Ask yourself when else in your adult life can you sit on your ass and watch four films in a row and not feel guilty? Long-haul flights, that’s when. At the very start of the flight when you start to really think about the reality of the next, in my case, around 33 hours of travelling that lie ahead, and you start to wonder if it’s worth it, and you ask yourself do you really love the people at the other end that much? That’s when you grab the entertainment guide from the seat pocket in front of you and start planning your movie marathon. Here’s what kept me (somewhat) sane on my most recent expedition.
Based on the incredible true story of adventure sports enthusiast Aron Ralston who ended up trapped in a rocky crevasse with his arm under a big boulder for 127 hours after a hiking trip went horribly wrong. This is a great film to watch on a plane. I was feeling a touch claustrophobic in my economy seat but this put it all in perspective. I wasn’t sure how director Danny Boyle was going to keep this film interesting when the story is about a guy who is just, y’know, stuck in one very small space for a long time but, wow, he made it work. A lot of the films success is down to its star James Franco. An amazing performance. I have to admit I fast-forwarded through the pretty graphic part where he cuts off his own arm. It came on the screen just as my first round of dodgy looking plane food arrived. My stomach couldn’t handle both. But yeah, highly recommend this one.
Never Let Me Go
Aaaagh…. I wish I hadn’t watched this film. So bleak. Bleak bleak bleak. It’s based on the novel of the same name by Japanese author Kazuo Ishiguro. I hadn’t read the book. Knew nothing about the film. I decided from the promotional photos that it looked like a love triangle drama set in the 50s or 60s. I also deduced that it starred Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan and one of the lads from The Social Network. This should be grand I thought, not too taxing. Did I say bleak already? Well it is a love triangle drama, set in the late 70s through to 90s. But here’s a big piece of info I did not deduce from the photos. The main characters are three of many clones bred specifically for their organs to be harvested for the use of other human beings. It’s set in a very grey Britain and grimly realistic. If you like really really depressing films then you’ll probably love it. I was so traumatised by the closing credits that the nice German girl sitting next to me paused her own movie and took off her headphones to check if I was ok. Bleak.
Going the Distance
After the aforementioned bleakness, I needed a light and fluffy rom com to clear my head. Drew Barrymore’s sunny smile seemed like the perfect remedy. I watched the trailer. No mention of organ donations. I read the blurb. Organ donation free. I read it again, just to be sure. This isn’t a standout romantic comedy but it’s perfectly reasonable. Drew does her standard adorable ditzy routine. She stars alongside a fairly cute brown-haired actor whose name evades me right now. I think they may have actually got together in real life too (awww). In the film they’re in a long-distance relationship and struggling to make it work. If you’ve ever been in one yourself there’ll probably be at least a couple of scenes where you’re nodding and relating. I can’t remember the ending though. I must have drifted off. I assume it was happy.
Not content with being a successful English speaking actress Kirsten Scott Thomas decided to go off to France and get fluent in French and be a successful actress there too, *cough* overachiever *cough*. Ah no, fair play. C’est quite le achievement, non? Here she is in Crime d’Amour or Crime of Love, en anglais. She plays Christine, the boss of a big company in Paris who seems to derive pleasure from slowly destroying the people around her. The film centres on her relationship with her second in command Isabelle. You start off thinking they love each other. Then they hate each other. Then they seem to love each other again. Then you think Christine is totally manipulating Isabelle for her own gain. But is Isabelle manipulating her right back? Hmmm. I was enjoying it, but then we had to land. I’ll definitely be watching the rest of this one on the way back.