Sunday, January 04, 2009

Movies of note from 2008

Just like last year, I'm not regurgitating the entire list of everything I watched in 2008. These are just movies of note - films that were especially enjoyable, or old movies that I re-watched or watched for the first time in 2008, or perhaps they're just films I think you may not have heard of before that are worth checking out.


Man On Wire (documentary)*. In 1974, a crazy Frenchman walked a tightrope strung between the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Seriously.


Cranford (miniseries). Masterpiece Theatre at its best. I think every single actor in this series had appeared in another adaptation of an Elizabeth Gaskell novel, or a Jane Austen novel, or perhaps two different adaptations of the same Jane Austen novel.


Dresden (miniseries, German TV)*. I don't know if I would have liked this one so much if it hadn't been in German. It's the story of the town of Dresden in the days before, during, and after its bombing in World War II. It's not often that we Americans get to read or watch a dramatic narrative of WWII from behind enemy lines. This was not a fantastic movie, but it was a unique, interesting one.


Edward Scissorhands. This movie informed my early adolescent years, even though I had never seen it until now. What a strange little movie. Tim Burton is clinically insane, right? And Johnny Depp? And Winona Ryder, for that matter?


Touching the Void. Reviewed here.


Doctor Zhivago. Reviewed here.


The Italian (Russian)*. It took me a while to recover from watching this movie, which is about a Russian orphan's search for his birth mother. It is pure, raw humanity, exposed - very moving, but not without taking its toll.


Son of Rambow. Reviewed here.


Penelope. Reviewed here.


Far and Away. Remember this movie? It is dang good. They don't make films like this anymore. Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned American epic?

To wrap up, here are the movies I saw in the theater this year:

1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2. Twilight

What were your favorites and least favorites? Did I miss anything good, or loved something you hated?

*may require editing for some objectionable content.

7 comments:

Sarah Rose Evans said...

I loved the Russian/Italian. It was one of those terrifying films-- frightening because you know that somewhere out there things work this way-- and yet it was touching and I was so relieved at the end.

Fromagette said...

Cranford is great! I was a little hesitant to watch it because my "only watches Hallmark movies" mother-in-law recommended it. But it was wonderful!

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I remember when that guy walked the wire between the Twin Towers --he must have been insane--it's mighty windy up there.

Loved Cranford, Touching the Void (even the re-creation seemed life-threatening), Millions. Penelope is a fun story. Far & Away--the story is a good one but I wish they would have used different actors.

One of my favorite movies I saw in 08 was New York Doll. Had to watch it 3 times (which I never ever do) because I came to love Arthur Kane.

Another is The Syrian Bride. It would be comical if it wasn't a real portrayal of the crazy political mess in the Middle East.

Britney said...

Thank you for sharing your books/movies from '08. I remember watching Son of Rambow and Dear Frankie this year, per your recommendation. Before reading your blog, I'd never heard of either, and really enjoyed both.

A few of my favorites from '08:
Books-
A Girl Named Zippy
Three Cups of Tea
Northanger Abbey & Persuasion
The Year of Magical Thinking
The Glass Castle
Movies-
Miss Potter (one I watched a few times)
Ghost Town (one I watched recently)
John Adams, HBO (one I loved- when this came out on DVD, I actually put my video store's # on speed dial so I could reserve all 3 discs.)

JackJen said...

Have you seen Waltz with Bashir?

Bridget said...

Sarah, you said it perfectly - the end made it worth it. Otherwise, I was pretty much ready to just give up on goodness in general.

Mom, somehow I had never, ever heard of the tightrope guy. Jeremy thought I should put a stronger warning on that movie - about ten minutes from the end there is a random offensive scene. And I do mean random. You're not missing anything if you just turn off the movie once he finishes the stunt.

Britney, I have John Adams from the library right now and I'm going to start watching it ASAP! I need to see Miss Potter.

Jen, I haven't seen Waltz with Bashir. The other night, I watched The Englishman (who went up a hill and came down a mountain) on your recommendation and I loved it! So I'll have to check that one out.

Brittany Cornett said...

So we got to see a new movie Australlia and it really reminded me of far and away. Not only for the obvious reason that Nicole Kidman plays the lead lady in both but it has an epic quality to it. I think you would like it!

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