Thursday, 8 April 2021

A Look Back

Hi everyone! Remember me?!

I wish I could say I'm back but I think we all know that's not going to happen. If any of you listen to the podcast I am part of, you may have noticed my utter discomfort at plugging this blog at the end of each episode. This is because the last post on it was in 2019 and I haven't done regular posting since 2014 (0, 1, 2, 2, 1 and 21 have been the number of posts for the last 7 years respectively).

Oh I should give a fair warning first: I will be using "I" many, many times in this, um, whatever it is, because it is about, well, me *insert cringe face*. I truly, unironically apologize for all the narcissism I am about to display.

Anyway, I have been thinking about this blog on and off for the past few months, probably because I currently have a LOT of time on my hands, what with Corona and everything. I've been contemplating deleting it because my tastes have transformed so much since I first started this that I don't know what the point of it even is. Still, I thought let me first refresh my memory and see how good or bad is it really. And having done that, I think the answer is both? But more than anything, it is a time capsule of a very specific, and now looking back at it, formative portion of my young adulthood. 

This blog was something that was attached to my personality- like I have made or tried to make friends using it as one of my quirky identity tools. If I had to super duper generalize me throughout my life, I have been Chubby Baby, Math Girl, Film Girl and BTS Girl (which is the, uhh, era we're in now). This blog was at its heyday during my Film Girl phase, which hasn't technically ended yet. I mean if anything, I am actively trying to turn that phase into a career so we shall circle back on that in a few years. But still, the way I consumed and talked about movies in my late teens and early 20s is something I think about often and wonder if I'll ever have that voracity again. I'm currently struggling to watch any films that require any emotional attachment (one of the last films I saw was Godzilla vs Kong), opting instead for comfort sitcom rewatches and YouTube videos on things like makeup guru drama, comedy sewing videos, cooking videos and any and all Say Yes to the Dress videos. And obviously, BTS.

Back to the blog and Film Nikhat though, I feel like I owe it to her/me to explore this little nostalgia nook that I built for myself before possibly hiding it away forever.

My very first post in this blog is, I feel, very characteristically pretentious. I also can't help but find it adorable because apparently I had a very messy 2009? I can't remember at all why that could be except for maybe being separated from my closest friends because we took different academic streams. It's just funny to think of yourself from 11 years ago now and try to remember the overwhelmingness of being a 17 year old girl.

Some of my other blog highlights are my most popular post which was part of a blogathon no less (do people still do that?) and the last post I did with colours. Some of my OG followers might remember how that was one of my trademarks because I really just wanted to stand out. I mean, the way I write has also been influenced by this blog because I deliberately tried to be "cool" and conversational (notice all the "uhhs" and "ums" (btw brackets were also used for the same reasons)).

All of this just feels impossibly sweet to me right now. I'm probably hormonal but I appreciate how much Film Nikhat tried as well. I am also both impressed and shocked by how much I shared with the world through this blog. As addicted to it as I am, I struggle with social media. My first thought before posting anything is "Why would people care" which I can strongly and safely assume is NOT what social media is about. I have caught myself judging people on social media for like putting themselves out there. I don't even personally tweet that much. If you go down my Twitter timeline, it's mostly retweets about BTS, some film-related stuff, some horrible news item because the world is a burning garbage dumpster, and more BTS. It's just very easy to use other people's willingness to express themselves as your own proxy feelings.

But I had somehow forgotten how much I used to talk about myself on this blog. I mean there are lists upon lists upon lists of me talking about me or using films to define me. While I didn't read the lists apart from their names (I'd suggest you do that too) because I got embarrassed, I was honestly surprised by how much I shared with strangers. Regularly.

Sadly, what I did remember of putting a lot in this blog, and probably a major reason why I've been avoiding this blog, is Woody Allen. So much of this blog is overflowing with reverance for him that I don't even know where to begin. My young cinephile days were heavily influenced by his films, some of which I still can't pretend to dislike because of how life-changing they felt. The only people/things I admired almost as him were Johnny Depp (yikes), Harry Potter (sigh) and Doctor Who (BLESS!). Not going to lie, sometimes it feels like I did dig my own grave. But of course, my film tastes have changed immeasurably since that time. I don't even know how much I agree with my Top 100 Films as published in this blog because tastes and prefrences evolve, and I am confused whether to show or hide that evolution.

Full disclosure though: I HAVE archived some extremely cringey and beyond precocious posts that I just couldn't stand, but they weren't like "serious". It's just that my ego can occassionally be delicate.

Speaking of evolution that accompanies the wonderful, painless journey of growing up, another thing this blog has are important life milestones of Film Nikhat. I posted about when I graduated from my school, this very weird post about death, as well as posts about turning 1921, 22, 23 and the especially 20. I actually reread this post today for the first time in nearly a decade, and well it was a trip. Reading it, I don't feel so different from that Nikhat but I know that I am (or like I was right this whole time about secretly being a very wise genius).

I think I am still processing all of this. When I had started this blog, I had been separated from my closest friends who sat in a different classroom from mine. Coming to present day, I have now spent more than a year not having properly met most of my friends. I remember I used to count down to when school will finally get over but I don't really have that option at this moment. I hope things get better soon but also I am happy I got a chance to look back. As much as I admire Film Nikhat for being so dedicated to this blog and loving and talking about films, I also know so much of what I thought or wrote then was adapted to fit the critical consensus. As much as I wanted to stand out, I also desperately tried to fit in, and I do like that Current Nikhat (aka BTS Girl) is so much more confident in what she likes or dislikes and also has a deeper understanding of both those things. I have often talked about it on the podcast but I was part of a film production which really challenged a lot of my pre-conceived notions with respect to cinema, and that too made me reevaluate what I really love about films.

I still do love films. Very much. In the Turning 20 post that I tagged above, there was this line-

"And as I do in any given situation, I started thinking about films."

That did tug at my heartstrings a little bit because I still do so, in any situation (well, along with BTS now but you geddit). Even in something like Godzilla vs Kong, I felt the magic of cinema, and whenever that happens, I think about how I still very much am Film Girl and because this blog is so intrinsically connected to her, I feel a lot of warmth towards it.

It took my two days to think of how to end this because I still am not fully sure what *this* is. I guess I needed some clarity on why I am still keeping this blog around, at least for a bit, and I suppose this is me trying to get that (and very cleverly making a sort of blog post out of it).

Anywho, I thought the best way to conclude is to fully lean into the two things that made the Being Norma Jeane blog what it is- narcissism and lists! So here are some of my favourite posts from this blog :-

(I have purposely avoided any reviews because I was too terrified to read any of them lest they undo, well, ALL OF THE ABOVE).

Okay so I can't actually end this without saying a huge thanks to anyone and everyone who has ever commented on this blog, tagged me in blogathons and overall supported my love for films. Without any doubt, the best things that have come from this blog are the friendships that I have made along the way. It's hard to imagine a different Nikhat if Film Nikhat hadn't happened like this. 

FINALLY properly ending this with, of course, some BTS:

Thank you for reading this :)

Thursday, 26 September 2019

My TV Alphabet Blogathon

Hi guys! Look who has emerged from the shadows of laziness and the doldrums of non-creativity to take part in a TV blogathon! My fellow chick with accent, Getter from Mettel Ray Movie Blog has come up with a new blogathon years after her Movie Alphabet Blogathon, something I had participated in when I had first discovered her awesome blog (P.S. Some of the picks have NOT dated well). I felt it was only right to take part in this blogathon as well. 

I have become more of a TV viewer than a film viewer because of very many reasons and this was surprisingly difficult to make. I've tried to include as many of my favourite ever shows in any way possible, whether it be through a character or an episode. Getter has some cool rules in place too (might have not *fully* followed all of them...) which are:

So following the last command, here are my funnnnn picks for the TV Alphabet blogathon. Woooo!

30 Rock

One of the most meta comedies I have ever seen, I can't wait to rewatch it and fall in love with it all over again.

Agent Carter

My absolute favourite superhero show! Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter is beautiful, brave, vulnerable and kickass and her chemistry with James D'Arcy's Jarvis was just as superb. I really loved the setting and the female badassery that got to shine in this show and it is missed sorely!

The Book of Nora (The Leftovers S3x08)

The most perfect series finale I have ever seen- so good that it made the whole show that lead up to it even better in hindsight. Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux were just breathtaking in the episode and it  tied up everything in this maddening and ambitious series so well.

Chandler (Friends)

He's simply the best and funniest part of probably the most famous show of our time. I'm rewatching the series again and Matthew Perry just kicks it out of the park with Mr. Bing every episode. Also I HAD to use a Chandler zinger for this, duhhh!

Doctor Who

One of my OG favourite shows that I have fangirled about in this blog a lot. I know I've only put two Doctors in the picture but everyone in New Who is lovely and it's a show that is equal parts amazing, hilarious and heartbreaking. Especially the last part. Pretty sure this is one of the reasons I love crying watching shows so much.

The Entire History of You (Black Mirror S1x03)

There are some truly epic Black Mirror episodes but for some reason this one has stuck with me the most. I think perhaps because this is the type of technology I most wish existed but then in true Black Mirror fashion, the episode explores how it can completely destroy lives- not because of some dystopian Skynet type world domination thing, but simply because of our flawed humanity. Both Toby Kebbell and Jodie Whitaker are great in it.


HOLY MOLY THIS FUCKING SHOW! I get giddy when trying to talk about how amazing and original and devastating and sexy and funny it is! And I tell everyone! Even before the stupendous second season which is one of the most perfect things to ever exist ever, I was a huge fan of goddess Phoebe Waller-Bridge's broken and fourth wall breaking protagonist Fleabag and all the equally flawed characters that inhabit her world. But then second season happened and HOT PRIEST happened and I have no words but to say that WATCH ITTTTTT!!!!!

G (Wild Remote Entry)
Gilmore Girls and The Good Place

Gilmore Girls is one of those personality-developing shows for me. I saw it in my formative years when all I wanted to be was Rory Gilmore and find a Jess Mariano to fall in love it (not gonna lie- still totally do). Of course, every character in this show is lovely (except Dean. I hate Dean) and it's just one of those shows I'll probably be rewatching till I die. 

The Good Place is one of the most ingenious shows of our time. There are so many twists that take place that I've absolutely stopped trying to predict anything and I wait for all the new ways the writers will surprise and floor me. But that's not even the best part. Nor is its fantastic cast (D'arcy Carden, you infinitely talented being). My favourite thing about this show is how it actually cherishes goodness in people. I have started to really love pop culture that is about empathy and kindness and inclusivity and just being nice because that's really not our world anymore and The Good Place is exactly that. It's healing. And hilarious. I love it.


Probably my favourite looking show ever. Everything from the sets to Hannibal's suits to the food to the most incredible crime scenes- it was all stunning and singular. Of course the most gorgeous were Hannibal and Will themselves and their twisted romance.

Imperfect Harmony (Selfie S1x10)

RIP Selfie. You were gone before your time. The show, that was based on Pygmalion and starred the perfectly cast Karen Gillan and John Cho (put him in more romcoms, you cowards!) as the Eliza Doolitle and Henry Higgins of today, was really funny and sweet and could have been a great romatic sitcom. This episode was the big romance episode or so we had been led to believe but it ends up being something sadder and more beautiful, which is perfectly encapsulated in Gillan's poignant rendition of "Chandelier". 

Jane the Virgin

Quite possibly my favourite TV show ever. If Gilmore Girls was crucial for teenage Nikhat, Jane the Virgin was one of the shows that gave adult Nikhat her voice and understanding of the world. Simply put, it is about love- between family, between lovers, between friends and also between a show and its audience. I am incapable of deciding what was the best thing about the show- its mercurial writing that went from comedy to romance to thriller in minutes, its stupendously talented cast lead by the magical Gina Rodriguez, or its gorgeous direction that captured both of its telenovella fantastical elements and real world issues equally and perfectly. The show had twists that would make Game of Thrones blush but it was never twists for twists sake but careful character work and well, character love. I LOVED the characters as if I knew them and was invested in them like they were my own people. It had a brilliant ending too. God, I will miss this show so much!

Knockoffs (Broad City S2x04)

Much like Jane the Virgin, Broad City was also a female led and voiced show that changed my perspective of the world and what stories can be about. Which is why I chose THIS episode to elucidate my point. An episode which features a funeral, an underground market for designer knockoff bags, a 'will they or won't they' moment and of course, as seen from the picture above, dildos and pegging- only Broad City could have done it and through it commented not only on modern day dating but also grief and ways people deal with it. It is also a rip-roaringly funny.

Late (The Handmaid's Tale S1x03)

Gosh, what a brutal and unforgettable episode. This is THE feel-bad series that shows us a world that could exist very easily today. Alexis Bledel is shattering in "Late", often just emoting with her enormous horrified eyes at every awful thing happening around her. Reed Morano's direction just got under my skin and never truly left. Wherever the series did go after it, this was an hour of terrifying perfection.

Mr. Bean

Before I sat down to make this list, I was very sure that I wanted to include one childhood favourite in it. Between Powerpuff Girls, Rugrats and Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson's taciturn comedy hero won. I have many precious memories attached to this show, that still holds up today because of Atkinson's complete immersion into this role of a bumbling, slightly malevolent but ultimately sweet fool. I honestly even love the movies. There's something about Mr. Bean, you know?

Ned and Chuck (Pushing Daisies)

I'm sorry but I can't choose just Ned! It HAS to be Ned AND Chuck because they are THE OTP, guys! I don't make the rules (Getter does but I'm sure she'll understand). Pushing Daisies is the most colourful and cute show about death ever and Lee Pace's Ned and Anna Friel's Chuck were the heart of it. Their doomed love story destroyed me many times over but I wish it had even more times because this show and this romance ended far too soon!! #BringItBack

Orange is the New Black

However many shows Netflix comes out with, it will never reach the heights of OITNB for me. The show opened up a whole world many of us didn't know about and showed us the inner lives of so many types of women- black, white, old, young, trans, gay, straight. It had its flaws but when it was good, it was the freaking best! It was daring and open and most importantly, constantly empathetic and so very human.

Parks and Recreation

Probably my favourite comedy show. I love the characters. I love the actors. Leslie Knope is a goddamn hero. Ron motherfucking Swanson is my dream bestie. Ben Wyatt is everything I want in a man. Jerry is, well, Garry. *in Billy Eichner's style* I JUST LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH, IT MAKES ME SICK!!!

Quite Interesting aka QI

Fun fact: I'm a nerd. So yes, I love a quiz show where I learn facts and also get to laugh a lot. Thank you very much. 


Guys, I don't know if you know this about me but I'm oh so slightly obsessed with BTS. Like, in case you still follow me on Twitter, I don't know if you noticed that AT ALL. Btw, thanks everyone who isn't an Army who still follows me. You guys are true friends :)
But anyways, I do really love the band and the members that form it. This is their variety show in which they usually have a topic and they play games or something around it. This is my ultimate comfort show at present. It's funny and sweet and I just love their friendship so much, it actually hurts my heart. 

S (Wild Remote Entry)
Sherlock and Sharp Objects

Sherlock is another show I have written and spoken about a lot. Not counting its last disastrous season, the show was damn near faultless in my eyes. I do want to revisit it as an older, less impressed-by-sociopathic-men person but I couldn't possibly leave it out of this list. I loved all the performances, especially that of the leads Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. It was really stylish fun!

Sharp Objects was my favourite show of last year. I have never seen anything that put us in the headspace of its protagonist like it did. It was a horror show of the mind and the body. The acting across the board is fantastic. There are images from the show that are etched into my mind forever. 

True Blood

Oh True Blood, you marvelous mess. I have a special place in my heart for this show, with all its zaniness and camp and nonsense. It was just so entertaining! The first 4 seasons were actually really good and even though it went so spectacularly off the rails in the later seasons, I couldn't stop watching! Also Pam and Eric forever.

U (Wild Remote Entry)

This is from 2019 but I had to include it. The most feminist crime show I have ever seen, I was constantly amazed by the littlest details in it that set it apart. It is really infuriating but at the same time, it is hopeful. Merritt Wever is totally the stand out for me but all the performances are excellent.


Oh you acerbic wonder! There was so much to love about comedy-turned-documentary Veep but my absolute favourite thing about it was its insults. The crowning glory in my eyes was the following addressed to, obviously, Jonah: "You're Frankenstein's monster, if his monster was made entirely of dead dicks."

The Wedding (Outlander S1x07)

The most romantic and sexiest television episode/piece of art to ever exist. THE FEMALE GAZE, PEOPLE! Fuck me, you almost don't need to watch the rest of the show to watch this episode. It's so good!!

X (Wild Remote Entry)
Crazy EX-Girlfriend

I NEEDED to include this show somehow and I've not watched The X-Files or Xena so this I think was the best compromise. This was such a brilliant show. A musical romcom about mental illness! It was as funny as it was damning. The songs were especially genius, from "You Stupid Bitch" to "Let's Generalize About Men" to "Buttload of Cats". I feel like rewatching all of it right now!

You're the Worst

The anti-romcom about the worst humans who are ultimately just that- human. Hilarious and devastating in equal parts, it reached such heights when it was firing on all cylinders.

The Zeppo (Buffy the Vampire Slayer S3x13)

If you have seen this episode, you know why I chose this still and not of "the Zeppo" Xander. Xander was my least favourite thing about the show and yet I love this episode, which was a great example of Buffy at its finest. The show was so surprisingly experimental and concept driven and its best episodes were just that. OBVIOUSLY my favourite such episode is "Once More With Feeling" but I needed a Z :P

And that is it, folks! I hope you liked the list and please do check all the other entries from this brilliant Blogathon :)

Thursday, 22 March 2018


Since all this is being published after the Oscars, we know who all were the "best" performers of this year were *cough* Gary Oldman shouldn't have won *cough*. Well, my list is a bit different. I actually started making these lists because of how much I loved my #1 performance and HAD to write about it somewhere. So without much further rambling introductions, here are my top 20 performances of 2017:

 Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

As wonderful as the Gos is at comedy, there's a reason he became known for his strong and silent characters. His K is a replicant who longs to be human, but he cannot show it apart from the most smallest and heartbreaking of gestures. Gosling does so much with so little.

 Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread

The most delicious performance in this list. Again, it's a performance of control and how terrifying it can be when we see it slip ever so little. Also her line readings ARE AMAZEBALLS! Scary, but amazeballs.

Catherine Keener in Get Out

I feel like Keener is Manville's character if she knew hypnosis, and was obviously a rabid racist. Has someone stirring tea ever been more frightening?

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

It's one of the most iconic shots of this year, when tears are falling from Kaluuya's face as he sits paralyzed in horror. There's a reason for that. He lets you feel the dread, the utter helplessness. You cannot escape it. Other than that scene too, you can kind of see what he's thinking but still not really, which is an interesting tightrope that he walks on throughout the film, and I am so glad he's been rightfully rewarded for it.

Rajkumar Rao in Trapped/Newton/Bareilly Ki Barfi

He's one of the best Indian actors of his generation and 2017 was a great year for him to showcase his immense potential. Each role couldn't be more different than the other. In Trapped, he is a man battling for survival, both physically and mentally. In Bareilly, he plays the scared pushover and the over-the-top extrovert equally well. In Newton, he is someone who has to witness the complete break of a system and figure out how to be someone who can still be moral in an amoral world. Rao does all of these roles justice and then some.

 Jennifer Lawrence in mother!

For most of the film, I kept waiting for "mother" to turn into the JLaw we all know now- headstrong, vulgar, bold, loud. But she is none of that. Lawrence's personality is so big that we sometimes forget that she's a pretty fantastic actress and mother! is testament to that. The film is focused on her face because she is the eyes of the audience to the madness that is her life. We have to be connected to her emotionally for the movie's outlandishness to make any sense. Lawrence shows exactly such vulnerability. I don't understand the backlash against her at all. Sure, the film is divisive as fuck but Lawrence has given a complete against-type, open and intimate performance that should be lauded by all.

 Meryl Streep in The Post

Let me just say off the bat, this is a very very good performance. But I think one of the reasons why it is so high up is because of the character too and how Streep embodies it. I connected to the character completely, and the arc she goes through and the way Streep portrays it, it really moved me. This is one of my most personal picks, if that makes sense.

Harry Dickinson in Beach Rats

The first of my "WHERE DID THEY FIND HIM/HER?!!" picks. He is so good in this film playing a teenager exploring his sexuality in a world where something like that still isn't easy. Even though his character doesn't speak much, there's an openness about Dickinson's face that I so love in actors. His eyes speak volumes and it's very compelling to watch.

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

Ronan is already kind of a legend at 23. Each of her THREE Oscar nominations couldn't have gone to more disparate characters. As Lady Bird, she is all confidence and confusion mixed in a perfectly imperfect concoction. I think all teenage me would have wanted is to be her but (relatively sorta) grown up me sees and appreciates the complexity in the character and how deftly Ronan brings that out.

 Barry Keoghan in The Killing of A Sacred Deer

He's so creepy and unnerving in this. I mean, who can forget that spaghetti scene? Lanthimos has a way with weirdo characters and Keoghan plays one of the most unforgettable ones. Just thinking about him gives me the heebie-jeebies and if that's not an impactful performance, I don't know what is.

 Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

When I think about Hawkins in this movie, the first thing I think about the scene when she tells Richard Jenkins's character about how the creature completes her and how much that made me cry. Hawkins is such a luminous presence. I'm always excited to see her in a film and she was such a perfect choice for this character because of how well she expresses joy and sorrow and everything in between even without words.

 Hugh Jackman in Logan

Jackman has played Logan/Wolverine for 17 years. You would think one would have seen all that is to offer with this one character but he saved the best for last. There is of course tragedy in the story of Wolverine but there's also the idea of him being invincible to match that. In Logan however, we don't have that safety net anymore and what we are presented with is a broken, dying man, who has lived through so much and probably watched everyone he's ever cared about die. We don't see this in the film but we see it in Jackman's performance. He is so heartbreaking yet ferocious in this. It's a crying shame that the performance didn't get the awards love it deserved but at least we can be happy knowing people will be talking about this more than some damn British guy made of makeup.

Allison Williams in Get Out

Her true brilliance shines upon a rewatch. She is so eerily fantastic in this, dropping enough hints along the way but still managing to shock us with her true intentions. It's perfect casting that is elevated by an even more perfect performance.

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

This movie was so surprising but not Robbie's performance. Ever since the first trailer dropped, I knew this would be one of THE performances of the year. I have an affinity towards arguably terrible characters who are really passionate about something. It kind of made me think of Selina Meyer from Veep. Of course Robbie's Harding wasn't remotely as awful but the scenes that show her love of skating, they were really powerful and have stuck with me ever since.

 James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Franco is just tremendous as Wiseau, the actor and the person. When he commits to a role, there are very few like him. His Wiseau is equal parts funny and poignant and kinda unforgettable.

Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name

He beat Franco purely based on that last scene. That scene broke me. My other favourite thing about this performance is how I know with every rewatch I'm going to like it more and more. Having read the book, I was on a lookout for certain things Chalamet's Elio does and while in the book his emotions are bursting out of him since we are completely privy to his thoughts, the movie version is more silent and secretive but still grappling with the same feelings and urges. I don't think I was able to see all of it and it still pretty much blew me away. Can't wait to fall in love with him falling in love all over again.

 Chris Pine in Wonder Woman

I kinda need the clap emoji to make my point come across fully but Imma try anyway- CHRIS PINE'S LAST SCENE IN THE PLANE WAS SOME GOD LEVEL ACTING AND WE ARE ALL BLESSED TO HAVE WITNESSED IT! He was so funny and effortless in the movie and the look he gives at the end has been seared into my brain and more importantly my heart ever since. I'll write more about Wonder Woman in other posts but that film works because it makes you feel and Pine's Steve is the actual heart of the film.

Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread

She's the second of my "WHERE DID THEY FIND HIM/HER" choices. And I mean, where do you find an actress who not only meets Daniel Day-Lewis in a scene head on but out-acts him? What? Is she magic? Krieps is a force of fucking nature in this film. She starts out all shy and redfaced but from the moment she tells Day-Lewis's character that he would lose if he played the blinking game with her, you could sense she's not some wide-eyed ingenue. She drives the movie like her character who breaks the routine of the Woodcocks' lives with her determination and individuality. Again, I had a really good feeling about her because the last time Paul Thomas Anderson introduced an actress in his films, it was Katherine Waterston and lemme just say, he's on a helluva roll in this particular road.

Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird

Well, she sort of played all our moms, didn't she? It's a brilliant performance that is so specific that you find elements in it that you can relate to in your own experiences with your mother. I wrote above about how teenage me would've idolized Lady Bird if it had come out then but I am so glad it came out now because I can see the hurt and pain and love and sacrifice in her Marion which I wouldn't have understood at a younger age. I think the time in a teenager/young adult's life when they realize that their parents are normal people too, who also make mistakes and are trying to make the best of everything, is underrepresented in films and Lady Bird shows that so well and we wouldn't have the full impact of it without Metcalf's multifaceted and true-to-life portrayal.

 Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth

As I wrote in the intro, the only reason to make any of these lists was so that I can find a way of praising this performance. It is amazing. It actually reminds me of Amazing Amy but like more evil and human at the same time. Pugh's Katherine is all desire. She has to be cunning and cruel to get her desires fulfilled and we're just along for the ride. There's a reason the film is named upon one of the most infamous women in literature, who begged the powers to take away her kindness and fill her with poison... there's a reason she's often called the fourth witch. Funnily enough, watching it, I was reminded of a quote from the film The Witch which was "Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?" Pugh's Katherine does and she's willing to sacrifice everyone in her path for it. Everything that Pugh does in this film is so deliberate and natural at the same time. Her boredom, her lust, her anger, her jealousy, her cruelty- it is all a joy to behold. I can imagine people being disgusted by her but I was just fascinated by this little giant of a woman, who btw obviously also tops my "WHERE DID THEY FIND HIM/HER" picks. It is a brave and gutsy performance, one that takes hold of your brain and doesn't let go, which I suppose is appropriate given the character. She's not one to be forgotten. She simply wouldn't allow it.

So what were some of your favourite performances from 2017? Lemme know in the comments below. Also Next up we have EVERYTHING else I loved about 2017 movies!

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

"'Let the past die. Kill it if you have to." FAVOURITE MOVIE SCENES OF 2017

SHE LIVES!! Yes, peeps who still follow this blog (first of all, thank you so much! Second of all, why????), I am back... sorta. I haven't made end of the year lists for the past few years now and that sucks because this was one of my favourite things to do. 2017 was a crazy year for the world and an interesting one for films. I think, if we survive the next few years without a nuclear war breaking out etcetera, that films made 2017 onwards will be studied by future generations for their themes and trends, some of which reflect in the scenes chosen below. So without further adieu, these are my favourite scenes of 2017:

Crossing the wall- Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

For those of you who haven't heard of Baahubali, it is one of the biggest films in Indian film history and a massive pop culture phenomenon. Channeling my inner Stefon, it has everything- men with superhuman strength, dysfunctional families, royal intrigue, romantic subplots, elephants, flying ships, legendary cliffhangers, flashbacks and so on. They're a really fun bunch of films completely sincere about their over-the-topness. For that, I have chosen a scene which is easily the most unrealistic, almost to the point of laugh-out-loud absurdity, where the laws of physics are not just defied but recreated from scratch. It's the FUNNIEST scene of the year if not of all time. I can't write more about it, you just have to experience it yourselves. You're welcome, plebs. 

The soirée- Princess Cyd

Have you ever wanted to live in a scene? This scene is like all my hopes and dreams of being an intellectual with equally intellectual and lovely friends, hanging out, casually reading gorgeous poetry, realized into a perfect little scene. Gaahhhhh, I want!
P.S. I'm definitely not an intellectual.

Stairway fight- Atomic Blonde

Yes, stairway fight scenes done in single takes are kinda over and done with now but this is a really well directed and thrilling scene. My favourite thing about it is how hurt everyone, especially Charlize Theron, appears which is something usually done away with in order to add a layer of coolness, but here we feel every punch or every fall and the scene is all the better for it.

Alma's surprise dinner- Phantom Thread

I love me an awkward, confrontational dinner scene and that's exactly what we get here. The zingers, the acting, the frustration- it is all there and it is all delicious.

The Wake- mother!

Of course the last act's descent into hell leaves a lasting mark, but I think the Wake is like every introvert's personal nightmare come to life- when you have to deal with a lot of strange people but also cannot be angry because of the occasion (unless they break your sink, of course). The Biblical symbolism and Jennifer Lawrence's acting makes it even better, or at least unforgettable.

 Coco- Coco

Few things make me cry as much as Pixar. The central themes of this film- family, memories and of course music all culminate in this scene and man, it's a helluva tearjerker.

Kylo and Rey team up- Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Spoilers but like this was fucking cool. It looked amazing- the contrasting lightsabers, the backdrop, the action. I know people are divided about this film but I don't think anyone was disappointed by this team up. Bonus points for how it ends with the reveal of Rey's origin.

 Punishing the Father-in-Law- Lady Macbeth

Katherine is an evil bitch, no doubt about it. But when this scene comes along, we're still not aware of how full of poison she is and the terrors she's going to unleash. So, we just watch and enjoy how she handles a really dickish oppressive older white man, and it's just fun. 

K vs Deckard in Vegas- Blade Runner 2049

Simply the most aesthetically stunning scene in a film full of them. Elvis!!

 The Sunken Place- Get Out

Apart from maybe the first place entry, this is probably the most symbolic scene of 2017. But it's not just that, it's much more. The sense of dread, helplessness, horror, Kaluuya and Keener's fantastic performances and the complete unexpectedness of it all make it one of the best scenes of the year.

The premiere- The Disaster Artist

Imagine watching The Room for the first time, without being aware of its unique pop cultural position. Now imagine being the person who made it, who has to sit with a blind and blunt audience who carelessly deride your life's work. This scene is really funny and heartbreaking and surprisingly inspiring. What's not to love?

 Laura introduces her claws- Logan

This was one of the coolest, most surprising scenes of last year. Who could've seen it coming? Dafne Keen is the littlest badass ever who makes a big group of strong men tremble in their shoes. Most epic introduction of 2017.

Visions of Gideon- Call Me By Your Name

Okay show of hands- who all were completely destroyed by this?
Me too. So sad. So beautiful. #creys4eva*

The projector scene- It

2017 was a great year for horror and this was the best old-school horror scene in it. The use of the photos, Pennywise's reveal, the utter powerlessness, Pennywise jumping out of the friggin' screen right at you! So scary and so effective.

No Man's Land- Wonder Woman

I wrote about common themes in films at the start of this post. I think this scene directly plays into that. There is, what feels like, a sort of shift in the world. Because things are so bad, when something is good, fighting against it, it feels huge. This scene encapsulated that and then some. Symbols are important- they convey so much with so little and Diana, out on the battlefield, with her shield that doesn't seem magical because it is but because how and why she's holding it, deflecting bullets, saving people, being Wonder Woman without anyone even saying it... it wasn't just important, it felt monumental. Groundbreaking. Earth-shifting. I'm so happy it exists and women of all ages can see it.

And that's it! Stay tuned for my favourite performances, films and everything else of 2017. It's good to be blogging again! Let me know what you thought of these scenes and what were some of your own favs!

*I'm sorry I can't express emotions without added stupidity.