Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Tamara Jenkins

QuickView: Juliet, Naked (2018)

“I may look like a nice, well-adjusted English lady in a sensible cardigan, but these days it’s a thin veneer, and it’s started to crack.”

Annie Platt

Based on the book by Nick Hornby, the film’s first hurdle is the preposterous premise of a woman inadvertantly connecting online with the rockstar recluse with whom her partner is obsessed. Provided you can suspend your disbelief, however, there are some great performances to enjoy in this light British romantic drama. Rose Byrne swiftly earns the audience’s sympathy with gentle charm, whilst Ethan Hawke shows aspects of his performance in the Before trilogy. The real theme is less romance than how we respond to regret either by remaining tied to the past or by looking to future possibility. Juliet, Naked may not offer any deep answers, but it is enjoyable to watch unfold and ends with a hopeful tone whilst avoiding the saccharine endings that plague most romcoms.


QuickView: Private Life (2018)

“You know what? Don’t knock denial. It comes in very handy. You should try it sometime.”

Richard Grimes

The problem with the Netflix distribution model is that its limited promotion meant I could very easily have missed one of the best films of 2018. Private Life sheds light on a couple engaging in fertility treatment — a subject that remains needlessly taboo, meaning that many couples have to battle it in near isolation. I am lucky that several friends have felt able to confide in me, but that has served to highlight the clear lack of support for the inevitable disappointments along the way. Private Life approaches this openly but with a wry sense of humour. Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn are both excellent, with a witty and honest portrayal of the frustration and emotional toil. Even when addressing wider familial implications, there is no melodramatic artifice — just an engaging and endearing view of difficult personal experiences.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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