Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Wanted: Picks For Flicks

The other night Fellow Traveler and I watched Millions, an English film by the director of Trainspotting that was recommended by a RevGalBlogPal. The movie follows the adventure of an imaginative young boy -- the kind of kid who can build a castle from a stack of packing boxes, who's on dropping-in-on terms with the saints he reads about in his Six O'Clock Saints storybook -- who's just experienced the loss of his mother and a move to a new community, who finds himself the sudden possessor of a gym bag filled with English pound notes. The dilemma? The U.K. is switching over to Euros at the start of the new year, and he has very little time before the pound notes become worthless. Is the sudden presence of the bag a miracle? How should he spend the money? Is it wrong to spend it at all? Should he follow his heart or listen to his jaded and acquisitive older brother? It's a very engaging, charming movie that we'd both highly recommend. (And it did rate a wet hankie from me toward the end...with the disclaimer that many, many things can make me cry, including Hallmark Hall of Fame features and those new Pedigree commercials featuring the sad-eyed incarcerated canines and poignant voice-over, "I know that I am a good dog." )

Anyway...we are in the market for recommendations of good films that are uplifting, inspiring, funny, and/or somewhat off the beaten path. Any "small films" aficionados reading this...Netflix-queue suggestions welcome!

17 comments:

cheesehead said...

I don't know if you've seen "Little Miss Sunshine" or "Stranger Than Fiction" Both were excellent. LMS is definitely on Netflix, not sure about "Stranger".

LutheranChik said...

We saw "Little Miss Sunshine." Love that li'l kid who played Olive.

Quotidian Grace said...

Have you seen Flyboys? It is the true story of the Americans who flew for the French in the Lafayette Espadrille during WWI before the US entered the war. We enjoyed it.

LutheranChik said...

I saw it was a new release on Netflix. Will have to check it out.

Cool!

Anonymous said...

Try Dark Blue World--about a Czech pilot in England during WWII. Most definitely Antonia's Line, a retrospective of Dutch woman's life in the mid-20th century as her life winds down. And The Inheritors, about a number of peasants in Austria near the turn of the 20th century who inherit a farm. Finally, last weekend I watched The Crime of Father Amaro about a Mexican priest facing an ethical dilemma. All are foreign, so you'll have to read the darn subtitles.

toujoursdan said...

Have you seen "C.R.A.Z.Y. le film?" It is a Quebecois film (with English subtitles) about a gay kid growing up in Quebec in the 1960s and 1970s and explores the relationship between him and his mercurial father as well as the waning role of the Church.

Lots of drama with a few comedic elements (my favourite is when he sits through midnight mass and suddenly the priest gets up, stops the choir and says "Mass is too long, go home and open your presents" and then turns and winks at Zach, which is then revealed as a fantasy.)

It won numerous awards.

Linda said...

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was a fun movie to watch. It kept me engaged in a way most movies never do. I highly recommend it. Very, very fun.

Sheryl said...

There is a British film starring Alan Rickman called either Blowout or Blowdry. If you search for Rickman on Netfix, you'll find it. It is about a family and a hairstyling competition in England. It's funny, offbeat, and genuimely touching. Emma Thompson is in it too, as I recall.

And I'm glad I'm not the only one who cries at the Pedigree commercial. It makes me want to go to the local shelter and adopt all the dogs there - which neither my allergies or my landlord would appreciate!

Mata H said...

"Japanese Story" - a finely crafted Australian film - unpredictable, moving, the kind of film you will recall at odd moments for years.

The trilogy of films done by Carlos Saura - each is unrelated to the other plot-wise, but they are all his adaptation of classic Spanish themes into films that use flamenco as a key part of the expression. They are "Carmen", "Blood Wedding" and my personal favorite film of all time -->"El Amor Brujo".

Anything by Kurasawa, especially "Red Beard" - a long film in black and white (2 things that are not my favorites) nevertheless, I did not want the film to end. There are moments in this film that are film- making perfection, graphically and spiritually.

"Night of the Shooting Stars" - Italian film about a village in Italy during WWII. At once moving and funny and touching.

"Bagdad Cafe" about a roadside gas station, motel and cafe combination in the middle of the American desert. If it isn't a cult classic, it should be.

Tom in Ontario said...

RENT

Verdugo said...

truly offbeat-- "Kitchen Stories"-- is a pseudo-documentary of a (fake) Scandanavian research project to determine kitchen usage in order to design more efficient kitchens. Observers were paid to sit in these ridiculously tall stools in the corner of the kitchen (day and night) and map out the traffic patterns w/o interacting w/ the occupants. But the observers don't always follow the "rules"...

Great, quirky fun-- and touching. Those of us with Scandanavian heritage will appreciate the depiction of a crusty, reserved, and secretly lonely bachelor.

Amy said...

Another vote for Little Miss Sunshine here. I have never laughed so hard in my whole life.

I know it is shmaltzy but I liked The Family Stone. It's cute and uplifting, and perfect for this horribly cold weather. And, let's face it, you don't always want to watch a thinking movie, right?

Swandive said...

There are just so many to suggest. You know, netflix has this thing where "friends" can share lists. Wanna be friends? Maybe we could do a revgal friend group? Anywho - if so email me. I'd love to share whats on my list. Blessings,

Kievas said...

I don't get to watch movies much, but here's one that I'm waiting to see. I enjoyed the book.

Sophia said...

I absolutely recommend Whale Rider if you haven't seen it. Also, Shawshank Redemption.

hamletta said...

Your description of Millions reminded me of Hope & Glory, about a boy living near London during the Blitz, and how much fun and adventure it opens up for him.

Cool shrapnel! Zepplins in the back yard! Bombed-out houses to smash up!

toujoursdan said...

I saw Verdugo's suggestion - Kitchen Stories - last night and 2nd her recommendation. The whole premise is bizarre, the humour deadpan but it was very enjoyable - esp the battle of wits at the beginning.