More Movies

January 12, 2008 at 11:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Eastern Promises, an Oscar-contender starring Viggo Mortenson as a London-based Russian mafia guy. Naomi Watts finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to find the identity of a pregnant girl who dies during delivery of her daughter, and leaves a disturbing Russian diary behind. Very intense. Very moving. Of course, I’ve got to comment on the naked fight scene, which was less “ooo-la-la” and more “run for your life!” I knew James would like this movie (he loves that mob stuff), but I really enjoyed it, too.

New in theaters, The Savages stars Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, in my opinion two of the most talented actors on film today. I heard about this film on NPR, and the rich dialogue and characters attracted me right away. Hoffman and Linney play brother and sister, faced with the daunting task of putting their senile father in a nursing home. A bit of a black comedy, but also very touching. The characters are so real — so much so, I found myself talking to them during the movie, and cringing at their many foibles. Very well-written and acted.

Michael Moore’s latest offering Sicko, James and I think is hands-down the best of his documentaries, and probably the best of the year. James, being a tight-laced conservative, usually hates anything Michael Moore does, but this was an issue we could both rally behind. It prompted a two-hour discussion last night about universal health care, politics, the up-coming election, and amazingly, James and I were on the same page. (For once!) We even watched all of the DVD extras–the most poignant for us being the interview with a university professor (which didn’t make it in the final cut) all about the myths of the middle-class insured, and how no one was safe. It made us both thankful neither of us has had an serious medical problems, but worry for ourselves and our parents if or when some catastrophic medical ailment might strike. Interesting statistic: 50% of families declaring bankruptcy did it for medical bills, and 75% of those people were fully insured. Their claims were denied, which of course is in the best interest of the insurance companies. And don’t get me started on big Pharma. I’m convinced that my IC problem went without a name or diagnosis until there was a drug they could push to help it. (which, incidentally, didn’t help me one bit, even after two years. I’m resolutely off of it now, and $60/month richer). This movie made James and I more seriously consider retiring in Europe — something we always talk about doing, but now feel even more firmly about. The Kansas Caucus is coming up February 5, and I’ve got to take a good hard look at the candidates before I cast my vote. I’ll definitely be putting universal health care at the top of my list — something Hillary used to stand behind, but now I’m not so sure anymore.

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  1. Sickening American health care

    Glad to hear someone enjoyed Sicko as much as I did! I really do hear about a lot of people here in Seattle even that make the 3hr. drive to the Canadian border to buy their meds. It’s sad what big Pharma is doing to the health care system, which is already screwed up enough as it is. And if you move to Rome, I will finally have a good excuse to go back to Europe 😉 Good luck!
    — Charissa


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