During treatment, movies (and books!) were a welcome respite from what I was feeling. Fast forward to almost a year into the pandemic and it's safe to say there's been a fair bit of movie watching in our house. In my recs, I aim to highlight indie or older movies that resonated with me as a cancer survivor and are less well known. You don’t need me to tell you how watching Lord of the Rings for the 5th time is the epic journey every cancer survivor needs, though it truly is ;) Hope this list gives you some new picks!
1. The Thoughtful Indie Charmer: Boy
This is a heartfelt and quirky film set in New Zealand made by Taika Waititi. You will laugh and cry in equal measure -- my favorite type of movie! It manages to perfectly blend unique characters, complex family dynamics and a universally relatable tale of growing up.
2. An Uplifting Female Centric Adventure Film: Maiden
I saw this movie the weekend after I was diagnosed with cancer and it was the most uplifting and empowering story for the circumstances. It follows the first female crew to sail in the Whitbread Around the World Race. These badass ladies take on both the overt sexism of the sailing world and the icebergs of the South Seas with determination and grace.
3. The Period Piece aka the OG Romcom: Emma
A lovely, fun rendering of Jane Austen’s Emma featuring Anja Taylor-Joy of Queen’s Gambit fame and Josh O'Connor of The Crown fame. The movie is beautifully shot with sparkling dialogue to match. The screenplay was written by Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries, one of my favorite books of all time and the youngest writer to win the Man Booker prize.
4. Hollywood Golden Age: To Catch a Thief
My husband is quite the film buff and often tries to convince me to watch older movies which I generally resist. For his birthday, he picked the movie Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock and I was immediately gripped. We went on a Hitchcock tear from there (Pyscho!, Strangers on a Train!) but To Catch a Thief stood out as an entertaining classic. The French Riviera shots are iconic and the Grace Kelly fashion is *chefs kiss*.
5. A Fun Romp: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Yes this is my second Taika Waititi recommendation because I love him so much! We had the pleasure of seeing Hunt for the Wilderpeople when it premiered in New Zealand and broke their box office records. It’s a fun and heartwarming movie about a kid and his foster uncle romping through the New Zealand bush.
Bonus: Derry Girls
The Irish TV show Derry Girls made me laugh out loud more than any movie or TV show has in quite some time. Streaming on Netflix - highly recommend!