Slum Dog Millionaire
Everyone has heard of it by now because it swept the Golden Globe awards in unexpected, underdog fashion. And you might be wondering if it lives up to all its hype, right? It does. If you can only go see one movie in the next few months, make sure this is the one. While the tragic story of life in the slums unfolds a bit like The Kite Runner or Thousand Splendid Suns, it has enough humor and joy to carry you through and make the story worth it. But be forewarned, like the two books above, you will need to bring your Kleenex. To see oppression, poverty, violence, and hopelessness is always hard... because even if there is a happy ending, now you know how a billion people live, and that stays with you (as it should).
The flashbacks make this movie riveting and genuinely entertaining. The script is well-written, intelligent, and captivating, in part because the two young actors are flawless in their roles. The cinematography is mesmerizing, the music is hypnotic, and it all works together to create a fresh, unique story. You get a great look into the culture and city of Mumbai along the way too.
You will not leave this movie feeling hopeless. However, if The Pursuit of Happiness left you wanting to slit your wrists until the last five minutes... maybe you should prepare yourself for part two. There is beauty throughout this film, but hey, we only know what is beautiful because we also know what is grotesquely dark and ugly. Right? This movie shows you both.
Bottom Line: These are two hours of your life that will fly by. And at the end you might feel more human, more aware, more compassionate and very grateful to be sitting in a theatre... not a slum.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It's long. Weird. Heart-wrenching. Beautiful. Really, really long. And the most quirky, strange, lovely, mystical, magical little work that I have ever seen.
If you enjoyed reading The Time Traveler's Wife, you will love this film.
My heart melted a million times over. I wept like someone I knew had died (this was quite embarrassing for Ryan, but there weren't many dry eyes in the room, you will cry). I laughed. And smiled. And dreamed. And loved. And got lost in an enchanting fairy tale for hours. My life is not different because of this movie, but for three hours, I just got to leave the ordinary world and dream for a little while. And sometimes we all need that.
I've lost every single guy, haven't I?
This is a rare, beautiful film that does something that very few films will ever do... lead the dreamer into a dream. If you don't like movies that are unrealistic, then this is not for you. But if you can take it for what it is, this film is powerful because it is about life, death, and love. Human existence at it's most basic level.
Bottom Line: Take an afternoon, your best girl friend or someone in your life who really loves good literature, and prepare to leave the world and fall in love with a beautiful, tragic, magical story.