Watching: Five Faves

For whatever reason, I've gotten really lucky with the last few things I've spent time in front of. Here they are, because during winter's grey and chilly there's always a need for a good watch.
Having DVR'd it in November, this January I was finally able to watch HBO's mini series Olive Kittridge. Based on Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize winning novel,  (which I hadn't read, but which I wanted to read after I watched it, testament to how well done it was) it is a gem of a character study set in a quaint era and laced with heart and depth. An added bonus: Martha Wainwright showed up throughout to sing obscure and beautiful songs in the background, like Magic, originally done by Olivia Newton John. You can hear it when you watch the trailer.
Another really good movie is Loveship Hateship, based on the short story Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro. There's the fact that it stars Kirsten Wiig, (who I love but who plays a completely different character in this movie than she plays anywhere else) but there's also the story, moving and hopeful. So good. Her chemistry with Guy Pearce is a favorite aspect.
Kiera Knightly has never been a favorite. I don't really know why. Because of her, I don't think I would've given Begin Again a chance, even though I read about this role in a magazine and it sounded good. That it featured Mark Ruffalo, was on the shelf at the library and had been recommended by a friend meant that I checked it out. I'm so glad it did-it totally surprised me. Kiera Knightly needs to do more roles like this: she was cheery and an inspirational foil for Mark Ruffalo's character. She can sing, too; between her songs and Adam Levine's, I needed the soundtrack as soon as I'd watched it. Will the trailer suck you in?
I saw Afternoon Delight over Christmas break and it took me back to the days of preschool and a restlessness I remember feeling when my kiddos were tinier. It didn't matter that it was set in my brother's Silver Lake neighborhood, her feelings were universal. It was a movie about sex and marriage and it was untidy and real and raw and I loved it enough to watch it multiple times and make my husband watch it, too. (He liked it).Well done, Jill Solloway! More! More!

Lastly, This is Where I Leave You, was highly entertaining. Anything featuring siblings is up my alley. These ones had issues, and heart. It was messy but funny, and they ultimately just cared a lot about each other. It was another movie based on a book I'd read where I had low expectations for it, but ended up giving it a chance on the recommendation of my sister-in-law and really liking it. You might, too. Jason Bateman? He's the bonus.

Running through most of these favorites are super strong, likable, relatable women characters. Let me know if you enjoy any of these, too.


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