Monday, December 26, 2011

My Christmas Movies

Not that they're all full of snow and carols and decorated trees and happy, smiling families. In fact, only one of them has happy and smiling, and it's in the form of a child dressed as an octopus. But to label them as just "drama," when what they really do is evoke a myriad of emotions, would be slightly insulting.

1. Love Actually (2003)

The first time I watched this, back in April, I thought it's but a British version of "Valentine's Day." But the Brits have always been a classy people, and no one from the starry lineup in this film ever attempts to take the spotlight hostage.

2. Undertow (Spanish: Contracorriente) (2009)

A haunting love story between two men in a seaside Peruvian village. There is a ghost, a painter (the sublime Manolo Cardona), and an elegant twist. Heartbreaking.

No good trailer, hence this dull poster.

3. 3 Idiots (2009)

"Follow excellence, and success will chase (after) you." If you feel like you're starting to lose the passion for learning, watch this. And kids, suicide is never the answer.

4. In a Better World (Danish: Haevnen) (2010)

A world of violence, a society trapped underneath the constancy of war, as seen through the eyes of two very different boys who find common ground in friendship and nurturing love. It's not an easy watch, but this film won the Oscar for foreign language film.  

5. Closer (2004)

The no-nonsense screenplay should be reason enough to suspect that this must be an adaptation of a play. Jude Law is a cowardly prick, Julia Roberts has a messed-up mind, Natalie Portman just wants to strip, and Clive Owen wins the nastiest mouth and most thrilling performance awards.  

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