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Movies of the Month - January

The cold, winter month of January. The bliss of the Christmas holiday period soon begins to fade away as we endure what feels like 3 years before reaching the 1st of February.


Now, the start of the year usually marks a great batch of film releases here in the UK, especially since awards season is in full swing. Funnily enough, the three films this month are all award-nominated features that are truly worthy of the acclaim they are receiving. Completely different in genre and style, January's picks truly advertise the versatility of 21st-century film as we open a new decade.


Little Women


Greta Gerwig's adaption of the 1868 novel with the same name is the perfect period drama to enjoy with family, friends, and even strangers. Much like Gerwig's last film Lady Bird, Little Women is a coming-of-age story that puts a new spin on the beloved story by Louisa May Alcott. Boasting a cast of stars who aren't strangers to awards and accolades, the characters of Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth are brought to life for the seventh time in a way which is enrapturing and compelling. Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are particularly wonderful, and hopefully, there will be good news for these two at the Academy Awards on Sunday regarding their nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Gerwig's direction is once again just fantastic, and she has definitely been successful in making an adored story into something that is new and fresh. After being chosen by the American Film Institute and Time magazine as one of the top 10 films of 2019, how can you not spare a couple of hours to enjoy a timeless classic such as Little Women?


1917


After only reading the name, you already know that 1917 is going to an epic war picture. Plus, the seven Bafta Awards and ten Academy Award nominations mean that you probably already know quite a fair bit about Sam Mendes' retelling of a war story he heard as a child from his grandfather. Squeezing the events of a day's mission into one long take is quite an impressive feat, and Mendes didn't sacrifice cinematography or realism to ensure that the film looked as authentic as possible. We live in a timeline of many war films but 1917 is truly something that shines from the rest. Praise is clearly deserved for the young actors of George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman as their performances are nothing short of excellent, especially Mackay. If you wish to jump on the bandwagon, 1917 really does deserve your time and appreciation. And don't worry, there'll be plenty of showings at your local cinema.


Jojo Rabbit


A ten-year-old German boy whose best friend is an imaginary, buffoonish version of Hitler? It's not exactly your usual screenplay. Yet Taika Watiti has done a brilliant in job in creating a movie which encapsulates humour and heart while holding a strong message throughout. Not only is the cast hilarious, but the storyline has your own heart jumping and sinking as the film progresses - you'll be crying both tears of laughter and sadness. Roman Griffin Davis is looking to be a huge star, seeing the talent that the young actor holds, and he works exceptionally alongside Watiti as he plays a version of Hitler not seen before. Again, the American Film Institute and even the National Board of Review named Jojo Rabbit as one of the top 10 films of last year, and of course, it is worthy of these titles. No matter what mood you are in, you will finish watching Jojo Rabbit having being shown a satirical depiction of Nazi Germany that holds a message of family, friendship and love at its core.

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