I love a good psychological thriller that allows you to decipher what is real and what is not or leave you to wonder if there is a true reality in the story at all. In honor of the release of Danny Boyle’s Trance, which sets prominently on my must watch list, here are some movies I endorse skewed toward independent cinema. Of course there are the standby favorites that everyone knows like The Matrix, Inception, Memento (again, my favorite movie ever) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but here are some ones that may be alittle less known. I also took some inspiration from a fellow blogger Mette and her ongoing series to present them to you:
(Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh)
emaciation ● guilt ● hallucinations
(Ryan Reynolds, Melissa McCarthy)
escapism ● fantasy ● multiple lives
“The Hangover Part III”
[This time, there’s no wedding. No bachelor party. What could go wrong, right? But when the Wolfpack hits the road, all bets are off.]
LMAO, I have no words… other than that I’m already there. This is a get-the-gang-together-for-a-midnight-movie kinda of thing.
Leave a comment on what you think about it…
Half of the ensemble cast from the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids, including Jon Hamm who plays a really big asshole, who navigate this screwy and raunchy tale of friendship, petty jealousies, and competition.
An unmarried couple like the one in the 2009 comedy-drama Away We Go who are having a kid and are scared of losing what they like about their current lives but are ultimately determined to make it work.
The 2012 sometimes-raunchy comedy Friends with Kids about a group of couple friends, including Jon Hamm who plays a really big asshole, in an unspoken competition to see who can successfully achieve love, happiness, and parenthood all at once. In the center of the film is two best friends who believe the best approach is to share the responsibilities of the child but remain platonic.
For me, Friends with Kids was a good film to watch unfold -a glimpse of how the insertion of kids may or may not affect one’s adult life - but had too cliche of an ending for me. However, it is one movie that I would still recommend anyone in the mood to laugh and/or examine the complexities of male-female friendships on screen.
The list continues of some of the things I have learned over the years from watching independent films. Life is reflected in film after all…
11. You can’t hide in memories forever. Also, opposites often do attract. Oh, and changing your hair color with your mood just may be the way to go. [Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind]
12. Even demigods could use some time off. [The Nines]
13. Don’t even try to “keep up with the Joneses”. You will never be able to. [The Joneses]
14. Playing the “what if” game gets you nowhere. What happened has happened and may have happened regardless. [Another Earth]
15. You exist where you want to exist. [The Jacket]
16. If you want something from the universe, just ask for it, and then say thank you. Plus, you just can’t “adopt” any kid you find on the subway. [Happythankyoumoreplease]
17. Never get into gambling, especially betting on horse races. Also, it takes a special kind of guy to pull off a sweater vest. [Lucky Number Slevin]
18. You can’t split yourself into two; just make a decision and stick with it. Plus, yellow and green are both really dynamic colors. [Uncertainty]
19. Everything worth saying is best said through poetry. [Love Jones]
20. Never knock classified ads placed in your local Pennysaver-like periodicals. [Juno]
More to come…
1. Let Viola Davis make all the speeches: The woman is a class act. Since the start of this awards season, she has given some of the most beautifully crafted acceptance speeches as she carts off Lead Actress awards for The Help. Her words can inspire anyone. To those expecting to win on Oscar night: pull Viola on stage with you and let her do all the talking. To all those who want to see past evidence of her powerful acting abilities, see Doubt (her one major scene defines the whole movie).
2. Maybe I should give French men a chance: Here’s a secret for you - I have an thing for European men, specifically Spanish and British men (it’s the accents!). But after being exposed to the charm of Jean Dujardin of The Artist in the last few months, maybe I have overlooked what all Europe has to offer. Bonus: I was flipping through the recent GQ and saw his debonair photo spread. Oui, oui.
3. The trio of Wiig, Rudolph, and McCarthy continue to bring the laughs: My best laugh of the night came when the Bridesmaids stars introduced their cast for the Best Ensemble In Film award. When they walk on stage carting alcohol, you already knew it was going to be good.
4. Brad and George are smooth operators: You know who I’m talking about - Pitt and Clooney. The ultimate bro-migos. I don’t think its a secret how far up on the A-list they are yet they continue to be present at award shows, even smaller less prestigious ones like the SAG awards (let’s face it, it’s not the Golden Globes or Oscars). The case can be made that they are nominated and that’s why they are there but not everyone shows up (talking to you, DiCaprio!). However, I read/hear reports all the time on how gracious they are with fans and how friendly they are with everyone no matter who you are so they are aces in my book.
5. Movies definitely trumped TV this year: Maybe I’m missing something but the only show that was nominated in any category that I actually watch is “Dexter” and “Glee”, both of which I think had lackluster seasons this past year. I totally gave up on “The Office” once Steve Carrell left. I’ll give it up to “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family”, which I hear are fan favorites but what about “Homeland”, “New Girl”? And don’t let me get started on the injustice that is the brilliant and underrated “Fringe”. Let’s get some new blood in the mix, people.
If you are curious on the complete list of winners, see it here.
Okay, so the nominations for the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced today. Being the cinephile that I am, I have a couple of comments on the nominations in the movie categories:
1. Best ensemble cast (The Artist, Bridesmaids, The Descendants, The Help, Midnight in Paris): I’ve seen the majority of these films and my money is on Bridesmaids. I didn’t really want to see this when it came out (I contend that the trailer is not funny in the least) but this movie got me at the opening scene (hello, John Hamm). It has both appealed to the masses as well as the critics, and the casting in this ensemble was dead on. Runner up for me is The Help for the female bond the actors fostered on screen in this very important story.
2. Best actor (Demian Bichir, A Better Life, George Clooney, The Descendants, Leo DiCaprio, J Edgar, Jean Dujardin, The Artist, Brad Pitt, Moneyball). This could go either way. There are alot of favorites and repeat offenders in this category including Clooney, Pitt, and DiCaprio. Also there is alot of buzz around Dujardin. I can’t call this one but I do have one question. No Joseph Gordon-Levitt for 50/50? Or Ryan Gosling for Drive?
3. Best actress (Glenn Closs, Albert Nobbs, Viola Davis, The Help, Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady, Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk about Kevin, Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn). If Viola Davis doesn’t sweep this category at all the upcoming awards shows, people need to get their head examined. Meryl Streep, beware.
4. Best supporting actor (Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn, Armie Hammer, J Edgar, Jonah Hill, Moneyball, Nick Nolte, Warrior, Christopher Plummer, Beginners). I loved Beginners, probably my favorite film this year, so I’m really pulling for Christopher Plummer getting this. And I think he has a great chance. But I hope that this sheds light on this underrated gem of a movie.
5. Best supporting actress (Berenice Bejo, The Artist, Jessica Chastain, The Help, Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids, Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs, Octavia Spencer, The Help). Two words - Melissa McCarthy. When she threw her leg up and slapped her thigh on the airplane, I always died. If she was running for president I would vote for her.