Tag Archives: Octavia Spencer

MA (2019): The Things I Liked…

Ma (2019), Octavia Spencer, Universal Pictures
Ma (2019), Octavia Spencer, Universal Pictures

Starring Octavia Spencer as the lonely and definitely unhinged Sue Ann, Ma is the story of a group of teenagers who end up wishing that they never accepted a middle aged woman’s invitation to party in her basement.

Having had no idea about the true extent of Sue Ann’s lunacy, I enjoyed being surprised by it. And when Ma wasn’t busy thrilling me, I was appreciating the believable portrayal of teenage life, the close mother / daughter relationship and another notable performance by Spencer. 

Director Tate Taylor’s film could certainly have taken a more realistic direction in terms of how particular aspects of the story played out – but I’m not mad about the end result. It was mostly realistic enough for me, and fun. 

The only part that I wish had gone differently was approximately twenty minutes in, during the exchange between Ma and Gianni Paolo’s character. The dialogue and what happens in that scene just didn’t seem to quit fit, somehow. 

Watch Ma if you’re curious. You may just have a good time. 

Happy Film Loving 

G

LUCE (2019): New Trailer From Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth, Kelvin Harrison Jr…

Luce (2019), Octavia Spencer, Neon
Luce (2019), Octavia Spencer, Neon

Naomi Watts, Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth and Kelvin Harrison Jr. are the stars of Luce.

Directed by  Julius Onah, Luce is the story of parents to an adopted son from war-torn Eritrea. Said parents are forced to reckon with their idealised image of their son, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher…

This rather good trailer edit has me scared. Scared for myself, scared for Spencer’s character because no one is listening to her and scared for Luce’s parents. I’m also very curious about what the alarming secret actually is.

We all know Watts and Spencer are great actors, so I can’t wait to see what Harrison does with this role. They do say that dark characters are more fun to play, after all.

Andrea Bang, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Norbert Leo Butz, Omar Brunson and Astro also star.

Luce Release Dates: August 2nd, 2019 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

ONWARD (2020): New Trailer From Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus…

Onward (2019), Disney Pixar
Onward (2019), Disney Pixar

From writer / director Dan Scanlon, Onward is a new Disney Pixar animated adventure starring Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Onward is about two teenage elf brothers who embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there…

The two moons at 01:33 into this trailer have me intrigued; the same with the idea of usually majestic unicorns as ‘vermin.’

I can’t wait to see how this story about a world of imaginary creatures such as pixies, mermaids, gnomes, unicorns and pet dragons actually unfolds.

Onward Release Dates: March 6th, 2020 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

INSTANT FAMILY (2018): The Things I Liked…

Instant Family (2018), Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Paramount Pictures
Instant Family (2018), Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Paramount Pictures

After seeing the trailer for Instant Family several months ago in 2018, I really wanted to get excited about it because the story looked like a great one and because I like both of its main stars, Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne. Having previously seen Wahlberg in the Daddy’s Home movies and finding myself not fully loving them, I’m really glad to confirm that Instant Family is definitely not that.

Directed and co-written by Sean Anders, Instant Family is a comedy / drama based on the true story of the ups and downs faced by a couple who foster / adopt three children all at once. 

Things were looking good for this movie within the first few minutes. Firstly, the editing. I really appreciate the fact that I didn’t find myself wishing I could fast forward any of the scenes. Second, the relationship between the central couple played by Wahlberg and Byrne. Last but not least, the dynamic and banter between Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro’s characters is another definite key highlight.

I found myself laughing during Instant Family more than I expected to. An especially memorable moment being the scene at the dinner table with the pair of closed eyes. I was of course also moved by the beautiful moments of familial love and the truth of some of the experiences of children and teenagers in the foster care system.

Watch Instant Family because it’s good, very likely better than you expect and it’s definitely – as a fellow film lover predicted, more grounded than the Daddie’s Home films.

Happy Film loving 

G

MA (2019): New Trailer From Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans, Missi Pyle…

Ma (2019), Octavia Spencer, Universal Pictures
Ma (2019), Octavia Spencer, Universal Pictures

Read my spoiler-free movie review of Ma (2019).


In new horror / thriller Ma, Octavia Spencer is Sue Ann, a lonely woman who befriends a group of teenagers and invites them to party at her house. Everything suddenly changes when they do the one thing Sue Anne asked that they don’t.

Ma is directed by Tate Taylor and co-stars Juliette Lewis, Luke Evans, Missi Pyle, Allison Janney…

I was most creeped out by this trailer when I saw what happens just after 2:10. Excited to see Spencer in a role I didn’t see coming.

May the finished film be even more interesting and /or surprising than I imagine.

Diana Silvers, Tanyell Waivers, Gianni Paolo, McKaley Miller, Dominic Burgess and Dante Brown also star.

Ma Release Dates: May 31st, 2019 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

INSTANT FAMILY (2018): New Trailer From Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Octavia Spencer…

Instant Family (2018), Rose Byrne, Mark Wahlberg
Instant Family (2018), Rose Byrne, Mark Wahlberg

Instant Family is a new comedy starring Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne and Octavia Spencer.

Directed and co-written by Sean Anders, it’s the story of a couple dealing with the often humorous challenges that come with adopting three children at once…

I don’t know how much I’ll enjoy this, especially since I didn’t totally love Wahlberg’s Daddy’s Home movies. still I’m in because I appreciate him and I’m excited for the happy ending. I really want the happy ending!

Isabela Moner. Eve Harlow, Iliza Shlesinger, Tom Segura and Tig Notaro also star.

Instant Family Release Dates: November 16th, 2018 (US); February 15th, 2019 (UK)…

Read my spoiler free movie review of Instant Family.

Happy Film Loving

G

A KID LIKE JAKE (2018): New Trailer Starring Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, Priyanka Chopra, Octavia Spencer…

A Kid Like Jake (2018), Claire Danes, Leo James Davis, Jim parsons
A Kid Like Jake (2018), Claire Danes, Leo James Davis, Jim parsons

Directed by Silas Howard, A Kid Like Jake stars Claire Danes, Jim parsons, Octavia Spencer and Priyana Chopra.

Parsons and Danes play a Brooklyn based couple whose four-year-old son’s preschool director points out that his gender-nonconforming play may be more than just a phase…

The subject matter is so very interesting and is a great reminder of why I love movies and the often useful stories they tell.

Besides the great cast and promising story, I’m really looking forward to the beautiful images of a well lit New York City, a place I always miss.

A Kid Like Jake Release Dates: June 1st, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017): The Things I Liked…

The Shape Of Water (2017), Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer
The Shape Of Water (2017), Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer

Set in Cold War era America, circa 1963, director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water is an other-worldly fairy tale and fantasy / romance about a lonely mute called Elisa. Played beautifully by Sally Hawkins, Elisa falls in love with ‘amphibian man’, a sea creature captured for a secret classified experiment due to take place at Elisa’s work building where she cleans.

Featuring good performances by all, including Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon, I found Hawkins to be particularly captivating as Elisa. Her great performance along with the beautiful visuals, filming style – the way the camera barely stood still combined with the editing and pacing managed to keep me engaged.

The Shape Of Water is generally a well executed movie. Nevertheless, I’m not as enthused post viewing as I thought I might be. I understand the film’s message about love and how there are near to zero limitations in terms of where one can find it. Still, perhaps it’s just the kind of film, though good, it doesn’t inspire a certain level of excitement within me. It could have something to do with not really seeing myself ever falling in love with ‘amphibian man’. It could also be that the ‘love can be found anywhere’ message is one I’d already fully digested. Lastly, maybe I loved the first half more than I did the second half, where things got really serious. Yes, that may be it. I think I had more fun when Elisa was happy and tap-dancing in her corridor!

Richard Strickland’s (Shannon) voice and suit before the true nature of his character is revealed, the capabilities of ‘amphibian man’ and Hawkins’ performance are my favourite things about The Shape Of Water. 

Watch it if you’re curious. Maybe you’ll be more wowed and enthused than I. It is the Best Picture Academy Award winner after all.

Happy Film Loving

G