Monday, May 18, 2015

Movie Monday 5/18

It was a big week for movies for me - I saw three excellent movies last week:

My husband took his dad to Atlantic City for his 90th birthday, so I chose a movie billed as "quirky," which my husband doesn't always appreciate! I watched Hector and the Search for Happiness and absolutely loved the feel-good movie! Based on a book that was an international best-seller (and that I now want to read), this movie is about a very average man named Hector, played by Simon Pegg, who lives in England and works as a psychiatrist. Hector is depressed because he realizes he's not happy, and if he doesn't know how to be happy, then how can he help his patients to find happiness? He decides to take an open-ended trip, leaving his long-time girlfriend - played by Rosamund Pike - at home while he goes in search of the secret to happiness. Everywhere he travels, he takes notes and draws sketches, asking everyone he meets what makes them happy. As Hector travels from Shanghai to Tibet through Africa and to Los Angeles, he encounters all kinds of people and learns many varied lessons about happiness which he dutifully writes and draws in his notebook. He encounters a wealthy businessman, Tibetan monks, African crime lords, and even his college girlfriend. Along the way, Hector gets all the excitement he was seeking (and more) - some of it wonderful and some of it terrifying. And, as you might expect, he learns the truth about happiness. I loved this warm, funny, uplifting movie with a great sense of optimism and fun.

My son had oral surgery on Friday, so I got a movie I thought he might enjoy: St. Vincent, starring Bill Murray (whom my son has enjoyed in many other movies). Our son's girlfriend arrived soon after, though, and he immediately ditched us, but my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this comedy drama. Murray plays Vincent, a classic grumpy old man who lives in a run-down house, drinks through his days, and gambles away most of his money. Melissa McCarthy plays Maggie, his new neighbor and a single mother. Desperate for after-school care, she agrees to let Vincent babysit her 12-year old son, Oliver. You can imagine what happens next, as Vincent takes Oliver along to the track, teaches him to gamble, and hangs out in his favorite bar with him. This movie - and Vincent - are full of surprises, though, and there turns out to be a lot more to Vincent than meets the eye. Naomi Watts co-stars as Daka, a pregnant Russian prostitute. There are plenty of laughs in the film but also heart-warming moments, especially toward the end - yes, I even cried! This is another feel-good movie that we both enjoyed very much.

Saturday night, with my son and his girlfriend watching old movies in the basement, my husband and I rented Unbroken, a movie we've both been wanting to see since we both read - and loved - the best-selling book by ME/CFS patient (and acclaimed author) Laura Hillenbrand. Unbroken tells the story of Louis Zamperini, played by Jack O'Connell, an Olympic runner who goes to war. His plane is shot down, and he and some of his shipmates survive more than a month lost at sea, only to be "rescued" by the Japanese and sent to a POW camp led by a cruel and sadistic man. You know from the title that Louis survives, but it is the what and how that make this such a remarkable story. In addition to Hillenbrand's incredible book as base material, the Coen brothers wrote the screenplay, and Angelina Jolie directed the film. All that talent shows - it is a moving, powerful movie about overcoming impossible odds. Caution: as you might imagine from the subject matter, there are some very violent and difficult scenes in this film, though it is ultimately uplifting and about the power of the human spirit to overcome, survive, and thrive.

So, we had a great movie week - have you seen any good movies lately?

(And if you like to read, check out what we're reading this week at my book blog).

1 comment:

Unknown said...

These look like some great movies, none of which I have seen before! Thank you for introducing them to me, I will have to add them to my watch list :) Thanks for joining the Link-It To Me Link Up Party this week, I hope you will party with us again next week!