This was the film that introduced me to the great Juliette Binoche. A light hearted comedy drama with a social message that didn't seem to be hitting you over the head with. Set in France in the late 1950s, Lansquenet is a village resistant to change. When a woman with her young daughter in tow arrive, nothing could be a greater threat to the status quo.
She opens a chocolate shop and has an uncanny ability to pick out the perfect type for each visitor. Incredibly charming film.
I saw this film at the first Butt-numb-athon in Austin. I was amazed as Paul Thomas Anderson's ability to weave in the multiple storylines that seem to have little in common and then bring them all together. The cast is great and there are many actors, Tom Cruise included, that play against their normal type. Aimee Mann's songs are haunting. But it was definitely not for everyone. My mom HATED it. "Why are frogs falling from the sky?"
3. Almost Famous
I started college wanting to be a journalist. This film certainly fueled that belief. This was the film where I discovered that Cameron Crowe has a knack for picking the perfect music for his films. Not that it started here. Going back, I discovered it's been there from his first film. Music and the love for it is what drives this film along. The performances are all first rate too. There are no villans, simply real people.
2. The Hurricane
At Toronto in 1999, I stumbled into a screening for this film. All I knew about it was that it starred Denzel Washington and it was about a boxer. I left the screening moved and wanting more. Even before the movie started, there was a buzz at the Elgin. The real Hurricane Carter spoke before the film of his trials and about his first meeting with Denzel. They were having dinner at a resteraunt. The dinner started with two people, Denzel and Carter. By the end of the meal, there was only one, The Hurricane. Denzel picked up on how Carter spoke that quickly, "and I loved it," Carter said. The movie was a powerful story of how a man stays strong, but still needs friends and love. Iwas absorbed throughout.
1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
This was the reason I went to Toronto this year, just to see this movie. The movie didn't disappoint. It was beautiful visually. It had a tragic, compelling story. And the martial arts were pretty good too. I've loved Michelle Yeoh since Police Story 3 and Chow Yun Fat since Hardboiled. The RUSH line for the Gala wrapped around the entire building. It was crazy. It was the only time I've ever been able to sit on the lower level for a Gala.