What films have we been watching over the holiday?

I'm a bit of a film buff so always look forward to seeing a few movies over the holiday. Have viewed two or three currently showing but would enjoy recommendations from others.

So far, I've seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I thought was very good, despite the mixed reviews), My Week with Marilyn (also very good), and The Skin I Live In (a Spanish film by Pedro Almodovar --macabre but brilliant!). I was pleased to see all three of these have received some kind of nod in the Golden Globe nominations. What would you recommend?

Report post

25 replies. Join the discussion

I saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also - I thought it was great, although the 4 other people I saw it with all hated it! Then I watched the Swedish version on Netflix, and thought the American version was better. I saw "The Descendents" which is a wonderful low key film that resonates. I have 2 period pieces I want to see - "A Dangerous method" and the "Albert Nobbs" with Glenn Close (which hasn't opened here yet. Last year about this time I saw Avatar, which was a wonderful escape.

Report post

Depends on whether you watch dvd or new movies at the box office . A couple of my favorites on dvd are The Help and Bridesmaids . Bridesmaids is hilarious if you need a good laugh . I just went to see War Horse , its okay , nothing spectacular
if you ask me . I have not seen Girl With The Dragon Tatoo yet , but have heard it is good .
Sandy

Report post

I saw War Horse yesterday. Great movie!!!
Sondra

Report post

i loved bridesmaids as well, saw Hangover 2 on christmas (gift) i just love that bradley cooper, he is so handsome. Movie was pretty funny too. I wanted to see and will now do so, the girl with the dragon tattoo

Report post

Bridesmaids good for a laugh

Report post

loved Girl with the ... and hated the Swedish subtitled version.

Thought the Descendants was very good but so glad I did not take my son given the subject matter.

And let me add a plug for Sherlock Holmes, fast paced and funny... and some great scenery. I am too much of a sentimental wuss to see WarHorse.

The Help was a disappointment compared to the great book.

The new one about 9/1/1 with Tom Hanks looks good.

Report post

The Artist and Hugo were both great -- and dealing with the similar subject of silent film era, though The Artist had as a pivotal character an actual original silent film innovator.

George Clooney - in Ides of March and The Descendents - broke out of his move star role in that neither character was particularly film idol-ish.

Midnight in Paris - exquisite.

Yesterday, I totally wasted 2 hours of my life by seeing Young Adult. Awful. I would put Tower Heist in that category, too.

My Week with Marilyn was quite enjoyable -- though supposedly total fiction. Michele Williams did a great job of channeling Marilyn's vulnerability.

We Bought a Zoo was quite nice.

I usually see several movies a week but was out of town last week!

Report post

Oh I LOVED MIdnight in Paris, that was a goodie.

Report post

Selene, I don't think My Week With Marilyn is total fiction. Apparently the film is based on two diaries written by Colin Clark who worked on the set of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl and who spent time with Marilyn Monroe. I dare say there is some 'poetic license' but it does have a factual basis.

I'm looking forward to seeing many of these films -- Midnight in Paris, Descendants, War Horse, Bridesmaids. Seems there's been some very good lower-key movies this year (more my taste). A couple of my friends who read "The Help" said the book is far better than the movie but personally I quite enjoyed the film.

Great recommendations -- thanks to all!

Report post

Rightie ladies,
I'm convinced :)
I'm getting 'The girl with the dragon tattoo' - but for some reason I want to start with the original, Swedish version and leave the American version for a second viewing.

@ Patch, why didn't you like the Swedish version? Was it that much different than the American? Now I'm in trouble and I'm having doubts :) Which one should I watch first? :)
Ah! Decisions, decisions :)

I also got Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris' and I'm going to watch that too. Can't wait, you all seem to have loved it :)
I agree with 'Rose Without', Pedro Almodovar is a fascinating director, and I'm going to have a look for the 'Skin I live In', see if I can get it from somewhere.

Looking forward for more movies suggestions ladies, please keep them coming!
Can't wait to settle down and watch the movies, this is going to be a lovely evening, thank you ladies :)

PS. Ah! Over the holidays I watched 'Apocalypse Now', 'Winter's Bone' and the whole series 'Through the Wormhole' - Morgan Freeman, Discovery documentary.

ana

Report post

Rose, it seems that everyone still alive who worked on The Prince and the Showgirl says there's no way he had an intimate relationship with her or even spent any time alone with her; she was totally consumed by her marriage to Arthur Miller. He was for sure a PA on the set but nothing more (according to them). It doesn't matter to me at all, though; I think it's a very revealing and accurate portrait of her well-documented insecurity. Plus anything with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench is a must-see.

I read and loved The Help and found the movie just as good.

Report post

Midnight in Paria was great and loved Giel with the dragon Tatoo, American one he other is a few years old and ih sur titles.

Report post

Eireann, was that your first time watching Apocalypse Now? I used to show it to students after we'd studied Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

I second your idea of watching the original version of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo before the English-language remake. Did you read the book?

I've seen all of Almodovar's films (even the earliest really squeamish ones - ick), but I've hesitated with this one. I've mostly been watching only comedies or uplifting, lighter fare ... on the grounds that laughter IS the best medicine ... so, I hadn't planned to see "The Skin I Live In."

Rose, if you're interested in independent films (all on DVD): I loved Soul Thunder, The Guard, Beginners, Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

Also -- I forgot to recommend some warm-hearted fun ones (also on DVD): Our Idiot Brother, Crazy Stupid Love, Super 8.

I also found Zombieland hilarious.

Report post

@Selene,
Re : 'Apocalypse, now'
Aha :)
This was my first viewing :)
I was too ashamed to tell you all that this was my first viewing :) I know! I know! Shame on me :) Considered one of the best movies ever made, I bought the DVD years ago, but somehow never got around to actually sit down and watch it. I saw it now, (better late than never), and loved it. Fascinating stuff.
I want more of the same calibre :)

Swedish version or American remake
I'm going to go for the Swedish version first. Selene, remember the Japanese 'Ring', the Swedish 'Let the right one in', or the German - Michael Haneke, 'Funny Games' ? Have you seen any of those? I liked the original versions better than the remakes, but it may well be an illusion, or simply the fact that by the time I watched the American versions I had already seen the original movies and lived through the experience.
I live in Dublin, Ireland, but I'm not Irish and English is not my first language, so I'm well used to subtitles. Subtitles are fine by me :)

'The girl with the dragon tattoo' - never read the books, (should I?), but I'm looking forward to the movie. I'm curious and excited because I've heard a lot about it. This is definitely going to be a lovely evening :)

Cancer and movies
Cancer changed something in me, even when it comes to movies. My choice is much lighter now, and I find myself watching comedies or fluffy, easy romantic movies a lot more often than before.
And now I'm afraid of Almodovar's 'The Skin I live in'. Is it heavy? Will it haunt me?
But you're right, 'Zombieland' *is* funny.
Comedy (recent) - I also liked 'Extract' (by Mike Judge). Nice :)
Or, what about a classic, Kubrick's 'Dr. Strangelove'? I loved it and it always makes me laugh, cancer or no cancer :)

I've read something about 'Crazy, Stupid Love' and 'Super 8', but nothing about the others.
Thank you for the suggestions ladies, I'm busy making a list :)
Something to look forward to,
thank you :)

Report post

I'm looking forward to seeing Midnight in Paris. I'm glad to hear your reviews. I have a 10 yo so I see all the kids stuff and i like them all. Here are my favorites of all time: Casablanca; Gregory Peck in The Bishop's Wife & The keys of the Kingdom. John Wayne & Claudette Coldberth in No Reservations. Fred MacMurray & Claudette in The Guilded Lily. Cary Grant in Arsenic & Old Lace. I find these to be so funny and so noble. And of course my everyday watch is I love Lucy.
Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful, Pinocchio, and the Tiger and the Snow. It is subtitled and I just love his movies. His imagination and humor is just brillant. His wife is in each one too.
The Family that Preys with Kathy Bates starts off strange and then just keeps getting better.
Queen Latifah in Last Holiday is so good too.
I also have two no brainers which means leave your brain at the table and just laugh at the absurdity: RV with Robin Williams and the Pacifer with Vin Diesel.
Last but not least I am completely addicted to Desperate Housewives. I am watching them on Netflix. I'm not sure they are helping me be a better person, but I do stand up to my hubby more than I usually do. And drink a lil more wine than usual. And wish I could cook as good as Bree.
Happy New Year and may our God bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand. Remember it can be dark the closer He holds you, but know that He is with you and has a plan for you, however small it may be.

Report post

This is wonderful -- feel I've definitely found some film soul-mates here!

First, I don't have the stomach for frightening movies (couldn't watch the Japanese version of The Ring -- too scary!) so if I can watch Almodovar's Skin I Live In the rest of you are probably fine with it too. It will only haunt you in the sense that it's a brilliant if unusual film.

Cancer did change my choice of movies to some extent. I now make sure I see more comedies -- it's important to laugh!! But drama or comedy, I still choose what I consider the best of mainstream, indies, and foreign films. I studied and taught German so subtitles/foreign films aren't a stretch. Many of the best films are foreign in my opinion.

Also making a list based on these recommendations. Haven't read Girl/Tattoo but thought I would now read it and then watch the Swedish version. My husband read a review of the Swedish version and told me the end is different(?). Sometimes the original language version is better (think The Return of Martin Guerre versus Sommersby) but not always. Didn't personally like Apocalypse Now but it is an unforgettable film (my husband loved it) and one of the best re Vietnam War (I preferred Deer Hunter and Coming Home but all three are in the same league).

As a final footnote to the 'Marilyn' debate, I don't think any of us can know the full extent of her relationship with this Colin Clark guy (and he could be lying -- men often do, especially on 'that' subject!) but at least he did work with her, and I was pleased that their relationship is documented by his diaries which were published well before the film was made.

Report post

EireAnn and Girl with Dragon Tattoo afficionados --

Perhaps it was just because I saw the movie late one night, but for me the Swedish version dragged and was extremely dark... so in that way it surely reflected the mood of the story.

The American version was long but really commanded my attention. I thought the acting was superb and the analysis via computer much more acceptable in terms of believability. The finale before the epilogue (which makes sense once you see the movie) was perhaps slighly akilter but otherwise excellent acting.

I had not read the book and was glad I hadn't. I look forward to the next movies.

regarding movies since diagnosis with cancer -- now I notice how often they conveniently kill off people with advanced cancer as if it did not matter anyway.... and it irks me.. saw this with Morgan Freeman in the old spy movie, can't think of the name.

Report post

@Rose,
I love this thread too :)
I'm so happy we're getting so many suggestions :) Wonderful and lots to watch!

On Friday (day after tomorrow) I'll be in hospital. Chemo day, my fourth cycle Gem/Carboplatin. Every time this happens I go into a sort of panic state. For a few days after chemo (4-6) I am barely be able to get out of bed and crawl to the toilet, but not much else. So I make sure that everything is ready beforehand; cleaning the house, the washing, the ironing, the shopping and cooking and so on. I feel as if I'm getting ready for some terrible natural disaster or the WW 3. I know it's silly, but I can't stop myself.
Yesterday I was very busy, didn't watch anything, but the movies *are* here, fresh popcorn at the ready, and I'll be watching 'The Girl with ... ' in the next few hours.
Yay!
I'll leave Woody Allen for tomorrow.

@Janet Marie,
thank you for your suggestions! I'm spoiled for choice, except for 'Casablanca' (wonderful!) I don't think I've seen any of those older movies.
I haven't seen most of the recent ones either, but I did watch 'Life is beautiful' - by Roberto Benigni.
Ladies, have you seen it?
Oscar for the best foreign film, 6 or 7 years ago, it's an Italian movie, with subtitles.
But don't let the subtitles put you of! This is a wonderful movie, a gem and a must-see. Watch it if you ever have a chance :)

'50-50'
Has anyone seen it yet?
This is a very recent movie, (American, Seth Rogan), about a cancer patient who is given a 50-50 chance of survival (or cure, I'm not sure).
I watched and interview with Seth Rogan about it, and he said that '50-50' is neither a comedy, nor a drama, but something in between. I'm intrigued.


@Patch,
They write us off so easily in movies, don't they? :)
I haven't seen the Morgan Freeman one, but I think I know what you mean.
Let's watch '50-50' and see what they've done with it this time.

Re: 'The Girl With..'
Oh, so there is a difference between the two versions? Other than the language barrier and subtitles, of course. The script is slightly different and things make more sense in one version, compared to the other.
Okie-dokie, I'll watch them both then and post a message when ready.
Exciting times ahead :)
Today, life is good :)

Report post

good luck with chemo.. I do the nesting thing as well.

Loved Life is Beautiful.... another goodie is The Legend of 1900.... a boy born and raised and lives his whole life on a ship.

and for fun: Kinky Boots, an English movie based on a real story about a guy who inherits a shoe factory and tries to make a go of it.

Report post

Okay, just got back from seeing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Definitely excellent. I had read the book when it came out years ago. I wasn't the greatest fan of the book -- great plot and memorable characters, but the writing was so subpar, it just bugged me (my years as a literature teacher may be to blame, but many literary critics feel the same way - the author wasn't a great writer, but for sure wrote good stories, if you know what I mean).

I saw 50/50 the week it came out. I do recommend it. I was leery and pissed off even thinking about a movie about cancer. However, it was quite realistic ... and optimistic ... and a true story ... and not really about cancer, but, rather about relationships. I had a bad attitude after seeing the first two episodes of the cable series The Big C, which I loathed and thought it incredibly crass and unrealistic, so my antipathy transferred over to any popular culture representations of what it is to live with cancer.

However, I was wrong -- I definitely recommend 50/50.

For my light comedies not in theaters -- I watch episodes of The Office, 30 Rock, and even How I Met Your Mother. What can I say. This former film snob is now watching primetime TV!! Whatever it takes to laugh as much as possible!

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support OCNA

Help the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Discussion topics

Support OCNA

Donate to OCNA

Community leaders