Ever since becoming an avid reader a few years ago, I prefer reading to watching a film or binging a series. So, despite this year being really busy for me and not really having time to sit down and watch something, I spent the little free time I had reading.
Therefore, there are not that many series and films on my list that I watched throughout the year. Anyway, let us look at what I watched in 2021!
F I L M S
A Little Chaos (2014)
FROM INCREDIBLE PASSION GROWS INCREDIBLE BEAUTY.
A landscape gardener is hired by famous architect Le Nôtre to construct the grand gardens at the palace of Versailles. As the two work on the palace, they find themselves drawn to each other and are thrown into rivalries within the court of King Louis XIV.
I am a big fan of Alan Rickman and so, at the beginning of the year, I thought that it would be the perfect film to watch to start off the year. I really enjoyed the film and all the detail put into it. I think Alan Rickman is a fantastic director and I also loved him working with Kate Winslet for this film, as they did in Sense and Sensibility. I cannot wait to binge watch more of his films!
Dust, starring Alan Rickman and Jodie Whittaker, is the short story of a man who follows a young girl and her mum home from school one day. He waits outside their house until nightfall before breaking in. Once inside, events take an unexpected turn…
I actually found this one on YouTube a while back and since it is a very short film, I immediately watched it upon seeing it. Still thinking and laughing about the plot twist as I did not expect it at all. Honestly, everything I have watched so far featuring Alan Rickman has been amazing, so I am excited to see what I will think of the other films he is in.
The Boy in the Bubble (2011)
Rupert, a ten year old boy, falls hopelessly in love for the first time. When it all goes terribly wrong, he wishes never to experience heartache again. Turning to a book of magic, he invokes a spell to shield him from emotion forever.
This is yet another one I found on YouTube and decided to watch. I did not know anything about it before going into it and I was surprised to hear Alan Rickman narrate the story for this short, animated film. I really enjoyed the moral of the story and Alan’s voice always just calms me so much. It is a really cute, memorable and magical story which I think will always stick with me. I absolutely loved it.
The Book Thief (2013)
COURAGE BEYOND WORDS.
While subjected to the horrors of WWII Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.
When I say that I was sobbing during this film, especially by the end of the film, I mean full on I-can’t-breathe sobbing. After finishing the book (one of my top favourites of the year), I decided to watch the film and I loved it just as much as I loved the book. I rewatched it with my sister, who saw it for the first time, and by the end we were sobbing, and we could not stop for a while afterwards. This story has a very special place in my heart and I will always recommend it to everyone.
Spirited Away (2001)
A young girl, Chihiro, becomes trapped in a strange new world of spirits. When her parents undergo a mysterious transformation, she must call upon the courage she never knew she had to free her family.
I have been trying to get to more Studio Ghibli films this year, but failed miserably. I absolutely love the style of the films and fell in love with them. This coming year, I am hoping to binge more of them with my sister. They are all so magical and comforting films to watch.
My Octopus Teacher (2020)
After years of swimming every day in the freezing ocean at the tip of Africa, Craig Foster meets an unlikely teacher: a young octopus who displays remarkable curiosity. Visiting her den and tracking her movements for months on end he eventually wins the animal’s trust and they develop a never-before-seen bond between human and wild animal.
It has been a while since I watched a documentary, so when I heard about all the praise this one was getting, I decided to watch it with my family. We were all hooked to the film and were heartbroken by the end. The documentary was well done and we enjoyed and learned from it a lot.
Ocean’s Eight (2018)
EVERY CON HAS ITS PROS
Debbie Ocean, a criminal mastermind, gathers a crew of female thieves to pull off the heist of the century at New York’s annual Met Gala.
Watched this one with my little sister and we really enjoyed it. I loved that the film is about the power of women, especially when they come together. It just shows that nothing is impossible when women put their mind to something. Always love seeing Helena Bonham Carter, Rhianna and Anne Hathaway.
Wonder Woman (2017)
POWER. GRACE. WISDOM. WONDER.
An Amazon princess comes to the world of Man in the grips of the First World War to confront the forces of evil and bring an end to human conflict.
I read the Wonder Woman book by Leigh Bardugo a few years ago and loved the story, so I thought it was about time I watched the film. I enjoyed it quite a lot and think Gal Gadot is an amazing actress. Definitely had a tear running down my cheek at the ending.
FIND YOUR VOICE.
Inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and a confident new friend, a shy 16-year-old publishes an anonymous zine calling out sexism at her school.
Watched this one with my sister and I honestly wanted to enjoy it more than I did. I actually own the book but have not gotten around to it yet, so I cannot compare the book to the film. I watched it quite a while ago, so I cannot go into detail why I disliked it. I think it was about the relationships between the characters as they all felt fake to me.
Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
THE ONLY THING CRAZIER THAN LOVE IS FAMILY
An American-born Chinese economics professor accompanies her boyfriend to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding, only to get thrust into the lives of Asia’s rich and famous.
The books have been raved about in the book community for years and since I have not had to get to them yet, I decided that watching the film would have to do for now. I really loved it, do not get me wrong, but I do not completely understand what the hype is about. What I loved the most from the film was the character, Astrid.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
THE GAME HAS EVOLVED.
The tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world – pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game.
Watched the two films with my sister and we really enjoyed them. We were laughing for hours afterwards and think it was a really fun film.
Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)
As the gang return to Jumanji to rescue one of their own, they discover that nothing is as they expect. The players will have to brave parts unknown and unexplored in order to escape the world’s most dangerous game.
The first film was definitely a lot better than the second one and it was not as funny as the first one. I personally think that there sound have only been one film as this one was not worth it.
Legally Blonde (2001)
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS HAIR COLOR!
Elle Woods has it all. She’s the president of her sorority, a Hawaiian Tropic girl, Miss June in her campus calendar, and, above all, a natural blonde. She dates the cutest fraternity boy on campus and wants nothing more than to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. But, there’s just one thing stopping Warner from popping the question: Elle is too blonde.
Finally got around to this classic and I understand the hype! Loved it so much and it is definitely on my list of top favourites. Hoping to rewatch it soon!
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. When the Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped is only a trick to lure her.
Rewatched it with my sister, who saw it for the first time, and I loved it just as much as I loved it the previous year. The perfect film/story for Halloween and will be rewatching it every year.
Red Notice (2021)
PRO AND CONS.
An Interpol-issued Red Notice is a global alert to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted. But when a daring heist brings together the FBI’s top profiler and two rival criminals, there’s no telling what will happen.
This one has been all over Netflix, so my sister and I decided to see what it is about. We loved Ryan Reynolds and laughed throughout the film. It really is not the best film, but we enjoyed it a lot.
The Hunger Games (2012)
MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. Part twisted entertainment, part government intimidation tactic, the Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. The world will be watching.
Yet another film I decided to watch as I have not gotten around to the books. I understand why so many people like it but it just was not entirely a film for me. Planning on watching the second film (as only the first two are available on Netflix) later this month!
The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
CARING IS A FUNNY THING.
Having suffered a tragedy, Ben becomes a caregiver to earn money. His first client, Trevor, is a hilarious 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy. One paralyzed emotionally, one paralyzed physically, Ben and Trevor hit the road on a trip into the western states. The folks they collect along the way will help them test their skills for surviving outside their calculated existence. Together, they come to understand the importance of hope and the necessity of true friendship.
Watched this one with my little sister as it has been a while since we watched a Selena Gomez film. We have been Selena’s biggest fans since we were little and still are to this day, so we loved her in this film. I loved the message of the story as it reminds us to live to out fullest potential every day. Really touching film.
The Grinch (2018)
The Grinch hatches a scheme to ruin Christmas when the residents of Whoville plan their annual holiday celebration.
A family favourite that we rewatch every year as Christmas comes.
A Star Is Born (2019)
Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer — until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.
This was one of the top films on the internet when it first came out and I finally got around to it this year. However, I have not finished the whole film yet. Planning on getting to it sometime in the next few days.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
EVERY REVOLUTION BEGINS WITH A SPARK.
Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell) – a competition that could change Panem forever.
I cannot give this one a rating and review yet as I have not watched it yet. Planning on getting to it before the end of the year, though.
S E R I E S
Lorelai Gilmore, an independent young woman, shares a close bond with her wilful daughter, Rory. However, her relationship with her own mother is strained.
I am so bad at finishing series, it is actually funny. I started watching the series two years ago and still have not been able to finish it. I only have a few episodes to finish of the last season before I move onto Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, so I am hoping to finish it all soon (so that I can begin rewatching).
Follow the lives of six reckless adults living in Manhattan, as they indulge in adventures which make their lives both troublesome and happening.
Again, so bad at finishing series but I am hoping to watch a few more episodes before the end of the year.
The Rational Life
Shen Ruo Xin is a thirty-something professional who decides to take a stand against unfair societal expectations At her workplace she finds herself drawn to two different men – one her trusted, younger assistant, the other her bachelor boss. Knowing she is considered a ‘leftover woman’ weighs heavily on her. Will she opt to marry the man society deems appropriate, or will she listen to her heart and screw up the courage to pursue a romance with the younger man?
This one grabbed my attention when it was released on Netflix and I just knew I would love the series. I actually have quite a few more episodes to go but I am absolutely in love with the series and I think it is one of my favourites.
What are your favourite films and/or series of the year?
If you’d like to see the films I watch during the year, feel free to follow me on Letterboxd by clicking here. I am planning to write reviews for the films I watch from next year on.
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