The besties review
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My Beautiful Laundrette
I didn’t really have any expectations for Stephen Frears’s little dramedy, but I have to say I was totally enthralled by it. Daniel Day-Lewis is extremely charming, and it’s really cool to see him before he became Daniel Day-Lewis, but I think what I liked most about this was the fact that it centered around British-Pakistani man. Gordon Warnecke’s performance as Omar is really the heart of this film, as he’s simultaneously romantic, entrepreneurial, sarcastic, and witty. For me, My Beautiful Laundrette was a really refreshing watch, so I can only imagine the power it had when it was release in 1985.
“I can’t see me loving nobody but you for all my life.”
Wong Kar-wai impresses with yet another film full of spectacular performances, dialogue, production design, cinematography, and music. Wong’s films always feel like a grand confluence of artistic talents, but even so, Tony Leung is the real standout here. There were some stylistic choices that I didn’t totally love (mainly the choppy/blurry slow-mo) but it didn’t really detract at all. This movie slaps.
But I’m a Cheerleader
This was another surprising watch for me— not because I thought I’d hate it, but because I knew literally nothing about it. I had seen the poster floating around Letterboxd for a while, but the cheesy font and green screen background always made me think this was one of those so-bad-it’s-good teen train wrecks. No so!
Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall are so good, and everything about this script is hilarious. I don’t really know what else to say, other than watch this if you haven’t. It’s a fun time!
Mysterious Skin (This review may contain spoilers.)
I’m not sure what I was expecting here, but damn this movie was fucked up… in a good way! I am definitely not accustomed to seeing molestation and pedophilia depicted on screen in such an unclouded way. I definitely don’t think I’ll be returning to this movie any time soon, but that’s purely because of the emotional toll it took on me. I felt sweaty and anxious the whole way through. JGL was great though, and the alien motif was very cool.
God’s Own Country
This one wasn’t for me. The cinematography and landscapes were beautiful, but my main problem was the slow pace and the fact that I never really connected with any of the characters. Josh O’Conner’s performance was very good, but his character was so unlikeable for so long that I never got a chance to get on his side.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!