There is no question—we have now entered the rainy season when we can be caught in a downpour at any time of the day. Perhaps the following movies are the perfect accompaniment to a gray, drizzly day, in keeping with the sad mood set by the weather. So go get yourself some snacks and drinks and sit back to watch these films which are all available on Netflix.
“Blue Valentine”: Here is a romantic film written and directed by Derek Cianfrance which made its debut in 2010. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play the lead roles as a married couple who are having marital difficulties after five years of marriage. Desperate in trying to rekindle the flame, the husband books a stay at a hotel for them, but the weekend does not go well. The movie shifts back and forth in time between their courtship and the eventual dissolution of their marriage. The film received critical acclaim and several Oscar nominations.
“Big Fish”: A 2003 fantasy-drama film based on a novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace, “Big Fish” was directed by Tim Burton with Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, and Jessica Lange in the starring roles. There is a very interesting, almost magical-realism-like cameo appearance by Helena Bonham Carter playing a witch.
The plot revolves around a grown son who comes to tend to his dying father (Albert Finney) who has always been known as a fabulist and story teller. The story goes back and forth in time as we hear the father retell some of the tall tales he has told all his life and we begin to see his life in a different light, just as his son does.
“Almost Famous”: This 2000 comedy drama, written and directed by Cameron Crowe, is an homage to 70s rock and roll. It stars Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit. The story revolves around a teenage journalist writing for “Rolling Stones” in the early 1970s who is attempting to get his first story published as he follows a fictitious rock band. The film is semi-autobiographical as it follows Crowe’s own experience and the amazing adventures he had with several rock bands. The film received general acclaim from critics and four Oscar nominations. Roger Ebert named it best film of the year.
“Cinema Paradiso:” This 88 Italian film written and directed by Giuseppe Tomatore is a tender love story, and a moving account of what memory means. The plot is set in a small town in Italy where a small boy, enchanted with movies, frequents the town cinema. He befriends the man who screens the movies and learns many of the secrets of movies and moviemaking from him. When he becomes a teenager, he falls in love with the young beauty in town and she becomes a major element in his life. Eventually, when he becomes a man, he moves away from the little town and it is not until some thirty years later that he returns after receiving a telegram informing him of a death. All is told in retrospect.
It is truly a lovely movie with a great atmosphere. It deals with our perceptions as time goes by, the moments that lead us on a certain path in life, the people in our lives that matter. But most of all, it shows life as it is—not some Hollywood vision of overcoming odds and walking into the sunset. There is no surprise that it won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at 62nd Academy Awards.