Category: Movie reviews

Incredibles 2 (2018)

Length: 2Hr 5

Rating: PG

About: Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

The Good

The best part of this film is the character of Jack-Jack. Not only is he cute, Jack-Jack brings with him some of the best scenes. From his face off with a tash panda to his sleepover with a fan favourite. I almost wish more time was spent on this plot thread.

Having Elastigirl take on the bulk of the crime fighting was a good move; it allowed for Mr Incredible to keep house and explore their dynamic a little further. I loved the scenes in which Bob helped his Children develop and I couldn’t help but chuckle at his screams over maths.

Interestingly, I loved the deep conversation that happened over dinner regarding how children should be brought up. An interaction that will go over most pint-size viewer’s heads, but it really struck a chord with me.

Michael Giacchino is back and he impecibly builds upon his original score. Giacchino’s work is brilliant and this is no exception.

The Bad

I’m not fond of the 1950s styling this time around. I’ve been spoiled by my Marvel movies and this blend of nostagia and future don’t work for me. However, I’m sure on another viewing it won’t bother me so much.

The Ugly

The first Incredibles came at the beginning of the superhero genre taking off. Unfortunately this second intallment has come at a time when the market is reaching its usaturation point. As a result, some of the plot points are too predictable and over used.

The momentum has definatly been lost with the length of time between films. I’ll admit, I haven’t recently watched the first installment, but a good film shouldn’t need you to.

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

Length: 1Hr 47

Rating: PG

About: Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton), a British widower, is the overbearing owner of a shoe shop. His three daughters — Alice, Vicky and Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) — work for him and all are eager to get out from under his thumb. When the headstrong Maggie announces she intends to marry Henry’s best employee, Will (John Mills), father and daughter engage in an intense showdown. As Maggie works on launching a competing business, she also helps her sisters free themselves of their domineering father.

Hit

John Mills is always a pleasure to see on screen and no more so than when his character makes such development as Will. From the meek and aimless to confident and achieving, it’s quite a heat-warming story.

The father, Henry, makes for some of the film’s funnier scenes. Him chasing the moon never fails for gain a chuckle and I will always love how Maggie orchestrates the engagement of her two sisters to the men of their own choosing.

I love Maggie. She knows what she wants, what she doesn’t and stands for no shit. At the heart of this film are characters you relate to and she is no exception. Maggie is able to be headstrong and independent without coming across as cold or bitchy.

Miss

Not so much a miss, but more that this is a film of its time and the plot doesn’t hold up as a form of entertainment. As a 33 year old woman, I don’t like 30 year old Maggie being told she’s too old to marry and that she’s ‘too ripe’. But, it runs deeper than that; the misogyny present in this film is what sets a lot of the plot in motion; something that would not stand today.

Maybe

While I love headstrong Maggie and her wish to get from under her father’s thumb, if the genders were reversed people would put this out to pasture as Me Too propaganda. The only reason why this sort of plot works, is because it’s a work of fiction. In reality, Will would have told her to fuck off.

Because there’s no set up that shows that she has feelings for him, it loses some of its charm and romance. While the chemistry between them makes the start forgivable, I would have liked to have seen a hint of her feelings before hand.

Final Thoughts

I always think of this film fondly. Even with the flaws, I still love it. Today, being full of cold, it provided some comfort knowing the last time I’d watched it was with my mum.

The Raging Moon (1971)

Length: 1Hr 51

Rating: PG

About: Bruce Pritchard (Malcolm McDowell) is a vibrant young man whose life is disrupted when he is severely injured during a soccer match and loses the use of both legs. Sent to a convalescent home, Bruce becomes sullen and withdrawn as he deals with the reality of his new state. However, when he meets another handicapped patient, the lovely Jill Matthews (Nanette Newman), he gains a new appreciation for life. The two quickly fall for each other, and begin a supportive relationship.

The Good

Malcolm McDowell shows a much wider range of emotions than his other 1971 release; Clockwork Orange. While the overwhelming intensity is there, the romance brings a softer side to McDowell’s acting.

The second half, the part that focuses on the romance of Bruce and Jill, is a delightful, emotional watch that’s not far from the feels of Me Before You.

The Bad & the Ugly

The problem The Raging Moon faces is that the first half of the film is way too slow and bloated with character exposition. There are better and much more economic ways to get across the history of both characters. It’s almost like watching two different movies and unfortunately, it runs the risk of people turning off before getting to the good part.

Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Length: 2Hr 24

Rating: U

About: When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn’t as noble as his reputation would indicate, and he becomes involved in a scheme to discredit Smith, who wants to build a boys’ campsite where a more lucrative project could go. Determined to stand up against Paine and his corrupt peers, Smith takes his case to the Senate floor.

The Good

As always James Stewart is fantastic. While his character of Jeff is able to show Stewart’s range, it’s interesting to see such innocence and vulnerability about him. It’s refreshing to see that he’s just a little innocent rather than ‘stupid’; too often that’s the easy approach and now feels old hat and cheap.

The romance was cute and Jean Arthur plays Clarissa as this wonderful, head strong woman who would do wonders in modern society let alone the time in which the film is set. Its this sort of character that makes me wonder if all those calling out Hollywood for representation have watched films like this.

What I love about politically based films and tv is how relevant and topical they are today. For too long, I’ve avoided them, thinking I wouldn’t understand references and that times have changed. Fundamentally, things that films and tv comment upon are the same; reporters producing articles out of contexts, corruption within government and the one who doesn’t seek out power will always make the best leader. That is, if they’re not eaten alive first.

The story is wonderful, powerful and thought provoking; I particularly love the scene in which the reporters catch Jeff outside his home and the headings and pictures that come from that impromptu interview are powerful ‘fake news’.

The Bad and the Ugly

It’s a personal thing, but I wasn’t fond of the ending. I’m happy that the truth comes out, but we end with our protagonist unconscious and that leaves me a little unfulfilled. Objectively, we have enough to know he’ll be fine and the attempted suicide of Paine is certainly climactic and everything else is implied, but I just would have liked to have seen Jeff awake.

Final Thoughts

It was a solid, heartwarming, film that I will happily again. Jean Arthur is someone I’d to see more from and will be adding some of her films to my viewing list over the next few months.

Bringing Up Baby (1938) was

Length: 1Hr 42

Rating: U

About: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who is considering donating one million dollars to his museum. On the day before his wedding, Huxley meets Mrs. Random’s high-spirited young niece, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a madcap adventuress who immediately falls for the straitlaced scientist. The ever-growing chaos — including a missing dinosaur bone and a pet leopard — threatens to swallow him whole.

The Good

Cary Grant is utterly charming. He’s the perfect blend of the frustration seen in John Cleese and the stuffy Britishness of younger Hugh Grant.

It’s a brilliant watch to spot themes and scenes have become legacy over the years. Most significant being the feline and The Hangover and the car journey . You’d think that having seeing what are now tropes, would make this film stagnant, but it’s truly the opposite.

The plot is the right side of crazy. It’s also timeless comedy and quite a decent, believable romance. I love Katherine Hepburn’s eccentricity. It brings such joy and warmth that I’m not certain a contemporary actress could get across.

The Bad

David’s fiancée, Alice, was too much of a stereotype or even a panto villain. She’s so transparent, that it gives away the plot too easily. Yes, on the one had it does ensure don’t care that David wants Susan almost as soon as they meet. However, in the process they’ve made Alice an unlikeable character and not simply someone who doesn’t fit with David.

The Ugly

For a comedy, it feels a little on the long side. A bit of an edit would bring it down to a lean 90 minutes and make for a slightly better film.

Final Thoughts

It’s a story based upon work by a female novelist who was even brought on board for scriptwriting duties. The lead female, while eccentric, is independent and head strong. The comedy is still funny and inoffensive. The only thing wrong is that I’ve never seen it before.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Length: 2Hr 15

Rating: 12

About: Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers and a 190-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission — the Millennium Falcon.

The Good

I loved Alden from the start. His charm, humour and chemistry with everyone. He IS Solo; I never once question his Solo evolving into Ford’s incarnation. The best example being the way Han tried to explain his way out of his first scrap.

My favourite thing is that the trailer threw me off about his relationship with Qi’ra… shows how trailers don’t need to reveal all. I also loved the added significance of the charm Han has always had.

The progression is a break from other films within the franchise: 3 years later allows us to move on with the story without the need for Han’s training. The war itself looked brutal and was an ideal place to pick up Han’s life.

NO DEATH STAR. I can’t explain how happy I am that the plot does not include anything to do with a Death Star.

CHEWIE!!!! That was the BEST way for those two to meet. Flawless and with just a hint of humour.

Beckett and his crew- biggest thing for me was that they pulled no punches. Yes, you know that x, y, z will survive… but if you show this before any of the others, I would think Han & Chewie were in jeopardy.

The shower scene- right tone/ humour and I’d say that’s fair to say for most of the film; which is exactly what you want after the comedy road kill that was Last Jedi.

Dryden‘ blades – fucking class. And not wielded by a Jedi/Sith: not so sure about the character, but I love the blades.

The lack of Jedi mythology is also refreshing. It changes the tone of the film completely, to the point where it feels closer to a western than a sci-fi. All the double crossing! It was just a good genre movie and it makes no apologise for it.

L3- sassy robots always work well in this franchise and L3 is giving Chopper, Animated Rebel’s dick of a robot, a run for his money. L3 is perfect! Rebellion ‘equality’. L3’s interaction with Qi’ra is just wonderful and something no other Star Wars could have handled.

LANDO!!!! Lando, I hate to admit, is completely pitch perfect and a true definition of pansexual without making a big deal about it. He’s always been my favourite character and I’m so happy that despite issues I have with the actor, I still adore Lando. Especially when he’s recording the Calrissian Chronicles.

L3 and Lando’s relationship is really beautiful; I love the frustration, the banter and the sacrifice they bother make.

There’s space for a sequel and things are set in motion in case, but I’d be satisfied with just this outing.

The Unsure

Voicing of Lady Proxima. Reminded me of the bag lady from Labyrinth/ chicken from Return to Oz and it’s always set me on edge.

The capes of Lando’s. ALMOST too far and close to Sabre territory fo me. While the man looked good in a cape, and still does, I don’t see him being a character that has it as a signature piece.

Maul reveal- the longer I stayed on it he looked a little off and I couldn’t pinpoint it. Also, as someone who hasn’t seen all of the animated Clone Wars, I feel a little like this is fan service rather than genuine plot. Side bar- I do believe, however, Maul’s resurrection is fully explained in Clone Wars. Plus, even I think it was a stupid move to kill off such an amazing character in Phantom.

The Bad

I’d like to have seen Maz on the ship; there was so much implied in Force Awakens about Han’s relationship with her that it just seems a little silly not to have it.

Lando pissing off- I need more of a friendship build between him and Han to believe that Han would risk going to Cloud city in Empire. I’ve always felt there was a deeper rooted history between them and even perhaps that they grew up together on the same planet.

Final Thoughts

This is quite possibly my favourite of the franchise. I find it hard to be objective about Empire as I went in to that knowing it was a masterpiece; where as this, this I’ve watched with fresh thoughts and no critical pre-Reading to influence my thoughts.

I guess only time will only truly tell, but to quote Han in this film: I’ve got a good feeling about this.

The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)

Length: 1Hr 38

Rating: PG

About: On his birthday, Omri (Hal Scardino) is given several simple gifts, including an old wooden cupboard and a small plastic figurine of a Native American man. When he locks the toy inside the cabinet it magically comes to life as a tiny, cagey warrior named Little Bear (Litefoot). The boy then places other toys in the cupboard and they too come to life, even engaging in entertaining battles. But after Little Bear is wounded, Omri begins to understand that his animate toys are not mere playthings.

First Thoughts

This was my birthday film when I was 10. Upon watching it today, I really do wonder why I chose this to watch. Turns out, I’d had quite a month in the cinema and The Indian in the Cupboard would have been my 6th outing in December. Quite incredible really; I don’t remember seeing quite so many in such a short space of time.

The Good

There’s some deep and meaningful themes within the story that appear to be pulled from the book from which the film is adapted. From exploring responsibility to death and funeral rituals, it’s an easily passive education.

The way in which the film has mastered the perspectives to have the actors as different sizes still stands and I’d say it’s better than films like the Burrowers, which had a larger budget.

It’s quite nice spotting Steve Coogan in a role of humanised toy soldier many years before becoming Octavian in Night at the Museum.

The Bad and the Ugly

Its an odd sort of kid’s film. The plot is rather slow, overly serious and somber for younger viewers, while adults probably would rather check out Mannequin than watch this anxiety riddled kid play with plastic made human.

It’s rather slow in a way that makes it feel overly long. Part of it is to do with the role of Omri; there’s no real development of his character other than him deciding to no longer use the cupboard. I’d have liked to have seen him become a more confident child. By lacking a significant development, it subdues what should be an uplifting ending.

Final Thoughts

It was nice to watch this film again, but I can see why I’ve not rushed to see it again.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

“Mom, did you get the dick pics I sent you”

Length: 1Hr 58

Rating: 15

About: The Spy Who Dumped Me tells the story of Audrey (Kunis) and Morgan (McKinnon), two best friends who unwittingly become entangled in an international conspiracy when one of the women discovers the boyfriend who dumped her was actually a spy.

The Good

The casting was ideal. Mila Kunis taking point as the dumped girlfriend was brilliant. Teaming her with Kate McKinnon was a stroke of genius and I’d love to see them work together in the future.

McKinnon, on the most part, was flawless. I’d say there were a few points where she missed the comedy mark, but when you’re the only person driving the humour; we can give her a pass. However, what this film has proven for me is that McKinnon (as much as i adore her) isn’t ready for a lead part. She has potential for a Melissa McCarthy type career path, if she can tone down her SNL persona and bring more of a Holtzman to the celluloid.

Sam Heughan is adorable once he works out the kinks and is much more comfortable. He’s again, someone who will be amazing in films in about a decade once he’s gotten his feet a little wetter in the industry.

The Bad

The best role Justin Theroux has ever done is in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Why? Because he spends most of the movie silent. There’s nothing there for me. He’s the equivalent of the Silence in Dr Who; you forget about him existing once he’s off the screen. To amp up the comedy, you need to pull an Another Guys on this plot thread and (oh, sidebar: Sean Bean would have been perfect, if not a little old) either have the perfect action hero (Dwayne Johnson, Tom Cruise, Taron Edgerton) or the most moral, by the book and stuffy (Think Rimmer from Red Dwarf and Captain America have a love child).

The Ugly

The tone was slightly off and it was lacking proper comedy that wasn’t directly from Kate McKinnon’s performance. Instead, the film amped up the violence and I’m not certain it was the best move. McKinnon’s humour can come across one note if over played.

Final Thoughts

The film missed a trick too; the sting at the end was brilliant and a massive strength. Why couldn’t we have had a Private Benjamin type film going on?!

Bird Box – 15

Length- 2 Hr 4

About- When a mysterious force decimates the population, only one thing is certain — if you see it, you die. The survivors must now avoid coming face to face with an entity that takes the form of their worst fears. Searching for hope and a new beginning, a woman and her children embark on a dangerous journey through the woods and down a river to find the one place that may offer sanctuary. To make it, they’ll have to cover their eyes from the evil that chases them — and complete the trip blindfolded.

The Good

Sandra Bullock is able to hold her own in Bird Box. She’s long been considered leading lady material, but it’s taken her time to break out from the romantic comedy role or plucky positivity hound. The sour and angry demeanour that once seemed so alien and forced in some of her performances fits her like a glove. She is scary and heartbreakingly detached from the children in her care and I don’t think that was something I would have seen as a convincing role from Bullock even 5 years ago.

Let’s face it, this film is A Quiet Place with a different bodily sense being the focus. That in itself isn’t significant or would encourage those who’ve seen the John Krasinski directed film to watch this approach. However, what I will say this has, that A Quiet Place perhaps lacks is the body count. A Quiet Place feels stifled by its limited cast, while Bird Box allows you to explore the aftermath as a society, rather than a family.

It’s a curious story, which an ending that is much more hopeful than I was expecting. I’ve heard talk of A Quiet Place gaining a sequel, which is odd as I don’t think there was enough to it, or characters sympathetic enough for me to wish for more. Bird Box, on the other hand, is well set up for a sequel.

The Bad

It is a little too derivative. Something that I feel is more to do with timing than anything else. It’s A Quiet Place meets Mom & Dad; both films that were released earlier this year. Mom & Dad is in itself a sudo remake of the 1976 Who Can Kill a Child? Sometimes, with films like these it doesn’t matter which is better, just which one got there first.

It was a sensible thing to have it released on Netflix rather than a theatrical release. I’m not sure people would have dropped the money on a film that, on paper, seems to be A Quiet Place bandwagon jump.

The Ugly

Its a violent affair and it all comes at once. I’m not a squimish person, but I found a number of scenes just a little tough to handle. At the root of this, is perhaps the fact that when faced with this sort of situation, the mob mentality in our own society would result in this sort of violence.

Final Thoughts

It’s a decent watch and I’m always grateful to see Sandy Bullock on the screen but I can’t see it jumping to people’s most loved films. However, if I’m watching films of this ilk; I’d rather watch Who Can Kill a Child? again.

Blade Runner 2049

What a pile of wank. I’m currently 57 minutes in and I’m starting my review. That’s after I’ve checked Wikipedia for the plot to find out what the fuck was going on. That’s not unique to be fair, I needed Wiki for the first one. Although I at least held off until the hour mark. This incarnation had me reaching for my phone 20 minutes in.

The Good

The basic premise is there: replicant sprogged up without anyone knowing so there’s a time sensitive Mcguffin and some connections to the original. Hell; this should be a fast paced, action heavy film that has them looking for the child of the replicant revolution.

Robin Wright is brilliant casting. A million miles away from Buttercup, but actually not all that different. Wright always seems to be drawn to strong female characters and this is no exception. Robin Wright will forever stand side by side with Carrie Fisher as powerful women and role models not only for me, but for all who want to level the playing field. Her presence in the film is strong, but I’d have loved to have seen more of her.

The female presence and representation on the whole is brilliant. Not only as female characters, but as women who aren’t held back by society; they’re strong, motivated and add something that was missing in the first.

The Bad

This is a personal thing, but visually this film isn’t right for me. It’s not a successor to the 1982 Harrison Ford helmed outing; its not strong enough and tbere’s nothing about this that will be seen as iconic decades to come. There’s a tonal asymmetry; from the barren landscapes and the concept that the the future is bright and bleached of all colour to the dark and Japan inspired landscape that became the benchmark of future landscaping in movies. For me, they don’t gel and really pull me out of an already precarious viewer attachment.

Another personal issue is how the future is represented. I would have preferred the style to have progressed from the 80s movie and not from the technology available today. Obviously, when I watched Blade Runner last year, the film looked more nostalgic than forward thinking, however if you develop the concept it then becomes an almost ‘alternative’ future. It needed some visual continuity that didn’t feel like homage. Plus, I’m sick of glossy technological futures. All you need to do is look in HMV (sadly, perhaps not for much longer) and see that vinyl, mock VHS and distressed books are all the rage right now. The creepy ‘full of crap’ dude in Labyrinth said it best ‘sometimes the way forward, is the way back’.

The Ugly

What sort of Frankenstein filmmaker casts Ryan Gosling in the staring role and strip him of all his charisma and personality?! You don’t bring someone like this to the table and neuter him. It’s not that he can’t act. This is all about direction and source material.

Is Jared Leto on mission to destroy his own career? While he may be pretty and have the most beautiful hair I’ve ever seen, between this and Suicide Squad I’m getting very close to avoiding his films. His character is not really needed, especially considering the violent and overtly rapey scene in which he cuts open the replicant’s stomach for not being able to reproduce. The scene is too intimate, too naked for me to be comfortable with it. Never mind the fact that I feel like he’s blaming the woman for his failings.

Why the fuck did it take 1 hour 41 minutes to get Harrison Ford on my screen and why, oh why, did I immediately wish he’d not showed up at all?! In the biggest casting disappointment since the Ghost and the Darkness (sold on the casting of Michael Douglas, who is in the film for no more than 20 minutes), Harrison arrives way too long after I’ve lost the will to live. And to add insult to injury, I don’t even feel like he’s Decker. I mean where’s this love of the crooner’s come from? Why do I feel like Harrison came to set, read the lines and took his wodge of money. Won’t lie, he peeked my interest with ’that was the plan’; but I couldn’t tell you what that plan was.

Final thoughts

Blade Runner was, without a doubt, style over substances; its a Christmas poo in which someone has swallowed a glitter pill. Blade Runner 2049 is neither style or substance. It’s that premature shit you have after a heavy night on the town and your early morning hangover coffee opens your bowels before you, or your guts, are ready.

Christmas Film Advent 2018- My rundown order

  1. Scrooged
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life
  3. Fred Claus
  4. Christmas Carol (1951)
  5. We’re No Angels
  6. Trading Places
  7. Holiday affair
  8. Home Alone
  9. Elf
  10. Gremlins
  11. Surviving Christmas
  12. Krampus
  13. Rare Exports
  14. Arthur Christmas
  15. Just Friends
  16. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  17. Nightmare Before Christmas
  18. Love Actually
  19. Nativity
  20. Trapped in Paradise
  21. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  22. Scrooge (1970)
  23. The Polar Express
  24. A Christmas Story

This is not, by any means, the order for the best made films from the advent calendar. How I came to the order ranged on many questions. Some films, needed fewer questions than others.

  • Did I enjoy the film?
  • Was it uplifting or have a good message?
  • How much would I change?
  • What memories are attached to this film?
  • Would I be happy watching it again this Christmas?

The big question remains: in 2019, do I continue this list and reordered based on 24 new entries, or have a separate rundown?

Have a wonderful day

Han x

Christmas Film Advent- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Zuzu’s petals… You’ve been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.

Length: 2 Hr 15

Rating: U

About: George Bailey has so many problems he is thinking about ending it all – and it’s Christmas! As the angels discuss George, we see his life in flashback. As George is about to jump from a bridge, he ends up rescuing his guardian angel, Clarence – who then shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn’t been for all his good deeds over the years.

First Thoughts

It’s not a film I’ve watched loads, but it is one I’ve adored with all my heart. I can’t remember the first time I watched it but it’s a significant one for some of my best Christmases. From having a class in school grumble that I’ve put it on to only go and fall in love with its charm, to a bittersweet watch in the cinema in Liverpool with my brother not long after our mum died.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but my instincts tell me it’s still ageing very well.

Naughty List

  • Mr Potter is a bit of a nasty bastard and while he makes for a perfect foil to the Bailey family: I hate him. I want to punch him; so hard, in his vile fucking face. I hate what his actions do to the family; George, obviously. But mainly Uncle Billy. Darling, sweet and forgetful Uncle Billy. What I hate more than anything though?! People like Mr Potter exist in real life and will never lose sleep at the destruction they cause.

Nice List

  • Good ol’ Jimmy Stuwart. I couldn’t imagine anyone better in the role of George Bailey and if Hollywood dares to remake this; I’m done. He’s the charming and wholesome leading man who is also able to handle the darker sides of characters; Bailey being no exception to this. There’s buckets of emotions for George Bailey; from being able to relate to unrealised dreams to his frustration, hopelessness and desperation. That opening image of James Stewart is perfect; George showing the shop teller how big he wants his suitcase and it pauses for Clarence to have a good look at the man he’s to save.
  • Clarence. Beautiful, childlike and rabbit-IQ’d Clarence is a heartwarming addition to the narration plot and is a delight to see interact with George in the final act. If there’s anything that will reduce me to tears every time, it will be the fact that good Clarence gets his wings as a result of his time on Earth with George. On the note of the celestial narrators, I love the opening sequence with the angels appearing as stars. It’s simplicity makes it so incredibly beautiful and something that no amount of technological advances could ever improve upon.
  • The story is an epic that is well paced and jammed packed with George’s life; the highs and the lows. For a film to start and focus on such a dark note, speak so candidly about suicide and still leave the viewer uplifted and full of hope that a community can come together at a time of need is such a commendable feat and it should be on everyone’s viewing list at some point.
  • My favourite scene will always be George rescuing the Savings and Loans company on his wedding day and sacrificing his honeymoon to do so. Upon asking Ms Davies (The Walton’s Ellen Corby) how much she’d need until the bank reopens her reply is a humbled ‘seventeen fifty’. It’s a joyous and heartwarming interaction between herself and George and a stark contrast to the man who wants to clear out his account.

Final Thoughts

I love this film. A testament to it is the fact that it’s not something I want, or need, to watch every year and is actually something I will always try and bring new people to each time I watch. It’s bravery at approaching a topic like mental health and suicide was, and still is, ahead of its time. The religious aspect of the sanctity of life is subtle enough and sends the message of support, guidance and help rather than judgement, condemnation and isolation. In a world where those who suffer from issues beyond their physical control, it’s good to see a supportive view that George’s predicament is not a sign of weakness.

Han x