Is This the Film of the Summer!?

I downloaded Letterboxd in November. For the uninitiated, Letterboxd is an app where you can rate and review and add new movies that you watch to your watched list. I wasn’t bothered with the rate or review function, to date I’ve only reviewed two movies. No, the downloading of this app precipitated the awakening of something much worse: a deeply competitive streak centred around beating everyone in my life in one category: number of movies watched. 

Many late nights followed as I tried to remember obscure childhood movies to add to my watched list, and a burning desire was born to watch every new film released in cinema. A desire that I indulged as much as I could. I haven’t reviewed these films on Letterboxd, so what follows is a Woroni Exclusive (that no one asked for).

Here is my review of every movie I watched in cinema this summer, in the order that I watched them. 



The Boy and the Heron 

This didn’t have the same magic as the rest of Haiyo Miyazaki’s filmography. But the five minutes of screen time Florence Pugh’s character had made me very happy.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

As someone who read the book… boy am I glad they didn’t include Snow’s internal monologue in this movie. It allowed me to focus on what’s really important: the #slay of his silly little outfits. 



I watched this sitting in between my parents. Still loved it. I honestly can’t articulate why I love this film except to say, visually, intellectually, spiritually, conceptually, hornily, I loved it. I have a crush on every single person involved in the making of this film. I want to kiss them all directly on the brain. 


Poor Things 

I also watched this sitting in between my parents. This was worse. However, Emma Stone was incredible. The sets, costumes, world building and cinematography were similarly inspired. What I can’t get past is that they showed us a woman who had had her unborn child’s brain transplanted into her head and then we were expected to find it attractive when we saw her masturbate and have copious amounts of sex (with the brain, mannerisms and speech of a toddler). It’s important to note that the narrative does not condemn these men for finding her childlike personality attractive. I’m all for celebrating womens’ sexuality and sexual liberation, just maybe not when their vocabulary still includes the words “goo goo” and “gaa gaa.” The second half when her brain matures was great!! I’m just side eyeing the baby sex part. 



This was not released in cinemas this summer. In fact, it was released in 2016. I just felt it needed to be included in this list. Me and my Dad watched it the day after we saw Poor Things, in an attempt to heal from the trauma. It did not work. In fact it nearly made me delete Letterboxd and swear off movies altogether. I rate this movie negative 5. Do not interact. 


Next Goal Wins 

So cute! Truly a Taika Watiti film. While it didn’t hit like Boy or Hunt for the Wilderpeople, it more successfully healed the Poor Things trauma than Trolls did (this wasn’t hard). 


Dream Scenario

I didn’t expect watching Nicolas Cage cum untouched as a girl takes his belt off during an ill-advised failed affair then farting loudly and running away to be as funny as it was. Say that sentence twice, my GOD. I enjoyed this film. The tram ride home (again with my parents, yikes) was silent but in a vaguely good way?



I wanted to love this movie but just… didn’t. I think it was a me problem? This film was like a cake which had all the right ingredients and followed the correct method but then the oven was a bitch and didn’t like it. I’m the oven.


Anyone But You 

Such a cute romcom, truly one of the better of its genre to come out in a while. And may I say, a Shakespeare retelling to rival 10 Things I Hate About You. The lines that came directly from the play made me happy, but it was also equally as enjoyable for people who were unfamiliar with the play. Really fun. I loved that it was set in Australia. Added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.



JOKES I did not watch this movie. A 3 hour long, historically inaccurate Ridley Scott film? Not even adding another notch to my Letterboxd bed post could entice me.



As soon as the film finished the girl behind me said, “thank GOD that’s over”. I did not agree with her. I thought it had the perfect amount of whimsy and fun. My mother, who is the biggest Timothee Chalamet fan in the world, gives it 5 stars. 


Mean Girls 

This was… boring and unnecessary. Auliʻi Cravalho as Janice was a standout performance though.


The Holdovers

For all sad nerds, this movie is like Dead Poets Society but if all the characters were cantankerous assholes (affectionate). I was hungry when I arrived at the cinema so I spent a lot of the movie thinking about the sausages they showed in the establishing shot of the kitchen. On the way home (via Coles to buy sausages) I figured out what I thought of the film: it had a beautiful soul. You could tell a lot of heart went into making it, the use of film rather than digital, the editing, the soundtrack, the performances. I forgot I was watching a film made in this millennium and not an actual film from 1970. Super lovely. 



Like Mean Girls, this movie was boring and unnecessary. It tried to say something new about Priscilla and Elvis’ combined legacy but failed. It meandered. 


All of Us Strangers

This movie made me grin from ear to ear and also clutch my chest like I was dying of heartbreak. It was filmed so beautifully. It looked warm, and felt like a hug goodbye. Every performance was intentional and masterful and the result was truly breathtaking. But for my own mental health, I will never ever rewatch it.


May December

I had a really embarrassing asthma attack in the middle of this movie (ironic since the main character suffers from chronic asthma herself) and had to leave. I never saw the ending and can’t bring myself to stream it and find out. It was well acted but didn’t compel me.


Anatomy of a Fall

Holy shit. When I wasn’t distracted by how beautiful Vincent, played by Swann Aulaud, was (seriously, he is stunning, and what nice hair), I was jaw-open marvelling at what a great film this was. The pacing especially was perfect. It managed to be interesting and compelling as well as thoughtful and picturesque. Highly recommend it. 


Honourable mentions go to two of the ads I had to see at every single one of these screenings:

The confusing Budget Direct ad which featured an evil sentient pool cleaner (?). Stay weird Budget Direct.

The Toyota Hilux ad about a divorced couple refinding their love for one another through sharing joint custody of their car. This ad made me tear up. 


Is there a single thematic takeaway from this experience? Any additional wisdom I have gained by conquering these 15 films? Not really. But it was a fun way to while away the summer.

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