“Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating animal named Okja.” IMDB
Okja is not the first made for Netflix film but it is the first one I have seen. It is controversial in many ways which I won’t go into – this review does a better job of giving you some of the story about what happened at Cannes and also why this movie would probably not have been made without Netflix.
Having seen the trailer for this movie I had a pretty good idea of what I would be in for. I said to the other half – I don’t know if I want to watch this movie with you because I am pretty sure it is going to make me cry. I thought some more about it and I said to myself, I can control my emotions! So one Friday night I said I am determined I will not cry about a CGI superpig, we will watch it together.
Not only did I cry about a cgi superpig, but it was completely ugly crying. I do not want to spoil any of this movie for you because I do think it is worth seeing, though I believe you will need Netflix to be able to see it I do wonder if they might allow TV networks to purchase it and show it at a later time in order to give this movie a larger audience. Okja raised a lot of questions for me that I am still not sure I have answers for, and even a week later I still find myself thinking about it.
This movie had a great cast many of whom were playing teeny tiny parts compared to other parts they have done. Every part counts and these performances added up to make something great. Tilda Swinton is in this movie, and there are two of her! That was something I really loved. I did feel like Giancarlo Esposito was under-utilised and I wanted to know more about his character and what his motivations were as that did not seem especially clear. I also felt like a lot had been cut out of this movie and that might have been one of the things cut.
It was lovely to see Stephen Yeun away from The Walking Dead though his role was fairly small he provided one of my biggest laugh out loud moments of the movie when he showed his new tattoo. Jake Gyllenhaal played such a crazy character who was also quite evil. I was not sure whether to laugh or despise him, though despise him won out after a particularly brutal series of events. Paul Dano was here too, with a beautiful, calming character in the midst of much character craziness.
Before I Fall
“February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.” IMDB
I forget where I heard about this movie but wherever it was marketed it to me as similar to Groundhog Day which is one of my favourite movies of all time, so how could I resist? One icy Saturday afternoon when I decided to use the soft sole express and had 90 minutes to fill where I could not walk around the house, I thought this movie would be perfect. And I was right. I really enjoyed it overall. Though some of the music in the movie, in particular the party scene which we saw multiple times, I was not a great fan of.
It was kind of all my favourite movies as a teenager mixed together to create a new thing entirely and very well done. The Groundhog Day aspect was excellent. If you like that movie you will probably enjoy this even if you don’t enjoy watching angsty emo teenagers.
I enjoyed the cast overall but Zoey Dutch played the main role of Sam and I think she was brilliant in it. I had never seen her before in anything but I became a fan and will definitely look out for more of her work.
To The Bone
“A young woman is dealing with anorexia. She meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.” IMDB
Another very controversial Netflix movie, but this one is Not Great At All and in my opinion it had nothing to do with any of the controversial reasons why. It just seemed to be absolutely pointless and have no message at all. It did not educate, it did not illuminate, it did very little at all.
Keanu Reeves was completely wasted as a doctor who was supposedly unconventional in the way he treated this disease – I would say this doctor had no plan or idea of how to treat this disease or perhaps if he did, we never got to see or understand what his treatment might be. Other than taking his patients to see some rain art, because they are alive, but it seemed to me like an excuse to have a montage of people dancing in the rain.
What a lost opportunity for the people who do suffer from eating disorders, to have their stories told in an engaging and educational way. It is my understanding that the lead actress – Lily Collins who happens to be Phil Collins daughter – has suffered from this disease, as had the director. I am not sure what exactly they were trying to achieve here but I felt like whatever it was, they did not manage it.