Blue Jay (2016)

Blue Jay
Director: Alex Lehmann
Writer: Mark Duplass
Cast: Mark Duplass, Sarah Paulson, Clu Gulager
Seen on: 28.4.2021

Plot:
Jim (Mark Duplass) has returned to his hometown after his mother’s death to clean out her house. Amanda (Sarah Paulson), too, has returned home to visit her sister. When the two run into each other by chance, they carefully reconnect. When they were in high school, they were a couple, convinced that they would grow old together. But life happened differently for them. Seeing each other again, though, makes them wonder why and how.

Blue Jay is quite gripping, relying entirely on Paulson and Duplass who really are perfect. I was completely taken with it.

The film poster showing Amanda (Sarah Paulson) and Jim (Mark Duplass) holding each other close.
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Glass (2019)

Glass
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Sequel to: Unbreakable, Split
Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Luke Kirby, Adam David Thompson, M. Night Shyamalan
Seen on: 24.1.2019
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Content Note: ableism/saneism

Plot:
After abducting several girls, Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy) is on the run, but security guard slash vigilante David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is on his tail. When David catches up with Kevin, they are both apprehended by the police. They are both brought to an institution where Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who was caught by Dunn 20 years earlier, is also housed. All three of them are attended by psychiatrist Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) who tries to show them that they aren’t actually superpowered, but psychotic. But there is also something else going on, something that could threaten everything.

I didn’t expect much of Glass but it managed to not even fulfill those meager expectations. It’s a nonsensical, ableist mess that’s not even fun.

The film poster showing Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy) and David Dunn (Bruce Willis). They are sitting next to each other, but their reflections on the floor are standing tall, looking like villains.
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Bird Box (2018)

Bird Box
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Eric Heisserer
Based on: Josh Malerman‘s novel
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Vivien Lyra Blair, Julian Edwards, Parminder Nagra
Seen on: 6.1.2019
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Content Note: suicide, ableism/saneism

Plot:
Five years ago, something happened. Something came and whoever saw it, committed suicide. Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her children Boy (Julian Edwards) and Girl (Vivien Lyra Blair) managed to stay alive so far and found a community with several other survivors. But things have changed now and what used to be safe, isn’t anymore. Malorie has to find another haven for her children and herself.

Bird Box felt a little like a genre movie made by people who don’t actually have much to do with genre at all. It looks great and the acting is awesome, but oh the tropes and clichés…

The film poster showing Malorie (Sandra Bullock) with blindfolded eyes, cradling both her children who are also blindfolded.
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Ocean’s Eight (2018)

Ocean’s Eight
Director: Gary Ross
Writer: Gary Ross, Olivia Milch
Spin-off from: Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Thirteen
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Awkwafina, Sarah Paulson, Dakota Fanning, Elliott Gould, Richard Armitage, James Corden
Seen on: 2.7.2018

Plot:
Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) was just released from prison and has already plans for a new, daring heist at the Met Gala. She just needs to convince her friend Lou (Cate Blanchett) to go along with it and then they can assemble a team to pull it off. And Debby already knows the women they need to do it.

Ocean’s Eight may not be the film of the century, but it never set out to be. What it is, is a perfectly entertaining heist film with a great cast that is a wonderful addition to the Ocean films that have come before it. I hope there will be a sequel or five.

Film poster showing the eight main women in front of a red background.
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The Post (2017)

The Post
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Liz Hannah, Josh Singer
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, David Cross, Zach Woods, Pat Healy
Seen on: 1.3.2018
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Plot:
Daniel Ellsberg (Matthew Rhys) has anonymously leaked documents to the New York Times that prove the atrocities of the USA in Vietnam. The Post, newly managed by Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) who took over after the death of her husband, doesn’t want to fall behind and finds Ellsberg for more information. Soon The Post finds itself under big pressure from the government not to publish and Kay has to make big decisions.

The Post is a film full of pathos. There’s nothing wrong with that and it works emotionally. It’s just a little too safe in its choices, making it feel a little dusty. But (unfortunately) not out of date.

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Carol (2015)

Carol
Director: Todd Haynes
Writer: Phyllis Nagy
Based on: Patricia Highsmith‘s novel The Price of Salt
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, Sarah Paulson, John Magaro
Seen on: 21.12.2015

Plot:
Therese (Rooney Mara) works in a department store but dreams of becoming a photographer. When she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), she feels immediately drawn to her. And Carol seems to feel the same. But that society doesn’t accept homosexuality is only one problem the two have: where Therese is young and inexperienced and has a boyfriend (Jake Lacy), Carol is trapped in a marriage with Harge (Kyle Chandler) who doesn’t hesitate to use their daughter to make Carol stay.

Carol is a beautiful film with great performances and a nice story. I can’t find any fault with it and yet, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

carol

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12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: John Ridley
Based on: Solomon Northup‘s memoir
Cast: Chiwetel EjioforLupita Nyong’o, Quvenzhané Wallis, Kelsey Scott, Michael K. Williams, Scoot McNairy, Adepero Oduye, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt

Plot:
Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is one of the few free black people in the USA. Or rather he used to be until he took a job offer that turned into a kidnapping. Suddenly Solomon finds himself removed from his family, mistreated and enslaved. As he goes from owner to owner, he tries his best to not only survive, but be free again.

12 Years a Slave is one hell of a film. It has a great cast, is beautifully shot and has an awesome soundtrack. It’s also a film that hurts pretty much all over and will stay with me for a very long time.

12-years-a-slave

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Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Martha Marcy May Marlene
Director: Sean Durkin
Writer: Sean Durkin
Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy, John Hawkes
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) has been living with a sect for the past two years when she breaks free and returns to her sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and her fiancé Ted (Hugh Dancy). But just leaving the cult doesn’t get rid of Martha’s scars. So she slowly and painfully starts the process of getting reacquainted with society as we know it.

Martha Marcy May Marlene is an excellent and really, really scary movie. Only the ending can’t keep up with the rest of the film and is a bit disappointing.

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