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Love like the movies. Our pick of heartfelt features from this awards season.
Todd Haynes, 2015
This is exactly how love should be. It is what we should all aspire to feel, no matter if we are gay, straight or otherwise. In Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara we find two heroic women who risk everything for love. It is the epitome of a feeling at its truest and most pure. Not only that, but the film is a visual masterpiece. It is gorgeously shot, in fact, it is rather breathtaking. With so many beautiful shots through glass (my favourite), it looks as if Saul Leiter himself had presided over every frame. I had trouble letting go of the aesthetic after the film ended (which anyone who follows me on Instagram can see). If you didn’t think director Todd Haynes was a genius already, then see Carol. All your wildest dreams will be met.
The Danish Girl
Tom Hooper, 2015
This is a complicated love story. Yes, it’s a story of the first ever man to attempt surgery to become a woman. Yes, Eddie Redmayne plays him – and his struggle – perfectly. Yes, his relationship with his wife, played with grace and beauty by Alicia Vikander, is heavenly. However I couldn’t stop thinking, in the midst of this, about the question of identity. For one’s identity to be so heavily predicated on gender must be both traumatic and also clarifying. For many of us, gender is accepted and therefore our identity becomes something different and less defined. Yet what stuck with me most was that despite these questions and against all odds, these two people shared love.
John Crowley, 2015
This is a period love story – but if you’re like me, you can’t let that get in the way, because it is utterly beautiful and will change the way you look at such stories. Adding to the appeal, this screenplay is by Nick Hornby, who has written scripts I have completely fallen in love with time and time again. One cannot help but identify with the film’s main character, Eilis Lacey – played with such grace and determination by Saoirse Ronan. A young woman in 1950s Ireland, she is encouraged to move to Brooklyn for a better future. She feels like a complete fish out of water for the most part, living in a women’s boarding house and working in a store, missing home dreadfully. It’s only when she finds her Italian boyfriend, Tony, that things start to improve. And why wouldn’t they? Love solves all. Or does it? Beautiful and strangely powerful.
Judd Apatow, 2015
OK, this isn’t your usual Oscar fare. However, Amy Schumer’s breakout performance is worth a mention as is the ad-hoc awkward-but-actually-really-aspirational love story she has with Bill Hader. It makes you believe that – even with a really messy view of the world, love and yourself, even if you self-sabotage and destroy everything around you – love can triumph. It really can. It is especially triumphant if you are hilarious, as Schumer is, and if LeBron James features (am I the only non-American obsessed with him?). It is even more triumphant still when you throw into the mix Tilda Swinton as a foul, over-tanned boss and the many, many awkward love scenes, particularly with Ezra Miller. Thank you Judd Apatow for supporting Amy Schumer in making hilarity that we can all (unfortunately) relate to. Maybe there’s hope for us all.
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