As times change, there are certain films that just feel inherently tied to a particular time of year. While there are the obvious Christmas or Halloween films, there are certainly films that you could watch whenever, yet take you straight to a specific season that you could even be nostalgic for. Here are some of our writers’ picks for their perfect seasonal film!
Spring: Paterson, dir. Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson is a circling tree crested path; a testament to human nature in its constant growth and self-destruction. Taking place in Paterson, New Jersey, Jarmusch offers a week in the life of bus driver and poet Paterson (Adam Driver), with his romantic partner Laura (Golshifteh Farahani).
Paterson lives as a passive observer, finding pleasure in listening to the conversations of others that are filled to the brim with the imperfections and truths of real ones. Laura is at the centre of his life, and in many ways his complementary opposite; an eccentric who lives artfully inciting change. These parts of Paterson’s life bring him creative harmony as a poet.
However, as the week unravels, we see how his action and inaction impacts others regardless of his intention. Paterson ambles through life like the circling path, witnessing people grow as roses would slowly blossom but refusing to interfere when he should as one would when a stream of water is blocked by a branch.
With its playful humour, gentle colour scheme and atmospheric but striking score, there is no need to understand its many double meanings to find Paterson a warm, refreshing watch.
Summer: (500) Days of Summer, dir. Marc Webb
(500) Days of Summer is one of those films that can never fail to lift your mood. As a love story that has not only an incredible soundtrack but also manages to blur the line between sentimental and quirky ever so well, (500) Days of Summer is a brilliant film for those summer days where everything seems to be going well.
With Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead roles, it’s unsurprising that the film was (and continues to be) such a popular choice for a rom-com. Protagonist Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) sets the film out to be a challenge. Summer (Zooey Deschanel) doesn’t believe in love, yet Tom strives to change this seemingly stubborn view through the power of love and happiness.
The film contains an abundance of musical influences, and that musical scene is just one of the most summery and exciting scenes in cinematic history, making (500) Days of Summer a must-watch for a seasonal film. Never mind the fact that she is literally called Summer, but that would maybe be a bit too obvious!
Autumn: Boyhood, dir. Richard Linklater
Although the autumn season is well known for Halloween and nights growing longer, it also symbolises a different change as bright green leaves turn into brown and fall off trees. Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s epic coming-of-age drama, is a representation of change as we witness Mason grow as a 6 year old into a young adult at 18 with extraordinary subtlety. Linklater has already dealt with the passage of time before through the romance of Jesse and Céline in his Before Trilogy, but Boyhood does not situate itself with causality and instead relishes in ambling through the simpler side of life – playing video games, your first teen romance, and quality time with parents before packing your bags and heading off to college. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are so natural and warm as Mason’s parents, and the supporting cast are as equally authentic along the way. However, it’s only towards the end when Mason drives off to college where the penny drops and you realise what you have just watched in the two hours what everyone can relate to: the universal transition from childhood into adulthood.
Winter: Happiest Season, dir. Clea DuVall
Winter is the time for enjoying the Christmas spirit, snuggling up in a blanket and watching cute feel-good films, and Happiest Season is the perfect film for this period. Happiest Season is a romantic comedy following the story of couple Abby (Kristen Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis) as they spend time at Harper’s parents house, despite Harper’s conservative parents being completely unaware of her sexuality. The film follows the storyline of every Christmas film, but the representation of a lesbian couple is what makes this movie a standout in the Christmas genre. The movie captures the difficulties of coming out to parents, but also has many laughable feel-good moments. For example, when Abby’s friend John (Dan Levy) says to Abby “have they ever met a lesbian?” when Abby tells John, Harper’s parents think she is straight. The movie is superb, and Kristen Stewart does the role justice. Finally, there is some representation of same-sex couples in the Christmas movie genre who are not side-characters or side plotlines, they are the main story and will hopefully change the face of Christmas films.