Thursday Movie Picks – Period Dramas

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is about period dramas! According to online definitions, a period drama is any television or film production set during a particular historic period that is characterized by clearly recognizable costumes, set design and props. What you consider to be a specific historic period, is up for interpretation though, but I think I’d say a minimum of about 100 years? But that’s just my thoughts! Let’s dive into my examples!

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth is a film based on the memoirs and diaries of Vera Brittain, a nurse, writer, feminist and pacifist, who made it her mission to fight for the lives lost during World War I and for them to not be forgotten. The movie was absolutely heartbreaking to watch and while I could not get through her entire memoir, I understand why it was chosen to be adapted.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

The 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice was my first introduction to Jane Austen and I have loved watching and reading her material ever since. I think I’ve seen almost all the different adaptations of her work, except for the latest version of Emma, which I still plan to watch as soon as possible. Still, P&P has a special place in my heart.

The King

I know that The King is a Netflix movie, but I’m glad I got to see it in a theater. The visuals are really quite stunning, even if I did not love all aspects of the story and the characters. It will also forever be hilarious how Robert Pattinson butchered the French accent.

Summer in February

Summer in February is based on a real artist community from the UK. I honestly don’t know if I remember the movie or the book on this one, because I definitely read it first. It’s not the best movie out there, but I loved the cast and the deep dive into artists minds. That’s just something I always enjoy quite a lot.


What are some of your favorite period dramas? Let’s talk about that!

Underrated Books I Love (aka books with less than 5,000 ratings on GR)

I’ve recently seen this post over @Kristin Kraves Books, where she highlighted some books that had less than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads, but which she enjoyed a whole lot. I loved that idea so much and was surprised by how few ratings there were on some of my favorite reads from the past months, which is why I compiled my own list of seriously underrated books! I hope you enjoy it and maybe feel compelled to pick one of them up!

Any Place But Here – 28 ratings

Any Place But Here

To be fair, this book released less than two weeks ago, but I haven’t really heard of anyone who wanted to pick it up yet. Despite me finding some flaws in the story here and there, I really enjoyed it and want to give you a mini-insight on what to expect from this read:

  • photography nerds
  • strained family dynamic
  • changing relationships/friendships
  • exploration of sexuality
  • growing up and growing apart

Read my full review here!

The Summer of Broken Rules – 121 ratings

The Summer of Broken Rules

I have the absolute warmest memory of The Summer of Broken Rules and almost wish I could read it anew all over again. Like the previous pick, it’s also only been out in the world for about two weeks, so I expect the ratings to go up, but I still wanted to showcase it early on. I’m going to keep the bullet-point format going for what these books are about, so here are some short teasers:

  • big warm family vibes
  • feeling like you’re on a vacation
  • loss of a loved one
  • grief vs. joy
  • instant adorably hilarious love connection

Read my full review here!

Soulswift – 627 ratings

Soulswift

This book took my heart by storm and I cannot fathom how there aren’t more people out there who have read it. A lot of the time, due to Fantasy worlds being quite complex, stories like Soulswift tend to be part of a series, but it’s actually a wonderful standalone.

  • enemies to lovers
  • period talk in Fantasy world
  • exploration of faith
  • universe in balance
  • ending WILL make you cry
  • I’m still in pain

Read my full review here!

This Is Not A Ghost Story – 742 ratings

This Is Not a Ghost Story

As you all know, I went on a bit of ghost-centric reading binge last year, where almost all books I dealt with had some shape or form of ghosts in them for months. I still don’t think this was intentional, but here we are.

  • unique narrator
  • slightly creepy
  • controversial ending

Read my full review here!

Hana Khan Carries On – 904 ratings

Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On has been in the world for a month now and I just want to more people to enjoy it. I had such a great time while reading, because Hana is just a fantastic narrator, even when I disagreed on certain things the characters did.

  • South East Asian Muslim MC
  • Toronto based
  • podcast and radio love
  • enemies to lovers
  • “You’ve Got Mail” vibes
  • finding your voice!!
  • importance of community

Read my full review here!

Lock & Mori – 2,746 ratings

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)

Lock & Mori is the first book in a trilogy, which showcases a teen version of Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty (a female incarnation in this version) and how they met and became “enemies”. All of it is told from Mori’s POV, which was what originally enticed me to pick it up.

  • AU Sherlock/Moriarty
  • meet the genius while he was still an awkward teen
  • nurture vs. nature
  • abusive homelife
  • could be a CW TV show

Read my full review here!

Charming as a Verb – 2,965 ratings

Charming as a Verb

I just love Ben Philippe’s books. And I want him to succeed so bad, because that means I get more books! It’s really simple math right here, but he became an auto-buy-author for me the second I first read one of his books.

  • Black Haitian own voices rep
  • realistic struggle with college applications and senior year
  • meet cute that starts with blackmail
  • great NYC setting and Montreal mention
  • funny banter

Read my full review here!

The Light Between Worlds – 3,140 ratings

The Light Between Worlds

When I first read The Light Between Worlds, it destroyed me! It’s not the first book dealing with children who go into a magical land and then have to deal with reality as grown ups, but it hit me really hard. I’m sure I cried through 100 pages straight.

  • mental health issues/suicidal ideation
  • leaving part of yourself in another place/world
  • bond between siblings
  • formidable love interests

Read my full review here!

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo – 3,220 ratings

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1)

Back in the day I saw everyone talk about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, but the ratings now do not reflect that at all. I really thought it would have much more, but here we are with it deserving double, triple and whatnot in reality.

  • action, romance, comedy
  • HILARIOUS
  • Chinese folktales and mythology
  • balancing school and superpowers

Read my full review here!

Echo North – 3,539 ratings

Echo North (Echo North, #1)

Echo North is one of those quietly beautiful magical books. It won’t destroy you, but it will leave you whimsical for mirrors that can take you to other worlds and wolves to fall in love with. It borrowed quite a bit from existing fairy tales, but made it completely its own thing.

  • lush setting
  • fairy tale vibes
  • fated love
  • just-roll-with-it magic

Read my full review here!


Have you read any of the books I mentioned or do you plan to? What are some actually underrated books you love? Let’s talk about it!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Director

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. We already talked about Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress as well as Supporting Actor/Actress, but today is all about Directors. As I like to do so often, I’m going to feature my favorite winners, but also include a little section with nominees I think also deserved the award.

Bong Joon-ho with Parasite

Bong Joon-ho made history with Parasite for a reason. Despite this movie not really being in a genre I love, I could not not feature it on the list. I really thought it would open up future award shows for more representation and diversity in the films and people they select, but they still have miles to go.

Danny Boyle with Slumdog Millionaire

I know this movie isn’t flawless, but I had a great time watching it. Many people know Dev Patel from Skins, but this movie is actually how I got introduced to him as an actor and I have loved his journey and following his career ever since.

Kathryn Bigelow with The Hurt Locker

Can you believe that the first woman director who won an Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010? Looking at the nominees of the past decades was a sobering experience. I’m glad that Chloé Zhao has won now too, although I haven’t seen Nomadland yet.

Nominees Who Would Have (Also) Deserved the Win

As mentioned above, it’s not that I want to take the award away from the actual winners of any particular year, but sometimes I just liked other nominees as well. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot)
  • Peter Weir (The Truman Show)
  • Steven Spielberg (E.T.)

What are some of your favorite directors? Not even necessarily just some that have won the Academy Award. Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks – Psychological Thriller

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is all about Psychological Thrillers. I like them more than regular crime or horror movies, but once again, not my field of expertise. I’m such a sucker for fluff and comedy and just regular dramas, but this darker stuff really isn’t my wheelhouse. I will still try to give you my best picks!

*the genre of the following movies is probably debatable, but I picked them from the most popular list of psycho thrillers on IMDB … so, take up the classification with them*

Gossip

I watched this movie up and down when I was younger. It actually has a really excellent cast, but barely anyone I know has seen it. Basically, it’s a study of what happens when you put fake rumors into the world and how wrong things go when they develop a life of their own.

Ex Machina

I like my thrillers sci-fi based? Again, Ex Machina has a fantastic cast and deserved its praise back in the day. They weren’t the first to talk about sentient “machines”, but they did it well and I enjoyed it quite more than I expected.

The Invisible Man

I rarely do horror, but Oliver Jackson Cohen is the exception! He can get me to watch just about anything (I really mean that. I watched some terrible stuff, but also brilliant projects he was in) and he is one of my favorite on screen villains. Although, I also love it when he is the genuine love interest … anyway – probably not the most impacting horror movie ever, but the reality of someone gaslighting you and making you seem crazy to the world is my worst nightmare!

Inception

So many friends tell me they were confused by the movie, but I wasn’t really and I loved the dream-hopping and idea planting. Is it really a thriller? I don’t know, but it has several psychological aspects and it was number one on the imdb list.


What are some psychological thrillers you enjoyed? Did you watch any of the ones I mentioned?

What to watch now that WandaVision is over?

I know we will all be feeling the hole that WandaVision leaves in our TV schedules (read my Spoiler-filled review of the finale here). There’s nothing really quite like it out there at the moment, but I still think I can come up with some good alternatives and complementary TV shows and movies. This is not a definite guide and I’m sure there’s more and possibly better recommendations out there, but I hope you will find something to dive into here!

Want more of Elizabeth Olsen dealing with grief?

I think this show went under a lot of people’s radar, but it’s actually phenomenal. Sorry for Your Loss follows recently widowed Elizabeth Olsen and her close family as they deal with the doubts, anger and repercussions of losing a loved one. You know how good she portrays this particular emotion already if you have finished WandaVision, so why not hurt alongside her some more?

Need another unusual TV show focusing on female leads and relationships?

WandaVision, in my humble opinion, had a lot of great women front and center and I think it’s so important to show healthy female friendships and relationships, which is why Dollface, a fun and quirky show came to mind (it did get an extra plus point for featuring our Darcy Lewis – Kat Dennings). After a break up, Dennings’ character realizes she has neglected all her friends and now feels the need to reconnect with them. She is guided through that journey by a cat-lady (as literal as cat-lady can get).

Wish Jimmy Woo was the love interest in a movie?

I know a lot of you have fallen in love with adorkable FBI agent Jimmy Woo, portrayed by Randall Park, over the past couple of weeks. He’s been in business for quite a while, but why not watch one of his recent movies where he gets to be the main love interest? I know I loved seeing it! So, check out Always Be My Maybe and swoon some more with me.

Could do with a show that has the potential to confuse and emotionally touch you with a possible multiverse?

Usually, I like to say as little as possible about the OA, because it’s such a special and unique show. Unfortunately, it was cancelled before its time, but still gave us an amazing two seasons and ending on a mindblowing meta ending.
This show is for you if you don’t mind slow storytelling that focuses on characters and that always leaves you with more questions than answers. I don’t think I can say more.

Something really meta where the characters are in a TV show?

Dramaworld could possibly serve as a little palette cleanser after WandaVision. I loved how Wanda’s reality celebrated TV and there are many shows that do something similar, but I also like when people “stumble” into shows and then have to pretend to be characters. This is exactly what happens in Dramaworld, which is a very short, fun 1-season-show with a bit of an open end and a strong KDrama inspiration.

Just want to prepare for the next Marvel project?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts in two weeks (March 19 to be exact), which gives everyone enough time to catch up on any missing Marvel projects. I know that WandaVision has drawn a new crowd to the Marvel universe and sometimes left them confused when references weren’t understood due to lack of prior knowledge of the universe. I doubt The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be as intricate and theory-inducing as WandaVision, but just in case, now is the time to rewatch or get aquainted with the material.
If you are like me and you do not have the stamina to go through all of this again, there are neat short videos on Disney+ labeled Marvel Studio Legends that recap the arcs of the characters.


I want to apologize for not including anything specific to Teyonah Parris in this post! I have seen some of her work, but nowhere near enough to know what to recommend yet. I fully plan on doing a deep dive into her filmography and can’t wait to see her again in Captain Marvel 2. Although, let’s be real, Monica Rambeau deserves her own spin-off!


What did you think of this list? Would you like to watch anything on it? Does something come to mind you’d recommend after WandaVision? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks – Police Detective

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week the theme is Police Detective, which, again, isn’t one of my strong suits if I am being completely honest here. Maybe it’s because I just generally am not the biggest fan of the thriller and crime genre, but we shall see what I can come up with. (I was gonna put Knives Out there because of Benoit Blanc, but then … I realized he wasn’t an actual police detective, but a private investigator, so … yeah). Maybe it won’t have to be about detectives, but they could just be in the movie? This is going to require some pondering.

Kindergarten Cop

I want to make one thing clear for today and that’s that these movies (and shows) aren’t really recommendations so much as my brain trying to think of ANYTHING cop related I have watched. Also, as a fellow Austrian, I guess Arnold Schwarzenegger is just someone at the back of my mind? I’ve seen this movie so many times since I was a kid, but it’s still so cheesy.

Hollywood Homicide

It’s a ridiculous film but the Josh Hartnett and Harrison Ford combo worked for me. Bear in mind that this was early 2000s and so inappropriate at times, but a cop who’d rather be an actor is funny to me.

Young Wallander (TV show)

Because I am unable to think of many more cop movies, I have decided to just list shows … well, frankly because this is my blog and I can.

My dad likes watching the Kurt Wallander movies and this is basically a more aesthetically pleasing prequel series about how Kurt became a high ranking detective. It’s filmed in Sweden with Swedish actors, but in the English language. I guess they wanted that international appeal.

Frequency (TV show)

I KNOW that there’s also the Frequency movie, but I haven’t seen that and I am therefore not sure if the show was a reboot or a sequel, but it’s cancelled either way? I did enjoy it while it was on though. I guess I liked that it wasn’t just crime, but also had a supernatural element to it.


What are some movies and shows with police detectives you liked? I can’t say I am seeking them out very much, but maybe you can pitch something interesting.

Thursday Movie Picks – 2020 Releases

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Since this week is all about our favourite 2020 releases, I want to direct you to my Top 10 movies of 2020 post, which you can read here! However, that list was about the movies I had watched that year but not necessarily only ones that released then. So, to not just duplicate it in part anyway, I wanted to highlight one movie from every streaming service I could think of/watched.

Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime Video)

This movie. It was sad but also beautiful and I loved the characters. I think it went kind of under the radar, as did many movies last year, but would deserve a bit more attention.

Palm Springs (Hulu)

Palm Springs is a whacky movie, but in all the best ways. The whole groundhog-day-scenario can get so tiresome, but they managed a fresh take on it that was fun to watch.

The Half of It (Netflix)

I’ve mentioned this movie so often, I don’t even think I still need to explain why it is beautiful, authentic and worth the watch.

Clouds (Disney+)

I always feel weird judging movies that are based on real people, especially ones that are very, very recent. I remember Zach’s song when it first released and it truly wasn’t that long ago. Anyway, due to the personal connection director Justin Baldoni had with Zach, this movie is incredibly moving. There were some creative liberties taken, but I started crying about 20 minutes in and did not stop until the end of it all.

Amazing Stories “The Cellar” (Apple TV+)

Okay, this is actually the first episode in the Amazing Stories series, but it felt like a mini-movie and was really lovely. Considering that it was barely an hour long, it really fit a lot of story and emotion in it. Also, Victoria Pedretti and Dylan O’Brien will always be great arguments for any content. They made a great team together.

I vow to watch one of the Apple TV+ movies soon though! Maybe On The Rocks!


What are some of your favourite 2020 releases? Let’s talk!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Picture

A new year, a new sub-category on the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will pop up every now and then during the year and will let us focus on movies that received the Academy Award. I have a confession to make here and it is that I often skip the critically acclaimed stuff and rather watch my unknown indies or the super mainstream stuff, but let’s try and see what I can talk about in terms of Best Picture winners anyway.

Parasite

This movie made history for a reason. I watched it with part of my family and I am pretty sure that the majority did not enjoy it and it was a bit violent for me too at times, but the subject matter and execution were still 100% worthy of the four awards. I can still remember almost everything about it so clearly and the subtitles were no issue at all. Get over those, people!

 The King’s Speech

I had this super strong obsession with Madonna’s movie W./E., which is about the brother King George took over for. It was lovely to see the other side of the story and especially his struggles with his stutter and how he overcame it in the King’s Speech. Also, Colin Firth is always very enjoyable to watch.

Slumdog Millionaire

Not saying this movie is perfect in terms of representation at all, but I watched this on the plane home from the US when I was 15. I was both excited to see my parents again, but also deeply sad that I had to go back home. It was such an odd mix of emotions and with the flight seeming endless, this movie actually managed to occupy my brain quite well. For that, I appreciate it a lot.

Nominees Who Would Have (Also) Deserved the Win

The Academy can obviously vote however they like, but here are some movies I also liked (this does not mean they always should have won instead of the actual winner, but are stuff I enjoyed):

  • Little Women
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Black Panther
  • Lady Bird
  • Get Out
  • Arrival
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


I am sure I have watched more than those winners, but maybe this really isn’t the category I am best at. We shall see how I fare in future versions of this Oscar related post. What are some Best Picture winners you enjoyed?

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies by Female Directors

As we’ve established by now, I am doing the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today’s theme is movies directed by female directors! In general, I adore that as an idea, because why not celebrate the women who make amazing content? I was just struggling to decide whether to give in to the idea that women make great romance movies (cause they do) or to focus on other genres as well. I hope I made a decent mix of things, but also … I like certain genres more and watch more along the lines of romance, comedy or family drama. And, I really focused on recent releases, because I like new things.

The Broken Hearts Gallery – Natalie Krinsky

There’s so many bad romantic comedies every year that I cherish the good ones like nothing else. This may have replaced Set It Up as my favourite RomCom and that means a lot!

The Half of It – Alice Wu

This movie was so good! The cinematography is top notch and the meaning behind the imagery and its symbolism is worthy of an entire thesis if you ask me.

Late Night/The High Note – Nisha Ganatra

You get a two for one here! Both of these movies focus on strong women in their respective fields of work. It’s about lifting up a future generation and has sweet romance notes without being the focus at all. I enjoyed them both a lot.

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

I just love this movie. I will always love this movie. I know I only mentioned it a couple posts ago, but I could probably find a way to mention Little Women in every single post if I tried.

The Party’s Just Beginning – Karen Gillan

This was Karen Gillan’s first feature length directing effort and a very personal story set in Scotland. It’s definitely to be watched with caution, because it leaves you in a very sad state of mind. Trigger warnings for suicide and depression are necessary, but it was still an amazing movie.

The Old Guard – Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gine Prince-Bythewood is not new to the scene, having directed gems such as Love & Basketball or Beyond the Lights (which I can also 100% recommend). But it’s still more on the rare side that women get to direct action movies, so, I wanted to mention The Old Guard. While I will agree that it’s a character-driven movie on the slow-paced side, which also feels a bit like a prequel set-up for a franchise, I really, really enjoyed it.


Yeah … I couldn’t hold back today. I hope you won’t mind that there are a couple more film picks this week! What are some of your favourite movies directed by women?

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies for Seniors/The Elderly

As I have announced last week, I am now going to take part in the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today I am going to present to you some movies for seniors/the elderly! What exactly does that mean? I think it’s pretty much up to you. It does not mean that the actors/actresses in the movies have to be old … because what is old? It can just be about a decade elderly people might want to reminisce about. There’s a lot of ways to interpret this theme and I hope you enjoy the movie picks I have chosen for you!

It’s Complicated

This is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time and I would never say that any of the cast members are old, because look at their vitality and screen presence, but you also have to admit that they are older than the average main character in that genre. I am in favour of finding love at all stages of life though!

Water for Elephants

Maybe I am still transfixed by the book, but I adored the changing POV between the present and past. I am also sure that the 30s weren’t always easy to live through, but something about that aesthetic just makes my heart sing.

Rebecca

I tried to throw in a classic, but I wanted it to be a new interpretation. I am sure many seniors know the Hitchcock version, but I would love to hear their take on this new one. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking in any shape or form, but my rose colored heart was not opposed to the more happily ever after ending they included here. Also … the cinematography is beautiful.

Kodachrome

When I think of films that might appeal to the elderly, I think of generational dramas that involve old media. Kodachrome has all that.

The Photograph

I know that there is a revival of photography on actual film rather than digitally, but similarly to the previous movie, I enjoyed the generational discourse as well as the medium a lot here. I don’t know if it’s too modern, but I also refuse to believe that the elderly will only watch movies that were made in the 50s.


What did you think of the movies I chose for this feature? Would you watch any of them with your grandparents or an elderly friend? Let’s talk!