Wonder was exactly what the trailer suggests it might be. It's a tale of hardship, telling of how mean kids can be, and one of acceptance following a year of relentless attempts to be liked. Auggie is a likeable kid and we fall in love with him instantly - but I craved an ending that was surprising and unconventional like it's subject - and it never quite delivered. Working in its favour, Owen Wilson makes a wonderful father and it was nice to be presented with the many different perspectives of the narrative. It was different, and allowed a unique glance into the workings of us as humans, in a way that only series seem to normally deliver.
The happy ever after was annoyingly conventional but it did at least deliver its narrative in a way that was fresh and enjoyable. Stand out new stars were: Jacob Tremblay (Room), Noah Jupe, Millie Davis, big sister Izabela Vidovic and Nadji Jeter, all wth productions to look out for in the coming year.
Mudbound was a full 2hrs 40mins of feeling like we too were drowning in the stuff. With original series from Netflix proving to shift the drama void, I was less convinced by original film. But having seen 'The Fundamentals of Caring, Mudbound and The Meyerowitz Stories, they seem to have gathered pace.
Rob Morgan and Mary J Blige are wonderfully dignified as the Jackson parents. Jonathan Banks does well to portray extremist Pappy and Carey Mulligan a woman at her wits end. Stellar performances all round in fact.
It's a trying watch for anyone who needs uplift and positivity in their lives but ultimately one that really brings home the impossible situation that respectable black farming families faced in the American South and anyone who frequented their company - despite in this case, having both fought for their country. It was a time of violence, inequality and of hardship and Mudbound does well to reflect that. We, the audience want Hap's family to fight back but know that the fight would only end in their deaths. We feel as hopeless as they do, as hopeless as Jamie (Garrett Hedlund) is in witnessing his friend's (Jason Mitchell) punishment, for serving his country, and for the freedom of the very men that torture him.
An honest watch, but a frustrating one at that.
There are remarkably few things to say about episode 8.
1) Fin is still pointless.
2) The resistance ship's light speed demolition of Snoke's ship was awesome!
3) Had Poe shut up and let her get on with it, the resistance transports would probably have survived
4) Of all the things that tried to break the mould, heroes being villains and villains being heroes - it all returned to exactly what we'd expect.
5) Way too many Marvel style jokes. Allow me to believe in villains rather than laugh at them for crying out loud.
Ultimately, it's a poor encore following the awesomeness of Rogue One and that's pretty much all I have to say.
Decidedly average. It's a dark comedy that never quite hits tragedy or hilarity. It's been given a lot of 4 star reviews but there didn't feel like there was anything original about the plot. Although, Adam Sandler gives a good performance, constantly warring with his father's difficult personality and his own desire to spread his wings. Grace Van Patten as Eliza also brought some refreshing energy to a largely one-tone drama. It was a nice dissection of family relationships and how we define our successes but the story just didn't pull me completely, and there were no real new revelations to be had.
Yes I finally watched it.
As a feminist it was relentlessly disappointing in the latter stages. Georgiana a broken woman, came to terms with her dire situation (and one that represents many of the age). But she began as such a refreshing voice that I was almost convinced that she would fight the norm with Mr Grey. Alas, women must remember their place (and their corsets) - and all that nonsense.