I’m Not Crying…

I love to cry. I find it the most cathartic exercise. I don’t think a day goes that I don’t have a little blub – for any number of reasons. Nostalgia, joy, a stubbed toe – all that and more can threaten my mascara on the daily and I’ve become notorious for wearing my emotion on my sleeve.

Over the last few months it feels like I’ve done nothing but cry while being entertained. It started with Avengers: Endgame, which I saw three times and cried through three times and then, most recently, I’ve been haunted by a BBC drama.

Here are the last things to really tug at my heart strings.

*Minor spoilers if you aren’t up to date*

Avengers: Endgame

Historically, I don’t really like going into films that are clearly out to hit me straight in the feels. Obviously Endgame was always going to be a mixed bag of action, adventure, triumph and human sacrifice – and boy did it manipulate the tear ducts. But even though there were surprises, so much of it wasn’t that surprising – and it was glorious.

On first viewing I sobbed as soon as the film started as I thought about The Fallen, in particular Spiderman. “I don’t feel so good, Mr Stark” has followed me ever since Infinity War, a brutal reminder of the futility of life – and how shit Star Lord is because I blame him for everything (and Chris Pratt even more so).

Watching the remaining Avengers deal with the fallout from Thanos’ original finger click was heart-breaking, reminding us that it’s always the ones left behind who suffer the most. There was a plan though, obviously and I don’t think there was ever any doubt that we’d meet our favourites again – and Natasha, Steve, Tony and pals made sure of it.

I’m not going to dwell on the irreversible sacrifices made – if you know, you know – but my God, they were hard to come to terms with.

Game of Thrones – The End

I found Season 8 bittersweet. There were elements I really enjoyed of the final series but ultimately, the conclusion was messy and a lot of the foreshadowing we’d invested ourselves in for the best part of a decade came to nothing.

Regardless, I still got a lump in my throat when we lost key characters (looking at you, Giant Slayer) and the survivors, key characters we joined at the beginning and said goodbye to at the end. I cried for their collective loss and all the time they’ve been apart. I cried for Hodor, who didn’t even get a thank you for holding the door. I cried for Sansa, who outlived all her abusers.

I cried for all the dire wolves we’ve loved and lost. Ditto the dragons. Most of all I cried for the end of one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, notwithstanding Seasons 7 & 8 .

Years & Years

So I still have the last episode of this amazing show to go but the fourth was the real kicker. I don’t think I’ve ever ugly cried as much as I did watching that. Afterwards, I seriously contemplated calling in sick to work and I still can’t get it out of my head.

The show looks at so many relevant issues and one of those is refugees seeking asylum. It says a lot that we see real life images of the trauma caused to children and families on the news all the time, but it takes a well-loved fictional character in the same position to really drive the reality home.

This show is the nuts and I’ve been recommending it to everybody.

Pass the tissues, would you?

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel (2019)

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

Starring: Brie Larson • Samuel L. Jackson • Jude Law

*Minor Spoilers*

Vers is a Starforce member on Hala, the Kree Empire’s capital planet. Under the tutelage of her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), she is learning how to become a fine warrior. Which is all well and good but she’s haunted by nightmares that she doesn’t understand and a past she can’t remember.

Bestowed with special powers given to her by the Kree, Carol is urged by the Supreme Intelligence to think less with her emotions and more with her head, something she very much struggles with because she’s a fucking woman and what are we? That’s right: too sensitive.

“We have to arm wrestle, it’s the Law.”

During her first mission with Starforce, shit hits the fan when the team stumble into a Skrull ambush and Vers is taken hostage by their kingpin, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn). Skrulls FYI are alien shape-shifters and the Kree’s arch enemy.

Anyway, Vers manages to escape their evil clutches and plunges to Earth where she promptly meets a very familiar face, Shield agent Mr. Nick Fury. While he’s skeptical about Vers’ very honest account of what she’s doing on this planet, he soon sees enough evidence for himself that she might just be telling the truth.

Carol was a pro at staring

What follows is a cute road trip for two as Fury and Vers search for the mysterious Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Bening) who seems to hold the key not only to what the Skrulls are after but who Vers might really be.

I really enjoyed The Carol Danvers story. It’s female-centric in a way none of the Marvel movies have been so far (although there have been moments) but its done really well, without hammering the point home. I buy Brie Larson completely as a pilot and I absolutely love her chemistry with Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).

Girls 4 eva

She’s a competent, likeable hero who can kick arse with or without her fiery fists – and she’s true to herself, learning that it’s okay to think with your heart and not your head if you damn well please. This is a battle I have constantly with myself so I really connect with that aspect of the narrative.

There are a few surprises along the way and it’s genuinely touching to follow Vers/Carol as she pieces together the life she had before she ended up on Hala. While I don’t want to give too much away to those who haven’t caught this movie yet, there is a ‘twist’ you can see coming a mile off. If I’m honest as soon as I saw Jude Law’s goddamn beautiful face, it was already planted in my mind. But I don’t think it ruins anything really.

Green with envy over that big gun

Comic relief in the form of Goose the cat (played by no less than three stunt kitties) is fun and there are moments it veers into Guardians of the Galaxy territory with its humour (which could never be a bad thing). I really like both Maria Rambeau and her daughter Monica (played respectively by Lashana Lynch and Akira Akbar).

There’s such sadness in Maria, who believed her best friend to be dead and now has to come to terms with the fact that she’s alive and doesn’t remember their former life and adventures together. But there’s hope too, of course and yey for that.

Flame emoji forever

Okay so this might not be the very best Marvel film ever made and sometimes it’s just little too spacey for my personal taste – I much prefer the fish out of water on earth aspect of the story – but it’s a strong start and a pleasing introduction to a character I knew little about (DC Girl, innit).

Carol’s presence in End Game is going to be very welcome and I’m extremely excited for next month.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What are you watching?

Update: I can’t believe I hit Publish on this post without gushing about the soundtrack. It’s 90’s perfection and every tune is a bop. Special mention to the mighty Just a Girl by No Doubt which was my teen anthem.

Goose: the best Avenger?