To say there’s been a lot going on over the past couple of weeks would be an understatement! And in the midst of all this; lockdown is gradually being lifted, and people are tentatively heading back to work and school and beginning to come out of iso life! However for many of us, quarantine life is still very much in full force. So here, in no particular order, is a break down of a few of our quarantine favourite’s, and the films we’ve been loving (old and new) during isolation, that will hopefully keep you entertained as we remain in lockdown a little longer!
- When Harry Met Sally – (Dir. Rob Reiner, 1989)
One of the ultimate films, and best Rom-Coms, to come out of the 80s; When Harry Met Sally is an absolute must watch. With the timeless backdrop of New York City; the movie follows our two main characters Harry and Sally (Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan), over twelve years, as they meet, become friends and eventually fall in love. With a fantastic jazz-centric soundtrack/score to accompany the movie, performed by Harry Connick Jr.; the film itself features tracks from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Connick Jr. to accompany the classic New York City scene. Directed by Rob Reiner, and written by Nora Ephron; if you’re a fan of rom-coms, this is for sure one to add to the list!
- Working Girl – (dir. Mike Nichols, 1988)
Another incredible film to come out of the 80s; Working Girl (starring Melanie Griffiths, Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford) is all about female empowerment. Another New York minute; the story follows working-class Tess McGill as she tries to carve out a life for herself and navigate the echelons of business and upper class society. A light hearted, feel-good watch, perfect for a Sunday afternoon; Working Girl is 80s classic through and through from the clothes to music to the hair, and will have you rooting for the smart, sassy and loveable Tess.
- 21 Bridges – (Brian Kirk, 2019)
Bringing things back to the 2010s, and a newer release, 21 Bridges was released at the end of 2019; with it hitting the cinema’s just in time, prior to their closure earlier this year. Starring the legendary Chadwick Boseman, we move from rom-com to the world of action and crime; although the streets of New York stay the same. The film takes place over several hours, overnight, as the compassionate NYPD detective Andre Davis (Boseman) takes the drastic action of shutting the 21 bridges of Manhattan in the early hours of the morning to find two suspected cop killers. Gripping and thought provoking; Boseman gives an incredible performance and truly steals the show.
- The Gentlemen – (Guy Richie – 2020)
Sticking with the theme of action and crime; we move to the distinct genre of the gangster film, although with a new modern spin. Undeniably a classic Guy Richie film, fitting perfectly into Richie’s filmography alongside Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch; The Gentlemen is sharp, witty, suave and sassy. Bringing things across the Atlantic to London Town; the movie follows American Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) the runner of London’s marijuana game, who is looking to sell his business and retire, which sets off a chain of schemes and blackmail to destabilise him. Featuring some absolutely brilliant one-liners; we see Richie’s lines come to life through some incredible British actors including Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding and Michelle Dockery. And for Grant and Golding; we definitely see them playing against type like never before.
- Molly’s Game – (dir. Aaron Sorkin, 2017)
We now move to the sub-genre of Biographical crime-drama with Molly’s Game. Based on the 2014 memoir: Molly’s Game, by Molly Bloom; we see Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba star in this real life tale of ex-skiier and entrepreneur Molly Bloom as she runs some of the world’s most glamorous high stakes poker games, subsequently becoming the target of an FBI investigation. Fast paced, exciting, and absolutely captivating; Elba and Chastain absolutely steal the show, and draw us in to this enthralling world of high stakes poker. With it based on the memoir by the real Molly Bloom; if you love the film, the book itself is also a fantastic read and definitely worth checking out as well.
- Hustlers – (dir. Lorene Scafaria, 2019)
J.Lo at her finest. Audacious, fun, outrageous and unique; Hustlers is another biographical crime drama, taking us into the world of strip clubs and the seedy underworld of wall street, to tell the narrative of a true story about strippers who drugged their wealthy clients in order to use their credit cards to run up large bills at the strip club. Bringing up themes of female empowerment, motherhood and economic disparity; Hustlers definitely gives us more than just a show. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lili Reinheart and Kiki Palmer, we truly get an all star cast; with some extra special features from the likes of Lizzo and Cardi B. In addition to the visuals, Hustlers also delivers a fantastic soundtrack; featuring the likes of Usher, Big Sean, Lorde, Cardi B and more. Based on New York magazine’s 2015 article “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler; check out the article for the film’s inspiration, and the real life backstory behind the movie.
- Crazy Rich Asians – (dir. Jon M. Chu, 2018)
Based off of the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan; Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of Nick Young and Rachel Chu (Henry Golding, Constance Wu) as they leave New York for Singapore, when Nick invites Rachel home to meet his family and attend his best friend’s wedding. In the process, we see Nick and Rachel navigate the midfields that are set off upon their arrival; and the events that unfold as Rachel is brought into the world of Nick’s high society family, and they deal with issues of class, race, identity and love. If you loved the movie, guaranteed you’ll love the book just as much; so make sure to check out the novel as well, along with the other two books in the series – China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. Funny, heart-felt, romantic and thought provoking, this is for sure a modern classic. And with incredible performances by Awkwafina, Gemma Chan and Michelle Yeoh, alongside a fantastic soundtrack; there’s not much there not to love.
- Booksmart – (dir – Olivia Wilde, 2019)
Olivia Wilde, actress extraordinaire, has switched things up and is now behind the camera with her directorial debut. Bringing back the high-school teen/ coming of age drama; we see Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever star as graduating high school students Molly and Amy who set out to finally break the rules and party on their last day of classes. Intelligent, funny and original; Booksmart puts a fresh and modern spin on the classic coming-of age-comedy, and is definitely one to add alongside the John Huges teen movie classics. Stepping away from the standard tropes of teen movies that present such rigid cliques, stereotypes and plot narratives; Booksmart works to actively move against that, and work against type, resulting in an original, refreshing and incredibly relatable watch.
- Yesterday – (dir. Danny Boyle, 2019)
Calling all Beetles fans and music lovers, because this one is definitely for you. Starring Himesh Patel and Lily James, alongside Kate McKinnon and Ed Sheeran; Yesterday features Patel as Jack Malik, a struggling artist who, after an accident, finds he is the only person who remembers the Beatles (amongst a few other things). With a fantastic soundtrack comprising of the Beatles’ biggest hits, we get some incredible musical performances alongside a fun and light-hearted narrative. A great homage to the Beetles, filled with many funny, relatable and truly British moments; Yesterday is definitely a movie to leave you with a smile on your face.
- Blockers – (Kay Cannon, 2018)
And last but not least, ending with a comedy, we have Blockers. The movie stars Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz as a group of parents who, after discovering what their daughters are up to, attempt to stop their daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. Almost working as a comedy of errors, with hilarious mistakes and slip-ups along the way; this is another movie that alongside the comedy, works to break out of, and subvert, the traditional tropes of the genre. Absurd and funny, Blockers is a true laugh out loud comedy, that also features some genuine moments of emotion; as well as brining up topics of gender, sexuality and growing up.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the movies on this list; and keep your eyes peeled for more incredible cinematic releases coming throughout the year.