The boys both had some commitments last weekend, so Ken and I watched some movies on our own for the first time in a very long time. I said, "No superhero movies!" and finally had the chance to catch up on some non-action flicks I've been wanting to see:
- Ken and I finally watched The Descendants, one of the year's Best Picture Oscar nominees. George Clooney was excellent in this family drama set in Hawaii about a man whose wife is in a coma. Never much of a family man, he has to become a single parent to his two daughters and figure out how to support them emotionally. At the same time, his family is in the midst of a controversy, trying to decide whether to sell off a big chunk of pristine Hawaii wilderness that has been in their family for generations. It was very good, with emotional depth, and Ken and I both enjoyed it.
- On a roll, I requested another non-action movie, and we watched Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Talk about emotional depth! This movie was absolutely wonderful and completely unique - definitely Oscar-worthy. It's about a young boy who lost his father in the September 11 terrorist attacks. Nine-year old Oskar is an unusual boy, different and somewhat isolated from his peers, but he had a wonderful, close relationship with his father, played by Tom Hanks. In the aftermath of his death, Oskar discovers a mysterious key among his dad's things, and he makes it his mission to find out what it fits, convinced it is something his dad left for him to find. Oskar's quest is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. His relationship with his grandmother and the connections he makes with strangers during his mission make this difficult topic into an uplifting, positive story. You must see this movie - definitely one of the best we have seen in many years. In fact, Jamie came in from his party about a half hour into the movie and got completely pulled into the story and ended up staying up too late watching it with us! I absolutely must read one of Jonathan Safran Foer's novels; he was also the author of Everything is Illuminated, made into another wonderful and uplifting movie.