As this Valentine’s Day is coming to a close why not wind down with a movie or two, or three? Don’t worry, these aren’t the usual Nicholas Sparks picks. Here is a quick list of movies, quirky and poignant, that won’t add to your toothache or your heartache.
“Lars and the Real Girl”: Ryan Gosling is at his best (and his best is pretty darn good) in this touching, quiet movie. This sleeper was overlooked and underrated. Gosling plays a man who is painfully shy and must come to terms with being an adult with the help of his brother and sister-in-law, some kind friends, and a girl who is not entirely “real.” One of the funniest parts is when Gosling quickly chucks a flower away in order for the girl he likes not to assume it was for her.
“Sense and Sensibility”: “Pride and Prejudice” (the BBC version of course) is wonderful as well, but Emma Thompson arguably did a better job with “Sense and Sensibility” than Austen herself. The cinematography is beautiful and sweeping, as is the soundtrack. Kate Winslet and Thompson play Marianne and Elinor, sisters and best friends who are navigating the waters of upper crest society and marriage in a time when women were not able to even dream of becoming anything that they could call their own. Elinor aptly states that it is “a bit bewitching” to think that one’s happiness rests on another person. In this case, it is not hard to imagine and it is wonderful to watch.
“Once”: This movie is a great surprise. “Once” won the Academy Award for Best Song for the beautiful “Falling Slowly.” Falling Slowly, Once Lyrics The song could describe what one feels while watching the movie itself as two underdogs struggling to find their way find each other instead. “Once” shows how we can indeed make a difference in someone else’s life, even if it is just through passing by. Another strong aspect of the film is the music. The lyrics are haunting, describing everything from heartbreak to discovery of self.
“Lost in Translation”: Ships passing in the night seems to be a favorite subject in literature and films alike. Sofia Coppola manages to do this subtly, though. Scarlett Johansson (in her strongest role, possibly) and Bill Murray are two Americans who have trouble adapting while visiting Tokyo. They both feel lonely in a city crowded with people and find some solace in each other. These two have a connection right away even though the odds may not be in their favor.
“Roman Holiday”: There has to be at least one classic pick, right? “Roman Holiday” is full of fun and truths as well. Gregory Peck (sigh) plays a journalist who believes he has landed a big story when Audrey Hepburn (playing a princess) lands on his doorstep. In one day they find that they can relate to one another and learn to really care for each other. The most memorable scene? Watch it and find out (it is at the end). (more…)