Watchlist: Nov and Dec

Big Screen on the Little Screen

Past Lives (Prime rental) – Such a simple premise, this simply gorgeous slowburn film follows the life of two childhood friends from Korea over 24 years, after Na Young’s family emigrate and their lives and thus relationship change over the years. Na Young ends up in NYC married to Arthur whom she meets on a writing retreat. Hae Song becomes an engineer. The pair reconnect after 12 years when Na Young discovers Hae Song has been searching for her on social media. It takes a further 12 years for them to meet again when Hae Song comes to New York. It’s a bittersweet reunion as both are happy in their current lives, but can’t help wondering what if… I cried. Greta Lee and Teo Yoo were superb. A must see.

Maestro (Netflix) – Bradley Cooper not only directs but inhabits Leonard Bernstein, Carey Mulligan plays his long-suffering opera singer wife Felicia Montealeagre (who was actually Puerto Rican!). But you can’t fault their acting. I did have to turn the sound up to hear Cooper though, his Lennie voice was way down low.

Nandor Fodor and the Talking Mongoose (Prime) – Simon Pegg and Minnie Driver star in this paranormal comedy, with Christopher Lloyd and a great turn (to be expected) from Paul Kaye. Anderson-esque in style, it was fun if not laugh out loud, and apparently based on a real case/scam from the 1930s.

Saltburn (Prime) – Rosamund Pike and Richard E Grant are the stand-outs as toff parents who live in a country mansion. Poor Barry Keoghan goes up to Oxford and befriends their son, who invites him home for the summer… consequences ensue. Enjoyable, but I could have done without Keoghan’s nude scenes really.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget (Netflix) – So lovely, so funny. This time the intrepid chickens have to break into the Bondesque nugget factory to rescue their overinquisitive daughter from the Squid Game-like paradise to de-stress nugget-bound chickens. Bond references galore. I loved it.

The Electric World of Louis Wain (Netflix) – biographical film on the ‘Cat Man’, the Victorian/Edwardian artist of felines who was saddled with having to provide for his mother and younger sisters, but scandalously married their governess. He had mental health issues and was a tortured artist nearly ending his days in an asylum. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. I enjoyed this. A good role for both the leads.

TV Highlights

Slow Horses – season 3 (AppleTV) – worth paying the subscription just for this alone. Season 3 didn’t quite reach the highs of the first two, but Gary Oldman is still fantastic as Jackson Lamb, the boss of the Slow Horses team who always knows what’s happening. This season Sophie Okenedo and Sam West are ‘First Desk’ and the ‘Minister’ respectively to give Kristin Scott Thomas’s ‘Second Desk’ a work out, but the ensemble cast are all just brilliant.

I’ll be back next month with New Year highlights (including The Traitors and Mr Bates vs the Post Office)

What grabbed your attention on screen in the run up to Christmas, if you can remember that far back that is…

13 thoughts on “Watchlist: Nov and Dec

  1. Lisbeth @ The Content Reader says:

    Thanks for these tips. I have heard so many good things of Past Lives. The others also sound fantastic. I need to find good inspirations for the time being. I have difficulties finding good movies and tv-series. They all have such strange stories, or are similar to everything else.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I didn’t really see her as selfish – I thought she was settled and wanted to let him down gently. The dance just went on too long!

  2. Calmgrove says:

    We enjoyed Maestro and Chicken Run from your list but not having Amazon Prime means Past Lives may forever pass by our ken. The Post Office drama and The Traitors (which we’re still watching day by day) have definitely had us glued to our screen.

    We’re currently enjoying Julia (HBO Max) with the always excellent Sarah Lancashire as ‘The French Chef’ Julia Child and David Hyde Pierce (remember him in Frazier?) as her husband. Very entertaining if not an actual docudrama like the Mr Bates miniseries.

  3. winstonsdad says:

    I loved slow horse bit more action in this series we want he’d chicken run I felt it hadn’t the humour of the first film which played well on the
    World War two escape movie genre but it wasn’t. As good in this in one I felt

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I want more Roddy Ho in Slow Horses, he is such a wonderfully awful character – he’ll have his time in future series! I agree Chicken Run II wasn’t as funny, but I did love all the Bond rip-off moments.

  4. Liz Dexter says:

    We would have been watching Taskmaster then I think, and Strictly. Have started the year with some good doses of Digging For Britain, which we love but try to spin out for longer as they show three per week for two weeks.

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