From horror movies to words of wisdom from Oprah and Pump Rules’ Stassi Schroeder, I’m looking back at everything I read and watched in April.
Hello there and happy first Monday in May — i.e. Met Gala day! Before we shift gears to the all the glamour coming our way on the red carpet today, though, I did want to take a glimpse in the rearview mirror at the month of April.
As you may have seen, every month here on Dream in Lace I’ve been trying to document what I’ve been reading and watching.
Everything I Read and Watched in April 2019
From a reading perspective, April was definitely more an introspective kind of month in my world! I read the latest release from Oprah as well as Stassi Schroeder of Pump Rules’ first book.
Don’t know what it is exactly — but I just couldn’t manage to finish off the several fiction reads I started this month. Hopefully that will change in May, but for now I’m celebrating the female perspective with two works of non-fiction.
Viewing wise April was definitely the month of horror!! From Us to Pet Semetary to a new horror series on Netflix, that was definitely a running theme all month long. Stepping away from horror, I did manage to see a new film on Mapplethorpe, though, at our local arts theater and really enjoyed that.
April was definitely a very jam-packed month in terms of my schedule. I was really glad, though, that I did make the time to see a few movies at the cinema and finish off a couple books. It’s great to kind of force yourself to get outside of the stress of your everyday life for a while, isn’t it?
To learn more about everything I read and watched in April, keep reading below!
Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder
Next Level Basic is the first book by Vanderpump Rules‘ star Stassi Schroeder. Outspoken as ever, Stassi has created a guidebook on how to be the best basic version of yourself. She also shares her behind-the-scenes perspective on some Pump Rules storylines and cast members. From fashion to relationships and always being your truest self, Stassi covers her take on a variety of topics – with her signature wit.
As a devoted fan of Vanderpump Rules, I of course was destined to read this book. But, if you’re not a viewer of the show? I do think you’ll be a bit lost. Stassi writes directly to a viewer and assumes you know details of her past relationships and the drama surrounding some of her friendships.
Like always with Stassi, some of what she says I agree with….some of it I think is entitled ignorance on her part. She’s a very outspoken individual and often asserts opinions without knowing or bothering to research the facts. In many ways, that’s what makes her such an enjoyable reality show star. Same as her persona on tv, though, I’d say this is quite a polarizing book and unless you’re willing to accept certain parts as Stassi just being Stassi – you might walk away annoyed.
The Path Made Clear by Oprah
The Path Made Clear is bound words of wisdom from Oprah and serves as a guide for activating a vision for yourself. It also offers a framework for finding direction and creating a life of significance. Over ten chapters, Oprah helps you on the road to self-discovery — pulling in feedback from other famous names on how to follow your passions along the way. The book includes quotes from figures such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay-Z and Ellen DeGeneres on how they too found their purpose in life.
Lately, I’ve been having a bit of an existential crisis of sorts internally so this book came out at such a perfect time! I’ve been thinking a lot about all my talents, interests and passions — and trying to figure out which ones I most want to pursue.
The Path Made Clear definitely helps you start to look at yourself differently and tap into what most sets your soul on fire. I read this towards the end of April…which was an incredibly busy and all over the place month in my world. Discovering these great words of advice and flipping through the inspiring imagery was really enjoyable and definitely helped ease some anxiety I was feeling.
Whether you’re at a crossroads trying to figure out which direction to take with your life or looking for reassurance that you’re on the right path…I think this is a really inspiring, great read you’ll enjoy.
What I Watched in April 2019
Written and directed by Jordan Peele (Get Out), Us follows the story of Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) as she enjoys a family getaway to their vacation home near Santa Cruz. Haunted by an experience in her past, Adelaide grows increasingly concerned something bad is going to happen. Her fears become reality when she and her family are met by a group of doppelgängers – identical to each of them but with very murderous intentions.
I started off the month seeing this on April Fool’s Day and was truly blown away. It’s incredibly rare for a horror film to bring to mind awards season – but Lupita Nyongo’s performance was so gripping I really felt it was award-worthy. The way she fully commits to the role and shares Adelaide’s story with such intensity really elevates the horror of the film as a whole.
Obviously I don’t want to give away in spoilers incase you haven’t yet seen Us, but I was entranced by the film literally from the opening shot to the closing one! From start to finish, it takes you on quite a wild ride. And after thinking Get Out was kinda overrated — I’m happy to report I think Us is well-worth the hype its receiving and highly recommend you watch it immediately.
Pet Semetary – Both the Remake and Original
Based off the Stephen King novel, Pet Sematary follows the Creed family as they relocate to the country. Upon moving in, they discover a path that leads to a pet cemetery at the far end of their property where neighborhood children have buried their beloved furry friends. When the Creed family’s cat is hit and killed on the main road, Dr. Louis Creed and their elderly neighbor Jud head off to bury it just beyond the pet cemetery. To Dr. Louis’s surprise, the cat returns to life — but with a personality that’s noticeably changed…for the worse.
Pet Semetary was my first Stephen King read so it’s always held a special place in my heart. I loved the original film but admittedly hadn’t seen it in years…so went into seeing the remake kind of blind. I’m SO glad I did (and also avoided trailers) because I was able to absorb it as intended by the director.
Initially, the ending felt very rushed to me and when I left the theater I felt kind of disappointed by the remake. But after rewatching the original, I actually came to appreciate this version so much more. There’s a major plot point the original completely left out that the remake does explore…so that alone is a positive. I also thought the tone, atmosphere and casting of this adaptation were brilliant.
It’s not as great a remake as It was, but honestly? The new Pet Semetary is pretty great. (Definitely far better than the Carrie remake with Chloe Grace Moretz…which felt like a total insult to the original film and Stephen King’s book. But don’t even get me started on that…ha!)
Mapplethorpe is a scripted biographical film of famed, controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Starring Matt Smith, the film details Mapplethorpe’s rise to fame in 1970s New York City and the circumstances surrounding his tragic 1989 death at the age of 42.
Having just seen the Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Guggenheim in March, the timely release of this film was perfect in my world. It was very cool to see the story behind images fresh on my mind literally come to life on the big screen! No doubt, Robert Mapplethorpe was a gifted photographer. The way he experimented with light/dark is absolutely fascinating to me and I loved learning more about the man behind the photos.
Matt Smith’s performance was also – outstanding! I’ve always enjoyed his work when I see him spring up now and then…but wow did he blow me away. He truly transformed in the role of Robert Mapplethorpe and my opinion of him as an actor has grown leaps and bounds.
In general, I really can’t say enough positives about the film. Mapplethorpe really kind of had it all: great performances, outstanding writing, beautiful directing and a haunting feeling that sits with you long after you’ve left the theater. Highly recommend!
Chambers follows the story of Sasha (Sivan Rose), a teenage girl who is the recipient of a heart transplant. The parents of the girl whose heart she received (Uma Thurman and Tony Goldwyn) make contact with her in an effort to get to know Sasha as they grieve. Not long after meeting the Lefevre family, Sasha starts to sense some inconsistencies in their story and the circumstances surrounding Becky’s death. From there, things get crazy.
I started Chambers at random the day it came out, April 30, and was quickly sucked in! Really, I knew nothing going into the show and that’s how I’d most recommend watching it as you go on quite a wild ride over course of 10 episodes.
As such, there’s really not much I want to say about the plot but I do want to give major kudos to the show’s creators and Netflix for finally sharing a story that puts a Native American’s culture and heritage at the forefront. That was such a wonderful element to the show that I really enjoyed.
If you like shows that take you on a wild, bumpy ride and keep you guessing from start-to-finish…I highly recommend Chambers. Just when you think you know what’s going on – the show turns you in another direction and it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. Also, Uma Thurman’s performance is INTENSE! Wow.
Icymi, look back at everything I read/watched in the month of March 2019, here!
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