Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.
Do this exercise before you listen.
I really like The Notebook; it’s a romantic classic. The story is about a poor boy, called Noah, who meets a rich girl, called Allie, and they fall in love over one summer. But of course there are problems. Allie’s parents don’t approve of Noah because he’s poor and they get separated, then a lot of time passes before they can get together again. She goes away to college and he writes to her every day, but she doesn’t get the letters. Then after quite a long time, Noah buys an old house which he promised to restore for Allie. He does it up and she sees a newspaper article about it and goes to find him again. You can probably guess the rest, but it’s a bit complicated because she is engaged to another man. Noah is played by Ryan Gosling, who’s my favourite actor, and he stops the film being too soppy – but you still cry a lot at the end. Rachel McAdams is really good too, as Allie.
I think my favourite film is Skyfall, the last James Bond movie. It stars Daniel Craig again and Javier Bardem is this really evil baddie. They’re both great, and so is Judi Dench as M, Bond’s boss. It’s a bit different to other Bond films. The story is more important, although there is still a lot of action. It’s really well filmed, especially in the scenes which are shot in Shanghai and Scotland, and it’s really exciting, of course. Bond is also a bit different – although he does amazing things, he seems older and that makes him more human and the story more realistic. Oh, the song by Adele is great, too. You know it won an Oscar?
It’s not a very recent film, but I love Pride and Prejudice – the version with Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr Darcy. The story is really clever and interesting, besides being romantic. It’s all about how we tend to jump to conclusions about people and we’re often completely wrong. Elizabeth thinks Mr Darcy is stuck up and snobbish at the beginning of the film, but at the end she realises she has been completely wrong and he isn’t like that at all. She also realises he has an enormous house and that maybe helps her fall in love with him too! After I saw the film I read the book by Jane Austen and I really recommend that too. Although it was published 200 years ago, it’s still a great read and really funny in parts.
My favourite film has to be The Matrix. Even though it was made back in 1999, it still feels really modern. It’s about this ordinary man, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, who works with computers during the day and is a hacker at night. One day he is contacted by a woman who introduces him to a very strange man: Morpheus. Morpheus explains to Neo that what he thinks of as real is actually fiction and the world is run by evil machines who have imprisoned and tricked the human race. Laurence Fishburne is terrific as Morpheus, and Keanu Reeves is excellent, but the best thing about the film is the special effects. I can watch it again and again.
Let the Right One In is my favourite film. There are two versions, the first is Swedish and the second American – I prefer the original, Swedish version. It’s a modern vampire film and also a kind of love story, but it’s really unsentimental and a bit scary in places. Oskar is a young boy with a lot of problems. He is being bullied at school and wants revenge on the bullies. Then some new neighbours move in next door and he becomes friends with Eli, a beautiful but strange girl. I won’t tell you any more, because it will spoil the story, but expect a serial killer, a lot of violence and blood-drinking. If you like that kind of thing, you’ll love this.
Worksheets and downloads
Have you seen any good films recently? Tell us about them!