With a great selection of films on BBC iPlayer and LOVEFiLM, an eclectic mix of films was watched this month, with only three from the festive genre. I managed to make it to the cinema not once but twice to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which outshone its predecessor and paid a visit to my favourite Middle Earth characters, the elves.
(twice) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Action-packed from start to finish, while it isn’t in the same league as LOTR, it is very nearly there. ★★★★
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – A brilliant sequel; not a single moment is wasted. ★★★★
Immortals – Visually, it is stunning, but epic moments and witty one-lines are sadly few and far between. ★★★½
Star Trek Into Darkness – A solid action, sci-fi flick, happily as engaging as its predecessor. ★★★★
Tamara Drewe – A leisurely, ‘watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon’ type of film. ★★★½
The Duchess – A heartbreaking, beautiful story that is brought to life perfectly. ★★★★½
The Young Victoria – Blunt and Friend are on form, revealing the early years of the British monarch in a heartwarming way. ★★★★½
Nativity! – A fabulous festive favourite. ★★★★
Starman – Since watching it for the first time in September, this sweet sci-fi has quickly become a favourite. ★★★★
Santa Who? – A light TV film to get into the Christmas mood. ★★★
Big Trouble in Little China – More bizarre than comedic… ★★★
Stepmom – First class acting from Roberts and Sarandon. ★★★★
The Look of Love – A brilliant Brit flick that has made me think differently about Coogan. ★★★★
Robot & Frank – A sweet, touching romcom with a difference. ★★★★
A Bunch of Amateurs – Very amusing Brit flick with perfect casting. ★★★★
New Year’s Eve – Easy watching to get into the NYE spirit. ★★★
Chalet Girl – Very enjoyable, and well worth a rewatch in the future. It has a fab soundtrack, too. ★★★★
December’s biggest surprise: There are many from my 1st timers that I would watch again, particularly Chalet Girl. I usually put a romcom on as a ‘background film’, but with this it kept my full attention. It’s a simple storyline but an enjoyable one, with great turns from Felicity Jones, Tamsin Egerton and, as always, Bill Nighy.
December’s best actress: There were many leading ladies in the films I watched this month, and the top spot is awarded to both Keira Knightley for her turn in The Duchess and Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria. Both actresses shine in period roles, with each giving one of the finest performances of their career.
Cinema visits: 17
1st timers: 90