IELTS Topic: Movies

Vocab & Idioms

Go over the following vocabulary and expressions with your tutor. Read the word/expression and definition out loud, and your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.

Vocabulary/ Expressions

a box office hit (n) a financially successful film
to catch the latest movie (v) to see a film that has just come out
the central character (n) the main person in a film or book
the setting (n) where the action takes place
showings (n) performances of a film
soundtrack (n) the music that accompanies a film
special effects (n) the visuals or sounds that are added to a film which are difficult to produce naturally
a blockbuster (n) a film that is a big commercial success
a sequel (n) a book, movie, etc., that continues a story begun in another book, movie, etc.
a trilogy (adj) a series of three novels, movies, etc., that are closely related and involve the same characters or themes

Part 1 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Topic

  • Do you like to watch films?
  • How often do you go to a cinema or watch a movie?
  • What was the first film that you watched?

Part 2&3 Questions

Here are possible questions that might come up during the test. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a film that you have recently seen. You should say:
    • what the film was
    • when and where you saw it
    • what the film was about
    • and explain how you felt about this film.

Part 3 Questions

  • What kinds of films are popular in your country?
  • Why do you think some people prefer going to the cinema to watching films at home?

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favourite movie. You should say:
    • What the film is about
    • Why you like it so much
    • What message the movie gives

Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think people will continue to go to the cinema in the future?
  • Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a movie you watched either at home or in a cinema. You should say:
    • What movie was it?
    • What was it about?
    • Did you enjoy it?
    • Why did you remember this movie?

Part 3 Questions

  • Do old people and young people like watching the same kinds of films?
  • To what extent do you think films reflect real life?

Sample Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Part 1 Questions

  • Do you like to watch films?

    • I’m really into watching films because some films are very entertaining and provoking. I sometimes go to the cinema with my friends and family to enjoy our leisure time on the weekends.
  • How often do you go to a cinema or watch a movie?
    • I go the the cinema to watch movies from time to time. Normally if I’m not busy with my work, I’ll check out the movies to see whether there are any movies that attract me; but if I have lots of things on my hands, I’ll probably focus on my work.
  • What was the first film that you watched?
    • The first film that I watched was the Lion King many years ago in the cinema with my parents. What I can remember now is the terrific animation and the amazing soundtrack. i particularly liked the song Can You Feel the Love Tonight that I knew it was produced by Elton John. And I’ve learned lessons from this movie. It is about living up to our responsibilities, no matter how hard it is.

Part 2&3 Answers

Here are some sample answers. Go over them with your tutor.

Sample A

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe a film that you have recently seen. You should say:
    • what the film was
    • when and where you saw it
    • what the film was about
    • and explain how you felt about this film.

A film that I saw recently was called The Passion of the Christ. I was in my hometown when I saw it when it first came out a few years ago.
The film was about the last 24 hours of Jesus’ life on earth. It showed when he was in the garden before he was captured and brought before a trial all the way up to when he was crucified and rose up again from out of the grave. It was actually quite moving because the director, Mel Gibson, actually put his own money into making the picture, so he was able to just do it the way that he wanted it done. This movie caused quite an uproar when it was realized as some people really loved it and others hated it. It was in the news for a long time with a lot of debating going on over it. It ended up making quite a bit of money for Mel Gibson.

Everything about it was very beautiful, from the cinematography to the actual scenery. The acting was top-notch. I think the main actor deserved an Academy Award but anyway I enjoyed it very much. One of the hardest scenes for me to watch in the movie was where .Jesus gets whipped before he is crucified. It was so realistic and I had to hide my eyes


Part 3 Questions

  • What kinds of films are popular in your country?
    • I live in Mumbai where Bollywood blockbusters are the most popular. Hollywood films also attract people, but they are not as popular as Bollywood films. Local films are more popular than international films in my country. Bollywood films are popular throughout North India. All the four states in South India have their own film industries. For example, in Kerala, Malayalam films are more popular than films made in other languages.
  • Why do you think some people prefer going to the cinema to watching films at home?
    • I personally like to watch films at home. I wouldn’t like it if someone sitting next to me yelled every time the hero punched the villain. I prefer the quiet atmosphere of my home to the commotion inside the cinema theatre. I know a lot of people enjoy going to the cinema. I think that is because they need a change from home. Also, I have heard that image quality and sound quality are better when you watch a film in the cinema. However, in my opinion, this is no longer true. Many home entertainment systems are capable of producing high-quality sounds and pictures.

Sample B

Part 2 Questions

  • Describe your favourite movie. You should say:
    • What the film is about
    • Why you like it so much
    • What message the movie gives

It’s quite hard to say what my favourite movie is because there are quite a few to choose from! But I would say that the one that made the strongest impression on me is a German film called ‘The Lives of Others’.

This film is set in communist East Germany, shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall. At that time, the Stasi, the East German secret police, used to spy on all kinds of people. The two main characters in the film are a playwright called Dreyman and a Stasi spy called Weisler, whose job it is to keep Dreyman under 24-hour surveillance. Weisler is supposed to be reporting back to his superiors at the Stasi in order to discredit the playwright. However, he develops a strong sympathy for the playwright and his girlfriend and determines to protect them by not reporting anything significant. The scenes in the film where it cuts from the colourful and interesting lives of Dreyman and his friends to the lonely attic where Weisler is sitting really show the contrast between the two men. The film is shot in such a way that it makes you believe you are also spying on Dreyman, it even made me feel a bit guilty!

I like this film because it has fascinating, 3-dimensional characters, and also the plot has plenty of twists. Right up until the end of the film, we are left guessing how it could possibly end. It is also very thought-provoking because it makes you wonder how many people working for the Stasi actually did protect the people they were spying on.

As for the message it gives, I would say the main message is that we can find kindness and humanity in the most unexpected of places. The film makes us realise that nothing is ever black and white! The film also serves as a warning about the dangers of an oppressive, paranoid regime and is perhaps quite pertinent in this current age of mass surveillance.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do you think people will continue to go to the cinema in the future?
    • Well, I don’t know. Maybe they will. A lot of people go to the cinemas because they enjoy the outing. For them, the cinema is an escape from their routine. I think they will continue to go to the cinema.
  • Statistics show that visits to the cinema are up despite the availability of DVDs and online downloads. Why do you think this might be?
    •  I think it’s the whole experience that the cinema offers … going out to see a film when it goes on general release … and seeing it on the big screen is more exciting than watching the film at home on TV … especially if it’s an action movie … and watching it with others makes it even more special …

Sample C

Part 2 Questions

  • Tell me about a movie you watched either at home or in a cinema. You should say:
    • What movie was it?
    • What was it about?
    • Did you enjoy it?
    • Why did you remember this movie?

I will talk about the movie xxx. It is a Malayalam movie that I watched in a cinema about 20 years ago. It was a blockbuster. Actually, I watched the same movie on TV yesterday. It is one of my favourite movies and I have watched it countless times. It is the story of a father and a son. The father is an upright police constable who lives for his wife and children. He wants his eldest son to be a sub-inspector of police. The son is good at his studies and is keen on fulfilling the wishes of his father. Unfortunately, things don’t go as per their plans and the son eventually becomes a rowdy shattering the dreams of his parents. I like this movie because its storyline is something that I can relate with. I believe in family relationships, especially the relationship between parents and children. The other things that I like about this movie are its screenplay and the brilliant performance of the actors. It starred some of the finest actors in the Malayalam film industry.


Part 3 Questions

  • Do old people and young people like watching the same kinds of films?

    • Well, I think that old people like to watch stories about their country since they wore so involved in this time period. They also like to watch a variety of programmes that show the native singing and dancing from different regions in my country. Young, people on the other hand, go for the foreign films, as I already mentioned. There are some films that both young and old like to watch such as historical movies.
  • To what extent do you think films reflect real life?
    • Well, it is a big argument that has been around for a long time. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? I believe that each reflects on the other. Sometimes films observe life and comment on it and sometimes life observes film and imitates it. Film is a powerful medium and brings many parts of life to the public for observation.

Wrap-up

Go over any new expressions or vocabulary that you learned today.

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