One of my practically useless skills is that I’m *very* good at knowing if I’ll like a movie having only seen a preview. This means that I don’t have to waste my movie-watchin-time on duds (like Forrest Gump. Yup! Not interested. Or…any of the 2015 Oscar nominees) , and I can try out movies that no one’s heard of.
So, here you go, now you can benefit from my skillz and check out these great movies!
*Don’t yell at me if you’ve heard of/seen [one/some/all] of these, they’re just fairly obscure, so it’s not my fault if you watch as many random movies as I do.
They are in no particular order.
1. In the New York City public school system, 5th graders are taught ballroom dancing. This documentary follows groups of these dancers from a few different schools. It’s about dancing, yes, but it’s more about life. The kids are adorable and hilariously awkward, and the story is heart-warming, heart-breaking, and suspenseful (who will win the championship competition???).
2. Directed by Danny Boyle (who later directed Slumdog Millionaire), Millions is about a boy in England who is wrestling with the recent death of his mother when he comes across a large sum of money. We root for him as he works out right and wrong and watches those around him do the same. It’s sweet, funny, and heart-wrenching. The movie is surreal at times, reflecting a child’s fanciful imagination, so it has a nice comical, light-hearted feel amidst the gravitas of the subject matter. And ugh, the kid is so dang cute especially with his British accent.
3. This movie has gotten a bit of notoriety lately since its lead actor, Peter Dinklage, is in Game of Thrones (Tyrion). But I saw it before anyone had ever heard of him, so there! The Station Agent is about a man who moves into an abandoned railway station that he has just inherited. He’s an extreme introvert, but he nevertheless gets pulled into the lives of the locals. The characters are charming and well-developed, and the movie just explores their gentle, tentative relationships with one another. It’s simple, but deep.
4. Written and directed by the same guy who did Station Agent, it has a similar feel. A handful of characters are thrown together through strange circumstances and form sweet relationships that portray some of the most human experiences that you’ll find in a movie.
Rated: R5. It is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. Believe it or not, it is a comedy about a group of jihadist men who seek to engage in acts of terror. I can’t really describe it any more than that, so I guess you’ll just have to watch it.
6. Lbs is about a man who escapes to a remote cabin in the woods in order to lose a great deal of weight. He teaches himself a completely new way of life, as he is forced to fend for himself in the semi-wilderness. The format of the film is unique, as it is not a documentary, but the journey is real, since the actor (who is also the writer) really did *SPOILER ALERT* lose the character’s weight.
Rated: Unrated, but I’d give it a PG-13
7. What would it be like if we all had a countdown clock to the moment when we will meet our soul mates? What if you’re already in love with someone? What if your clock indicates that you don’t have a soul mate? What if you won’t meet your soul mate for another 50 years? Would you want to know? Is ignorance bliss? Is it ethical? Wouldn’t things get messy? TiMER explores all of these questions in a nice light romantic comedy way.
8. Sound of My Voice follows a couple who join a cult led by a woman claiming to be from the future. They join for the sole purpose of exploring the cult’s inner-workings and eventually exposing its leader’s scam. But…maybe it’s not a scam after all?
It’s well written/acted/directed, and you end up just as torn as the main characters. The ending is one of those that divides viewers. Most people will have an opinion about the truth, but the movie certainly won’t tell you what to believe.
9. I had to throw in a horror movie. 🙂 This is a little like Saw: people stuck in a physical and psychological trap, and they have to analyze themselves and those around them in order to survive. (I’m not sure why the poster is in graphic novel style…it’s not animated.)
10. You guys. This is a such a good movie, but it’s kind of hard to describe..? First off, who’s seen Pushing Daisies? Guess who that dashing man on the left is. That’s right, The Piemaker himself. Next, it’s got the surrealism and visual power of the director’s better know movie: The Cell. The Fall’s storyline was created as the movie was being made (based on what the actors improvised in earlier scenes), so it’s a lot like a dream (things change that shouldn’t change, time and place is somewhat fluid, etc.). In short, it is the visual representation of a child’s perspective of adult events.