The best movies I have watched this year.

Hi everyone,

Before diving into the main subject of this blog post, I hope you all had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a WONDERFUL START TO THIS BEAUTIFUL NEW DECADE.

 

Watching movies has always been one of my favourite pastime, regardless of whether they are new or past produced. Going to the theather or watching a movie from the comfort of my home (meaning being all curled up on my couch/bed in my comfy clothes) is undoubetedly one of my go-to forms of self-care. ♥ Thus, with a brand new year right here, what better way to embrace it than by reflecting on and writing about something I love: movies!!

Today I want to share my favourite movies of 2019! You might have heard about them as they are all fairly recent. These movies vary quite a bit from each other in terms of genre, storyline and acting but they are in my opinion all worth-watching. Let’s get started!

Green Book (2018)

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I firstly heard about this movie due to the various awards, golden globe and oscar it won and after watching it, I get why it has attracted so much attention.

The movie is based on a true story and it takes us on a journey about overcoming self-condemnation (homophobia and racism involved) and the wonderful feeling of freedom that results from it. It tells the story of how two seemingly different people (upgringing-, education-, life experience- and character-wise) became really tight and real friends over time. It also shows us how a genuine friendship (despite how unlikely it may seem to be) can be all we need in order to grow, evolve and change our life perception. We only need to be open to it so that we are able to put our own prejudices aside.

I absolutely loved how the story unfolded and, in my opinion, this movie has it all. A great, thought-provoking and solid scrip-writing, witiness and terrific acting. It is definitely a moving, eye opener and beautifully crafted movie.

Favourite quote:

“It takes courage to change people’s hearts.”

Bohemian Raphsody (2018)

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Queen is one of those unique bands that will live forever. Watching this movie reminded me of that and it sort of blew my mind away. It made me smile and laugh, sing and even tear up. The acting performances were absolutely amazing and I’d say that they perfectly portrayed the members of the band. I could feel the energy bursting through the screen all throughout the movie.

The Live Aid at the end of the movie was exquisitely recreated and just left me whishing I could have seen Queen live.

Favourite quote:

“I am exactly the person I was always meant to be. I’m not afraid of anything.”

The Lion King (2019)

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It was actually my partner who came up with the idea of going to the theather to watch The Lion King 2019 and I naturally agreed without even thinking twice! Its original release in 1994 was, in my opinion, one of Disney’s greatest hits and, for that reason, I was really looking forward to watching the remake on the big screen!

Despite what many critics say about this newer version of The Lion King, I personally really enjoyed the movie. I was so excited to watch it and after doing so, I happily say that it lived up to my expectations. The scenes were very captivating due to the photorealistic computer-generated imagery and the voice work was great. Timon and Pumbaa stole the show. They’re one hilarious duo and I laughed out loud (perhaps even too loud at times #sorrynotsorry).

Even though there were two new tracks, specifically written for the remake, featuring Elton John and Beyoncé, I was happy to realise that all my favourite songs from the original movie were incorporated. You should have seen me proudly mumbling the lyrics all throughout the movie! haha

In my opinion, this remake added something “new” to the original version while staying true to it. It retells the heartwarming story that we all know with enhanced visuals and some nice new “freshness”! Definitely an entertaining watch that brought back a sense of sweet nostalgia.

Brief remark: my boyfriend and I decided to buy the tickets for the 3D version and we both thought that it was not worth the extra money. The movie did not really utilize the 3D technology. I honestly do not think that the few 3D effects made it any more special or realistic. The movie in its regular 2D version is alreaady a technological achievement in itself.

Favourite quote:

“Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.”

 

Joker (2019)

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This movie exceeded my expectations and it was certainly worth the money spent on the theather tickets. Brilliant scenography as well as grotesque and haunting performance from Joaquim Phoenix. His character development was absolutely outstanding and he is honestly such a certified legend!

I am aware of the critic reviews claiming that it is a movie that encourages real-world violence but I certainly do not perceive it as such. I think that rather than seeing Joker as a movie that inspires antisocial violence and extremist behaviours, we should see it as one that inspires us to treat one another with respect so that everyone feels like they belong in this world. In my opinion, Joker illustrates – in a very raw and realistic way -how emotionally debilitating loneliness and isolation can be. I would also say that it is also somewhat a critique to society because it shows the bureaucratic indifference that is oftentimes given to mental illness.

Just to round up my thoughts, Joker is simply a cinematic masterpiece and a powerful political statement. If you haven’t watched it yet, then I’d recommend it to do so.

Favourite quote:

“The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”

Klaus (2019)

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Even though I love a good animated movie all year round, I find it even more enjoyable if watched during Christmas. In my family, we only open our presents at 00:00 of Christmas day. We play board games until it is time for our big family dinner (aka feast) on Christmas Eve and then we watch a movie all together to keep us awake until the stroke of midnight. Klaus was the movie we picked this year and little did I know that it would be such a great, funny and heart touching one.

I found the story to be quite original. The characters were grounded and I also really enjoyed how great the visuals were.

This movie is sure to spark laughs just as much to invoke tears and it has certainly become one of my absolute favourite Christmas animations. It is a true “feast for the eyes, mind and heart”.

Favourite quote:

“A true act of goodwill always sparks another.”

 

Have you watched any of these 5 movies? If so, how did you like them? Also, what were the favourite movies you have watched in 2019?

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

My list of must-watch classics

Heya! It is a gloomy and cold Saturday in the Low Countries, which happens to be the perfect weather to stay at home, watch a movie and create some new content to the blog. It is so nice and cozy inside and I felt quite inspired to write. With that in mind, I have come up with a list of classic movies that, in my opinion, everyone who is a cinema lover should watch.

There’s something that fascinates me about old movies. I am not sure whether it is the kind of romance involved, the glamour, the style, the innocence, the classic lines or a combination of all. I also love how they take me back in time and make me imagine how would to be to live in the 40’s. 50’s and 60’s.

As a millennial who loves cinema and classics in particular, I thought I would share my favourites ones with you. Not sure whether you share this same passion of mine but even if you don’t, I recommend you to give these movies a chance 🙂

So, here is the list:

Casablanca (1947)

A perfect mixture of intrigue, adventure, passion, drama, exotic locations and fine character actors. This black and white American movie has it all. It is extremely captivating and it certainly deserves all the credit that it has.

Favourite quote:

“But what about us?” 

“We’ll always have Paris”

Gone with the wind (1949)

This historical romance movie presents a love-hate story between a couple and takes place during the American Civil war and the reconstruction periods that follow. In my opinion, the storyline is epic and quite heart-touching and this movie shows us in a way a more emotional side of the Civil war, which I find interesting.

Favourite quote: “No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”

Roman Holiday (1953)

A romantic-comedy starring Peck and Audrey Hepburn. I love the romance, charm, sense of humour and sort of innocence going on between both characters. This is a fairytale kind of movie that tells a story of a princess wishing to be someone normal and capable of doing do whatever the heck she wants for a day. Hence, she escapes her royal life for a day and bumps into a reporter, with whom she falls in love with.

Favourite quote: “I have learned how to live. How to be in the world and of the world…

And I will never, never agin run away from life.”

Rear Window (1955)

This is a mystery thriller movie from Alfred Hitchcock. The storyline is compelling

This movie tells the story of a man (“James Stewart”) in a wheelchair with a broken leg. Despite having a wife (a character played by the great diva Grace Kelly), he is not really a happy person. He would rather look at the lives of strangers than actually live inside his own skin and commit himself. Hence, in order to entertain himself, he spies on his neighbours using a lens and ends up by getting very suspicious and super obsessed with the idea that a possible murder has taken place. I love how a certain suspense and mystery pervades during each scene.

 

Favourite quote: “Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence.”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

I love this movie so much! It is a rather unusual love story that takes place in the charming and high style city of New York. Audrey is as stunning, glamorous, sophisticated and witty as usual. She just dazzles! It is an enjoyable romantic comedy aaaand, as a side note, I feel like I really need to highlight the fact that only Audrey can look so gorgeous and classy wearing sunglasses indoors while drinking and  smoking!

Favourite quote: “People do fall in love. People do belong to each other… because that’s the only chance anybody’s got for real happiness”.

The sound of music (1965)

I have only written the name of the movie and I have the song “Do Re mi” playing in my head already! I just can’t help it lol.

This Broadway musical is one of the most popular ones that has ever reached the screens and for all the good reasons. It is perhaps the most crowd-pleaser reaching out to every generation. The performance of not only “Maria” (Julie Andrews) and Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) but also of the children is simply amazing. Plus, this drama musical has such a moving and heartwarming story. The movie is all about confidence, hope, love and vitality. Besides that, the shooting locations in Salzburg, Austria, are breathtaking! It is actually based on a true story (“Trap family singers”) and it is the perfect movie to watch in family! Needless to say that the soundtrack album is absolutely marvellous and glorious!! I don’t think that even the grumpiest person can stay indifferent to it! 😉

Favourite quote: “You cry a little and then you wait for the sun to come out. It always does.”

 

Are you also a millennial who appreciates classics? If so, which ones are your favourite? There are many old movies which are just wonderful and pure gold and they should not be dismissed nor forgotten, as the time goes by.

Much Love,

Blissfully Grateful

 

 

My top 5 Christmas movies of all time

Hi guys! Who else loves to binge watch Christmas movies during the month of December? Today I bring you my top five favourite Christmas of all time. I am not sure whether I am going to introduce you to new ones but oh well, I thought I would share them with you anyway. Here they are:

Home alone (1990)

A classic I know.. but it is such an entertaining family movie. It never gets old or boring! I have to watch it every singe year. Otherwise, I feel like my Christmas is sort of incomplete haha

Favourite quote: “Maybe they don’t forget you, but they forget to remember you“.

Elf (2003)

Will Ferrel never seems to disappoint.. and he still does not with this movie. Is so Christmassy and funny. If you are in need of a good laugh (..I mean who is not?..) then you must watch it. It is such a great comedy that will make you laugh your head off!

Favourite quote: “I just like to smile; smiling’s my favourite”.

Love Actually (2003)

I absolutely adore this multiple-story portmanteau movie. It is witty, funny and yes. A little bit cheesy too. It just gives you that special Christmas feeling. I have convinced my boyfriend to watch it with me this year and I am already looking forward to it haha I have lost the count of how many times I have actually watched this movie but it does not matter because I still enjoy it as if I was watching for the very first time!

It counts with the performance of great British actors such as Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Keira Knightly and the Portuguese actress, Lucia Moniz! They all did an outstanding job with the characters they portrayed. Seriously guys, you need to watch this movie if you have not yet.

Favourite quote: “The thing about romance is people only get together right at the very end“.

Polar Express (2004)

Polar Express is another Christmas-themed movie with a heartwarming story. The movie  revolves around a thrilling and adventurous train ride to North Pole that makes you believe in the magic of Christmas. It shows how important is to have confidence in ourselves whilst remaining humble, to have faith and trust others. The whole scenery of the movie is absolutely fascinating and beautiful.

Favourite quote: “Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

A Christmas Carol (2009)

This animated movie is based on the classic novel from Charles Dickens. There are various film adaptations of this novel and to be honest, I can’t say that this is the best one so far because this is the only adaptation that I have watched. However, being a production from Walt Disney Pictures, I think that this is a great must-watch movie and we all have some things to learn from it. One of them being that bitterness and anger does not take us anywhere. Life is too short to hold onto our grudges and to be mad about things that have happened to us. Being kind and generous to others is what matters the most to live a meaningful life.

I would best describe this movie as “a marvellous visual experience” that transmits a deep and important message about life: true happiness comes from the moments we share with those around us and not from physical things such as money. This movie shows what it really entails to be grateful for what and who we have in our life. Oftentimes we are like Scrooge; too busy complaining and feeling miserable to even realise that our life is great compared to those around us, and yet they are happy and we are sad.  

This movie takes us in a journey of self-reflection, showing us that we must live in the here and now and learn how to value and appreciate the people we have in our life before it is too late.  those we have in our

Favourite quote: “I have always thought of Christmas (…) as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

Now, you guys! What are your favourite Christmas movies that I should check out? As a I am so passionate about this season and about cinema in general, I am always open to new recommendations.

Have an amazing pre-Christmas week!

Much Love, 

Blissfully Grateful