It seems to be getting harder and harder to find something that both my husband and I want to watch. His taste is more towards superheroes, and mine veers more towards… well… Richard Armitage! But sometimes we have a meeting of the minds. (Movie stills from IMDb)
Handsome Devil (2016): (On Video on Demand)
I’d read some interviews with the actors in Handsome Devil and was interested to see how this Irish film plays with stereotypes amid the unconscious homophobic attitudes in a boys’ boarding school. I first was able to interest my rugby-mad husband because it takes place in a rugby-focused boys’ school. But what held both his and my attention was the light Irish humour with which this coming of age story about being your authentic self is presented. The acting is convincing by Fionn O’Shae as the bullied oddball and Nicholas Galitzine as the handsome rugby star who are forced to room together. Andrew Scott (Sherlock) plays the insightful and supportive teacher everyone would like to have. Moe Dunford is like a toned down Jack Black as the rugby coach you wouldn’t like to have. While the movie is a bit hopeful about how teenage boys might react, it really is a nice film to watch.
“The Intern” (2015): (On Netflix)
While both my husband and I had seen this before, it was a lot of fun to watch it again. Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway are wonderful together as a 70-year-old intern with a lot to contribute and a stressed out business owner who definitely needs what he can teach her, about business but mainly about life. Funny and touching and just a well-written and well-executed movie.
“Into the Storm” (2014): (On iTunes)
Well, enough of togetherness… what’s more appropriate than re-watching a Richard Armitage movie about massive tornadoes, while storms were raging to the South? Hubby caught only bits of this one as he walked through the room on various errands. Admittedly, while the storm and pyro special effects are spectacular, the scripted human parts leave a lot to be desired. Poor dialogue and questionable accents make this pretty much a B-movie. Still, there are some good action sequences and some heart-warming scenes. Recommended for fans of the storm-type disaster genre or for die-hard Armitage fans who want to watch his continued casting in water-logged roles. (I’ve now started reading Zeesmuse’s fanfic, Raising Nemo, set two years after the storm, to see how she envisions the heroic vice principal.)
“Personal Shopper” (2016): (On Netflix)
Okay, completely lost the hubby on this one. My guilty secret… I was a fan of the Twilight movies, particularly the first one before they became so Hollywood. I know some people make fun of it, but I actually like Kristen Stewart’s acting style. It is very low-key and true-to-life, which I think doesn’t always show well in big budget glossy films. Personal Shopper is an award-winning film that did pretty badly at the box office. Stewart plays a spirit-sensitive woman whose twin brother has died. While hoping he will make contact with her at his Paris house, she encounters malevolent ghosts and is pursued via anonymous text message by someone who may or may not be dead. There is even a murder, and spirits may be influencing live people. A weird story that is very uneven but has some pretty cool atmosphere and creepy bits.
Five Days (2007 miniseries): (On Crave TV -HBO)
This BBC production takes place on five separate days, starting with the day that a married woman and her two mixed race children go missing and ending on the day that the full mystery is solved. While it is a police crime drama, the most interesting part is watching the family members go through this experience, each so alone in their own fear and grief. With the cast of BBC regulars, the acting is really believable and the story (although a bit soap-opera-ish) is one that makes you want to watch through to the conclusion. It’s always fun to watch a BBC production to see who you’ve seen in other BBC shows or who has since made it big. Frankly, in an ensemble cast like this one, they are too many to mention, but here are just a few. David Oyelowo (Selma) is wonderful as Matt, the worried and bewildered husband and father. The in-laws who’ve never quite accepted him are played by Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) and Patrick Malahide (Game of Thrones, Middlemarch). Sarah Smart (Sparkhouse, Wallander) does an interesting turn as someone who insinuates herself into Matt’s and his children’s lives. The teenage stepdaughter and the children are played by Lucinda Dryzek, Lee Massey, and Tyler Anthony. The police investigative team is lead by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) and supported by Janet McTeer, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Michelle Bonnard, and Charlie Creed-Miles. An interesting five-episode binge-watch.
Now, how to get my husband to commit to watching Berlin Station with me when it starts up again…. (I might have to get him to watch the first season first though!)