Monthly Recap: June 2021

Hello there! Can you believe that half of 2021 is already behind us? I sure can't. The good news is that the year is at least improving. 

The pandemic is getting better, it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask outside — and I'm tremendously grateful for it because wearing it at almost 40°C is a torture —, and I found a job. It is not my dream job — I'm not even sure I have a dream job to be honest — but at least I'm doing something. What do I do? I am a waitress now. And to be honest, I'm rather enjoying it. It is so much more fast-paced than my older job at the bar and, although my feet and back are sore at the end of the shifts, I don't get bored. I'm only doing basic things at the moment as I'm still learning, but it's kind of fun. Also, the owners of the restaurant are such nice people and so are the other servers — if you have been following me for a while, you know I had a very hard time with the other bartender at my previous job. 

I've also started doodling again [1, 2, 3], and I'm making tiny progress in German — my brain doesn't function well with heat so I'm taking it slow. And I wrote a short post to celebrate Pride Month. 

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza was quite a tedious and weird read. It's fascinating when it talks about Neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to change, but I just couldn't help but roll my eyes at it when Dispenza was using the quantum field and other big words to prove his point, it being that you can have everything you wish for if you wish hard enough. 

Tristan by Thomas Mann is still my least favourite of his novels. I did like the character of the writer a bit more this time, maybe because I kind of could see myself in his struggles to write, but I always find it so uncompelling and I will probably never be reading it again.

Tonio Kröger by Thomas Mann, on the other hand, really grew on me. I enjoyed it when I read it in previous years, but not as much as I loved it now. I found myself underlining so many lines and whole paragraphs, and there is something about Tonio Kröger — his being different, his struggles amongst his peers, his struggles as an artist, his struggles in love — that made him very relatable. I highly recommend this one. 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann is a very engaging as well as informative book about a part of the United States' history that I knew nothing about. The book is well written and flows well, and it was rather upsetting to read how the Osages were treated, and how some people pretended to be their friends while they were actually using them, and exploiting them. I'd like to know why Ernest Burkhart thought he had the right to live till 94 considering what he did to his family.

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood was a really good semi-autobiographical novel with eccentric and yet fascinating characters and that provides a glimpse of life in Berlin between wars. It is sad at times and heartbreaking to read as it gets closer to the Nazi era, but I really enjoyed reading it. 

I also started Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. It's an okay read so far but I have no idea how it ended up on my reading list. 

The Morning Show is one of the best series I've watched recently. The plot hooked me immediately, and I never checked my phone, not even once, while watching the episodes. I liked the characters and how they developed, and the cast is terrific. Billy Crudup steals the show every time he's on him as he has such a wonderful presence and he's also given the funniest lines. I probably shouldn't but I loved his character. 

The English Game is another mediocre Netflix series. I didn't even know it existed until my brother mentioned it and I only checked it out because he wouldn't shut up about it. It does show the origins of football as we know it today, but the series is rather tedious, there are plenty of historical inaccuracies, and I didn't like how they romanticized personal lives which made it all feel so cheesy. 

Lupin Part II is just as fun as Part I. Sure, it still is a bit clichéd and stereotyped, but the twists are pretty effective. Also, I just love Omar Sy and his younger self Mamadou Haidara as they are both so nice, charming, and kind of adorable. 

Ratched was, sadly, just meh. I was expecting it to be mediocre from the reviews I read but I was still disappointed. I loved Sarah Paulson as Nurse Mildred Ratched; I loved seeing her backstory as I recently read One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; I loved the romance between Mildred and Gwendolyn; I absolutely loved the performances from Finn Wittrock and Sophie Okonedo. However, the story felt dragged and I was often bored out of my mind. Can't say I'm looking forward to season 2.

I also started Mom and, although I've only seen a few episodes, I'm loving it. 

I only watched 12 films last month which is totally understandable considering I've been working for the past couple of weeks and I can't really handle sitting for too long on a chair with this heat. 

Madame Claude (2021)

Plot: Paris, in the late 1960s. Madame Claude (Karole Rocher) is at the head of a flourishing business dedicated to prostitution that gives her power over both the French political and criminal worlds. But the end of her empire is closer than she thinks.

This is yet another mediocre Netflix original. The life story of Fernande Grudet aka Madame Claude is quite fascinating but the film doesn't succeed in making it compelling. The characters are one-dimensional and not developed which is ridiculous considering it is a biography. The only good thing is that it was directed by a woman and hence the nude and sex scenes are well handled. Rating: 2/5

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)

Plot: Siddalee Walker (Sandra Bullock), a famous New York City playwright, is quoted in Time Magazine and infuriates her dramatic, Southern mother. A long-distant fight wages until her mother's friends (and members of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood) kidnap Siddalee and take her "home" to the South, where they hope to explain her mother's history and to patch up the rift between mother and daughter.

I've been meaning to watch this film for something like 10 years because of Sandra Bullock and it wouldn't have been much of a loss if it stayed on my watch-list for another decade because it's not that good. It's just another feel-good chick flick in which mother and daughter bond, but the reason why I wasn't a fan is that I was never invested in the story. Rating: 2,5/5

The Normal Heart (2014) - Review

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Plot: Two beautiful sisters, Anne (Natalie Portman) and Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johansson), driven by their family's blind ambition, compete for the love of the handsome and passionate King Henry VIII (Eric Bana).

Yes, I went against many people's suggestions on my TMP post and finally watched this film. And, yes, they were all right as this film is yet another forgettable period drama. I don't know how historically accurate it is, but it sure is weird. And what was up with the sexual tension between Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanson at the beginning? You would not have thought them to be sisters. But it's not that weird I guess if the incest did happen. Anyway, stay away from this film if you can. Rating: 2/5

Margarita with a Straw (2014)

Plot: A young woman (Kalki Koechlin) with cerebral palsy leaves her home in India to study in New York, unexpectedly falls in love, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery.

This film has a huge problem with its pace as it's 100 minutes but feels way longer. Also, they tried to squeeze too many themes into the rather short running time and the result is that most subplots aren't explored as they should have. Kudos to Kalki Koechlin though because her performance is terrific. Rating: 3/5

American Psycho (2000) - Book vs Movie | Rewatch

In the Heights (2021)

Plot: A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.

I'm really not into musicals but everyone seemed to love this one so I gave it a shot, and it was okay. The dancing and singing are good and the story is interesting and quite engaging (I got bored after a while though), but I just couldn't look past the fact that the main characters are all light-skinned, and that there are very few dark-skinned people in the film in general. Rating: 3/5

God's Own Country (2017)

Plot: Spring. Yorkshire. Young farmer Johnny Saxby (Josh O'Connor) numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker (Alec Secareanu) for lambing season ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

I had such high expectations for this film as I've read nothing but great reviews and it was a bit of a let down. Don't get me wrong, the film isn't bad as the level of intimacy between the two main characters is incredible, and O'Connor is just perfect to play the asshole, but I was never really invested into the story. Rating: 3/5

Luca (2021)

Plot: On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human.

Thanks to Film Twitter which lowered my expectations, this one ended up being quite a pleasant surprise. Sure, it is not Disney-Pixar's best as it doesn't explore new themes — it is about inclusion, acceptance, and identity — but it tells such a beautiful and heartwarming story, the characters are just lovely — sure, Luca acts like an asshole sometimes but kids do too —, the animation is gorgeous, I loved the songs, and all the Vespa moments brought me back to when I was a kid and my brother and I would take turns to ride on it with my grandpa. So yeah, it will always have a special place in my heart. Also, I'm so happy they had an Italian directing and co-writing it. Rating: 4/5

Buffaloed (2019)

Plot: In the underworld of debt-collecting, homegrown hustler Peg Dahl (Zoe Deutch) will do anything to escape Buffalo, NY.

Zoe Deutch is just perfect for the role and I could have watched her playing this character all day long; however, the story, which starts off okay, is handled terribly and it gets boring pretty soon. The first part runs smoothly and it's fun to watch but then it's just so boring. Rating: 3/5

Traffik (2018)

Plot: A couple off for a romantic weekend in the mountains are accosted by a biker gang. Alone in the mountains, Brea (Paula Patton) and John (Omar Epps) must defend themselves against the gang, who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.

There's a 5-second cameo by William Fichtner at the beginning, then the film stops being worth watching. Then it gets interesting again at the end where there's another 5-second cameo by Fichtner. Seriously, I can't remember the last time I watched a film this bad (probably because the heat is playing tricks on my brain). A quite big part of the film is a romance and then turns into something entirely different. There's a twist around the hour mark but it is not that mind-blowing, the cast is dreadful, and the whole thing so damn boring. Rating: 1/5

My First Summer (2020)

Plot: Stranded on a remote property after her mother's death, 16-year-old Claudia (Markella Kavenagh) is shocked when Grace (Maiah Stewardson), a spirited local teen, appears in the garden like a mirage, a breath of fresh, sugary air. The pair find in each other the support, love and intimacy they need, and teach each other the restorative power of human connection. But their idyllic peace is a fragile one as the adult world closes in and threatens their secret summer love. 

I stumbled upon this Australian film while reading about LGBTQ+ hidden gems and decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately, I didn't love it. While it tells a sweet romance between two young girls as well as a sad story of someone dealing with tragedy, the pacing is just awful and the hour and twenty-minute runtime feels like forever. Rating: 2,5/5


  1. I really loved The Morning Show too. I'll have to pay for Apple TV to watch season 2 now.

    You're doing so much better than me on books. I've been pathetic with them.

    Waitressing is tough work! Great money though, I did that for a while too. I wasn't great at it, but I liked my old coffee guys.

    1. I've been doing it for three weeks now and I'm improving a little. I'm still terrible compared to the other waiters though haha.

  2. Great recap! I definitely want to check out The Morning Show, mostly for Gugu Mbatha-Raw. I just love her. I felt the same way about Ratched though. Loved the romance between Mildred and Gwendolyn, but didn't really care for the overall story. In The Heights are fun but I wished the pacing had been more organized and more open casting too. Congrats on your new job! Hope it works out for you!!

    1. Gugu Mbatha-Raw is only a supporting character but she is great! You won't be disappointed if you watch the show for her. Also, the series in general is great.

      And thank you! Everything good so far but I'm always on the lookout for something better.

  3. I'm so glad you're having a better time now - you deserve all the happiness!
    I really enjoyed Luca too, I took too much notice of the negative reviews and ended up finding it much better than I expected :)

    1. Thank you!

      I'm glad you enjoyed Luca too. It's so nice when the reviews are negative but the film ends up being so good.