So during Coronavirus Lockdown the Stockies as a family watched 100 films over 100 nights. It was a wonderful family experience. We rotated the choice of film. We found ourselves in a few little series. We picked a few awful movies and watched some amazing ones too.
People have asked me to share my favourites, so below are my favourite 10.
Before I get to those I also enjoyed a few series. Jason Bourne and Mission Impossible. Phew. Hectic. So far fetched that anyone would survive most of what happened never mind film after film!
The Harry Potter series. It was good to watch those actors growing up but for me a little inconsequential.
Eddie Murphy was at his best in Beverley Hills Cop. Great fun.
Best of the series section was the old faithful Indiana Jones. Action and fun and that last Gospel According To… sequence in The Last Crusade!
Then there were for me my old favourites. Groundhog Day seemed appropriate to the life we were living. We were glad we watched it early. It might have been a more painful watch after say 60 days. I have always loved Trading Places and as for The Breakfast Club, it still speaks about all our stereotypes and prejudices… and not just for teenagers! School of Rock is always a joyous night too.
Looking a themes and there was one that raised its head tragically far regularly and poignantly while it did we had the George Floyd murder in America. My daughter Jasmine was exasperated from early on by the way white America was treating the black and coloured communities.
Three movies that didn’t make my 10 but are highly recommended are Glory Road, Remember The Titans and McFarland USA. These are all sports movies where coaches bravely bring on black players to the first two Basketball and Football and Hispanic kids in McFarland. Joyous to see racism beaten against the odds but again as in so many movies the racism in colleges and communities is way too tragic.
So, here are the ten I enjoyed the most:
- JUST MERCY
The true story of Bryan Stevenson who decided to defend black men who were falsely accused of crimes, many ending up on Death Row.
Another true story of another inspirational and remarkable African American, this time using the Underground Railroad to help slaves to freedom.
I wasn’t sure about this one as I have not in any way got into the the Lord Of The Rings movies. His relationship with CS Lewis convinced me to watch and it is a wonderful film about his youth and the war, that gave him the imaginative resources for his writing career which he is just about to start when the movie ends.
4. BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
I had wanted to see this for some time. A young Asian boy in Luton discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen and that helps him traverse his teens, avoiding racism and the tensions between him and his Pakistani Muslim dad. Serious and funny and at times celebratory, all beautifully blended. Also a true story.
5. THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND
Set in Malawi, yet another true story, about a young man who works out how to create a windmill that could then pump water to the famine stricken fields of his family and village. My father-in-law then read the book and this guys ends up in a Presbyterian College later in life!
6. THE HATE U GIVE
Based on a novel a 16 year old black woman is witness to her friend being shot by a white policeman. It seems sadly so common and the movie is about the girl’s courage to testify and the riots and injustices.
Fascinating film as a black journalist joins the Klan.
8. JULIET NAKED
I love the writings of Nick Hornby and this is based on his book of the same name when a women accidentally falls in love with the rock star her ex partner is obsessed by.
9. THE GUERNSEY BOOK AND POTATO PIE SOCIETY
Having spent some time in Guernsey this was a treat of a romantic historical drama based on implications of the German occupation of the island in World War 2.
10. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
An arty kind of film that didn't go down with all of the family but that I imagine movie buffs would love for its conjuring of late 60s Hollywood. I was fascinated by it because it centres around the Charles Manson murders that are indelibly linked with the music of that era.