Confessions of a TV Addict: The One About My Life in Movies

When I wrote my last blog post, I was really scrounging the seemingly bottomless depths of my pop culture clogged brain and all I could come up with was, “Let’s talk about TV that I haven’t even seen! That’ll be fun!”

I mean, I did enjoy writing it. And I certainly hope you enjoyed skimming it because I tend to prattle on at length quite often, and I can guarantee the only one who read every word was me when I went back to muse at my own hilarity.

Anyway, the problem is, all the new shows are coming out in April. Well guess what, kids?

Yes. It isn’t April. You’re so smart; your parents must be so proud.

Here I was again faced with the precarious quagmire (thanks Thesaurus.com for this delightful noun) of having to write a blog with no TV in question to discuss. Sure, Feud is actually really great (maybe that’s why FX is allowing Ryan Murphy to make another damn show. I am not even kidding about this).

So, I’ve decided to switch it up.

Since my birthday is coming up in a few days, and this is my blog post and I make the rules, I’ve decided to do a movie thing instead. It’s still on-brand, just a different storytelling medium than the title of my blog suggests. I was inspired by this thing I saw on Twitter where you’re supposed to name your favourite film for every year you’ve been alive.

I have not been alive for very many years (only 21), but some of the things I enjoy suggest that I may actually be a 120-year-old woman. You will never know if I’m actually like Melisandre from Game of Thrones, and when I take off my impractical heeled boots everyday I morph into an ancient wretch. At any rate, let’s get started.

Leonardo DiCaprio overacts so much in this (per usual for him), but it actually works here. Shakespeare traditionalists probably hate Baz Luhrmann’s colourful and gaudy take on the Bard’s work, but I think it’s wonderful. And young Paul Rudd is effervescent. 

Okay, so ’97 was a weak year for movies, apparently. However, Anastasia is charming, with Disney-quality jams, and convinced an adolescent me that I could possibly be the decendent of some European royal family.

I am still convinced that this is a possibility for me.

Every time I see Jim Carrey in anything I quietly comment, “He seems to be touched by darkness.” I adore him, and he is quiet, poignant, and marvelous in this, but he just has this tinge of gloom. I can’t explain it.

Another note on this film: anytime I get to see Laura Linney doing anything I am delighted. Her scene was the best part of Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

I am deeply concerned that since the US government seems intent on unnecessarily cutting PBS funding, she will be out of her job of saying “Hi, I’m Laura Linney and this is Masterpiece Classic” before episodes of Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey repeats. #PoliticalGabby

But genuinely, give Laura more to do, Hollywood! 

Every time I see a plastic bag blowing around in the wind I burst out laughing thinking about how deep this movie was trying to be with Wes Bentley’s character making a film out of one. Was Kevin Spacey the plastic bag? Were we all? Is this what Katy Perry was singing about? (If you have not seen this film, or heard the song “Firework,” none of that made any sense.)

Annette Benning deserved an Oscar for this (and The Kid’s Are Alright, but don’t even get me started on that one. (Hot take á la 2010: Natalie Portman was not that good in Black Swan.))

Everything about this movie is pure 90’s existentialism of suburban mundanity and I am here for that always. 

 

An unsettling attraction and thirst to slightly disturbed men age-inappropriate for me is part and parcel of my brand, and Christian Bale in this movie may be fully responsible for that.

This movie is, unfortunately, latched onto by hordes of insecure male business majors who strut around in ill-fitting off-brand suits, who aspire to Patrick Bateman's general 80's Wall Street jerkiness, but it is so much more than that.

While I feel it fails to quite capture the correct and obscure tone of its original source material (Bret Easton Ellis’ novel of the same name), Mary Harron did something really cool here. If anything else, she was wise to leave out the rat scene from the book (I urge younot to look this up, but obviously I will provide a link here if you're gross enough to be curious.)

Plus, there are so many fabulous supporting actors in this.

I lied before.

Ewan McGregor in this movie is fully responsible for my thirst. He has the voice of an angel. I knew what true love was when I watched this scene for the very first time:

Also, everything about this is what a movie musical is supposed to be: filled to the brim with cleverness, energy, and talent (ahem, everything La La Land wasn’t). My bedroom at home is Moulin Rouge!-themed, so one can deduce I really freaking enjoy this film. 

Another movie musical that is aces. It won Best Picture, too, deservedly so. I love the music in this, but for some reason the stage play version of this does absolutely nothing for me. It is probably because queen Christine Baranski isn’t there.

On a slightly unrelated note, where is Richard Gere? Where has he been? I am concerned for him.

More Ewan McGregor! In this one, he does the most charming southern accent! Also, Jessica Lange! And the guy who left his pregnant wife to date Claire Danes (Billy Crudup)! Why am I yelling?!

I’ve calmed down. This movie is colourful and bittersweet and lovely. Just lots of good, happy, fun times. 

Wow. I love movie musicals, clearly. This is the very first movie I have memory weeping at. Now, I cry at almost everything. Also, I did not find out until years, and I mean years, later that Gerard Butler plays the Phantom. It still blows my mind. Why did they not cast him instead of Russell Crowe in Les Misérables?

These are the things that keep me up at night.

This movie is worth it for the costumes and art direction alone. Emmy Rossum is also really lovely as Christine.

(I almost put National Treasure for ’04, because Justin Bartha is a national treasure. Thankfully, he’s working on The Good Fight right now. Good for him!)

A theme of Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor appears to be forming and I am 100% okay with embracing that.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman films are the reason why the Oscars expanded the Best Picture race from 5 to a possibility of 10 total nominees. Nolan did something dark and gritty, without seeming pretentious and I have to respect that.

Also, Batman is the best superhero. Don’t @ me.

2006 was a marvelous year for movies. Much like Hugh Grant searching for a female life companion, I couldn’t possibly narrow it down to just one. (His personal life is still the most hilarious and bananas thing in the world to me.)

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy-drama-war film Pan’s Labryinth is the only movie to ever capture exactly what I look like without make-up on. That is an impressive feat.

The Devil Wears Prada is one of Meryl Streep’s career best performances, and introduced us to the wickedly talented Emily Blunt.

Now, when people ask me what my favourite movie is, and I have to narrow it down to only one for real, Marie Antoinette is always what flies out of my Too Faced peach oil infused lip gloss-covered mouth. 

The soundtrack is bar-none the best movie soundtrack ever. Ever. They actually got to film at Versailles, and I honestly get misty-eyed even thinking about the intricacy of the architecture.

I am clearly an emotionally stable individual. Crying at images of pieces of glass.

Also, Jamie Dornan! I liked him first, people. (This scene is exclusively why I recently dyed my hair the colour of cotton candy.)

This is my intellectual answer. My real favourite for the year is Enchanted. Another movie musical. Sorry not sorry. James Marsden is marvelous in this, further reminding me how unfair and cruel Hollywood has been in underutilizing his talents. Also, P. Demps is just charming as hell in this.

I saw this maybe 4 times in the theater, and a gazillion after that. It’s just a great movie.

While ’08 was a great year for Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia! and Doubt), Nolan’s second Batman film is still considered high in the pantheon of movies that are wonderful. Another note: the fact that anyone would even attempt to tackle the role of Joker after Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance is just crazy to me (sit the hell down, Jared Leto).

I can’t just pick one again. I am horrid at following the rules, clearly.

Tom Ford’s directorial debut features Matthew Goode and Colin Firth basking on a perfectly lit beach, Julianne Moore dancing to “Green Onions,” and a deeply poignant, and oddly prescient speech:

Also, Jon Hamm has a small, voice-only cameo, giving me the chance to bring him up right now (Obligatory Jon Hamm reference. © 2017 Gabrielle Lee Gabauer).

Inglorious Basterds is, in a word, glorious. Plus, it is my all-time favourite Tarantino film. The costuming, obscene violence, and just everything about Christoph Waltz is perfect. Like, the scene at the beginning with the milk! I could have watched 3 hours of that.

I mean… I guess?

It was this or The King’s Speech, and Black Swan is just the sexier choice. It’s ambitious and weird, and uses the Swan Lake score for haunting and visceral effect.

The one scene in the movie where Natalie Portman refuses to eat any of the birthday cake that Barbara Hershey cut for her is the most stressed I have ever felt watching anything in my life.

But, Winona Ryder is the best thing about this movie. She is the best thing about anything she is involved with though, isn’t she?

One of these is my artsy, cinema-centric answer, and the other is my pleasant, not slit-your-wrists upsetting answer. Try to guess which is which!

Midnight in Paris brings me happiness just thinking about it. Everything, besides its problematic director, is flawless. The opening 10 minutes of the film are just shots of Paris set to jazz music and it moves me to tears every damn time. I think it would be best for me never to visit Paris, because I genuinely would expect to be whisked away to the 1920’s hang out with Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald and be deeply disappointed if that didn’t actually happen.

Steve McQueen’s second collaboration with Michael Fassbender, Shame, features Fassbender as a deeply troubled sex addict living in New York. Carey Mulligan plays his unhinged sister who forces Fassbender’s character to come to terms with his addiction. 

It is the definition of heartwrenching. Both Fassbender and Mulligan deliver insanely haunting performances. 

The fact that he only got a Golden Globe nomination for this is criminal, and not just because he does a lot of full frontal nudity, which garnered the movies NC-17 rating. Sorry I am like this, but my thirst for Fassbender is too real. 

More flawless Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio overacting, and gory Tarantino violence.

We have fun here.

The only fun anecdote I have about me is that I chose my college major based on the fact that Cate Blanchett’s character in this movie was an anthropology major.

Jasmine is addicted to pills and is losing her mind, and she is bar-none one of my favourite characters ever put to screen.

She loses all of her money, but still manages to hold onto her Louis Vuitton luggage, Birkin Bag, Chanel jacket, and fly first class. Plus, she gets to date Peter Sarsgaard – the dream, really.

I relate to her on a spiritual level. 

Wes Anderson films are always a joyous, twee, pastel-couloured treat overflowing with brilliant actors.

What a goddamn delight this film is.

The fact that Carol wasn’t nominated for Best Picture still haunts me. This movie is gorgeous and marvelous and Cate Blanchett wears this fabulous fur coat the whole time.

Yup. Had to choose 3. Don’t hate me.

I have yet to shut up about how amazing The Lobster is. It is streaming everywhere. Do yourself a favour and get on that.

Jackie is a really weird movie. It isn’t the sweeping biopic everyone had the impression it was going to be, but it makes it all the more wonderful that it isn’t. I feel it definitely required a non-American director (in this case, Chilean director Pablo Larraín), someone with an external view who would not bring too much emotional, nationalistic baggage along with them.

Every shot of this movie is painstakingly curated and beautiful. My main goal in life is to walk down the street in a black veil with the wind blowing it up just so.

Elle is a perfect film and Isabelle Huppert is everything. That is all.

  • 2017: Get Out

I have only seen a few movies so far this year, but this one is pretty spectacular. Jordan Peele’s debut film has already made over $100 million, which is incredibly considering its $4.5 million budget. Peele is also the first African American writer-director to have a film make over $100 million.

This movie is just breaking records all over the place.

It is insane and as wonderful as I am sure you’ve heard. Peele himself described it as a “satiric thriller,” thought the trailer makes it look like a totally different movie. If you haven’t watched the trailer yet, I suggest you avoid it before you see the actual film.

Hopefully there will be some TV for me to talk about next time. For now, maybe you’ll have a new film to view.

Happy watching! xx

 

 

 

 

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