Monday, February 01, 2010

Movie Monday 2/1

What's that sound? It's silence! The boys have today off, but a friend's mom took them all to see Avatar this afternoon. This is wonderful for two reasons: I finally get a little quiet time and the boys won't be too active the day before returning to school. It's very strange being the parent of two kids with CFS. Most parents are trying to get their kids off the couch and outside; our boys love to play outside and we're always worried that they're being too active, so we encourage them to come in and play video games! It's a bizarre life, isn't it?

Anyway, we watched some great movies this weekend. We've seen lots of thrillers, action movies, and serious dramas the past few weeks, and this weekend was a nice respite with two light-hearted movies:
  • Burn After Reading. When I mentioned last week that the Cohen Brothers' No Country for Old Men was a bit dark, Toni recommended their lighter comedy, Burn After Reading. We loved this farcical comedy with an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand (one of my favorite actresses), John Malkovich, and Tilda Swinton (the White Witch from Narnia). As the Cohen Brothers themselves explain, "It's a little hard to summarize this one. It's sort of about the Central Intelligence Agency and physical fitness and what happens when those two worlds collide." George Clooney adds, "It's a comedy - I think - about some shockingly dumb people..." Both descriptions are apt. McDormand and Pitt are especially hilarious as two of those shockingly dumb people - two fitness instructors who come up with a crazy get-rich-quick scheme. It's filled with mistaken identities, misunderstood motives, and everyone sleeping with everyone else - Ken said it reminded him of a complicated Lucy episode (except for the sleeping around part). This is a great movie if you're going through a rough time and looking for some pure escapism fun! Thanks for the great suggestion, Toni!
  • Happy-Go-Lucky. This is a sweet drama that I heard about from Very Short List. It's a UK movie (I saw a Tesco, Jo!) featuring Poppy, a young woman who is the ultimate optimist. Life isn't always perfect for Poppy, but she smiles, cracks jokes, and giggles even in the face of challenges that would make the rest of us scream. Poppy is a primary school teacher with a huge heart who encounters a surly driving instructor who seems oblivious to her sunny disposition. It's a funny, heartwarming story - another nice, light pick-me-up!
Have you seen any good movies lately?


Lori P said...

Okay, so now I've got to watch Burn After Reading. It's been on HBO but I haven't watched because I was afraid it was one of those violent Quentin Tarrantino (sp?) type movies, but I LOVE the coen brothers, so it's a go. Thanks for the review. Hope you're feeling better.

dominique said...

It must be really nice to have a few hours of peace and quiet. I know I love it.

I cannot imagine being sick with CFIDS and raising 2 boys with it. You are amazing! Wow!

I, too, hope your are feeling better!

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

Tilda Swinton is great. I loved her in Orlando.

I've been promised a trip to go and see Avatar some time this week. Looking forward to it.

Toni said...

Hi Sue. It was so much fun to read your review of Burn After Reading. I, too, love Tilda Swinton, Jo. It's a treat that in Michael Clayton, she and George Clooney were "enemies." In this film, they're lovers.

I enjoyed Happy-Go-Lucky too. I was reluctant to rent it because Terri Gross on NPR said that the Sally Hawkins character (the happy-go-lucky one) "got on her nerves." But I love British films and this director (Mike Leigh) so I rented it. I can see Terri Gross' point but I think that was supposed to be one of the characteristics of the woman she played. And it's to her credit as an actress that she made us care about her, even though she was so neurotic. The Spanish dance class scene was one of the best scenes I've seen in the movies in a long time.

I wish I had a movie to recommend this week, but the first 30 minutes. And...whatever happened to the 90 minute movie? They're all soooo long now.

I do see "Rachel Getting Married" coming around on the cable movie channels. I recommend it highly. It stars Anne Hathaway in a role that's against type for her -- she's a recovering addict who gets release time to attend her sisters wedding. It's part drama, part comedy, and has the most wonderful mix of interesting characters.

Sue Jackson said...

Toni - I had to laugh - you and I are always on the same wavelength!! Rachel Getting Married is the next DVd we're going to watch - it's sitting on my kitchen counter from the library right now! ha ha

I, too, thought that some people might be annoyed by Poppy, but I liked her positive, upbeat attitude!


Sherry said...

Hi Sue,
My daughter and I watched Happy-Go-Lucky a while back and loved it. Glad you enjoyed it, too. I need to check out Burn After Reading. Sounds fun.