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Six Movies About Love

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Interstellar
In the last 21st century, Joseph Cooper, a retired NASA pilot who’s turned to a life of farming, is sent on a mission into space that could determine the future of humanity. He embarks on his journey, not knowing when — or if — he’ll return. With the distance and time growing ever longer between him and his family, “Interstellar” excellently depicts how love lasts, even through the toughest of situations, and how few things transcend time — one of them being love.

“Interstellar” is among director Christopher Nolan’s best works. In line with his other movies, “Interstellar” features remarkable cinematography and sound. With its iconic black hole — which depicted a black hole before there were official pictures — the film also provides some of the best digital visuals put to the screen.

The score, composed by Hans Zimmer, showcases some of the best pieces put into cinema, like “Mountains” and “Cornfield Chase.” However, the movie’s outstanding visuals and score don’t overshadow its story, the heart of which is about the love between a father and daughter. The relationship anchors a story of space travel into something anybody can understand. And the eternal bond goes beyond the constraints of the universe — time and space.

The film also features great performances from Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain, who perfectly express the desperation and heartbreak their characters feel. The performances uplift “Interstellar” not only as a film about space exploration, but an exploration of love and the human spirit.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire
In the late 18th century, painter Marianne was commissioned to make a wedding portrait of a bride, Héloïse. However, Héloïse refuses to pose, as the man she’s to be married off to is someone she’s never met. To paint her, Marianne must observe Héloïse and paint her in secret.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” is a slow burn of love between two women: an artist and her subject. The film revolves around the two characters’s dynamic, as one must simply observe the other throughout much of the film. The film’s cinematography guides the narrative, focusing many shots on the shared looks between the two and their entangling relationship.

But the cinematography also captures the beauty of the setting: an isolated island off the coast of France. From a rouged beach and cliffs overlooking the sea to the quiet painting of a portrait, each shot is masterfully done, letting the audience see the evolution of Marianne’s and Héloïse’s relationship.

Céline Sciamma’s 2019 film, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” unfolds slowly, leaving many things unsaid as its two lead characters fall in love. It culminates in a fantastic piece of French cinema and a film with one of the best love stories.

Moonlight
Through the lens of three distinct periods in a man’s life, “Moonlight” is a compelling dissection of a man’s journey through identity, sexuality and parental figures.

In “Little,” where Chiron is a child, he struggles with his upbringing in Miami, when he encounters Juan, a drug dealer. However, through Juan, the relationship provides a father-son connection that Chiron was never able to experience at home. With compassion and understanding, Juan forms the very foundations of Chiron’s life.

In “Chiron,” the audience experiences the nuances of love for Chiron. Through the adolescent years of his life, he develops feelings for his classmate, Kevin, though struggles with masculinity, the nuances of sexuality and troubles of drug use in the household.

In the last act, “Black,” Chiron has been toughened by life’s challenges. During a trip back to his hometown of Miami, Chiron encounters Kevin once again. “Moonlight” explores the reunion with the past experiences of each character’s relationships.

“Moonlight” won Best Picture at the 2017 Oscars and for good reason. The cinematography throughout the film is amazing, capturing every moment in a beautiful composition and enhancing the character’s worlds. The use of color perfectly encapsulates the complexities of both emotions and the world lived in.

Similarly, the actors in “Moonlight” put in their best work. Although Mahershala Ali’s character only appears for part of the movie, his performance stands out as one of the best and stays with both the characters and the audience long after. Chiron’s three actors also invoke the quiet curiosity of childhood, the inner challenges of adolescence, the yearning for relationships and the stirred-up feelings behind years of repression and emotional armor.

Barry Jenkins’s 2016 film is one of the best movies about love in recent years. Based on the play, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” “Moonlight” is a masterclass in literacy and cinematography.

Juno:
The movie “Juno” boasts an incredible cast including Elliot Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Allison Janney and J.K. Simmons. They deliver a layered movie full of love in the face of complications. Lots of love sprouts in the movie and shows the power that love holds and how it is so necessary for all.

The story centers around Juno, a quirky, strong-minded young woman who faces an unplanned pregnancy. She is in her teenage years and realizes she isn’t in a place to raise a kid. As a solution, she decides to become a surrogate for a family looking for a child.

Juno is trying to cope with falling pregnant and needs a strong support system. When meeting a family that she will be a surrogate for, she tries to build a friendship with them. At first, she establishes a strong relationship with Jason Bateman’s character, but later on creates a strong friendship with Jennifer Garner’s character, Vanessa. I especially love the beautiful relationship built between Juno and Vanessa. They become a team and Juno knows Vanessa is worthy of being a wonderful mother. She trusts her to take care of her child and knows she is giving her one of the greatest gifts in the world. They form a love for each other and the child.

Gratitude isn’t the only type of love, as friendship is also displayed. Olivia Thirbly portrays Leah, Juno’s friend, who stays by her side throughout Juno’s entire pregnancy, even as their classmates ridicule her. Standing by your friend when everyone else has ignored or been disgusted by them is true friendship. I loved how Leah has so much love for Juno that she sticks with her.

Lastly, the stigma surrounding teen pregnancy is real. It’s not uncommon to disown your kid for becoming pregnant, but Juno’s parents, portrayed by J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney, continue to parent and support Juno. They don’t leave her which shows a lot about them as parents.

“Juno” is full of many variations of love, yet every version is alive and very real.


Moonrise Kingdom:
“Moonrise Kingdom” is directed by the one and only Wes Anderson. I would say that it is my favorite Wes Anderson movie for a lot of reasons. I enjoy the beautiful cinematography that appears in each Anderson movie, but especially this one. The plot is adorable and unique, yet layered, and includes multiple character stories.

The plot mostly revolves around the love story between two kids. They both decided to run away from their homes together because of their mutual admiration for each other. However, a strong storm is headed toward the island, so a bunch of oddball adults decide to organize a search team and locate the kids before something terrible happens. The kids’s love is unraveling and so are many other characters’s relationships.

Love as a kid is weird to many. You tend to not know if it is real or if it’s supposed to feel the way it does. Is it valid? Should you wait until you’re older? The answers depend too much.

“Moonrise Kingdom” explores this idea in a stunning depiction of childhood love, but also poses the question: how far will people go for love or to protect someone they love? The parents and adults search for the kids because they love them. On the other hand, the kids don’t stop building their bond because they believe in their relationship. Love is consistent.

The Farewell:
Lulu Wang is the director and writer of “The Farewell,” a true story that is based on her actual experiences.

“The Farewell” stars Awkwafina as Billi Wang, who is a Chinese American woman in her early thirties. She unexpectedly learns that her grandmother has stage four cancer when confronted by her parents. Billi and her extended family decide not to tell the grandmother about her diagnosis because they believe the fear of cancer is what kills someone.

After learning their beloved grandmother is terminally ill, the family returns to China to visit their grandma for the last time. Since they rarely visit, they need an excuse: a fake wedding. The family decides to host a fake wedding for Billi’s cousin from Japan. The movie unfolds from there and displays Billi’s interactions with her family.

The movie centers around a twisted kind of love. Billi and her family are trying to protect her grandma from the fear of cancer, yet are lying to the grandma’s face. This is a special kind of love in my eyes. It’s powerful how they are protecting the grandmother from the truth and are holding onto her for as long as they can. Surely, they feel guilty for lying to her about something so serious, but in their eyes, it’s for the best.

I adore how this film depicts a special kind of love and the lengths people will go to to keep someone protected.

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About the Contributors
Luca Hinesman, Journalist
Luca Hinesman is currently a Sophomore at Community High School and a believer in buying expensive coffees. When not in CET rehearsals or mock trial practices, you can find them reading books about revenge, catching up on homework, or hanging out with friends. Luca is currently in their first semester with The Communicator and is excited to contribute their ideas this year!
Aidan Hsia, News Editor
Aidan is the news editor for the Communicator and a senior at CHS. He’s played classical guitar for most of his life but loves all kinds of music. Aidan likes reading, playing games, or watching late-night movies with his dog. He’s excited to start his senior year and to write stories for the Communicator.

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