gains a lot more confidence and gets a good reputation… Continue reading

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American Hustle

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I honestly didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was Jennifer Lawrence is in it. Which sold it for me.

Bright, bold, glossy and rawkus. American Hustle shows off the glamorous seventies in a gorgeous light.

In the same way The Boat that Rocked made the sixties nostalgic, American Hustle enhanced our recollection of the seventies.

I was utterly gob-smacked to discover… Continue reading

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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An inspirational fable to say the least. I have been waiting for a movie like this for a long time.

“Having a Walter Mitty moment”, you’ve probably heard the phrase. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty explores the ‘what if’ situations in life.

It is sort of similar to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, because it is the story of a man’s dreams and epic adventures.

Coincidently, there is a hilarious reference to Benjamin Button in the movie.

Everybody can relate to Walter Mitty. Dreamers, travellers, photographers, bored office workers… Anybody who fantasises about running away or doing something crazy… Continue reading

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