How to talk about movies in English


Blog_The Movies

Last Sunday the British Film Awards (BAFTA) were shown on television. Before that there was the Berlin Film Festival and of course, the Oscars are coming up on 2 March. February and March are very busy months for the movie industry and for cinemas around the world.

Dresses_blog.forever21.comEveryone starts speculating enthusiastically about which film will win the Oscar, which winning actor or actress will embarrass us with their thank you speech on the night by thanking practically everyone in their address book and the different fashion houses try to compete with each other by dressing the actresses in impossibly gorgeous dresses.

So it only seems natural for me to talk movies with you and for you, more importantly, to discover how to talk movies in English.

Movie Genres
Let’s start with what type of movies you like. Do you like thrillers, science fiction, comedies, romantic comedies (or romcoms), westerns (I hate them!), costume dramas, horror (my husband loves them!), animated, action, historical, musicals, chick-flicks (just like chick-lit in books, chick-flicks deal with women issues and tend to be light-hearted fun)?

Life of Pi Photo:

Life of Pi

Do you prefer blockbusters or independent (indie) films? I prefer indie films and I especially look out for foreign films as I find that they deal with themes in a more honest and direct way than a lot of American films that are often just crowd-pleasers (more interested in attracting large audiences than communicating an important message through film).

What makes a good movie for you?
Do they have to be action-packed, have fantastic special effects, be a tear-jerker, realistic, heart-warming, be a feel-good movie, hilarious, scary, keep you on the edge of your seat, have a great plot, be an emotional roller-coaster, have great acting, have a fabulous soundtrack, breathtaking scenery, be informative? Can you think of other qualities that make a memorable movie?

The people involved in making a movie – the film crew
Well for starters, there’s the castleading actor and actress, the supporting actors and actresses. There are some actors and actresses who are just so brilliant that I will see them in any movie regardless of the reviews – Dame Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr to name a few.

Photo: wikipedia

Photo: wikipedia

Then there’s the director, producer, screenwriter, director of photography, stuntmen and thousands more. For more information on what makes up a film crew have a look at this.

Photo: clipartguide

Photo: clipartguide

Where do you like to watch your movies?
Do you prefer to see your movies at the cinema (on the big-screen) or on DVD? Perhaps, you download your movies from Lovefilm or Netflix?Do you rent movies or buy DVDs?

If you go to the cinema to watch films, do you buy a big bucket of popcorn with a fizzy drink?  Do you like to watch the trailers before the film starts? Do you find that there are too many trailers?
Do you like matinees or the evening shows?



And finally
What was your favourite movie in 2013 and why? My absolute favourite film so far in 2013/2014 is “12 Years a Slave”. The story is heartbreaking and brutally honest and the leading actor’s performance is outstanding. The film is a powerful portrayal of slavery that is told bluntly without shielding the audience. No matter how difficult, this is a must-see movie.
If this doesn’t win the Oscar, I will eat my hat!!!!(not really, it’s just an idiomatic expression).

In my next post, I will share with you some movie catchphrases that have become part of spoken English and which will spice up your conversation with native speakers of English. So watch this space……

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Ciao for now


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13 thoughts on “How to talk about movies in English

  1. Another great post and another interesting topic! In fact it’s my favourite theme as I adour films as much as I adour the whole ritual of going to cinema.
    My favourite film in 2013? …”The Great Gatsby”…I suppose…

  2. Shanti, you are the best. I’ve never found a blog more interesting than yours. Besides, your expression way is very good. I love it. It’s a pleasure to learn English with you. Thank you so much.

  3. Well ,when I was young I used to like western and “blood and guts” movies, over the years, luckily my tasting for the cinema have changed a lot.

    I have “12 years slave” in my to-do list, so I hope that in short-term we can exchange some impressions about the movie.

    By the way, do you think that this year a black actor can win the Oscar?


    • Hi Jaime,
      Good to know that your taste in film genres has changed over the years!!! I like your description of “blood and guts”.

      Do let me know when you’ve seen “12 Years a Slave”.
      I think that Chiwetel Ejiofor can win the Oscar. As for a black actor winning the Leading Actor’s Oscar, it has been done before:Sidney Poitier , Denzel Washington, Forest Whittaker and Jamie Foxx.
      Take care

  4. Pingback: Ten Movie Quotes that you could use in English | English with a Twist

  5. Pingback: What makes a good movie for you?

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