- What We Do in the Shadows: A few years ago I had asked for recommendations for vampire movies and this was one that a friend suggested. I finally got around to watching it on New Year’s Day. It’s a mockumentary about a group of vampires who share a flat in Wellington, New Zealand. I thought this was one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen – a truly original twist on a familiar genre. It probably helps to have seen a lot of the classic vampire films to get the references. Highly recommended.
- Foxcatcher: I’m not entirely sure why I decided to watch this on a long flight, but it was not a great choice. I vaguely remember the murder case in which a du Pont heir killed a wrestler who had been coaching his team, but I didn’t really know much about it. After watching it, I mostly concluded that John du Pont was a pathetic wannabe, incapable of establishing relationships with other people. Maybe I’d have liked this movie better if I cared more about wrestling, but I thought it was too long and too slow-paced. On the plus side, there are good performances from Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.
- In Between: This was a fascinating movie about three Arabic women living in Tel Aviv. Leila is a secular Muslim who works as a criminal defense lawyer. Salma is a Christian – and a lesbian – who works as a bartender and disc jockey. And Noor is a religious Muslim woman studying computer science. They’re caught up in the conflicts between tradition and modernity, each in their own way. What I particularly liked is the friendship between the three women, despite their very different backgrounds. The issues they confront are sometimes difficult to watch, but felt realistic (alas). I did wish that Layla didn’t smoke (and use drugs) so much, but toxic behaviors are not uncommon among people who are exploring their freedoms. Recommended.
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