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Here’s some movies that rock — enjoy!

Dramas & Disturbances

    Grace is Gone (2007): such an awesome movie! The anti-war genre can be hit or miss, but John Cusack just disappears into his role as a man abruptly widowed by the war. His random helplessness and efforts to care for his little girls will break your heart.
    Once (2007): the perfect romantic movie! Watch it, then buy the soundtrack….. it’s a little movie with surprising depth.
    Persepolis (2007): animated from the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi; it’s one of those rare movies that matches the pictures you make in your head as you read the book
    Pharoah’s Army (1995): an incredible Civil War movie set in the backcountry of KY — Patricia Clarkson, Chris Cooper and the entire cast give amazingly nuanced performances
    Piano Teacher (2001): Isabelle Huppert stars as a masochistic musician who explores her passions in this French psycho-drama. Terribly disturbing, but paced oh so well
    The Bank Job (2008): based on a true story… Jason Statham is astonishing as a petty criminal who pulls off the heist of the century
    In Bruges (2008): I don’t know if I should put this in the comedy section — but it’s also a thriller. I have to tell you I’m not a huge Colin Ferrell fan but he rocked this role, and you’ll never ever think of Ralph Fiennes in the same way

Laugh and say “ahhhh”

    Death at a Funeral (2007): just your typical British family funeral, except…….it’s directed by Frank Oz, involves blackmail, pharmaceuticals, and a gay little person
    Run Fat Boy Run (2007): Simon Pegg (who’ll be Scottie in the upcoming Star Trek movie) is awesome as slacker who learns to commit while training for the London marathon — it is laugh out loud funny and such a “hey nonny nonny” movie!
    Lars and the Real Girl (2007): who knew a movie about a blow-up doll could be so great — Ryan Gosling just shines!
    Tropic Thunder (2008): I love Robert Downey, Jr. — have since Chaplin…. this movie is hilarious and an incredible satire of the whole movie industry

Family Movie Night

    Astronaut Farmer (2006): Billy Bob Thornton stars as an ex-astronaut who still wants to orbit the earth, so he builds a rocket in the barn!
    August Rush (2007): music, love and finding a family — it’s predictable, but really well-done… Check out Robin Williams as the Fagin-esque character
    Mamma Mia! (2008): music, love and finding a family — wait, I just did that…. This one leaves you less lyrical and more giggly. It’s a lot of fun!
    Martian Child (2007): John Cusack again …. here he adopts a little boy who has dealt with the foster care system by telling everyone he comes from Mars. How they become a family drives the plot….
    Penelope (2008): gentle romantic fairy tale about a girl with a pig nose & the boy who loves her — Christina Ricci & James McAvoy are stellar
    Stardust (2007): based on Neil Gaiman’s book — this is a lovely little story with witches, fairies, kings, pirates and magic….

Quick Picks

    Just in case you like to check out the small screen as well: BBC-America’s new version of Robin Hood is absolutely must see for the girls and me, while Shakespeare Retold is one of the most inventive programs I’ve ever watched. The 2 episodes that stand out for me are Macbeth with James McAvoy as the tortured Scot and Rufus Sewell as the cross-dressing hero of The Taming of the Shrew. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to see HBO’s John Adams — it’s just wonderful.

Take care,
Aly

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