Beauty and the BeastEveryone has their one sacred Disney classic, and Beauty and the Beast is definitely mine aka PAIGE O' HARA AS BELLE IS MY LIFE. Not a lot of hardcore fans of the original liked the remake, and I can understand why. It essentially rehashes the animated version in a more realistic world, but both offer good (and bad) elements for different reasons. I loved the costumes, production design, new smaller songs, and cast. If I watch the original, I think of the live-action remake and vice-versa. Except for one annoying character, this was one of my favorite movie theater experiences and I've been enjoying re-watches at home too.
JackieLike my next pick, Jackie was released in 2016, but having not seen it til earlier this year, it's one of my favorites. Natalie Portman stars as the former First Lady reliving how her husband and President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Her performance was my favorite for Best Actress at the Oscars, as well, the score was haunting and the cinematography was beautiful. Having hoped for a biopic of Jackie O. for so many years, this definitely lived up to my expectations.
A young child gets lost in India and ends up adopted by a loving couple in Hobart, Tasmania. As an adult he decides to search for his original family, hoping for an impossible reunion. In my Oscar predictions list last year, I thought this would be the little-movie-that-could, so it was wonderful to see its success. Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman gave such beautiful performances, and I honestly didn't expect the ending to hit me so powerfully. It's something I'll never forget. (Technically, this came out in 2016 but since it didn't reach a wide release for me until 2017, I'm counting this.)
LoganAfter a week of watching and live-tweeting X-Men movies, Logan absolutely lived up to the hype. I still have so much to write about this movie, but I think a part of me is still savoring the experience of seeing it for the first time and making it last as long as possible. The cast, especially Hugh Jackman, direction, and the story makes it claws-down one of the best, if not, the best "superhero" movie to ever be produced by the comic-book machine that is Hollywood these days.
Kong: Skull Island
Never a big fan of the monster movies, especially with King Kong, I wasn't too crazy about sitting through another remake. The trailer didn't cast the best light on it, but I gave this a chance with my sister, and it ended up being a really fun, well-rounded action flick. I'm hoping there's a sequel somewhere in its future. (My fuller review will be posted soon....)Period films, mostly Victorian era ones, aren't really my specialty....but I'm hooked on My Cousin Rachel (another review to be posted soon). Daphne Du Maurier is one of my favorite authors, so it was sweet when two of my favorite actors Rachel Weisz and Sam Claflin teamed up for an adaptation of her novel. It's filled with amazing costumes, moody cinematography, and a mind-bending script. This will be one that I return to again and again, especially with Halloween just around the corner. And I got a little bit hooked on Victorian movies after this too.