Movies of the Week #46 #47 (2020)

All the Real Girls (2003): You know those movies all sweet and dripping with melancholy like your highschool crush as she pushes herself up against the edge of the swimming pool? That’s what AtRG feels like, a sad, mostly true, frequently beautiful, occasionally sappy tale of first love, of childhood friendships, of dreams and expectations. David Gordon Green’s movie captures these things oh-so-well, as do Zoey Deschanel and Paul Schneider in their little tryst. There’s just something about the portrayals of Twin Peaks-esque rural United States that makes my heart swell with yearning for simple things, simpler times. 8/10

Was wir wollten (2020): Netflix recently released this German movie about a couple trying to unsuccessfully conceive. Their relationship is strained as Alice (Lavinia Wilson) and Niklas (Elyas M’Barek) try to escape their day to day worries by going on holiday. The exploration of their relationship, teetering on failure, feels true and painful, if safely familiar to many other relationship dramas you might have seen throughout the years. However, the strong leads and some inspired cinematography elevate Was wir wollten above its melodramatic bouts, to make it a recommendable experience. 7/10

Greenland (2020): At a time when we probably don’t need any new doomsday movies, Greenland turns out to actually be one of the better disaster stories out of Hwood. An ageing Gerald Butler stars across from Morena Baccarin, as a comet is about to not-quite-fly-by Earth. The couple, with their young son, are selected for a secret government relocation program, but things, naturally, don’t go that well, as humanity rapidly descends into chaos. This descent feels eerily plausible and scary (hey, I just saw people’s patience running out while waiting in front of a bank the other day) and will help you overcome some of the less likely twists in the plot. The finale is a bit tame for my liking, but overall Greenland is a decent one. 7/10

Await Further Instructions (2018): This severely underrated sci-fi/horror is one of those movies that’s big on concept, yet suffers from what one might deem unlikely behaviour from its characters. Sometimes you have to take a step back and enjoy something for what it is, in this case a layered, visually striking and deeply unnerving commentary on the power of media and authority, wrapped into a toxic family get-together. The clever effects work very well and add to the tension, in the Christmas movie you never knew you wanted. 7/10

Cry-Baby (1990): You just know John Waters will give you a different turn on the classic Footloose-esque scenarios you were so familiar with. Starring Johnny Depp, in one of his first major roles, alongside Amy Locane and a bunch of other big names of the late 80s/early 90s, the movie is more of a curiosity than anything else. With some zippy songs and a plot subverting your expectations of who the good gang and who the bad gang is, it proves a likable ride, but just lacks more bite to really stand out. 6/10