Movies, Movies, Movies

We certainly haven't had a bad winter, but it's a cold winter nonetheless. With the exception of a few nights of warmer weather, the nights have been cold. So, we have been staying in a lot. And staying in with us often means renting DVDs from the Redbox, watching movies on the Roku, or getting DVDs in the mail from Netflix. Needless to say, I've been watching a lot of movies and TV shows over the past few weeks. Here are some of my favorites!

Remember how I said I cry all the time now? Umm..yeah, I totally cried during like 80% of this movie. And when I wasn't crying, I was laughing, and then I cried some more. It may not be the best movie ever, but the characters are not only interesting, but the acting is superb. I never read Kathryn Stockett's novel, but friends and relatives of mine who have praised the adaptation. Viola Davis is one of my favorite actresses these days. I've loved her for so many years on Law & Order (of which I am a ridiculously, gigantic fan), and to see her getting her dues in great roles is awesome! But the performances that really blew my mind were Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer. Not only were they individually awesome, but their story was by far one of my favorites. Such an entertaining movie! Plus, I keep walking around saying, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." We'll call it my mantra these days. : )

A.P. and I watched this and agreed that it was...amazing. The story is wonderful, with such attention to the emotions these characters are feeling. But what we really loved was the unique storytelling and they way they described characters and the world in certain years. If you've seen it, you probably know what I'm talking about. Plus, it's got Christopher Plummer (or as I like to think of him Georg Von Trapp), who ever since I was a little girl, I've had a crush on. I'm well aware of the fact that it's absolutely ridiculous that I still have a crush on someone who is very much old enough to be my father, but he is just so damn charismatic as an actor. And he shines in Beginners. He gets every emotion right and you feel a strong sense of melancholy mixed with joy at his life story and the irony of him being free to be openly gay but too old to really find true love. And the relationship between him and his son is so wonderful. I really can't say enough about this movie. It's not something everyone will necessarily watch, but it was, in my mind, one of the best movies of the year.

I watched this documentary over the weekend and loved it. First of all, it's amazing that Bill Cunningham still works, still shoots on film, and still takes the active role in his work and life that he does. I was fascinated with this private man and his work habits. It's such an interesting perspective on fashion and journalism and just culture in general and what is considered high and low culture. Fascinating! If you haven't seen it, please rent it. It's such a good watch (and not too long!). I'm amazed that he's one year older than my father and still working, riding his bike, and as mentally agile as someone under 60! Madness, I tell you! Madness!

Okay, I know what you're going to say. This is a bad movie. But you know what? I liked it dammit. Maybe because I went in with such. low. expectations. But I loved it. It was stupid and silly and made way too light of a serious dilemma most women face, but for a romantic comedy that didn't require much thinking, it was pure spun sugar. Plus, I make lists ALL the time, so I could relate. I do/did worry I will become Kate Reddy if A.P and I have kids. I worry I will feel split in half by my responsibilities and that in some ways, I will just let everyone down. I try not to think about it, but yeah, it's there, lurking in the back of my brain. So maybe that's why I'll take a movie this lowbrow that at least approaches the discussion of the difficult choices women who work face. It may not have been Oscar material, but for a bit of fluff, I liked it.

As part of my list for 2012, I'm working my way through AFI's Top 100 List. This was the first film I've watched on the list so far (It's been proving tricky to get the DVDs. I kind of thought there would be more available on instant watch. Grrr.) I haven't seen this movie before but thoroughly enjoyed it. For one thing, the music was very familiar as I grew up with my mother singing me those songs. For another, I'm a sucker for musicals. Plus, James Cagney was awesome! He's got an odd style of tap dancing, but it's impressive to watch. Perhaps my only problem with the movie was, oh I don't know, when the Four Cohans all came out in black face? Yeah, that wasn't cool, but you know, it's a part of history and in some ways I'm always grateful it's documented so that we can remember what we don't want to go back to. Other than that, though, the movie was really great. And I didn't know anything about George M. Cohan, so it was educational, too! Win-win! I won't always post about my AFI Top 100 progress, but you can check my progress here.

I've also been catching up on Dexter and watching season 1 of Mike & Molly, which is cute and I love that it's set in Chicago even though there's so many crazy inaccuracies (like when Molly said she lived on south Cicero, but then told Mike to take Wells to her house that it was quicker. Ummm...if you took Wells to south Cicero, you'd be driving forever since those two bastards run parallel to each other, miles apart!). Other than that, I've been digging the show's cute humor and the always hilarious Melissa McCarthy (have you seen Bridesmaids or Samantha Who?)

Have you seen any great movies lately? Or started watching any great TV shows? I always love recommendations!

(Picture Credits linked above)

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