Thursday Movie Picks: Period Dramas

A weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

Since Spike Lee’s opinion of Green Book is all over Twitter these days I can’t help but say that period dramas aren’t my cup of tea and I would have gladly skipped this Thursday Movie Picks week. But since I vowed to not miss a single week this year, here I am talking about period dramas. And since this is the LGBTQ pride month I’m going with LGBTQ films.

The Favourite (2018)

It's 18th Century England and while Queen Anne (Olivia Coleman) occupies the throne, it's her close friend, Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz), who rules the country. Things are about to change when Sarah's cousin, Abigail (Emma Stone), enters the pictures. Not my favourite Lanthimos but these ladies are on fire.

Maurice (1987)

After his lover (Hugh Grant) rejects him, a young man (James Willby) trapped by the oppressiveness of Edwardian society tries to come to terms with and accept his sexuality. I haven't seen this one but I've heard good things about it so I really want to.


Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

In 18th century France, a young female painter, Marianne (Noémie Merlant), is commissioned to secretly paint a wedding portrait of Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a young reluctant bride-to-be. Day by day, the two women become closer and their intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse's first as well last moments of freedom. I wasn't emotionally invested in the story but since I changed my mind about Call Me By Your Name I could definitely change it about this too.

14 comments :

  1. The only one of yours I haven't seen is Maurice, and that sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out. I love the other two.

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    1. It really does. Hopefully I'll get to watch that one soon.

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  2. I wanted to love The Favourite so much and it seemed right up my alley. Love period films (check), love Regency stories (check), love anything set in a palace (check), LOVE Rachel Weisz (check) so why did I struggle through the film? The performances were terrific and my girl Rachel was the MVP in my opinion but the whole thing left me cold.

    Maurice is a very good film. It's got a measured pace but a story with sticking with and beautiful performances. Interesting to see Hugh Grant so young and before his big breakthrough even if his character is hard to like.

    I haven't seen the last but I've heard all kinds of praise so I'll get to it eventually.

    We differ on our feeling for this sort of period film, it's like catnip to me, and I could have listed dozens and dozens but I decided to go with a different period. The Roman one.

    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)-Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus this hilariously tells the bawdy story of slave Pseudolus (a great Zero Mostel) "the lyingest, cheatingest, sloppiest slave in all of Rome" as he attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. Based on the stage play of the same name this has terrific songs and an excellent cast (including Buster Keaton in his last role) but it’s Mostel repeating his Tony winning performance who makes it so special.

    Julius Caesar (1953)-Adaptation of the Shakespearean play based on actual events. Brutus (James Mason) convinced by a group of Roman senators led by Caius Cassius (John Gielgud), that friend Julius Caesar (Louis Calhern) intends to dissolve the republic to install himself as monarch joins a conspiracy to assassinate him. Once done he defends his actions but Mark Antony (Marlon Brando) responds with a speech that plays upon the crowd's love for their fallen leader and a battle for power begins. High quality film with an impressive cast including Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr and Edmond O’Brien aside from those mentioned with Brando, forsaking his method mumbling for straight verse strong as Mark Antony.

    The Last Days of Pompeii (1935)-Pegs a fictitious story onto the big blow. Blacksmith Marcus (Preston Foster) consumed with bitterness upon the death of his wife and child becomes a gladiator and Pontius Pilate's (Basil Rathbone) partner before finding Christ in the days leading up to the Vesuvius eruption. Some impressive, for its day special effects when the mountain finally ruptures.

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    1. So glad to hear I'm not the only one who felt that way about The Favourite. The acting is fantastic, but the film was a bit of a disappointment.

      I haven't seen any of your picks, but I want to see Julius Caesar because of Marlon Brando.

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  3. Hi Sonia! Way too long since I've been here.

    Anyhoo, The Favourite is a fun and fascinating watch. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is very well made, but I have to admit that I appreciate it more than I actually like it. Haven't seen your other pick.

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  4. OK, this is a great take on a theme within a theme as I went for a theme within a theme approach as well. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is the one film on that list I haven't seen but I hope as soon as I can. The other 2 picks are awesome as I totally recommend those 2 films.

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    1. Great to hear! I'm even more looking forward to watching Maurice now.

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  5. Period films are not my thing too, but both The Favourite and Portrait of a Lady on Fire are on my watchlist. I'm hoping to like them.

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    1. Good luck with both then! And I hope you'll enjoy them more than I did.

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  6. I have to say, regardless what Spike Lee says, I really did like Greenbook and I don't think Ali would have been in this film had he thought it was a negative look to his race. It is a true story and, despite some changes that all biopics go through, I was a really good movie..It didn't deserve the Oscar but it was good. You know, I believe I saw The Favourite but I don't remember which is so wrong. I have not seen your other picks but they sound good

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    1. I agree with you. It wasn't the best film that year but it was a good one and I don't think Ali would have joined the film had it been that disrespectful as people say it is either.

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  7. I haven't seen any of them. I would say the one that I want to watch the most is The Favourite.

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    1. It's got really good performances that one. The story, on the other hand, didn't really work for me. I hope you'll enjoy it more than I did.

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