Arts and Lifestyle

May movie reviews

Arts and Lifestyle Editor Abby Wolfenden recaps and reviews some of the most popular movies that have recently been released. Creative Commons Image: Jason Taellious on Flickr.

By Abby Wolfenden

The Secret Life of Bees

Summary:
Based on the best selling novel, The Secret Life of Bees is a coming of age story about a girl named Lily Owens, who lives in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. After witnessing her mother’s death at a young age and suffering from an abusive father, Lily makes the decision to run away from home with her caretaker/closest friend, Rosaleen. Lily makes her way to a town called Tiburon, which is the name of the same town on the back of one her mother’s pictures. There, she is taken in by the Boatwright sisters, three black women who make honey for a living. Lily and Rosaleen find love and purpose with the sisters, and Lily learns more about her mother.

Recommendation:
This is one of those rare films in which the movie is just as good as the book. Dakota Fanning is fantastic as Lily Owens, and the Boatwright sisters are also very well casted. The movie is able to capture both Lily’s struggles with adolescence, as well as her struggles with racism and Civil Rights in the South. All in all, The Secret Life of Bees is a movie that is sure to make you laugh and cry.

Hidden Figures

Summary:
Hidden Figures tells the true story of three black women who work at NASA as human computers. The protagonist, Katherine Johnson, is a genius in mathematics and physics and is promoted to help with celestial navigation for the launch and landing of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. At the same time, Katherine’s closest friends Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughn are working towards becoming the first black female engineer and African American supervisor respectively. All three women struggle with racism amongst the whites at NASA, as well as sexism amongst men. Regardless, all women remain tenacious as they prove their intelligence and worth during America’s race to space.

Recommendation:
Hidden Figures is a heartfelt and inspiring film that showcases the power of resilience. These women are real people of history who defied social norms and served critical roles in NASA’s program. While the film highlights racism, family, and friendship, it also showcases the power of the human resolve, and perseverance in general. All three women were able to advocate for themselves and show others how intelligent and capable they were of making an impact.

Rogue One

Summary:
Rogue One is a prequel for Star Wars, and tells a side story about Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor, members of the Rebel Alliance who are working to destroy a super weapon called the death star. The movie begins with Jyn as a young child, and moves into her adulthood. She lives her life believing that her father Galen Erso, a famous scientist, is dead. After being rescued from slavery, Jyn is informed that her father is alive and joins Cassian and an android called K-2SO on a journey to find Galen and put a stop to the death star.

Recommendation:
I really enjoyed the action in this movie, and as someone who has only seen one or two of the Star Wars movies, the plot was very easy to follow. The characters are very well casted, and K-2SO was super entertaining. All in all, the movie was action-packed and humorous, and I would definitely recommend it to all viewers.

Passengers

Summary: Passengers is a story about humans traveling through space to begin life on a new planet. All passengers are suspended in a deep sleep until arrival. When two of the passengers, Jim and Aurora, wake up 90 years too early, they discover a malfunction within the ship and must join forces to save the lives of the 5,000 travellers and crew aboard.

Recommendation:

Going into this movie, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought that a cast of only two characters might be a little strange in terms of the level of engagement and plot development. However, it turned out that there were other characters involved in Passengers, and the plot had constant action. I really enjoyed Passengers and the plot remained exciting throughout the film.

Moana

Summary:
Moana is an animation film about a new Disney princess, the princess of Hawaii. Even though Moana is born a princess with responsibilities on the island, she longs to explore the ocean just as her ancestors once did. When it is discovered that the island is dying, Moana embarks on a journey to find Maui, a demigod who is the only person that can save the island.

Recommendation:
This movie was super sweet, and it also had a very interesting plotline. The music was amazing, and Maui was a hilarious supporting character. This movie is great for a carefree weekend watch because of the funny songs and easy-to-follow plot.

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