What are you watching this weekend? Here are some picks

May 07, 2022
Source: Getty

 June Again

How do I describe this movie, as a tragidrama? A dramedy? Or maybe just heart touching.  Noni Hazlehurst effortlessly portrays June and takes the viewer with her every step of the way, falling in love with her as she is and as the woman she was.  There is something really special about watching experienced actors like Noni, others include Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, those who have their craft so perfected that they can portray such nuance with barely a movement.  

June is a woman living in nursing care suffering from dementia.  Her children and grandchildren are strangers and no longer known to her until a temporary change sees her pre-stroke memory return and June sets out to sort out her family while she has the temporary opportunity to do so.   The cast includes Claudia Karvan and Stephen Curry playing daughter Ginny and son Devon.  Karvan portrays her character sensitively and with realism juggling love and frustration for her mother and her own life while Curry takes a character that could so easily be seen as a “loser” and imbues it with a skill that makes him so very relatable. 

 Written and directed by JJ Winlove, June Again could be described as manipulative but it is also full of beautiful performances and authentic characters.  Just be warned that it is a very emotional journey and tissues will be needed.  Watch it on Netflix.

 Weekend Away

Set in Croatia this is a crime mystery starring Leighton Meester as Beth and Christina Wolfe as Kate with Ziad Bakri as Zain and Luke Norris as Rob.  A weekend away goes terribly wrong when two friends plan a catch-up.  Kate is found dead and Beth is accused of her murder.  As Kate works with Zain to clear her name the plot twists and turns and finally reveals a painful secret.  The film played into my unconscious biases in a clever way with me jumping to an obvious but very wrong conclusion way too early and then falling again into the obvious but wrong conclusion. I guess that is what makes these films work- it’s like doing the daily wordle puzzle- so obvious once you know the answer!

Based on a novel by Sarah Alderson and directed by Kim Farrant, Weekend Away kept me guessing and the Bloke Who Shares the Couch (TBWSTC) enthralled. Not the best film I watched and not even close to my preferred genre but the beautiful locations shots helped me get to the end. The characters were engaging enough for me to stick it out too. We watched Weekend Away on Netflix.

 How to Build a Girl

I loved it but TBWSTC did not, maybe because he doesn’t identify with the angst and insecurities of being a 16-year-old girl?  If you enjoyed Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, which was released in 2000 there is a strong likelihood you will enjoy this.  

How to Build A Girl is a coming of age saga set in Wolverhampton on a Council estate in the 1990s with 16-year-old Joanna Morrigan reinventing herself as rock journalist Dolly Wilde in a bid to escape her life.  All goes astonishingly well until it all goes just as astonishingly bad and Joanna grows through the aftermath of the chaos she created.

There are some great cameo performances with well-known faces playing the faces on Joanna’s bedroom wall- Alexei Sayle as Karl Marx, Lili Allen as Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Sheen as Sigmund Freud to name a few. 

Coky Giedroyc directed Caitlyn Moran’s screenplay which was based on her book of the same name and Beanie Feldstein plays the central character Joanna. Paddy Considine is so authentic as Pat her dad, an ageing rocker who still is waiting for his big break and Sarah Solemani commands your sympathy as her exhausted mother Angie. Alphie Allen is very believable as rock star John Kite and Emma Thompson empathetic and wise as the magazine editor who gives the real Joanna a break.  How to Build a Girl is on Netflix. 

 Our Flag Means Death (OFMD)

So very quirky. This series is from Taika Waititi who also is responsible for What we Do in the Shadows, an hysterically funny mockumentary about four vampires sharing a flat in Auckland and the inventive satire Jojo Rabbit. This is absurd, funny and so very entertaining. 

Stede Bonnet is a wealthy landowner who has a mid-life crisis and in 1717 decides to become a pirate. It doesn’t go that well. Very layered, black comedy OFMD will appeal to you if you enjoy black, quirky absurdity with a touch of genius.

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