I've been telling friends and co-workers about three movies I recently watched. No...they don't involve sex-crazed Manhattanites who drink Cosmos and wear Manolos or a man in a suit. These weren't blockbusters at cineplexes, but they were hits with critics.
"Persepolis": An amazing animated film from Iran. The Academy Award-Nominated film tells the story of a Iranian girl who grew up after the Shah in Iran, and follows her through teenage years and adulthood. There were times during the movie I felt I wasn't watching an animated piece, because there was so much drama and, amazingly, great acting by the characters. (Of course this is because of a great script). It's in French with subtitles. A must see.
"The Savages": Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are sister and brother in this comeday-drama about siblings having to face the reality of adulthood while they take care of their ailing father. Both acting and screenplay are superb. There are moments of amazing wit and humor, and pain and pathos. Linney and Hoffman are consumate actors. I laughed, I cried...
"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly"/"Le Scaphandre et le papillon": Artist and filmmaker Julian Schnabel directs this memoir-inspired drama about Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby, the
France editor for Elle Magazine, suffered a najor stroke when he was 43 years old, which paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Bauby uses that eye to blink out his memoir. The movie is in French with subtitles. The first 10 minutes of the film are a bit dizzying, so don't watch it if you have a headache. What drew me to this movie was the fact that it was based on real-life events. The system Bauby and his nurse creates with communicating with his link eye is pretty amazing. You'll leave this movie reciting the French alphabet.