Posts published under “Sarah’s Favorites”
On this last week of 2010, Year of the Franco, enjoy a trip down memory lane with SML. We’ve compiled some of our favorite films and posts of the year. Remember that movie? And that festival? Oh, how we laughed/cried/rolled our eyes! Anyhoo, here they are, in alphabetical order by editor. See you in 2011, and don’t forget to shake that thing!
Ebertfest: 12th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival series
“Be Yourself” (A Woman Under the Influence)
Two Oscar Contenders Are the Bread for a Delicious Despair Sandwich (Rabbit Hole, The Fighter)
The Beat Generation in Court (Howl)
Movies Under the Stars…Great Summer Fun! (Star Trek )
We’ll Eat You Up We Love You So (Where the Wild Things Are)
WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) So it’s Christmas. And the smash hit musical you produce with your business partner is on hiatus. What else is there to do but follow a singing sisters act to a Vermont inn, organize a last-minute reunion of your WWII platoon, and put on a play? This is the mother of all Christmas movies, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen, and a slim and lovely Rosemary Clooney. What was at the time, I’m sure, a completely straightforward offering of holiday fun has morphed into high camp, an artifact from a time long past when ladies floated around in peignoirs and matching fur-trimmed robes and the people sitting up all night in the dining car of overnight trains were happy, successful singers and dancers enjoying milkshakes instead of some unfortunate homeless-looking guy who just barfed on himself and smells like pee. Or when be-turtlenecked crooners singing bedtime songs to ladies over midnight snacks of liverwurst sandwiches and warm milk seemed totally romantic. Even the trenches of World War II get the nostalgia treatment in the hands of these happy people, in the form of a musical number (“Gee, I wish I was back in the army!”). Try to imagine a time when Bing Crosby was considered a heartthrob, and I think you’ll start to get the idea. My family watches this every year. And yes, we know all the words to all the songs and yes, it makes holiday visitors visibly uncomfortable when we all sing along and YES, this only makes it more hilarious. The costumes and sets, the insane choreography of the dance numbers, the sweet and ridiculous plot contrivances, the genuinely talented and funny cast – so much to love! Netlflix it this holiday and give in to the fun.
Inspired by A.O. Scott’s and (slightly less so) Michael Phillips’ Top 10 Films of the Decade lists on At the Movies, we decided to count down our own favorite films of the aughts. What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments. Or don’t. That’s okay, too.
Today’s list brought to you by Sarah G.
10. FRIENDS WITH MONEY (2006) – Nicole Holofcener writes and directs quietly funny movies about women, family, and relationships, topics that are a minefield of melodrama and cliché, without resorting to either. Like her previous offerings (Walking and Talking  and Lovely and Amazing ), this one gives us glimpses into the lives of women dealing with the confusion and occasional indignity of life as best they can. Her characters are recognizable, flawed, and likeable, and I want to be friends with all of them. (Call me, Catherine! We’ll have lunch!) This one makes my list over the also great Lovely and Amazing due entirely to Frances McDormand’s hilariously angry portrayal of a woman going through an unusual personal crisis.
9. THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005) – Judd Appatow’s many gifts to us this decade is a familiar topic around here. This happens to be my favorite. It launched Steve Carrell into mega-fame, and includes hilarious performances from a pre-overexposure Seth Rogan, the always delightful Paul Rudd and Jane Lynch, and my make-believe best friend Catherine Keener. (Seriously, Catherine, call me!) I’ve seen it 4 bajillion times and can quote the whole thing. I could watch the speed-dating scene on repeat for days and never tire of it. Read more »