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Well, thanks everybody for the suggestions.  I'll have to give my  husband a 
list, as he's the one that usually goes to the video store.   I think that 
I'll go with Brokeback Mountain first.  Then, for my husband  since he's a fan of 
Al Pacino, we'll go with the Merchant of Venice. Then, Good  Night and Good 
Luck, and finally, Ladies in Lavender.  Since we rent movies  only once a week 
or once every two weeks or even three weeks, that should hold  us for a couple 
of months.  Maybe I'll put Walk the Line on my list, too,  as my husband 
would like this movie.  I've heard that the Constant Gardener  is good, but I like 
to read Le Carre's books before I see the film  versions and I haven't read 
it yet.
As to Will's comments about Pride and Prejudice, I'm sorry but I thought  
that it was terrible.  And, it wasn't that it didn't adhere to the original  work 
(although it didn't, in rather annoying ways, too).  It just went from  one 
scene to the next without any kind of flow.  The acting was mediocre  and, more 
importantly, the book's pages contain one of the most  romantic tales ever 
written and I just didn't feel it in this movie  adaptation.
 
Regards,
 
Kate
 
In a message dated 4/10/2006 10:59:33 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

I agree  with this list except for "Brokeback Mountain," which was, I think,  
magnificent, complex, and beautiful.  The buzz was entirely deserved, and  I 
think it should have been best picture.  "Crash" was good but, on  reflection, 
it took a serious topic and scattered it so much that you could  not really 
care much about any individual character, and the very important  issue became 
a bit too obvious after a while.  I'm not denying its  impact.

Another film I think was one of the best, not only of this year  but of all 
my experience, was "Ladies in Lavender" with Maggie Smith and Judy  Dench.  I 
think it was ignored and dismissed because it was about the  poignant discovery 
of desire in an old woman who had never experienced  it.  We are all expected 
to take seriously the notion that gorgeous very  young women will swoon over 
Jack Nicholson or Bill Murray, but this very  delicate, intelligent, and 
incredibly well acted film was just ignored.   I never see films twice, but that 
one I did, and I went back to see it a third  time just to watch Judi Dench's 
face--every slight expression can wrench the  heart in both those women--but The 
Movies was closed for the only time in my  memory.
Nancy

>>> [log in to unmask] 04/10/06 10:36 AM  >>>
Kate, 
Here are some of the better films to come out  last
year, revised to fit your search ("thoughtful(but not
violent)  and... romantic(when well done), and comedy
only when extremely well  done."):

2046 (dir. Wong Kar-Wai)
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (dir. Ang  Lee)
BROKEN FLOWERS (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
CINDERELLA MAN (dir. Ron  Howard)
THE CONSTANT GARDENER (dir. Fernando Meirelles)
CRASH (dir. Paul  Haggis)
DER UNTERGANG (dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel) --  some
violence
ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM (dir.  Alex
Gibney)
EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED (dir. Liev Schreiber)
GOOD  NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK (dir. George Clooney)
GRIZZLY MAN (dir. Werner  Herzog)
IN HER SHOES (dir. CURTIS HANSON) -- comedy
JUNEBUG (dir. Phil  Morrison)
LA MARCHE DE L'EMPEREUR (dir. Luc Jacquet)
MAD HOT BALLROOM  (dir. Marilyn Agrelo) -- a comic
documentary
ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE  KNOW (dir. Miranda July)
MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA (dir. Rob Marshall)
MUNICH  (dir. Steven Spielberg) -- some violence
NINE LIVES (dir. Rodrigo  Garcia)
WALK THE LINE (dir. James Mangold)

By the way, I was sorry  to see your comments on the
new version of PRIDE & PREJUDICE. I'm  afraid you've
fallen prey to that common fallacy * that a  good
adaptation should accurately duplicate everything in
the book. This  fallacy forgets that the media of
literature and film use completely  different (IMO)
forms of communication, and has produced what we  might
call the "stagey" style of film. I believe a great
adaptation is  one that captures what is going on in
the work of fiction and faithfully  re-creates that in
terms of film. I liked both versions of the PRIDE  &
PREJUDICE films very much (1995 and 2005), but found
the new one  far superior as a film. You are right that
Keira did not deserve her  nomination, but there were
unfortunately quite few excellent performances  from
lead actresses this past year. Otherwise, the only
other nomination  I was aware of was for the film's
score, which is quite fine and deserving  of its
attention.
From your choices below, I would go with GOOD  NIGHT,
AND GOOD LUCK, an excellent film. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
is quite  interesting, but not nearly as successful as
the buzz would have you  believe.

All best wishes,
Will

>   Kate Troy  <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
>     I called my  husband on the cell phone yesterday
> while out during the day and asked  what he wanted to
> do during the evening, as we had no plans.  He  said
> that he already took care of that, that he had went
> to  the video store and took out the new Pride and
> Prejudice that had just  come out on video that I had
> been longing to see.  Well, it was  very sweet of my
> husband, but it was an extremely poor,  pathetic
> adaptation, and I can't believe that it had been
>  nominated for Academy Awards.  The one before this
> one, I really  loved, the one before that was great
> also, and the book best of all,  but this film was
> simply awful.  And, this is truth, and not  politics.
> My husband asked me today what I wanted to see the
>  next time he was at the video store, and I couldn't
> make up my mind  between Good Night and Good Luck and
> that mountain film, Broback  Mountain, I think it's
> called.  Anyone have any great suggestion,  keeping
> in mind that I like thoughtful(but not violent) and
>  that I like romantic(when well done), and comedy
> only when extremely  well done.
> 
>     Regards,
> 
>    Kate

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