Movie Mondays ~ Monday, December 2, 2019

Movie Mondays ~ Monday, December 2, 2019

Thanksgiving break has come and gone, and my promise to load up on movie viewing has been unfulfilled. Damn. But all hope is not completely lost…I did see ONE flick during the holiday break, and it was a movie I had been wanting to see for several months now. I’m thrilled I finally got to see it. Keep on reading and with a little bit of luck maybe next week I’ll actually have two films to review. I am taking a few days off the following week and have at least one movie date already on my dance card. So you never know! As always, thanks for reading this week. ~ Chris K.

 

 

FILMS VIEWED WEEK OF 11/25/2019 – 12/01/2019

 *click on the photo to enlarge

 

 

107. Yesterday

Comedy, Romance (2019)
Himesh Patel, Lily James, Joel Fry, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chappell, Harry Michell, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran

 

Before I start to review this film, you must know a few things about my film tastes if you haven’t figured this out already reading reviews from me all year. I’m an absolute sucker for a romantic comedy. I truly adore just about everything that Richard Curtis has written or directed. The Beatles are my favorite band — greatest of all time, in my book. A few years back, I discovered the charm of Lily James and have been a member of her unofficial fan club since then. Then, on the other hand…I am not a Danny Boyle fan, particularly of his films TRAINSPOTTING (1996) which I really wanted to love given all of the spectacular actors to come from the film, and I absolutely disliked SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008), which I know goes against most of the world’s consensus. But to be fair, my husband didn’t like it either, so there’s at least two of us  out here that don’t agree with the critics, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the world. Just the same, I’m all about keeping an open mind and giving everybody a fair chance, because even some of my least favorite directors occasionally hit it out of the park. (although I will admit at this moment I’m trying to think of something I really enjoyed by Stanley Kubrick, and I’m coming up empty.)

For me, the film YESTERDAY is Danny Boyle’s exception. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that it was written by Richard Curtis who is behind some of my all-time favorite British romantic comedies like LOVE, ACTUALLY (2003), NOTTING HILL (1999), and FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL (1994).

The basic story is simple, although the science is highly improbable, but what I appreciate about this film is it doesn’t try to explain a scientific event that takes place which is the crux of the entire plot. Yes, people, you are going to be asked to suspend a little disbelief in the same vein as BIG (1988) or THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017). In this story, a major scientific event occurs and suddenly the world has never heard of The Beatles, that is, everyone except one struggling musician who has not gotten a chance to really have his music heard on a grand scale, and who surprisingly from very early on hatches a plan to pass off Lennon and McCartney tunes as his own.

I don’t want to give away more than that because it will take away some of the charm and surprise of the film. I will tease you that the Beatles aren’t the only thing that the world has not heard of and some of the fun of the film is discovering what those other omissions in the galaxy are. Do they not exist because the Beatles were never the cultural icons we knew them to be or are the other non-existent juggernauts simply another parallel missing link? Again, Boyle (or Curtis) doesn’t try to explain why any of these things don’t exist as well but my hubby and I found it interesting conversation afterward theorizing.

I will say that maybe I was a little surprised how quickly the lead character came up with such a sneaky idea. I don’t know how many of us would have thought of something as downright dastardly as stealing someone else’s work and crediting it to ourselves. I’m not saying we’re all better people than this guy, or that he is an evil man, but to reach that fairly desperate idea might have been reached a little too quickly.

Big kudos to the cast in this film. I found Himesh Patel a refreshing presence onscreen and a great singer, so I didn’t even mind him singing some of the most influential Beatles songs of all time. As I mentioned, I had already found Lily James charming before the film and so are his friends who support him through thick and thin. We rented the DVD and had a chance to see the alternate ending, which isn’t vastly different but I will say there were aspects of it that I really enjoyed almost more than the original ending, but overall I was really pleased with what I saw, experienced and how I felt after seeing the film. As a Beatles fan, as a movie nut and as a Boyle skeptic, this was such a wonderful surprise and I can’t wait to see it again sometime.

One more quick note:  I must give a shout out to a fantastic cameo late in the film that again I will not spoil here but every devoted Beatles fan will truly appreciate, and it is a scene so pivotal and consequential to the entire film. That scene alone is worth seeing the whole film if you ask me. I highly recommend YESTERDAY.

 

Score: 90

 

Yesterday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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