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30. Keeping Mum
Imagine Mary Poppins as a homicidal murderer in contemporary England and you basically have this film. It's very British, it's humour is very dry, and it is definitely offbeat and quirky (although in an understated way). The film centers around a pastor's family in a small (very small!) town in the English countryside. They are bored, disenchanted, uninspired until the new housekeeper comes along. The acting is top-notch: Maggie Smith, Tamsin Egerton and Kirstin Scott Thomas particular deliver. Even though the reveals in the film can be spotted a mile away, the way they are unveiled makes for a treat. I definitely loved it!
31. Third Star
My mind is blown! This is one fierce, intensely brave, very politically incorrect film. James (played by the flawless Benedict Cumberbatch), dying of terminal cancer, goes on a camping trip to his "favorite place in the world" Barafundle Bay with his buddies Miles, Bill and Davy. If Hollywood had made this, it would have been trite, sentimental and "dying patient spreads his wisdom" cliche. The film takes a new, very different route. I loved it. It was painful to watch, but it was exciting. It also made an interesting contrast to the polished and precise "A Single Man." (TS is more naturalistic and unpredictable.) Definitely one of the very best--top 3--films I've seen this year.
32. A Room with A View
I love this movie, but I haven't seen it in well over a decade. How I miss Merchant Ivory! Yes, people still make period dramas, but no knew how to capture books and time period quite like they did. The costumes, the scenery, and the actors are all top-notch. This is the type of movie that makes me wish I lived in Edwardian England: where enchantment and idyll are always lurking around the corner. Despite everything that is great about this movie, George is a miss for me. I don't feel that his character--why Lucy would be attracted to him--is made quite clear. Poor tragic, elder Mr. Emerson! So kind and yet so broken-hearted! I love his character! Helena! You were so young! I hope someone will make period dramas like this again: lush, vibrant, true to the book.
33. Die Hard
I'm so glad the days when lone, macho can-do-anything white male hero saving the world days are over. I'll take my Neville Longbottoms and Jean Greys over John McClaine any day. I know this is a classic action movie, but I found it stupid. The LAPD, the FBI and the press wouldn't be THAT dumb. Insensitive, but not dumb. I do like over the top silly action movies like "Air Force One" but this one....not so much. It required me to suspend what I know about reality too much of the time. Oddly, this isn't the first DH that I've watched (I've seen WAV on TV) and while that sequel was dumb, it was amusingly dumb. I also couldn't identify with McClaine because the action hero angle was pushed hard and often. I find one aspect of it rather hilarious: the 80s/early 90s archetype of the bad guy being super-posh, super-slick and always sounding Shakespearean in his sentences (because obviously back then the "bad guys" couldn't look like you and me).