Movies, 2009

When I look at the list of movies I watched in 2009, it’s almost as embarrassing as my yoga practice. Almost. My yoga practice has picked up significantly in the last month or so and really, it makes me so very happy, I don’t know why I find it such a struggle to get myself there sometimes. Um, but this post isn’t about yoga, it’s about my piss poor movie watching this year. No sense, really, though, in beating myself up over how few movies I watched – while I am a movie buff I am not manic about film like I am about reading – I don’t feel any sense of failure for NOT having watched movies, if that makes sense? Anyway. In the manner of the reading roundup, then. The categories from my 2008 movie watching that apply to movies seen this year:

Movie In Which I Wanted to Wear All the Clothes and Sleep with the Hero, even though I would look Terrible Doing Both: New In Town. I have had a crush on Harry Connick Jr. for over a decade, easily – when I think of him I think of my freshman year of college when he released his first Christmas cd – it seemed like every store in East Lansing played that cd. Renee Zellweiger had a fantastic wardrobe in this movie.

Favorite Movie of the Year: Tell No One

Best Adaptation from a Book: Tell No One, again.

Movie I Most Wanted To Move Into and Live There Forever: Fame. I mean, really, TERRIBLE, but terrible-awesome, you know, like, if ONLY my teenage years had been like that, except without the suicide attempts and feeling like a failure at age seventeen…

Most Surprisingly Enjoyable Movie: Amelia

Movie That Made Me Long For My Youth, and How I felt When  Watching Movies, As Though the whole entire wide world was Open to Me and it would be Full of Beauty and Light : Vickie Christina Barcelona

Six Categories from last year – not too terrible. Now, for this year:

Movie That Caused an Embarrassing Crying Jag in my Home Town Theater, Causing my Parents to think I am overworked and overtired: The Blind Side – seriously, could not stop crying during this movie. It made me want to adopt every single kid I could. I cannot stand the thought of disadvantaged children…it makes my heart hurt so much I often skip reading articles in the paper about it. I cried more during this movie than not.

Movie that Caused me to Stop Watching out of outrage at the incredible bias, and I am about as Liberal as one gets: Sicko. I think Michael Moore took it much too far in this movie, putting out a lot of misinformation and doing a disservice to the people working in health care who are trying to fix the massive fuckup that is the industry.

Best Documentary: A tie between Shut Up and Sing and Inside Deep Throat..Shut Up and Sing chronicles the fallout the Dixie Chicks exerienced after their London show where they criticized President Bush, and Inside Deep Throat chronicles the lives of the actors, producers and directors of Deep Throat, the porn movie. My friend J. recommended this to me and it is a FASCINATING look at 1970s culture.

Movie that Seems Unanimously Loved by EVERYONE but I found firstly boring and secondly, creepy: Wall-E.

Movie That Just Seemed So Freaking Weird, Compared to the Book it was Based On: Julie and Julia. Okay, I know – I know – Meryl Streep rocked this out. I AGREE, people – she was amazing. But truly, this would have been a better movie if had just been based off of Julia Child’s memoir and not included Julia Powell in any way. First of all,  they sanitized Julia Powell’s character way too much – the casting of Amy Andrews was just weird. It cracks me up that everyone is traumatized by Powell’s latest book detailing her affair because if you had read her book instead of just seen the movie you would KNOW that Powell is terribly, horribly flawed. Like all of us. Also, the Julia Child hero-worship in the movie was highly exaggerated (I think), and, well, stupid. BUT. I loved loved loved the parts with Meryl Streep. She was amazing, the setting was wonderful – is there any better actress in the world than Meryl Streep? I can’t think of one.

That’s it for movie roundup, 2009 – no resolutions in terms of movie watching for 2010. I just hope to see a lot of good films.

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9 Responses to Movies, 2009

  1. litlove says:

    I loved this – what great categories! And I haven’t seen Julie and Julia (thought I want to – I am a HUGE Streep fan) but I can well believe you’re right as the book would have been better without the Child bits (they sit oddly) and so inevitably the movie would be better without the Powell bits. I can’t imagine that blogging translates too well on to the silver screen . 😉

  2. Amanda says:

    I enjoyed Julie Julia. I’ve also been known to feel a personal relationship of sorts with the people whose recipe books I’m cooking from and to get immersed in other peoples lives through reading their biographies so that their stories become enmeshed in my life and part of my world view. I loved seeing that personal experience reflected back at me though, you are right, it was over the top and I bet she didn’t actually leave butter as an offering at the Julia Child museum display/shrine. What I didn’t like was the Nora Ephron slant on male female relationships- in all her films they seem sort of twee and not quite believable

  3. Cam says:

    A few weeks ago Sister #1 asked me to help her out and babysit for Sister #2’s kids. My first reaction: as long as they aren’t still mesmerized by that creepy Wall-E movie! You’re categorizatoin of this is spot on. As are all of your categories. For those of these movies I’ve seen, I agree with you completly. Saw New In Town on a trans-Atlantic flight. I should have left the earphones unplugged as the wardrobe was the only redeeming feature of the movie. But that and Harry Connick kept me watching instead of reading my book or sleeping.

  4. Kelly says:

    Hi Courtney,
    Just wanted to say that I LOVE HCJ and have for years myself. I watch most anything he’s in, simply for him and I love his Christmas specials.

    Did you ever see Memphis Belle? He as a small role, but he sings Danny Boy. It’s beautiful.

  5. Pete says:

    Very cool. Might have to borrow this idea and trawl through diary to see what movies I loved and hated (or just yawned through) this year. I wasn’t as amazed with Vicky Christina Barcelona though. Maybe I’ve ODed on Woody Allen but I find him annoying now. But it was a funny movie and Penelope Cruz as the crazy woman was hilarious.

  6. Katie says:

    Totally agree with you on the Blind Side and do NOT get the obsession with Wall-E. My mom was horrified to hear about the 2nd Julie Powell book so that makes me laugh. BTW, the whole blog through a French cookbook idea reminded me of something you would do. When is your novel coming out anyway?! Miss you! Have a great Holiday. If you are driving through Novi/Southfield on your way back from Alpena anytime soon let me know and I will feed you and S!

  7. shoreacres says:

    Looks like the Golden Globe folks agree with you – just heard tonight that Streep got nominated for two movies.

    And I learned a new word! “Twee”. Never heard it. That’s ok. I’m old…..

  8. A Free Man says:

    I really want to see The Blind Side, but they haven’t played it here yet.

  9. Courtney says:

    Litlove – I am a huge Streep fan as well, in case you couldn’t tell! She had me at Sophie’s Choice…
    Amanda – the butter scene REALLY bothered me but what annoyed me equally was all her talk talk talk of Julia, and how PERFECT Julia was, and how good, and how kind…just, ugh. It is one thing to feel a connection to a chef through a cookbook and another to imagine an entire persona…
    Cam – finally, someone who understands about Wall-E. Seriously, the scariest use ever of a musical number in an animated film! Out there, Barnaby…
    Kelly- I have never even heard of that movie! It’s in my queue, now…
    Pete – I haven’t loved any of Woody Allen’s recent films but VCB did remind me what I felt in my early twenties, when I wanted to do nothing more than lose myself in the world…
    Katie…I actually think we are going to be in Novi/Southfield more often than we have in the past. I’ll fill you in soon. Miss you, too!
    Shoreacres – no, no, I haven’t heard of twee, either. Must be a New Zealand word. Thankfully Amanda used it in context for us!
    A Free Man – well, you do live in Australia. I hear even the soap operas are years behind down there. If you like Sandra Bullock you will like this movie. She sort of kicks ass. And also, football? Good stuff.

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