Jules et Jim (1962)- My favorite French film by Truffaut tells the story of a love triangle between Jules and Jim over Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). It is the definition of New Wave complete with ludicrous situations and camera angles. A must, especially now that it is available on Criterion.
The Limey (1999)- Terrance Stamp stars as a former thief tracking down his daughters’ killer. There is something magic about Terrance Stamp and Steven Soderbergh brings out the best of his actors. The flashbacks to a younger Mr. Stamp are from one of his first films, “Poor Cow”, and are further evidence of the director’s genius. Not a feel good movie, so open a bottle of wine and hunker down.
London (2005)- It took me a while to get around to watching this movie (it stars Jessica Biel after all) but boy was I glad I did. It’s a twisted love story about the one that got away and takes place all in one night in one apartment. Great acting and writing from all involved.
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)- I love Dorothy Parker. Look her up. Her sardonic wit was legendary as was the company she kept. This bio of her mid life stars Jennifer Jason Leigh (of course) and is wonderful. Very Altman-esque with a who’s who of actors. Look for Jon Favreau in a small role.
Nightwatch (2005)/Daywatch- greatest Russian movie of all time (and the 2 highest grossing). The Nightwatch patrols Moscow and regulates all the “dark ones”- vampires, werewolves, witches; while the Daywatch patrols the “light others”- shapeshifters, magicians, etc. Some of the best effects and action sequences I’ve ever seen. The dubbed version is pretty good (the director did it himself), but the subtitles are sublime, weaving in and out of the frame keeping your eye on the action.
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)- stars a very young Maggie Smith in her Oscar nominated role. She is a teacher at an all girls school and the mayhem continues from there. Jealousy, young love, and anger all play roles in this delicious film.