January 8, 2010

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We watch a lot of movies Under a Red Roof.  Though I think you probably know that.  This holiday season was no exception, save it may have been slightly more exceptional in volume.  Golly, did we spend a lot of time in front of the telly (in my defense, I did a lot of reading, too!).  Here are my favorites, in no particular order.

This is a real gem.  Peter, a young man nearly finished with med school, learns he will not be getting the residency he hoped for after a serious blunder with a fake patient.  Depressed, he goes to a bar to see said “patient.”  She is his polar opposite, and he is swept away by her, quite literally, hours away from home, to hers.  It is a world of counterculture pot smokers and growers, kooky and angry, living as close to the land as possible.  From here, we see the interplay between these very different worlds, learning the benefits and deficits of each.

I loved it.  As is expected from the BBC, it is light and funny (loud peals of laughter caused the hubster wonder what was afoot in the tv room), sometimes sad, and very engaging.  The cast, costumes, and sets are top notch, too.

I was surprised by this one, fearing the worst for some reason.  It is an alluring tale of first love (and poetry), the tragedy of loss, and our varying and sometimes highly unusual ways of coping.  Australian and beautifully filmed, I might add.

This one is a bit wacky and sometimes gross, really gross, while being totally engrossing (I couldn’t resist).  A famous DJ suddenly loses his hearing and copes in solitude by taking copious amounts of drugs, eschewing them all together, and learning to feel the music instead.

“I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  That line is all I knew of this rather eerily prescient film about editorial news programs.  I really liked it, even though some of the dialogue was very dated.  1976!

The hubster and I saw this waay back when we were dating, having turned on the television thirty minutes into it, wondering what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks was going on, and laughing all the while at Albert Brooks and Rip Torn.  Meryl Streep is delightful and carefree as Julia, a character who likes to eat.  This reminds me of someone else…

Katharine Hepburn received an Oscar nomination for her role as Jane Hudson in this lovely film from 1955.  A lonely woman, she’s on holiday in Venice, looking for beauty, adventure, and companionship.  She finds it, though not quite as she expected.  It is a sweet and sad story, filled with great fashion and fantastic sights.

Being a revolutionary is about patience and education, even for those watching (it is nearly five hours long).  Everything happens in good time.  Follow Che through his first victory in Cuba and his final defeat in Bolivia.   I rather liked it, but for such a fascinating character, I would have preferred seeing his whole life.  There was time enough, I think.

Harbour and his perpetually suicidal brother Wilbur’s lives are changed for the better when Alice and her daughter Mary enter their disorderly book shop.   This one is sweet and sad, too, with a couple of surprising plot twists.  An aside, a dialogue representing the shorthand of sixteen years of married life:

Hubster:  Who is that (Alice)?

Me: She’s the one with the ronnie (female moustache) from that Irish film (Intermission).

Hubster: Right!