howdy, guys! in this blog, i’ll be talking about some movies i watched recently that i absolutely love. some i watched over the summer and some during the first few weeks of school whenever i’ve had time, and i’ll be sharing a few of the highlights here! it goes without saying that elvis (2022) belongs on this list, but i already did a blog on it, so it’s not here. (and, hey, you know the drill–no spoilers and no particular order.)
terms of endearment (1983)
y’all…i don’t even have words for this movie. it’s one of my mom’s favorites, so we watched it together one night this summer, and i literally could hardly sleep after it because i just could not stop thinking about it. it’s the sweetest, most heartwarming movie ever but it’s also gut-wrenchingly sad. terms is so extremely relatable to me with my relationship with my mom and how i imagine myself as a mother. it paints a gorgeous, truthful picture of the challenging transition from girlhood to womanhood with unflinching empathy and humor. i actually rewatched it with my roommate last night and sobbed uncontrollably in spurts for the rest of the night. if you like steel magnolias, this is the movie for you. shirley maclaine is so wonderful, it’s my favorite jack nicholson role, and don’t even get me started on debra winger. the talent is unbelievable here. please, please give this one a chance. i’m so glad that i did.
girl, interrupted (1999)
this is a movie that i’ve always wanted to watch but have been saving for just the right time. ever since i first heard of it, i knew that i would love it because the cast, subject matter, and overall aesthetic just seemed like something crafted just for me. even the soundtrack has some of my favorite songs ever. i was definitely right. i’ve never related more to a movie in my life. to spare you from an extremely long rant about how much i love this movie, i’ll just include a brief review that i recently wrote for it:
“as someone who has suffered from a mental disorder my entire life, and as a young woman, this movie was a huge step forward in my healing process. it held a mirror to my flaws and to my strengths, it made me realize that i am not alone, and it helped me to connect with the other women in my life who love this film for the same reasons. so, yes, i do hate to see this film written off as an exploitative romanticism of the mentally ill because, for me, it’s the best representation of life with my disorder.
i understand and respect why some people feel inaccurately represented or offended by this film; but that simply wasn’t my experience with it. mental illness, especially amongst young women, is grossly misunderstood and often polarizing—girl, interrupted is a prime example of that. it’s far from perfect—it’s melodramatic, grimy, and sometimes over-the-top.
that being said, i do think it’s something everyone should form their own opinion about. i’ve read reviews saying that no one with mental illnesses could ever relate to this or act the way the characters do, which is extremely harmful, because, when i watched this, i related to it so vividly. harsh generalizations like the ones in those reviews are counterproductive and just as invalidating as the film was to the people who wrote them. so, please, take my opinion as well as any others you read with a grain of salt—watch this movie for yourself.”
the eyes of tammy faye (2021)
i was super excited when the ads for this movie came out, and i couldn’t wait to see it in theatres, but it sadly never came to any near me, and i didn’t hear much about it, so i assumed it wasn’t very good or something. i was so, so very wrong. as a longtime fan of both andrew garfield and jessica chastain and someone extremely interested in the topic of religious scandal, i enjoyed this movie more than i can say. jessica just totally captures tammy’s beautiful spirit, and the film is a wonderful love letter to the amazing person she was and the…less than amazing person jim is. this movie is campy, glitzy, heartfelt, and brilliant–just like tammy faye was. may her spirit live on forever.
dolores claiborne (1995)
this has got to be one of the most tragically underrated stephen king adaptations ever. admittedly, i can understand why, though. this movie does move at a fairly slow pace. even i didn’t watch it all in one sitting. so, why did i love it so much? two words–kathy. bates. she is such a genius. easily one of the best actresses of all time, and horror is a specialty of hers. at first, i was unsure of jennifer jason leigh’s direction with her performance, but the further i got into the film, the more i understood the merit of what she was doing and just how well she was doing it. i think that when we watch something by king, we expect it to be upfront horror, but this is more of a slow-burning psychological terror. in the past, i’ve been a critic about king’s portrayal of women and still am, but in this particular case, i was pleasantly surprised. i found it extremely relatable in many ways, and the dynamics between the female characters are nothing short of brilliant. this is an amazing story of revenge, motherhood, and women sticking together. the ending makes everything make sense, every slow moment necessary and worth the watch. i cannot wait to watch it again, knowing what i know now. it’s super quotable, too. i have notebook pages full of the dialogue from this movie. just so, so good.
well, if you made it this far, thanks for reading! a neat thing about this list is that it also kinda doubles as a good list of movies every feminist should watch. all these stories contain strong, powerful women and their journeys, and i highly recommend them for both educational and inspirational enjoyment! see y’all next time!
as a treat for making it through that blog, here’s a picture that represents my mental state at the time of writing it: