After all that, I’ve made it to my goal of 50 movies watched during lockdown. That’s probably more than I’ve watched in the last few years (on account of silly things like WORK, and CHILDREN. Though I still have the children).
Anyway, it’s been mostly great, sometimes awful, and here are the last five that brought up the half century.
The Guilty (2018) – a Danish film that’s been recommended to me a few times (amongst others by the harbingers of good taste over at The Guardian newspaper), and it’s a testament to what you can achieve on a very small budget. It’s just one guy (a policeman) on the phone talking with increasing urgency to a variety of suspects/victims in an escalating crime that keeps shape-shifting in real time. Pack an extra pair of trunks (nope, don’t know what that means either).
Covid Rating: 11
Crimes of Passion (1984) – essentially a neon rock opera without the songs (though there is a synthy Rick Wakeman soundtrack you might like), Kathleen Turner, either fresh-from or about-to-be-in Romancing the Stone, plays a hooker with some extremely kinky clientele, not least Anthony Perkins’s deranged preacher with a doctor’s briefcase full of twisted sex toys, expertly capturing that exact moment when a dildo becomes a dildon’t. I’m going to throw it out there, ole K.Turner might be the greatest female actor (some say actress) we’ve had. Definitely the most daring.
Covid Rating: 13
Dirty Work (1998) – as a huge fan of Norm Macdonald, I had high hopes. High hopes that were cruelly dashed. There are two schools of thought – one, that this was a much raunchier movie that lost its soul on the cutting room floor in a bid for a bigger audience. Two, that it’s knowingly trashy – people like to say “meta” – and that Norm’s dreadful acting is as deliberate as a rabbit punch in the gonads. Unfortunately, I suspect theory one to be the truth.
Covid Rating: 8
Hope and Glory (1987) – WW2 from a suburban perspective. You’ve got gangs of feral kids looting bombsites, teenagers having it off with Canadian soldiers also on bombsites, grown-ups re-examining the bombsites of their lost lives through a wartime filter. It’s a really intense late-night episode of Dad’s Army is what I’m saying.
Covid Rating: 10
Synecdoche, New York (2008) – from the revered mind of Charlie Kaufman, the surrealist behind Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless etc etc. As someone allergic to other people’s weird dreams, surrealism is a bête noire for me. The positives: Philip Seymour Hoffman (RIP), Samantha Morton, Dianne Wiest (always brill). I also quite like the quasi-Buddhist stuff about everyone essentially playing the lead in the movie of their own life. The downside: it’s exactly like someone telling you their weird dream.
Covid Rating: 11