3 articles Tag films

Leonardo DiCaprio – 5 Films You May Not Have Seen

(…And For Which He Probably Should Have Already Won an Oscar!)

A couple of days ago I was talking to my sister-in-law, who’s just recently been to see The Revenant, about Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar nomination and she mentioned that the first film she really saw him in was Titanic. When I was a kid, my friends and I were huge fans of Mr. DiCaprio and being the super nerds we were (shout-out to Katy. C., queen of all us film nerds) we basically made it our mission to watch everything he’d ever been in. Anyway, it occurred to me that, since Leo’s mainstream appeal didn’t kick off until he boarded that doomed ship, there are probably quite a few people who are unaware of his back catalogue, so I thought I’d share some suggestions of DiCaprio movies that you really should see:

Total Eclipse

Leonardo DiCaprio - Total Eclipse

Leo stars as Arther Rimbaud, a French poet who lived in the late 1800’s, and looks at his relationship with fellow poet Paul Verlaine. The whole storyline is incredibly intense and despite the fact that DiCaprio was just 19 when it was filmed, he portrays the complex character incredibly well, steering through the plot with a maturity beyond his years. Period dramas are often difficult to get right, especially when they’re biographical, but this film is spot-on.

This Boy’s Life

Leonardo DiCaprio - This Boy's Life

When an actor in their teens can hold up against a performance from Robert De Niro, you know they’re good, and that’s exactly what Leo does here. The film is a truly harrowing account of abuse, control and a less-than-charmed childhood which should probably only be watched when you’re in a fairly strong frame of mind, but it’s definitely one of this films which should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list.

The Basketball Diaries

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Basketball Diaries

Yet another ‘gritty’ drama, The Basketball Diaries is based on the book of the same name, written by ‘jock-turned-junkie’ Jim Carroll. The film depicts Carroll’s descent from rising basketball star to heroin addict and should come with a WHOLE bunch of trigger warnings, including abuse, prostitution and death. It’s another film which isn’t exactly ‘light-hearted’, but Leo is testament to the fact that movies don’t always need a happy ending (even if I AM convinced that Jack could easily have fit on that door with Rose…)

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Leonardo DiCaprio - What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Despite the fact that Leo is technically only a ‘supporting role’ to Johnny Depp’s lead in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, his portrayal of Gilbert’s developmentally delayed younger brother Arnie is as brilliant as it is heartbreaking as it is uncomfortable. Playing someone with a mental disability must be an absolute minefield; a balancing act of not being so over the top as to be hammy and insulting, but not being so subtle that you can’t tell that the character is supposed to have an impairment, but Leo manages it with startling ease, stealing the show from his older, more well-known co-stars.

Romeo + Juliet

Leonardo DiCaprio - Romeo + Juliet

Even if you aren’t a fan of Shakespeare, you NEED to watch this film. Baz Luhrmann is one of my all-time favourite directors for the simple fact that he makes everything he turns his hand to a work of beauty, and this film is no exception. Leo’s raw depiction of love-struck Romeo, juxtaposed against the modern backdrop of ‘Verona Beach’, is simply stunning and the fast-paced shooting and striking sets make you almost forget that everyone is speaking 16th century English. Dash Mihok, most recently of Ray Donovan fame, is another stand-out performance as Romeo’s right hand man Benvolio, while John Leguizamo kills it as Juliet’s cousin Tybalt.

A Warner Bros. Christmas!

Last week, we were lucky enough to be sent a special Christmas stocking by Warner Bros. containing some lovely candy canes for our tree, our fave kind of chocolate (Lindt, in case you’re wondering!) and most importantly of all, a selection of Blurays to keep us entertained over the Festive period. It couldn’t have turned up at a better time as Sausage was at the height of her poorlyness, and a day in bed watching films was in order!

Perfect for this was  Polar Express

The blurb says “It’s Christmas Eve, and you’re about to roller-coaster up and down mountains, slip-slide over ice fields, tetter across mile-high bridges and be served hot chocolate by singing waiter more astonishing than any you can ever imagine. You’re on The Polar Express! Tom Hanks stars in and Robert Zemeckis directs this instant holiday classive filmed in dazzling performance-capture animation that makes every home magical.”

I’d never seen this before but it really was magical. Sausage was absolutely enthralled, we both were, and it really was a perfect Christmas film, with just the right amount of drama, action, mystery and happy ending. If you’ve not seen it before, I highly recommend it and it’s one to watch with the WHOLE family, I can imagine grandparents, parents and kids alike all enjoying Polar Express. Also, if you have a Bluray player or PS3, I can highly recommend opting for the Bluray version rather than the DVD, although the version we were sent contained the 3D Bluray, regular Bluray, as well as the DVD AND a digital copy, which pretty much future and past proofs you for a timespan of about 20 years in each direction!

The next film in the stocking was The Dark Knight Rises .

I only saw this film recently as I didn’t get a chance to see it at the cinema, but I’m a big fan of the Batman films and absolutely LOVE what Nolan has done with them. The Dark Knight Rises did not disappoint. In fact, and this is not something I thought I’d say about a Batman film, I cried for about the last half an our of the film. It is AMAZING.

Honestly, I was blown away by the entire film and think it was the perfect ending to the three movies that Nolan was signed up to make.  The Bluray copy was brilliant and really added to the viewing experience, because although this film wasn’t as visually dark as the first or second one, it was very striking and really benefited from the higher definition. I’m going to shut up about this film now because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but if that’s you, I demand that you watch it!

The final film we were sent was ‘New Year’s Eve‘ and I have to confess, I haven’t actually watched this yet. That’s because it’s well and truly a ‘chick flick’ so I’m saving it for in case Husband has a night out at any point and I can have my own girlie night in. I’m guessing this film would be well accompanied by chocolate and maybe a Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer (my fave!) or two, as it’s described as an American Love Actually. I’m really looking forward to giving this a watch – while I like to think I have good taste in films, I do love a good girlie film now and again. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of heart-warming girl-power, I say!

Not to do the film a disservice though, I feel I should point out that it has some incredible actors in it, such as the beloved Sarah Jessica Parker, my current idol Sofia Vergara and *drum roll please* Robert DeNiro, who takes my breath away!

Thanks to Warner Bros. for sending us these Blurays and our sweet treats! 

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links, which means if you click through and buy these films, I earn a small percentage of the sale, which doesn’t affect the price you buy it for)

It’s Christmas! A Meme.

I’ve been tagged in a Christmas meme by My Mills Baby which involves answering all sorts of festive questions and I’m hoping it’ll put me into more of a season-appropriate mood, so here goes!:

What’s your favourite thing about Christmas?

When I was younger, I’d have said going out with friends and celebrating the festive period, but now I’m a Mum my favourite bit is the moment after Sausage wakes up. For a split second, she forgets it’s Christmas and it seems like waking up on any other day. Then the realisation kicks in and a look of excitement and happiness crosses her face and it makes every second of stress in the run up to Christmas 100% worth it.

What is your favourite make-up look for the festive season?

Probably fairly similar to my usual going-out look, smoky eyes, lots of mascara and clear gloss on the lips, but maybe with the addition of a bit more sparkle on my cheeks and eyes.

Real or Fake trees?

I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I like fake trees. I kind of hate the way we chop down beautiful trees just to put them in a pot in our front room for a couple of weeks, then thrown them out. I’d much rather see real trees growing outside. As a kid, my family always did fake trees too, so there’s something about the smell of a fake tree coming out of the loft that is so quintessentially Christmassy for me. Plus, sod hoovering up all those fallen needles!

Giving or receiving presents?

This is a difficult one for me to answer because I much prefer giving but it also sends me into a state of heightened anxiety so it’s not all that straight-forward! I’m both blessed and cursed with a Husband who is amazing at buying gifts, in previous years he’s remembered me mentioning that I want something around the beginning of August and actually bought it for me as a Christmas gift, which is pretty good going! On the flip-side of that, it’s a stark contrast against my frankly appalling gift-buying skills, so it just makes me worry about getting it wrong for everyone each year!

Do you open your presents in the morning or evening?

MORNING! Do people really wait until the evening to open their presents? If they do, I’ve never met them and I don’t know if I want to – surely anyone who can be that restrained on Christmas Day takes life FAR too seriously?! In fact, one side of Husband’s family is part German and they do most of the gift giving on Christmas Eve, which suits my impatience even better!

It’s A Wonderful Life

What’s your favourite Christmas film?

Oh gosh, well ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was introduced to be by Husband about 6 years ago and we’ve watched it every year since as we both adore it, so that’s my absolute fave. In fact, Husband and I have said on many an occassion that we’d love to move to Bedford Falls! But actually, I love MOST Christmas films, I even sit and watch the tacky made-for-American-TV ones that they show on Xmas24. Anything set in New York goes down a particular treat too as it’s been a dream of mine to spend Christmas in NYC pretty much my whole life.

What is your favourite Christmas food?

Hmm, that’s a toughie, we all know how much I love my food! Roast dinner is one of my favourite meals at the best of times, so obviously the whole Christmas dinner is high on my list, and actually I’m one of those people who really likes turkey and thinks it’s a very underrated meat. A very close second, or possibly a draw is Christmas Day supper though. We usually spend Christmas Day with Husband’s family who will put out cold cuts of meat, pickles, crackers, smoked salmon, cheeses, homemade pickled onions, all sorts of delights and we all just tuck in and help ourselves round a big table. It’s lovely!

So, now I have to tag three other bloggers, but I’m cheating and tagging four!:

Jamillah at Bare Beginnings

Lauren at The Wonderful Adventures of Spud and Spike

Paul at I’m Well Confused, Me (maybe you could sub the make-up question out for a ‘What’s your favourite thing to wear on Christmas Day’?!)

And Mummy Barrow at Mummy Barrow!

Good luck and godspeed!