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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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