The month of August has come to an end and that means it is time for Hidden Gems. As some of you might remember, I skipped July and I’m only now getting back on track. I’m also making a small change in the Hidden Gems lineup. August was supposed to be Keira Knightley’s month but I’m going to be honouring Chadwick Boseman in the middle of September instead. It just.. feels like the right thing to do since a talented man was taken too soon from the world. That being said, Emma Stone for Hidden Gems was the hardest challenge to date. And as it happened, it’s also the first time where I did not finish a movie. Going in, I knew I was in for something horrible which is why I pushed it off for months. Actually watching it was much worse than I expected.
WHY EMMA STONE?
Remember when Easy A came out and we had this new IT-girl called Emma Stone? I loved that year, it seemed like Lohan was gone, Bynes was also stepping out and we needed a new teen-it-girl. Stone picked a different route though. It would have been easy to keep getting type cast, which I think she still is in some ways but she went towards the more grown up route. Actually surprising since Easy A was such a hit – I expected more teen hits out of Emma.
Anyway, I’ve always liked her. She seems incredibly smart, funny and charismatic. But she tends to do historic movies a lot. And I don’t necessarily like to watch movies that take place in the past. I don’t know why, it’s just.. not my thing. Anyway, I guess I wanted to see if I can watch some of those movies and I almost was very lucky.
So Letterboxd to the help again (with my higher math skills). There are 27 movies listed in her filmography and before this challenge I had seen 16. Not bad but she has not been around as many years as some in my Hidden Gems challenge. Yet, there are 11 of her performances I haven’t seen yet… Some most likely her best movies and others I’ll probably never watch.
So I’ve seen 16 of Emma’s performances and these are my favourites: Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love, The Favourite and Birdman.
I’ve also seen Zombieland, Zombieland: Double Tap, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Help, The Interview, Superbad, Popstar Never Stop Never Stopping, Friends With Benefits, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The House Bunny and Paper Man.
My random picks for the Hidden Gems challenge were random and I ended up watching: Movie 43 (2013), The Croods (2013) and La La Land (2016).
Starting off with the most awful movie because I just want to get it over with. This is the one I feared and this is the one I didn’t have the strength to finish. It’s awful, just based on those 15 minutes I watched it.
I skipped all the god awful parts to see what Emma Stone was doing and she was alright. I have no idea what the other plots are besides the neck testicles but I figure Emma got the least awful one, no? It was still cringe and I just… I want to forget this. No idea why she or any of the other people even signed up for this.
This felt like a masterpiece after Movie 43 and it was so nice. I need to be in an animation kind of mood to watch them and I was when I saw this. Heartwarming and feel good, there are so many good voices here too. Emma is great as Eep but honestly, Nicolas Cage sort of stole this for me.
I’ve always liked the tone of Cage’s voice so it’s no surprise though. I was surprised that I was less impressed by Ryan Reynolds in this but maybe it’s because I her his voice more often. All in all, a nice animation and some quirky ideas here. Could definitely be a contender for Hidden Gems but I think it just barely misses out.
LA LA LAND
This was something that I was looking forward to but also was a bit afraid of. It was so hyped, it was so loved and it also had a lot of buzz around the blogosphere. Did I expect it to be a hidden gem… actually not entirely. La La Land is essentially a love letter to classic Hollywood films and I’m not necessarily a fan of those. It has never been something that appeals to me.
While La La Land has the vibe, the feel of old Hollywood, it is inserted into the 21st century. There’s a certain charm to it all. The colour scheme is stunning at times, the dance numbers are adorable. And well, Emma and Ryan Gosling are the cutest but I already knew that. All in all, I liked it… but I didn’t fall in love with it. Still, considering how much awfulness I’ve been watching this year, it’s still a solid contender. It’s just visually so memorable and beautiful.
Previous month on Hidden Gems – SAM ROCKWELL
Next month on Hidden Gems – CHADWICK BOSEMAN1