Friday, December 30, 2005

Best picture of the year

Continuing our midwinter film festival, L and I saw "Munich" last night. I thought it was outstanding, and it had almost everything I love about movies: exotic locales, a gripping story, good performances, strong relationships between the characters, and questions that are not easily resolved. This movie was a drama and a thriller and took place in this shadow society below the surface of our civilized, governed culture. The characters talked about societies making compromises with themselves, and about people and groups operating at the intersections of secrecies. In a way, the entire movie was about falling through a crack in our well-ordered culture and then digging deeper and exploring what you find.

The historical truth of it was sobering. Steven Spielberg made a strong statement at the end about September 11th, which was challenging. This was a strange topic for him, in that you usually expect a Spielberg film to have a certain humanistic worldview, a world of mercy and love and families at the dinner table and anthropomorphic aliens on bikes. This was a departure for him in a sense, and it was a brave and confident move, and I think this was the best big movie of the year.

...The only other thing I love about movies that "Munich" lacked can be found in one scene of "The Family Stone," where Sarah Jessica Parker's straight-laced character gets drunk and works her inner Carrie Bradshaw, happily dancing and singing to her favorite song without a care in the world. I love it when people break it down in movies, I think it is so realistic but pretty underplayed in film.

...And no points for our lame waiter at Cosi before the movie, who was late with our food and messed up our drink order. Me: "Excuse me, we ordered two Cokes and a water and this [the lone beverage he brought to our table] tastes like Diet." Him: "Yeah, I heard Diet. They ordered two Diet Cokes at that table over there." Thanks a lot, Erick.

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