What I Saw Last Year

  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  2. Match Point (2005)
  3. A Good Year (2006)
  4. The Secret of Roan Inish (1993)
  5. Proof (2004)
  6. This Film Is Not Yet Rated (2006)
  7. The Good German (2006)
  8. Atonement (2007)
  9. Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
  10. Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
  11. Veronica Guerin (2003)
  12. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  13. The History Boys (2006)
  14. Darling (1965)
  15. Cache (2005)
  16. The Claim (2000)
  17. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)
  18. Bread and Tulips (2000)
  19. Notes on a Scandal (2006)
  20. The Fallen Idol (1948)
  21. Why We Fight (2005)
  22. Wordplay (2006)
  23. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

I saw all of 23 movies last year, every one of them on DVD from Netflix. I haven’t seen a movie in an actual theater since 2005. I’ve seen dozens of ballets, in very grand theaters, these last few years. But no movies outside the house.

I didn’t especially love any of the 23 movies. Didn’t especially hate any of them, either, but that’s because I’m not counting the 5 that we just gave up watching.

With nothing that I absolutely loved, there’s no clear favorite to pick, so let’s just go with a top 3, how about. In no particular order:

I liked Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, maybe because I thought from seeing the trailer that it was going to be cloying and unbearable. And it wasn’t. It had my totally favorite actress of all time, Shirley Henderson, although, sadly, she played the heavy. Amy Adams was fun and charming her ownself in the ingenue part. And Frances McDormand and CiarĂ¡n Hinds were delightful, although you would expect that, as great as they always are in anything they do. So, all in all, a good time.

Speaking of incredible actors, there’s also Notes on a Scandal. I swear I’d watch Judi Dench read the phone book. (On the other hand, I’d rather not have watched her pee on the rug in Iris.) While Cate Blanchett strikes me as awfully uninteresting in person, she’s amazing on screen when she tries, as she does here, as opposed to, say, The Gift. And extra bonus points for the always memorable Bill Nighy.

Finally, I liked The Claim, which turned out to be a version of The Mayor of Casterbridge set in the frozen northwest. Again with Shirley Henderson, playing a lovable whore this time, thankfully not with a heart of gold. Also, it had Sarah Polley, another favorite of mine.

Seems like, even if the movies weren’t that great, I liked them because they had actors I like in them. Not too surprising, I suppose.

The movies we gave up on were Alfie (mutual decision), Tristan & Isolde (I gonged this one), Sylvia (another mutual decision), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (mostly Dawn, but it wasn’t doing a whole lot for me), and Sarkar (totally Dawn’s decision, but I suspected she wasn’t going to make it through).