Cue Card Sample
IELTS Cue Card Sample 15 - Your favourite movie
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IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.
Describe your favourite movie.
You should say:
- what the name of the movie/ film is
- what the theme of the movie/ film is
- why you like it so much
and describe the story of the movie in brief.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
• Describe a war movie you like.
• What’s the difference between the movies in your country and Hollywood movies?
• What do you think of violent films?
• Why movies need computer techniques? Any example of movies using computer techniques?
• Which parts of a movie are the most important and how to improve it?
Model Answer 1:
There are movies which we watch and then forget about them completely after a few days, if not any sooner. Then, there are movies like “Forrest Gump”, which we never exactly get tired of watching again and again because they make us think and experience our lives in some new lights.
A simple-minded (some would say with “low IQ”), but kind-hearted, Alabama boy, named “Forrest Gump” grows up with his best friend - a beautiful girl called Jenny. His supportive mother teaches him the ways of life and leaves him to choose his destiny.
Forrest joins the army for service in Vietnam, finding new friends, winning medals, starting multi-million dollar shrimp fishing business, writing bumper stickers and songs, donating to people, meeting the president several times and doing many other things. However, this all becomes irrelevant to Forrest because he can’t seem to save his childhood sweetheart Jenny Curran, who has messed up her life.
The underlying theme of the movie is that it advises a person to run from all the negative thoughts, influences and bullies of life as fast as he can, no matter how others around him try to “degrade” him physically and intellectually.
Why do I like the movie so much? Well, I like this movie primarily because it teaches us to find out on our own what exactly life is all about instead of paying attention to what others say about it. Besides, I like this movie also because it asks us to show “respect” to people, who seem rather “simplistic” in their thoughts and actions, because they also have their own dreams, and that they also chase their dreams very successfully in life. Finally, I like this movie also because of some of its “simple yet powerful” dialogues (ie. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get."), which are really difficult to forget.
Sample Answer 2:
The name of my favourite movie is 'Casablanca' which was directed by Michael Curtiz. It was released in 1943 and the story was adapted from a stage-play named 'Everybody comes to Ricks'. The movie starred Humphery Bogart & Ingrid Bergman and was made in the USA. It was a romantic drama film and the storyline was set during World War II.
It focuses on a man torn between love and virtue. In 1941 American expatriate Rick who professed to be neutral by all means met his former lover Ilsa in his nightclub and gambling den. She was accompanied by her husband, Laszlo, a renowned fugitive Czech Resistance Leader. They needed a letter to escape to America, where he can continue his work against the Nazis. German Major came to Casablanca to see that Laszlo does not succeed. One night Ilsa confronted Rich in the deserted cafe and asked for the letter. She threatened him with a gun for the letter and later on confessed that she still loved him. Rick's bitterness dissolved learning that Ilsa was married to Laszlo before even their relationship began. When Rick and Ilsa planned to fly together, she could not do so because all of a sudden she found that her husband was still alive and needed her badly to recover. Hearing the story Rick calmed down and agreed to give the letter to Laszlo so that he can fly to America safely. They would take a different path to fly away together. But finally, Rick let Ilsa and Laszlo fly to America which surprised Ilsa very much.
In 1989, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry a being deemed 'Culturally', 'Historically' and 'Aesthetically' significant. It is the second-best movie of all time based on AFI's 100 best movies of all time.
I've seen the movie more than 2-3 times. The story is excellent, the casting, plot, acting, dialogues and all other aspects of the movie are superb. The movie deeply touched me and became the most favourite movie I have ever seen.
Model Answer 3:
Thank you very much for letting me talk about this cue card topic. Interestingly, I initially thought that it would be so easy to talk about my favourite movie but then I realised it is not because there are so many things to talk about but the time is limited! However, I will try.
Well, my favourite movie is 'Citizen Kane', - an American mystery drama by Orson Welles which is often considered the best movie ever made. Orson Welles was also its director, producer, co-screenwriter, and the protagonist. This movie won an Academy Award for Original Screenplay and I believe the screenplay of the movie makes it so distinctive and brilliant. Considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane is especially appreciated for its cinematography, music, editing and narrative structure, which have been considered innovative and precedent-setting.
Orson Welles's epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall is entertaining, poignant, and inventive in its storytelling, earning its reputation as a landmark achievement in the movie industry. When a reporter is assigned to decipher newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane's dying words, his investigation gradually reveals the fascinating portrait of a complex man who rose from obscurity to staggering heights. Though Kane's friend and colleague Jedediah Leland and his mistress, Susan Alexander shed fragments of light on Kane's life, the reporter fears he may never penetrate the mystery of the elusive man's final word, "Rosebud."
The film was absolutely a masterpiece and I had several reasons to like it. Acting, production, cinematography, music, editing and narrative structure, which have been considered innovative and trend-setting, are the main reasons anyone would enjoy this movie. It's a kind of movie that we do not watch quite often and for me, I consider it the best movie I have ever watched.
At the end of the movie, the reporter - who was assigned to reveal Kane's last word, concludes that he is unable to solve the mystery and that the meaning of Kane's last word, "Rosebud", and it will forever remain a mystery. As the film ends, the camera reveals that "Rosebud" is the trade name of the sled on which the eight-year-old Kane was playing on the day that he was taken from his home in Colorado. Thought to be junk by Xanadu's staff, the sled is burned in a furnace. The innocence of childhood and happiness in simple thing are incomparable and often hold the secret of life, is something I learned from the movie.
Preparation Tips for this cue card topic:
As part of your preparation for this cue card chose a movie that was based on real war and has historic value and was adopted from a book. Doing so you would be able to answer the following cue cards as well:
1. Describe a movie that was made based on a real event.
2. Describe a movie that was created based on a historic event.
3. Describe a war movie you have watched.
4. Talk about a film which was adapted from a book.
5. Talk about a critically acclaimed film you that you have watched.
6. Describe the best film you have seen this year.
Following are some of such Hollywood movies/ films that you can describe. To pick such movie names and their details those were made in your own country, Google it.
Movies based on real events:
Act of Valor
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Devil's Double
The Social Network
The Killing of John Lennon
A Beautiful Mind
Movies based on real event and War
Behind Enemy Lines
Movies based on Books
The Motorcycle Diaries
Pride and prejudice
The bridge on the River Kwai
Tips for answering this Cue card topic:
1. Talk about a movie that you have watched as this would help you describe the storyline of the movie.
2. You should know the names of the main actor, actress, genre, producer and director of the movie.
3. Describe the story in brief. Do not start describing the details of the story from the beginning as you will run out of time before finishing the whole story.
4. Mention some of the following reasons for the question 'Why you liked it"
- This is a critically acclaimed movie.
- The storyline is touchy and has good morality.
- The movie was based on a real story.
- The story depicts a historic event/ national event/ real-life issue.
- I enjoyed the acting and story of the movie.
- The outstanding performance by an actor/ actress.
- The movie has lots of special effect/ actions that you enjoyed.
- It is one of the best movies based on some reliable ratings.
- It was recommended by a friend/ family member/ teacher
- The story reveals the facts that touched you.
Note that a movie and a film indicate the same thing. 'Film' is used in British English whereas both words are used in American English. So do not get confused if the cue card asks you to talk about a film while you consider it as 'Movie'.
Part 3 - Details Discussion:
Q. Describe a war movie you like.
Answer: I’m going to tell you about ‘Braveheart’, a war movie directed by Mel Gibson, who was also the leading character. The movie was released in 1995 and it was written by Randall Wallace. In the 14th century, William Wallace, a Scottish warrior, leads his people in a rebellion against the tyranny of the English King, who has given English nobility the 'Prima Nocta' - a right to take all new brides for the first night. The Scots were not pleased with the brutal English invaders, but they lack the leadership to fight back. Wallace creates a legend of himself, with his courageous defence of his people and attacks on the English. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards at the 68th Academy Awards and won five: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Editing.
Other war movies you can say about: The Pianist, Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Apocalypse Now, Good Morning Vietnam, War Horse, Downfall, Lincoln, and Imitation Game.
Q. What’s the difference between the movies in your country and Hollywood movies?
Answer: I believe that the movies in my country aren’t that good as Hollywood movies are. First of all, the budget is really low for local movies and that is why there are very limited opportunities. Not all scenes are impressive and there are no special effects, something that dominates in Hollywood. Furthermore, the actors in local movies aren’t so famous and talented, on the contrary in Hollywood they are of worldwide fame. There is a large variety of the topics and themes of Hollywood movies. However, our local movies do not deal with a wide range of themes. Finally, Hollywood movies are released and enjoyed worldwide while our local movies are mostly made for us except for some very few movies that get international attention.
Q. What do you think of the violent films?
Answer: I would say that it depends on the type of violence. To be more precise, I like movies with violent scenes because they’re interesting and include more actions. In those movies, the good wins over bad. It’s a kind of vindication and the message that good prevails over bad. I don’t like movies that involve rapes. In particular, I hate these movies. I would not say that it’s something that isn’t happening, but I think that promoting women’s humiliation and debasement is not a good thing. So, I would come to the conclusion that I partly like violent movies and specifically, it depends on the story. However, the unnecessary violence is not liked by all and I am no exception.
Q. Why movies need computer techniques? Any example of movies using computer techniques?
Answer: Well, computer techniques should be used to add some characteristics to movies so that they can be more impressive and believable. Especially nowadays this opportunity is much more in use than the past. Many things that were unfeasible are attainable now with computer technology in movie industries. A remarkable example could be ‘Avatar’, a movie that was critically acclaimed and had a million views worldwide. The groundbreaking visual effects used to make humans look like extraterrestrial beings were amazing and that was the primary reason that the film broke several box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time in England, Canada and the USA.
Q. Which parts of a movie are the most important and how to improve it?
Answer: It is an undeniable fact that all the parts of a movie are extremely important, but it seems to me that more attention should be given to the finishing of a movie. There are many examples of movies that were very interesting but the end was extremely boring and disappointing. In this case, I totally believe that the end negates all the good things that happened in the rest of the movie and leaves a bad impression on the viewers. So, my opinion is that the last part/ finishing part of a film should be of paramount importance and it can be achieved by providing a distinct and not vague message to the viewers and making things clear in their mind.
Tip: You can say about other things such as the beginning, the plot, dialogues, directing, special effects or even the acting. It’s up to you and your personal opinion.
[Part 3 answers are written by Mary, UK, Economist with Main Field of Studies in Business Economics]
Similar Cue Card Topics
Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:
1. Describe a movie you have recently watched.
2. Describe a foreign movie that you have watched.
3. Describe a movie you would recommend others to watch.
4. Talk about a movie that you enjoyed watching.
5. Describe a film you have recently watched.