My favorite movies are ones that take me on a journey not just show a quick snapshot of ones life. “Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School” is an enjoyable journey that gently curves through the anguish of loss, elation of hope and reality of fate.
A unique aspect of the movie, made in 2005, is the intertwining of a short film that was shot in 1990. One of the actors from the film also appears in the movie, but in a very different role. Sensational performances by John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Donny Wahlberg, Adam Arkin, and cameo roles by Danny DeVito, Camryn Manheim, and Kate Mulligan add to the enjoyment.
Another rewarding movie that we recently saw was “Ladies in Lavender.” It features the grand dames of British acting, Judy Dench and Maggie Smith and is set in an adorable Cornish village in the 1930’s. Watching the movie, it was hard not to long for a simpler life of afternoon tea, tending flower gardens, wandering along the seashore, knitting or reading in the evenings while listening to the “wireless.”
Saturday night, we saw The Departed, which I believe is one of the greatest movies ever made for one simple reason − it made me forget that I was in pain. For the first 15 minutes or so, I squirmed in bed, trying to find a comfortable spot. After a half an hour, I forgot that I was in bed. For the rest of the movie, I neglected to breath.
One critic on Rotten Tomatoes wrote that The Departed “reaches the heights of a Shakespearean tragedy.” What occurs in the movie is not only tragic, but unexpected. There’s an unwritten rule that heroes aren’t suppose to die and if they do, viewers are suppose to be given time to prepare for their demise.
Not in The Departed. Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese pulls you into the story, grabs you by the shirt, slaps your around, then dumps you by the side of the road. There’s no escape. By the time it was over, Rich and I were examining ourselves for bruises.
Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant as is Mark Wahlberg, whose acting has never impressed me. Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson are evil, evil, evil.