The Lamb’s June 2020 MOTM (Female Directed Special) – My Rankings


As a frequent and steady contributor to The Large Ass Movie Blog, (The LAMB), I always try to get more people involved with the site.

Every Month, the site runs a poll based on the list of films submitted by LAMB members for the prestigious ability of being named as the Movie of the Month that will be discussed on the LAMBCAST podcast during that given month.

I decided that each month I will watch each of the films chosen and give my rankings of those films in order to decide which film I should vote for and in doing so, maybe help some of you also decide which film to vote for.

The voting is open until Sunday the 24th of May, so make sure to get your vote in soon.

This month, there were 10 Contenders suggested so here they are:

  • The Babadook (2014) [Howard Casner, Rantings and Ravings]
  • Beyond the Lights (2014) [Patricia Collins, Three Sentence Movie Reviews]
  • Fish Tank (2009) [Rebecca Sharp, Almost Ginger]
  • Hustlers (2019) [Meg Hyland, Meg’s Movie Alphabet]
  • Lady Bird (2017) [Cameron Kanachki, The Michigan Movie Guy]
  • Mikey and Nicky (1976) [Aaron Neuwirth, The Code is Zeek]
  • Near Dark (1987) [Matthew Stewart, Simplistic Reviews]
  • Stories We Tell (2012) [Nikhat Zhara, Across The Universe]
  • The Tao of Steve (2000) [Chris Staron, The Popcorn Auteur]
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) [Damien Riley, Riley on Film]

 

Here are my rankings along with brief thoughts on each film (click on the film title if you want to read my full review)

10.   Fish Tank – Completely don’t understand the draw of this movie. Very choppy and pointless plot. Stay away!

9.     Hustlers – Lackluster film that tries too hard to emulate other films in the genre and just doesn’t pan out. The cast is quite talented but they don’t give any of them enough to really tackle this subject and instead of feeling cathartic, the story feels too much like a doppelganger of so many other films with similar themes. The story is *inspired* by real events, but the plot feels much to sensationalized for its own good. None of the characters feel sympathetic enough and that also hurts things from being more poignant which is a shame because the base of the story on the surface seems intriguing.

8.    The BabadookIntriguing idea that works not because of the horror aspect but actually due to the underlying message of the story.  The film finds a way to keep the suspense high and things move along at a nice pace to help keep the viewer curious as to what is really happening. There are a few scenes that go a bit too far with the premise and go to some very dark and crazy places.

7.    Mikey and Nicky – Interesting idea that has so much more potential than is realized here. Falk and Cassavetes are both great actors but something is missing here in their performances that takes away from caring about what will happen to either of them. They also lack the right chemistry for this kind of story where they are meant to be lifelong friends. The story goes in some strange directions and fails to stay thrilling enough to keep the viewer interested throughout.

6.    Near Dark – A bit too dark for my taste. The story isn’t really too intricate which makes for easy viewing and the  special effects are done nicely. The cast is filled with lots of Aliens (1986) alum which makes it a bit funny to watch.  The gore is a bit much for me here, but I liked the way they dealt with Vampires and sunlight. Not even close to being one my favorite Bigelow films, but also not the worst.

5.    The Tao of Steve – Really fun film that works so well due to the performance of Logue. The character is developed really well and they find ways to make the character and his methods seem much more plausible. The story moves in a typical rom-com fashion, but the fact that they still find ways to make this stick out from other films in the genre helps make it so fascinating to watch unfold.

4.    We Need to Talk About Kevin – The only thing that I knew about this movie before watching it, was the fact that it tried to explore how a parent deals with a child who is evil.  My first thought (before seeing the movie) was that it possible would be about the life a woman like the mother of Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Lee Harvey Oswald or even Hannibal Lechter. and how she would deal with what her son did.  It seemed to me to sound like a movie that goes to VERY dark places and since I’m not a fan of dark themed films at all, I steered clear. I liked the way this movie jumps back and forth between flashbacks of the innocent seeming past and the present which has been marred by the unnamed event. We ask ourselves numerous questions about the present that are slowly answered in the course of the journey thru the past. As a parent myself, the premise itself is a great one because we all tend to unconditionally love our children, but the question remains as to whether that changes when they commit a horrifying act. This movie had me thinking about the premise for days and I enjoyed having to entertain all of the philosophical and psychological questions that arise while watching a movie like this one. I can’t say that this movie will now be counted among my favorites because it still elicits a very dark theme and as much as I enjoyed the finished product it isn’t one that I plan to seek out again in the near future.

3.   Beyond the Lights – Great premise that works really well as it shows that things deep down can be affected so much by a chance encounter. The cast is quite good and both Mbatha-Raw and Parker show how great actors they can be with these roles. Love the way that each of these characters are so very different yet the way that they have lived their lives trying to fulfill the dreams of their parents is so powerful. The film also has a great supporting cast that includes Glover and Driver who help keep things so enjoyable to watch.

2.   Lady Bird – Great “simple” story that is so relatable to just about anyone watching it. The lead character played by Saoirse Ronan speaks in a voice very familiar to most people which keeps things feeling very realistic and there is no doubt in my mind as to whether she will get some recognition for that role during the upcoming awards season. The events of her life during that year all have significant effects on her as she tries to transform herself. The supporting cast all help her along even if some of them only have small parts, but we can still feel their influence on everything she does. Definitely worth seeing numerous times because it has so much to offer.

1.   Stories We Tell – Such an amazingly fascinating study of how people have different viewpoints and perspectives on events in a shared past that makes it difficult to truly understand the nature of memory and to discover the real truth. The interviews are actually even more poignant on a subsequent viewing of the story since the viewer is more aware of the various roles of all of those that are interviewed and that affects things so much here. Love the way that this film doesn’t care of characters contradict one another (or themselves) with their stories and as candid as this film seems to be, human nature always can get involved in trying to make things even more unreliable when dealing with the truth. The use of actors to enact various historical events works so well that if one isn’t aware that they are actors, it’s so easy to believe that they are real people. This is such a bold film due to the way that they expose so much about their lives here and the candidness of it all is so refreshing to see. The story being told unfolds really well and I love how they constantly throw twists and turns into the story as things move along. The fact that it doesn’t stop when the credits begin to roll says so much about this film and why it is so enjoyable and compelling to watch. 

 

So who should U vote for? – Definitely – Stories We Tell.  This is a film that gives us such a great perspective on family life and memories and it is such a raw and open look at things that most people choose to not discuss. The story is quite poignant and is by far the most intriguing film on this list. IMHO

To vote, click here

 

Good luck to one and all!!!

Let me Know what you think!!

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