And you thought Gerry and Keanu were my only subjects
My 2020 review is now up, and obviously I’ve kept to the lighter side, because that’s what we often need during dark days (though if you are, like me, someone who finds weird comfort watching the most depressing stuff, there’s something for you too).
2020 was – of course – a generally awful year, with tens of thousands of deaths in the UK alone from COVID-19.
For many, staying in to avoid the virus has meant anxiety and loneliness. Others still had to go out to work, with all the associated risks. Social media became a lifeline, an avalanche of incomprehensible news, and too often a battleground.
You all know how bad it is so I won’t ram the point home, but posts and tweets told endless micro-stories of people’s suffering, and also how unwilling people were to make it about them, because someone else had been dealt a worse hand.
My parents are long-dead, and I haven’t lost anyone close to me from the virus. I do know about grief though: for people, for a previous life, for what won’t now happen. And films are often a haven in bad times, even more so when we are lost; whether to keep us on a familiar path or simply to blot out the sadness.
One thing I learnt when my mother died is that sometimes we may not be able to fully lose ourselves in a movie like we used to; sometimes we just have to temporarily lay the burden down beside us. That dimwit comedy chosen for its silliness may make us weep with laughter and then weep again because of who we’re not watching it with.
What I’m saying is, if movies are keeping you going now, that’s great. But don’t beat yourself up if films (or anything else, for that matter) – whether they are your favourite pastime, or even your job – are not the panacea they were before. They will be again.
To all of you, but particularly those who lost someone from the pandemic or its knock-on effects, I wish you a calm, healthy and healing year ahead. Better times will come.