! = recommended
* = all-ages
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Inglourious Basterds: Currently topping my list of favorite films this year. Some people have complained about it being too talky, but I think that’s part of what it makes it work SO WELL. I loved the intertwined stories of big bad Nazi Col. Hans Landa, theater owner (and Jew in hiding) Shoshanna, sympathetic German film star Bridget Von Hammersmark, and a gang of violent American Nazi killers (feat. Mr. Pitt and horror Director Eli Roth wiggin' me out with his extra pounds of muscle). The casting is damn near perfect, and it’s full of suspense, laughs and QT’s signature gore. I even cried a few times - I kind of dare you not to, especially when it comes to Shoshanna’s story. If I could only choose one film from 2009 to recommend, this would be it.
Herb & Dorothy: The most adorable couple I’ve ever seen on screen. Herb & Dorothy Vogel are middle class workers who have collected more than 4,000 pieces of ground-breaking art - and helped many an artist in the process. Their love of beauty and expression is as great as their love for each other (CHEESE, I know, but it's great, trust me). This documentary will break your heart and make you want to be a better person.
The Headless Woman (La mujer sin cabeza): Though I haven’t seen this one yet, it’s one that’s been recommended to me more than a few times, so I want to check it out. Veronica suffers a breakdown after hitting *something* with her car (animal? human? who knows?) in New Argentina Cinema darling Lucrecia Martel’s 3rd film. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes (2008). Apologies for the non-subtitled preview - I couldn't find one with translation.