Matt’s Movies: Netflix Nook (Part 2)


Matt Chouinard, Film Critic

Shakespeare in Love (4 out of 5 stars)

Released in 1998, Shakespeare in Love is a romantic comedy that succeeds as more than just a good romance, but as being both an enjoyable period piece and an amusing comedy as well. It tells the story of a young William Shakepseare (Joseph Fiennes) who while in the process of trying to write a new play meets Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), a woman who inspires him to write one of his most famous plays, Romeo and Juliet. These stars, along with a supporting cast that includes Ben Affleck, Judi Dench, and Colin Firth make for a very enjoyable film, filled with humor and emotion.

The best feature of the film is its script, which rewrites history in an extremely entertaining fashion, presenting a completely original love story behind one of the most famous and well-known love stories ever seen in history. The script also contains a great deal of humor, incorporating lots of witty dialogue for the actors to work with. This helps evoke some truly enjoyable performances, the best of which being Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes in the lead roles. Paltrow gives a remarkable performance as the true lead, and Fiennes does an impressive job personifying the iconic Shakespeare. Together they exhibit excellent chemistry and increase the overall quality of the story even higher. The film is a legitimate romance so it may not appeal to all, but for those willing to give it a try it should be a rewarding venture.


Short Term 12 (4 out of 5 stars)

Released in 2013, Short Term 12 is a touching drama that peeks into the world of underprivileged youths. Grace (Brie Larson) is a young counselor working at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers. She must work with the staff on a daily basis to ensure that these kids get the help and care that they require, while also trying to take care of the problems she is going through in her own life. The film isn’t flashy, or fast-paced, but it is heartfelt and provides for an excellent viewing.

The best qualities of the film are the engrossing subject matter and Brie Larson’s incredible performance. She is the sole lead of this movie and carries the story right from the beginning. Everyone involved, from the kids to the other counselors, contribute to the overall quality and hold their own, but Larson is the main reason for why the film works. Her character provides a guide for us, leading the viewer through a world struggles and heartache that nobody should have to be a part of. She creates a very layered performance, portraying her character with such emotion and realism that it could easily be someone you see in real life. Short Term 12 is a much less known film, but is certainly worth looking into for anyone seeking a genuine story.

Ghost (3 out of 5 stars)

Released in 1990, Ghost is a mixture of romance, the supernatural, and thrills all rolled into one enjoyable story. Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) and Molly Jensen (Demi Moore) are a very happy couple who are deeply in love, until one day Sam is murdered by a thief in a dark alley. After dying, Sam becomes a ghost and realizes that Molly is in danger and must try to find a way to protect her from beyond the grave. With the help of a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg), Sam hopes to keep the love of his life safe.

The story is one that delves greatly into the realm of fantasy, but the overall theme of the film is an enticing story of love and togetherness, but with an entertaining twist. This twist provides for a very original story arch and helps the movie stand out as something new and worth watching. The performances help as well, with Whoopi Goldberg providing a highly enjoyable performance. The unrealistic qualities of the film may not interest some, but as a whole it is an interesting story that attempts to blend multiple genres and is mostly successful. Fans of Patrick Swayze, or supernatural movie elements should check it out.