8 Films to Kickstart the New Year
By Macky Macarayan
Ah, January, the start of a new year— a time to leave all the ugliness of the previous year and start fresh. That being said, you might want to consider these eight films that celebrate new beginnings. Different they may be in terms of genre and tone, they all share the spirit of taking chances, no matter how difficult or scary they may be.
1. GROUNDHOG DAY (Harold Ramis, 1993)
If this is the first time you’re hearing about this movie, the obvious question is why? “Groundhog Day” is about a cynical TV reporter named Phil Connors (Bill Murray) who gets to relive a single day over and over. At first, he finds the phenomena horrifying, but he eventually uses his situation to improve himself. Didn’t we all wish at one point or another that a restart button existed?
2. DAGITAB (Giancarlo Abrahan, 2014)
“Dagitab” is a quiet mood piece that asks some deep questions about love, relationships and the universe in general. Eula Valdes and Nonie Buencamino charmingly play college professors who are married to each other but are coming to terms that the spark in their relationship may be rapidly dying. At its core is a story of introspection and reevaluation of the more important things in life, but be prepared for a tidal wave of hurt along the way, as Giancarlo Abrahan’s script (which won Best Screenplay at Cinemalaya in 2014) provides for a lyrical anecdote of endless sorrow. “Kung napapagod ka na, hindi mo naman kailangang umalis. Kailangan mo lang magpahinga,” Buencamino’s character Jimmy tells Valdes’ Issey.
3. JOY (David O. Russell, 2015)
Jennifer Lawrence trades her bow and arrow for a self-wringing miracle mop in “Joy,” based on the life of entrepreneur Joy Mangano. Literally a rags-to-riches story, “Joy” proves that success is often a matter of perseverance, and it usually comes out of necessity. Outrageously funny, poignant and inspiring all at the same time, “Joy” is a film you never knew you needed all along.
4. JULIETA (Pedro Almodovar, 2016)
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar returns to the early female-driven dramas of his career in “Julieta,” based on three short stories in Alice Munro’s book “Runaway.” Transferring the setting from Canada to Spain, the film is about a mother and daughter relationship which has gone sour over the years. Told in a series of flashbacks, the mysteries of their separation slowly unfold, as the now older Julieta (Emma Suárez) has a shot of reuniting with her estranged daughter, Antia. Prepare a hanky. (We warned you!)