Book Review: Lily and the Octopus, Steven Rowley

At the start of the year, when I decided 2017 was going to be my year of getting back into reading, I compiled a starting list for myself of 12 books all from different genres. The aim was to broaden my spectrum a little, to see if I could find love for a new genre, and generally to try some books I would never have given a second thought. I’ve gone through most of that list now, but the one that’s taken me the longest has been Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley.

Steven Rowley is most notably a paralegal and a screenwriter, but after writing a short story about the death of his dog, he was encouraged by his boyfriend to turn it into a novel and try to get it published.

lily-and-the-octopus-steven-rowley-review

Lily and the Octopus is a real life story, based on the author’s dachshund named Lily. Lily’s owner Ted is a gay male in his 40’s still dealing with a painful breakup, when one morning he notices Lily isn’t very well, and has an ‘octopus’ on her head. If you’ve ever read a book or watched a movie about a tragic dog’s tale, you’ll know what that octopus actually is.

Admittedly, I nearly gave up on this book several times. It’s just not what I’m used to, and it takes a while to get sucked into the fantasy of it all, because the story is written from Ted’s perspective, where Lily can not only talk, but also play Monopoly and make smart remarks about pop culture. It’s a lot to get used to!

However, it’s not a very long book at 320 pages, and so most experienced readers (more than I) could probably burn through the story rather quickly. I struggled to warm to Ted, he’s quite a selfish character despite his love for Lily. The best example I can give is his annoyance whilst at his Sister’s wedding when people were paying more attention to the bride rather than him, because of the news about Lily’s deteriorating health.

ryan-reynolds-ugh-annoyed

I can forgive that because of Lily herself, who is a little ray of sunshine in a gloomy world. As the book approached its inevitable end, I found myself ridiculously emotional. I thought that reading the words on the page rather than watching it happen on a screen would be easier to deal with, but if anything my imagination just made it all the more real.

I’m in two minds on whether I would recommend this book to be honest, it wasn’t my favourite, but gosh darn it will make you want to hug your pets tightly if you do. Proceed with caution, that’s all I’ll say on the matter!

Advertisements

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors, B A Paris

It seems weird to say now, but a few years ago I had to be convinced that a tablet was something I needed in my life. Not in the medical sense, the electronic. I just didn’t see the point; I already had a phone, a laptop, a TV and a Kindle, I counted myself lucky enough and didn’t need another piece of technology in my life. Now, I don’t know what I’d do without one. I use mine every day for gaming, reading, watching, blogging, you name it, and during our house move it’s been my best friend.

behind-closed-doors-b-a-paris-review

My whole house may have been in boxes, but my sofa was sat in the living room and I had my tablet, so all was well with the world. Anywho, I digress, what I actually want to tell you about today is the debut novel by the talented B A Paris, Behind Closed Doors. It was one of the 12 books I chose at the start of the year, and my messy handwritten notes tell me it was my ‘Psychological Thriller’ choice.

That was all I remembered when I started reading, and admittedly I almost gave up within the first 10 pages. It opens at a dinner party between couples, and our main character Grace is desperate for her husband’s approval with the three-course dinner she’s prepared for the guests. Ugh. What happened to cooking together? Then she gushes about how perfect her marriage with Jack is, and shares photos from their perfect Honeymoon abroad. Double ugh. I went back to read the blurb to try and work out what tempted me to read this in the first place, and then I realised.

giphy (10)

You see, the seemingly perfect marriage is the whole point of the story. Grace is always immaculately dressed, the house is spotless, and she loves her husband dearly. They go on holiday together regularly, and stay in the nicest hotels. You know what’s odd though? If you ever invite Grace out to lunch, she’ll either cancel last minute or turn up with Jack in tow. You’d like her number to keep in touch? Sorry, she doesn’t have her own mobile phone. Also, why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? Why indeed!

For a book I thought was going to annoy me, I read Behind Closed Doors in record timing, for me at least. I just had to know what happened next. At 353 pages, it’s not the longest novel in the world, and you could easily read it over a weekend if you were so inclined. To tell you any more would be giving too much of the story away, but let me tell you, I’m sure I nearly passed out during the last few chapters because I was holding my breath, I was so tense.

giphy (11)

I think Behind Closed Doors could make a great movie too, without the need to cut much material. The dialogue would need some work, because on paper it comes across almost pantomime-like at times, a little over dramatic I think. Nonetheless, I would definitely recommend this book to you.

B A Paris is releasing her second novel, The Breakdown, later this year, and I’m quite excited to give it a read!

Review: Collateral Beauty (2016)

Seriously, what happened to Collateral Beauty? I saw a trailer for it once or twice last year, and then it just came and went. I can only assume it got buried under all the Oscar movies and Rogue One. Anyway, my good friend Jenna came to see the new house last night, and trying to find a movie that neither of us has seen yet can be quite the challenge, so we settled for Collateral Beauty. Besides, we both love Will Smith (who doesn’t?) so we couldn’t go too wrong.

collateral-beauty-movie-review-2016

Howard (Will Smith) suffers a terrible family tragedy that throws his entire life off balance. In his despair, he writes letters to Love, Time and Death, pouring his sorrow into the words. What he doesn’t expect is a visit from Love, Time and Death themselves (a bit like Scrooge’s visits!) which makes him see things in another light.

collateral-beauty-mixed-reviewsSomething I find really cool about this movie is how much it seems to have split the opinions of the viewers. Check out it’s current ratings chart on Letterboxd! I haven’t seen a more split opinion since watching The Fountain, which for the record, I still don’t know how to feel about. The other thing I got excited about very early on is that this movie is very different to how the trailer makes it out to be. There is so, so much more to the story that what those 2 minutes show you. This was a good surprise, rather than a “what?” kind of Passengers surprise.

collateral-beauty-will-smith-helen-mirren

As for the movie itself, it’s messy, sadly. It has a huge, star-studded cast (Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley to name a few) and each has their own complicated story. There’s simply not enough time to get to know these characters well enough, so the emotions thrown at you don’t have a chance to really sink in, leaving you feeling like a bit of a monster for not really feeling anything for them. That said, they have interesting stories to be told, and given some extra time and better pacing, it could have been so good!

What you can’t argue with is Will Smith’s acting talent. I’m not sure if he was trying to bait the Academy with this movie (he was very quiet this year, no?) but his emotions feel genuine, and I can’t stand watching people cry, only because it makes me cry too! To tell you any more about this particular scene would spill into spoiler territory, and I really think if this is something you’d like to see then you should go in as blind as possible.

collateral-beauty-pena-winslet-norton

I’m sure if I watched this again I’d pick up on all sorts of plot holes, but as a one-time experience, I really enjoyed it. It’s a movie with so much heart and a lot to say, so it’s a shame it wasn’t paced very well or in-depth enough. One thing I will say is that the ending in particular is shocking; for better or worse will depend on each individual viewer, but it’s an ending I certainly won’t forget for a long time.

Whether you love it or hate it, Collateral Beauty is a movie that’ll get any movie fan talking at least. I give the movie 3 and a half falling dominoes out of 5!

collateral-beauty-review-score-dominoes

Oscars Special: Moonlight (2017), Loving (2017) & Hell or High Water (2016)

oscars-movie-reviews-moonlight-loving-hell-high-water

How are we all feeling today, after yesterday’s Oscar Nominations? I was lucky enough to have them fall into my lunch break at work, so I had my tablet set up in the kitchen with my headphones. Sadly I’m in the only movie nut in the office so I got a few odd looks as I made faces as the nominations were coming in. I’m gutted for Amy Adams, but I’m not on the war path like I was when The Lego Movie got snubbed. Still don’t like the sound of ‘Oscar Nominated Suicide Squad’ though.

Perhaps it was a mercy that Silence only picked up 1 nomination, because as much as I know I should see it, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Still, we’re living in a world where Passengers has more Oscar nominations than Silence. Just let that sink in for a while, and tell me this isn’t the beginning of another 2016.

harrison-ford-looking-worried

Anyway, now the lists are out I can put my regular watch list on hold and try as hard as I can to see as many of the movies as possible! Annoyingly, 7 out of the 9 Best Picture nominees are 2017 releases in the UK, so I’m going to be pushing my luck. I’ve only been able to see Loving and Moonlight thanks to advance screenings my local cinema put on. My point is, I’m not going to have time to write full reviews for them all, so this is the first of perhaps a few mini review posts to cover what I’ve seen.

There’s a theme within a theme here, as all 3 of these movies made me sad as hell afterwards! Thank goodness for La La Land which lifted my spirits. Let’s do this, shall we?

moonlight-movie-2017-oscars

Moonlight (2017)

I was apprehensive about watching Moonlight, I’ll admit. I watched the trailer and read a brief synopsis, but couldn’t see much of a plot. That’s not really what Moonlight is all about though, it’s a 3 part movie that tells the story of Chiron, AKA Little, AKA Black (played by Alex R. Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes) and his struggle in life growing up with his troubled Mother in a crime riddled neighborhood in Miami. Chiron is a quiet, shy boy and doesn’t fit in at school, often being bullied for being a wimp.

Moonlight is the kind of movie that breaks your heart into a million pieces. I didn’t cry, but that’s because by the third segment I felt pretty numb. I don’t know how I expected it to end, because I don’t think I wanted it to. It’s a beautiful movie in every sense.

Moonlight has been nominated for 8 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Mahershala Ali), Best Supporting Actress (Naomie Harris), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing & Best Original Score.

loving-ruth-negga-joel-edgerton

Loving (2017)

Despite it not being my usual kind of movie, I was looking forward to seeing Loving, mainly because I was completely unaware about the story of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), an interracial couple who are arrested for their marriage in Virginia, and the legal battle that ensued. I guess the saying ignorance is bliss holds a lot of merit, because it took me so long to even wrap my head around the fact that interracial marriage was illegal.

The movie was just a little too slow for me to really get immersed, and I could never get used to seeing Nick Kroll in such a serious role as a lawyer, because I’m too used to picturing him as The Douche in Parks and Recreation!

Loving has been nominated for  1 Oscar: Best Leading Actress (Ruth Negga).

hell-or-high-water-ben-foster-chris-pine

Hell or High Water (2016)

It feels like I entered 2016 having never watched a Western, and ended it having watched more Westerns that Rom Coms (I watch a lot of Rom Coms) without even realising, or trying! Hell or High Water is the best of the bunch, though. Toby (Chris Pine) and Tanner (Ben Foster) are brothers robbing banks across Texas to try and pay off the mortgage on their late Mother’s ranch. Rather than hit 1 bank for the entire sum, they rob multiple banks for smaller amounts so as not to be caught. However, Ranger Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) soon picks up the chase.

This is another fairly slow movie, but the tension gets ramped up as it goes along, ending in an adrenaline-fueled final act. I wasn’t even sure who I was rooting for in the end, but it was all quite emotional. I really wish Ben Foster was given more attention for his role, I thought he was fantastic.

Hell or High Water has been nominated for 4 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Jeff Bridges), Best Original Screenplay & Best Film Editing.

10 Movies That Made Me Cry in 2016

So, despite 2016 being one of the best years I’ve had, I did a lot of crying. I didn’t cry on my wedding day, but I cried at home making a cup of tea the next day. That scared the life out of my very new husband I’m sure! For the record, I hadn’t changed my mind, the emotions of the day just hit me 24 hours later. I cried as I walked down Main Street in Disneyland on our honeymoon, because I couldn’t quite believe I was there. Mostly though, I cried at an unusual number of movies in 2016. Perhaps I’m getting sentimental in my old age!

Whilst we’re still early enough in 2017 for it to be acceptable to still make 2016 lists, I thought I’d share with you the 10 movies that made me cry the most last year. There are spoilers ahead of course, but I’ll make the text lighter in those parts so you can easily skip spoilers for movies you haven’t seen yet.

Get your tissues ready…

sad-2016-movies-florence-foster-jenkins

#10 Florence Foster Jenkins

This whole movie took me by surprise to be honest. I was going to skip it, but I read so many positive reviews I gave it a chance, besides, when does Meryl Streep put in a bad performance? Okay, I just realised the irony in that statement. Anyway, Meryl’s final performance on stage made me feel so sorry for her character, that I shed many tears without even noticing.

sad-2016-movies-rogue-one-star-wars

#9 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Anyone who’s seen A New Hope should know how Rogue One was going to end, but in all honesty I didn’t expect the entire cast to be killed off. My only real gripe with this movie is that we didn’t get to spend enough time with each of the main characters to really bond with them, but I cried like a baby when K-2S0 sacrificed himself, and at that bittersweet beach scene.

sad-2016-movies-fundamentals-of-caring

#8 The Fundamentals of Caring

This movie about a disabled teenager and his care giver could have been so much darker than it was, but I was grateful for the humour scattered throughout. Still, that didn’t mean that I didn’t panic every time Trevor faked an attack. My happyness was right on the verge of sadness throughout the second half, and I cried when it seemed that Trevor was dead at the end, just to find he was faking again!

sad-2016-movies-captain-fantastic

#7 Captain Fantastic

Whereas the previous movie surprised me with how funny it was, Captain Fantastic surprised me with just how sad it got. I have a terrible tendency to cry when other people do, so seeing the entire family crying when they learn their Mother has just committed suicide nearly ended me. I considered turning the movie off, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because it was a beautiful story.

sad-2016-movies-hunt-for-the-wilderpeople

#6 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Okay, okay, onto some happy tears now. No, wait, I cried sad tears when Rick’s new foster Mother Bella died. The dog too. But! After that, I laughed to the point of tears several times, including the story Ricky tells which leads to the (terribly wrong) assumption that Hec has kidnapped Ricky and is abusing him sexually. It was cringe-worthy in the very best way!

sad-2016-movies-the-jungle-book

#5 The Jungle Book

I’m one of those people who will cry for hours when an animal in a movie dies, but remain fairly stoney faced if a human does. So I guess it’s no surprise that I cried several times during The Jungle Book. What hit me the hardest though was when Baloo was mean to Mowgli to get him to leave for his own safety. I’m sniffing just thinking about it.

sad-2016-movies-room

#4 Room

There’s really no explanation to this one. If you watched Room and your eyes stayed dry throughout, you’re a cold hearted monster. Just kidding, but not really…

sad-2016-movies-me-before-you

#3 Me Before You

I didn’t read the book before seeing this at the cinema, which didn’t really matter because the BBFC rating screen before the movie TOTALLY ruined the ending for me before the movie had begun. Seriously guys, could you not have worded it a little better, to not give it away? Anyway, I cried angry-sad tears at this one, the kind of tears you normally only get when you’re shouting at someone.

sad-2016-movies-tallulah

#2 Tallulah

Another movie that took me by surprise in 2016! This one’s a Netflix original starring Ellen Page, a homeless girl who accidentally kidnaps a woman’s baby. It sounds awful I know, but this baby was being neglected, and Ellen’s character never meant to actually take her away. It was the feeling of helplessness that got me with this one.

sad-2016-movies-moana

#1 Moana

When I was in Primary School I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always had a flair for being over-dramatic, but I decided what was holding me back was my inability to cry on demand. Well, I’ve solved that problem now. I only have to think about Moana and I start crying. I can’t even explain to you why to be fully honest, Disney have a knack for tugging on the ol’ heartstrings, but I haven’t been affected like this since “Take her to the moon for me. Okay?” (Bonus points if you know that movie).

So – confession time. What 2016 movie made you cry the most?

The 10 Worst Movies of 2016

Send help, I have a cold. A big, stinky cold that won’t go away, no matter how many oranges I eat that I can’t even taste. A lady asked me for ID today when I bought some cold medicine at the supermarket, and let me tell you, I am well over the required age of 16. She wasn’t impressed when I handed her my car key as proof of age. Get a sense of humour lady, and get out of my way before my nose drips on you!

So, whilst I’m feeling grumpy I thought today would be the perfect day to hate on what I think have been the worst movies of 2016. Like I mentioned in yesterdays 10 Best Movies of 201610 Best Movies of 2016 post, I haven’t seen anywhere near all the releases, and I’ve consciously stayed away from some movies I’ve heard were terrible!

As always, I go by UK release date, which generally causes a lot of confusion. For me too, so don’t worry. I’m giving Suicide Squad a generous pass, because I’m a sucker for the soundtrack, and as much as Daddy’s Home bored me, the last 15 minutes kind of made up for it. Other than those, I think I avoided a lot of stinkers this year. Let’s do this!

worst-movies-2016-sausage-party

#10 Sausage Party

I nearly didn’t watch Sausage Party at all, because the trailer wasn’t funny and anything with James Franco’s name on it is an instant turn off for me. Sadly, my love of animation got the better of me, and I gave it a go. I’ll admit this, the opening is hilarious, the song was catchy and funny, and the first few jokes were so outrageous that I did that half gasp, half laugh thing, but after that the rest just bored me.

worst-movies-2016-how-to-be-single

#9 How to Be Single

Oh, how I wanted to love this movie. Such a wonderful cast. A beautiful setting. It wasn’t aimed at married me of course (I was engaged at the time) or my very un-single friends that I saw this with, but it fell so short of the mark. Why did the main girls never all meet up at any point? What was the deal with Damon Wayans Jr’s sorrowful yet completely out of place plot line? Sigh!

worst-movies-2016-batman-v-superman

#8 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I’m not just jumping on the DC hate wagon here, I swear. Batman v Superman earns it’s spot on this list because other than ‘MARTHA’, the only thing I can even remember about this movie is me shuffling around in my cinema seat because it was just so darn long. Anyway, wasn’t the whole thing just an advert for the Justice League movie(s?) anyway? Let’s face it, I’m still going to watch them.

worst-movies-2016-independence-day-resurgence

#7 Independence Day: Resurgence

Brexit caused two movie related things to happen in the UK in 2016. One was that The Purge: Election Year got pushed back so many times (for fear we would repeat it?) that I eventually forgot it existed, and still haven’t seen it. The other was that Independence Day: Resurgence did amazingly well at the box office, I guess because Nigel Farage declared we were going to name July (June?) the something our own Independence Day. *facepalm*.

Oh yes – the movie! Um, it was kinda boring. Someone punched an alien in the face. That was cool, if not slightly familiar.

worst-movies-2016-mike-dave-need-wedding-dates

#6 Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

After winding down from my own wedding last year I was really looking forward to watching a wedding related movie without it causing a panic attack or near meltdown at the very thought of planning a seating chart. This cast should have created something perfect, and I have nothing to say other than ‘YAAAAAAS’ for the musical number at the end, but I’m pretty sure I took a nap for the rest of this movie.

worst-movies-2016-high-rise

#5 High-Rise

Thanks (but no thanks!) to blogger Mettel Ray for reminding me High-Rise existed! Apart from a shot of Tom Hiddleston’s naked butt, there was absolutely nothing to like about this movie. I think it was one of those artsy movies making a statement about something, only I’m not sure what that was. Probably that living in a high-rise with it’s own supermarket is not a good idea.

WD-7-20-15-124.CR2

#4 Wiener-Dog

The second sausage related movie in this list! Also, most likely the second artsy kind of movie that I just ‘didn’t get’. All I took away from Wiener-Dog was several stories about terrible people mis-treating a beautiful doggo, who deserves much better than to live in this cruel, cruel world.

worst-movies-2016-sharknado-4

#3 Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens

Let me get this straight. I LOVE Sharknado. I also enjoyed Sharknado 2: The Second One. That was back when they were super low budget movies that were terrible because they were cheaply made, filled with continuity errors and bad editing. Now, it feels like they’re actually trying, and it’s just not fun anymore.

worst-movies-2016-the-boss

#2 The Boss

I find Melissa McCarthy so hit and miss. As a supporting actress, she’s hilarious and often steals the show, but as the lead she just comes across as obnoxious to me. The Boss could have been a half decent comedy with a heart warming story, but the inclusion of Peter Dinklage’s character just turned the whole movie stupid, and not funny at all.

worst-movies-2016-get-a-job

#1 Get a Job

It took 4 years for Get a Job to be published after it was made in 2012. That should say enough really, but if you’re still curious let me continue. It starts off so promising, mentioning how as children we have everything given to us on a silver platter and then one day, BAM. Go out into the wild, get yourself a job and become a grown up. It’s like that Twenty One Pilots song, Stressed Out. So many plots get thrown in that none ever get a satisfying closure, and seemingly Alison Brie is only there to make sexual innuendos and collecting a paycheck at the end of the day.

Well, I feel so much better getting that all off my chest! What did you think the worst movie of 2016 was? Just so I can avoid it!

The 10 Best Movies of 2016

It’s got to be one of the most fun parts of being a movie blogger, and a huge reason I set up my solo blog just before Christmas. I’m talking about compiling and sharing a Top 10 Movies of the year post. Once January rolls around I scour every blog I follow looking for these lists. comparing them with my own and adding new movies to my watch list. Of course, It’s only the start of 2017, and I haven’t seen nearly all of the 2016 releases yet, so this is more of a Top 10 Best Movies of 2016 ‘so far’ list.

It’s difficult living in the UK sometimes. No I don’t mean the need to constantly apologise (sorry) or being almost solely dependent on tea and biscuits, but we have to wait weeks, sometimes months for movie releases. That’s why you’ll find some huge hits like La La Land (12th Jan ’17 release here) missing from this list, and why you might be confused to see others like Room (15th Jan ’16 release) here.

Before I kick off, I’d like to join in the tradition of noting some honourable mentions, the movies I really enjoyed but weren’t quite good enough for my Top 10. They are: Doctor Strange, Ghostbusters (#hatersgonnahate), Captain American Civil War, Everybody Wants Some, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Midnight Special, Zootopia & Sing Street.

best-movies-2016-nocturnal-animals

#10 Nocturnal Animals

It’s been nearly 2 months since I watched Nocturnal Animals, and I still haven’t decided what I think that ending means. It’s the kind of movie I could have easily hated and waved off as being cold and empty, but I found it fascinating. There are a few scenes that are difficult to watch, and an extremely unwanted and unexpected jump scare, but it’s certainly worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already.

best-movies-2016-room

#9 Room

You know, it makes me sound like a right weirdo, telling you all how much I enjoyed a movie about a mother and son who were kidnapped and help captive in a tiny room for years, but it’s the performances that make Room such a lovable movie. Watch out world, because Jacob Tremblay is going to take the world by storm one day! If you’re planning on watching Room, grab some tissues beforehand, unless you’re a cold-hearted monster.

best-movies-2016-tallulah

#8 Tallulah

Sometimes it’s those quiet, less heard of movies that take you by surprise, and this was the case with Tallulah. A Netflix Original about a good person doing a bad thing, this movie tore my heart out, stomped on it a few times, and then stuck it back in my chest the wrong way. I don’t remember the last time I genuinely tried to reason with a movie character whilst watching a movie.

best-movies-2016-bridget-jones-baby

#7 Bridget Jones’s Baby

Okay, who thought we’d get the return of Bridget Jones in 2016? Who actually had high hopes for it after the rather dull Edge of Reason, that I spent an hour researching to try to remember whether I’d ever even watched it? Maybe it was the fabulous company I had at the cinema, but I don’t remember the last time I laughed at a movie that it hurt!

best-movies-2016-rogue-one

#6 Rogue One

Despite my initial confusion and slight disappointment at the amount of trailer footage that didn’t end up in the final copy, this was the movie that the hard core Star Wars fans deserved. I for one never expected Disney to get so dark. This movie earns it’s spot for ‘that corridor scene’ alone. *heavy breathing* No no, don’t panic, that’s just me, I forgot to breathe during the scene!

best-movies-2016-deadpool

#5 Deadpool

Let’s face it, after such an amazing marketing campaign (which doesn’t seem to ever end) Deadpool could have been a mediocre movie and we’d have been happy enough. After the character was butchered completely in X-Men Origins it could have been terrible, and yet instead we all got the movie we’d been waiting years for. Action packed and full to the brim of jokes you’d never want to explain to your Mum. I just hope the sequel will be just as good!

best-movies-2016-the-nice-guys

#4 The Nice Guys

This time last year when I saw the trailer for The Nice Guys, I knew I would love it, and it didn’t disappoint at all. It’s perhaps the most criminally under-watched movie of 2016! Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have so much chemistry on screen, it’s worth a watch for them alone, but there’s so much going on I think it’s one of those where every time you rewatch it, you spot something new.

best-movies-2016-spotlight

#3 Spotlight

The biggest ‘I told you so’ moment of my life was during the Academy Awards in 2016. Despite knowing next to nothing about the Oscars and the criteria for nominees and winners, I felt such a strong connection to Spotlight and not only was I rooting for it to win Best Picture, I genuinely thought it stood a good chance, and I was laughed away when I said it was so much better than The Revenant. Despite having the win ruined for me by the radio before I could watch the ceremony, I was still ecstatic!

best-movies-2016-arrival

#2 Arrival

My top two spots have shifted around so much, if I wrote this post again in an hour it might have changed again! Arrival is such a beautiful movie. The time flew by as I got engrossed in watching Amy Adams’ character learn the language of the aliens who have landed on Earth, but the final twenty minutes when everything clicks into place is absolutely mind blowing, and it’s one of those moments I wish I could experience again for the first time.

best-movies-2016-hunt-for-the-wilderpeople

#1 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Some movies make us laugh. Others make us cry. Some have visuals that leave us in awe. Others make us think about how we view others and the world we live in. Some have characters that we relate to, or aspire to be. Hunt for the Wilderpeople was all of things and more, and it came out of absolutely nowhere for me. I find it impossible to explain to others why I loved it so much, and yet all I want is to sit people down and force them to watch it! If it wasn’t for the blogging community I wouldn’t even know this movie existed, and that’s a scary thought!

In a couple of days I’m planning to post my Worst 10 Movies of 2016, and whilst I’m in a list making mood, I might make a few others too. I hope I have enough coloured pens, and sticky tabs. Who am I kidding, I have enough stationery to supply an entire school! For now though, I’d love to know – what was your favourite movie of 2016?