It's not often that I see movies that either I really like or that I have anything to say about, but we've been on a lucky streak lately. For anybody interested in good films now that the days are growing shorter and evenings are better for snuggling on the couch than going for a good walk, try these...
*The penguin movie, a.k.a. "March of the Penguins"--the National Geographic film in theatres now is the most romantic movie I've ever seen. In my opinion it's not really a kid's movie, but we enjoyed it immensely and were astounded both by the cinematography and the single-mindedness of these strange animals.
*"Uncovered", starring Kate Beckinsale--I'd seen this a while back and been interested in it, but it wasn't till a second perusal of the synopsis on the box that I realized it was a dramatization of Arturo Perez-Reverte's excellent novel The Flanders Panel. Let me tell you, the book is a WHOLE lot better, mainly because it actually sustains suspense, whereas the movie seriously lacks subtlety. That said, if you haven't read the book (and you should--it's fantastic), the movie might amuse you with its dramatic story of mystery in the art world.
*"Mean Girls", starring Lindsay Lohan--I wanted to see this in great part because the main character is homeschooled, but my sister had also recommended it. I was pleasantly surprised to find it clever and highly amusing; Odious kept coming into the room to find out what I was laughing so much about. Lindsay Lohan is an excellent comic actress, and does a great job in this snarky film. I also liked that while homeschooling was somewhat ridiculed, the point was clearly made that high school is a terrible, terrible place that can suck in and corrupt even the best of teens.
*"Ponette"--this movie made me cry, and that's a pretty unusual occurrence. It's a French film about a little girl whose mother dies, and her attempts to understand and deal with the tragedy; the four-year-old actress is AMAZING. I'd been wanting to watch it for a while, and when I finally turned it on I intended to go to bed after an hour or so and finish it the following evening. It was soon clear that I was staying up late. What an incredible film--highest recommendations.
*"Funny Face", starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire--without the singing and dancing this movie would have been about 20 minutes long. I know most musicals are like that, but this one seemed particularly dull and poorly-acted--maybe it's best to experience them first as a child. Still, Audrey Hepburn is always good, and it was fun to hear the origin of songs like "Funny Face" and "S'marvelous".