This is the first year in a long time that I've seen so many good movies. There was a dry spell for over five years that I'd not darken the doorway of a movie theatre. When our little community of Madison finally got its own theatre, located only a few miles from my house, I was estatic. No more going into the capitol city with my eyes darting left and right, expecting to have my purse snatched.
My sister and I have been movie and stage play aficionadas since our pre-teen years. We had a method after attending musicals in our early days: see the movie, buy the music on vinyl records, play repeatedly until we had learned the words, then on Saturday nights during "Hit Parade" sing along with the television music. As a result we can still sing when oldies are played on satellite radio. My sister kept the ball rolling, learning the words and music to Broadway shows that began in the 1970's. I faded then.
Nowadays after each movie we sit in the car or in a cafe and discuss the plot, characters, costumes, and geographical places. We usually agree with few disagreements.
Since January we've seen nearly all the movies nominated for an Oscar, missing seven.
Here are our recommendations if you happen to want a night out or an afternoon treat:
"Babel"(the four plots until the end keep you wondering why so many stories; you are surprised near the end to find the relationship of the characters in the various plots)
"Dreamgirls" (remembering the Supremes with original songs; tremendous casting; excellent acting and singing by JenniferHudson and Eddie Murphy, who should have won an oscar)
"Notes on a Scandal" (J Densch gives searing performance in this British movie)
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (great casting, seeing the other side of the taking of Iwo Jima reveals similarities to American soldiers-- subtitles)
"The Queen" (unbelievable Murren plays Q. Eliz perfectly)
"Volver" (subtitles--glimpse of Spanish customs still prevalent today)
"The Devil Wears Prada" ("Ugly Betty" tv show patterned after this one. Streep superb)
Eventually, if only through Netflix, we'll see the remainders: "Blood Diamond," "The Pursuit of Happyness," "Venus," "Half Nelson," "United 93," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "An Inconvenient Truth," although the latter not worthy of standing alongside the above movies. It should have been in another category.
This week we'll see "Wild Hogs"(old fellas trying to emulate cycle riders), "Black Snake Moon," featuring an old blues singer helping a frightened abused girl-good blues music,"and "Zodiak" about that killer we heard about years ago.
Thank goodness for $5 senior tickets!