Films Watched: January 2012

Here is what I watched this month.

Room in Rome (dir. Julio Medem, 2010) — Room in Rome has the unfortunate distinction of being the first movie I watched in 2012. My friend wanted my “official” cinephile opinion about it. My official opinion is that it is complete crap. (Especially after seeing Weekend.) Google it, if you so desire.

Casablanca (dir. Michael Curtiz, 1942)

There is no way for me to not enjoy Casablanca. It gets better the more times I see it. [Related Post]

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (dir. Tomas Alfredson, 2011) — I loved Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy even more the second time around. This is a marvelous, well-made thriller and Gary Oldman should be winning all of the awards. All. Of the. Awards.

EuroTrip (dir. Jeff Schaffer, 2004) — Did you know that EuroTrip has a director and stars people other than Michelle Trachtenberg’s boobs? Because I didn’t.

That Thing You Do! (dir. Tom Hanks, 1996)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPMLG8mnCRM]

It’s hard to not enjoy That Thing You Do! Because hating That Thing You Do! would be like hating Tom Hanks. And no one hates Tom Hanks. Because hating Tom Hanks would be like hating pandas. And no one hates pandas.

La Vie En Rose (dir. Olivier Dahan, 2007)

I have now seen La Vie En Rose twice in the last six months. That is twice more than I ever intended.

Senna (dir. Asif Kapadia, 2010) — Senna lacks standard documentary markers (no talking heads; no narration) and makes Formula One racing interesting. Senna stands out as one of the best recent documentaries.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (dir. Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938) — Errol Flynn will always be the best Robin Hood. He wasn’t the first but it is hard to imagine the character without Flynn’s boundless charm. Actually, it is easy to picture that Robin Hood because it is Russell Crowe.

Atlantic City (dir. Louis Malle, 1980)

The romantic pairing of Susan Sarandon and Burt Lancaster oddly works.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1943)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcZ6fnRLDLU]

This isn’t my favorite Powell-Pressburger film but like all of their work, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp boasts a great story with much more than beats the eye.

Heavenly Creatures (dir. Peter Jackson, 1994)

With a film like Heavenly Creatures, the real life story it is based on can easily overshadow the film. But the performances by Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey pushes this film over the edge, making it an intense and fascinating ride.

The Killing (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1956)

One of my favorite film noirs and one of my favorite films directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Adam’s Rib (dir. George Cukor, 1949)

This is my favorite Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn film. I have a copy on VHS that I can’t part with and when I was younger, I would watch the tape over and over again. The gender politics are years ahead of its time. Adam’s Rib is Tracy and Hepburn at their best.

Notting Hill (dir. Roger Michell, 1999)

I went on a huge Downton Abbey binge this week, which led me to watching Notting Hill. Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham Hugh Bonneville plays one of Hugh Grant’s friends and he is responsible for one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

Tiny Furniture (dir. Lena Dunham, 2010) — Lena Dunham might be the voice of her generation which is apparently my generation. Her new HBO show “Girls” (watch the trailer here) premieres on April 15. I’m either going to love this show or absolutely hate it. (I was somewhere in the middle with Tiny Furniture.)

Another Earth (dir. Mike Cahill, 2011)

Another Earth is an interesting companion film to The Tree of Life and Melancholia. It tackles the same themes while being less of an overreaching art film.

Beauty and the Beast (dir.  Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, 1991) — It’s a tale as old as time! In 3D! It was a magical and it all relates to Downton Abbey. (Seriously, it does.)

Desk Set (dir. Walter Lang, 1957)

Another Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy film that just makes me giddy.

My Beautiful Laundrette (dir. Stephen Frears, 1985)

Possibly my favorite Stephen Frears movie.

The Strange Case of Angelica (dir. Manoel de Oliveira, 2010) — I love Manoel de Oliveira’s films and this is no exception. The Strange Case of Angelica is charming, funny, and mystifying. He’s also an adorable old man.

happythankyoumoreplease (dir. Josh Radnor, 2010)

Ted Mosby made a movie. It’s not that good. I wanted Marshall and Lily to smack some sense into these awful characters.

Love Me Tender (dir. Robert D. Webb, 1956) — In his first movie, Elvis plays Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers who stays home during the Civil War to care for his mother and family farm. When one brother, Vance (Richard Egan) is mistakenly reported as killed, Clint marries his brother’s girl. Drama ensues. Elvis sings. I tried hard not to laugh.

Submarine (dir. Richard Ayoade, 2010)

A quirky, entertaining coming-of-age film.

A Separation (dir. Asghar Farhadi, 2011) — This is one of the best, gut wrenching portraits of a family and marriage I have ever seen.

Far From Heaven (dir. Todd Haynes, 2002)

I hadn’t seen Far From Heaven since I was about 14 and now I have mixed feelings about it. Stylistically, it’s great and Julianne Moore is fantastic, but something about it doesn’t hold up. Or maybe, Mad Men has left me jaded.

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