I like quirky films. I like heartwarming films. I like comedies. If I can find one that's all three, so much the better. I don't really care what language it's in - I can read subtitles and still enjoy the flick. It's also OK if it's in English - I can understand English, too. So anyhoo, onto capsule reviews of some of my recent finds. (Hope I don't spoil too much.)
Cuckoo (Kukushka, 2002) is a Russian film where the three principle characters don't speak the same language as each other. It takes place during WWII just before Finland leaves the war. One Finnish soldier is abandoned by his fellow soldiers for being cowardly - he's chained to a rock. A Russian soldier, meanwhile, is being driven off to be court martialed for some action he's supposedly done. And a Lapp woman is going about her daily business on her farm. The three of them end up together due to various circumstances and, despite none of them knowing what the other is saying, they form friendships until the soldiers finally make their ways to their respective homes. The movie has some very funny moments due to the different languages. The Lapp lady steals the show, I think, with her sex starved ways and positive outlook on life. The two men, originally enemies, do end up as friends. And that's the kind of stuff that trina likes to see in her films.
Autumn Spring (Babí léto, 2001) is a Czech film. An old man and his theatre buddy are enjoying their autumn years by pretending to be completely different people. This wouldn't be so bad if it didn't involve spending the old man's funeral money. His wife gets exasperated by him over and over, but he always apologizes and is forgiven. Well, that is until he fakes his own death. His wife can't take it any more and files for a divorce - but perhaps it's the wake up call that both of them need in order to enjoy their remaining time together. I like quirky, and this guy was quirky. My favorite bit is when he walks up to a complete stranger, convinces him they were old school buddies, discovers the man can't afford his own wife's gravestone, so gives him 200 crowns.
Pieces of April is an American movie about a twenty-something girl who's changed her life around and wants to have the family over for Thanksgiving dinner. Tragedy ensues, however, when she discovers the oven doesn't work. So she rushes around the NYC apartment complex trying to get help from her neighbors. Meanwhile, her family is driving up, and none of them (except overly optimistic dad) is looking forward to it. In the grand tradition of movies that trina likes, this one has a happy and heartwarming ending. Fans of Will and Grace might be interested to know that "Jack" is in the movie, too (but in a very small part).
The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville, 2003) is now fairly well known since it was a contender for the Oscar for best animated film. And as much as I loved Finding Nemo, I think it deserved it more. And mainly because it's a movie that transcends language. Alas, the DVD that's out in the US only has an English language track and a Spanish language track (not the original French language track). However, there is so little dialogue in the movie that I didn't feel cheated of my $1. (When I do buy the DVD, which I will, I'll probably go with the Canadian version.) Let's see, I should describe the plot. Nah, just go see it. It's quirky, funny, and heartwarming - what more could you want? :-)
Geez, a billion "moods" to choose from and I can't find the right one to describe me...