Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good for a Bowl of Popcorn

Hubby and I love watching movies, and we are always looking for good recommendations. Consider that an invitation to review movies on your blog and let me know about them. In case you are looking for some films to add to your queue, here are a couple we have watched and enjoyed lately.

A disclaimer, I am not one of those Christians who determines the quality of a film by counting the number of curse words or sex scenes in it. In fact, I have a high tolerance for "offensive" movies if they tell a good story and reveal something true about the world, humanity, or the Divine. If you are easily offended, you may want to do your own research before renting one of my recommendations.

This is, in fact, a very "clean" movie. It is also profoundly beautiful, highly sacramental, and obviously (or most likely) made by someone with a Catholic worldview. Oh, and though it ends redemptively, it is also pretty sad. It is hard to give a review without giving away the whole story, so I recommend you just look into it. It does present a very strong picture of family and explores the issue of adoption. It is a powerful story of guilt, forgiveness, and redemption. Sorry, that isn't much to go on, but trust me, it is good!

The Lives of Others
This German film about a secret police agent monitoring a playwright in 1980's East Germany is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. I'm not sure how we missed this one when it came out. The actor who plays the police agent (who looks spookily like Kevin Spacey, really I thought I was watching him the whole time) does an incredible job. In fact, my husband and I both noted that it was one of the best acting jobs we had ever seen in a film, and the character barely talks the whole film.

If you are a literature person like me, you will enjoy this film on many levels. It is a great story and character study in itself, but it also presents an excellent allegory for writing and storytelling. It can also be interpreted as a spiritual allegory regarding freewill and divine intervention. Really, it is incredible on so many levels. It is set in East Germany, and not necessarily happy, but it has an incredibly powerful story to tell and does not end in complete despair.

There are two suggestions for you. Let me know some movies you have enjoyed lately. Our tastes in this household are pretty varied.


Kate said...

'The Lives of Others' is at the top of our Amazon DVD list. Now I just have to persuade my husband to return 'Helvetica' (a film about the creation and life of a typeface - don't ask!! The joys of being married to a designer!) I'm really looking forward to 'The Lives of Others' now.

I'll have a think about some good films and let you know - or post them on my blog.

Catherine said...

I actually first heard about Bella when it was still in production - they guy who made it or had the initial idea or in some way "the guy behind the movie" spoke at a conference I attended at Willow Creek (a huge Evangelical Church). I've been meaning to see it...we almost saw it this weekend, but saw Atonement instead, which I thought was good (and was really seeing it so I could then read the book).

TwoSquareMeals said...

Kate, let me know how you like the film.

Catherine, you should totally have read the book first. Let me know what you think about both. I thought they were fascinating, though not my favorites.

Tipper said...

Thanks for the movie tips-I don't watch many but always like to know if someone liked them or not before I spend the time.

Deb said...

So glad you liked The Lives of Others. If you are feeling really esoteric and in that Eastern European mood try The Decalogue (10 stories that are titled after the 10 Commandments). Another favorite is Kitchen Stories, a Scandinavian story about home efficiency experts who study Norwegian men living alone. Lastly: To Be and To Have. Love that one too.