1 The Hunger Games
This is a very recent film based on the best selling trilogy. It was the third highest grossing film of 2012, if memory serves me right. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, it tells the story of a teenage girl living in Panem, a dystopian North American country where the people are divided into 12 districts and governed by a dictatorship in the Capital. To commemorate a failed attempt to overthrow the Capital, a boy and girl are picked every year from each district to fight to the death in the annual Hunger Games.
When Katniss’ little sister is chosen as District 12’s annual tribute, Katniss volunteers to take her place.
This film is an exciting action/adventure film, and it surprised me with its intensity.
2 Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About My Mother)
This film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and is by Pedro Almodovar. He is one of the greatest living Spanish directors, and he frequently centers his films around women. He believes that women have a richer emotional life than men, and therefore are far more compelling subjects for film. Whether or not this is true, he is an amazing filmmaker, and if you have not seen any of his films, you’re missing out.
In All About My Mother, he tells the story of a woman who tragically loses her son in a car accident, and returns to Barcelona to find her son’s father. Filled with productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, transvestite prostitutes, and HIV Positive pregnant nuns, this is a poignant film about death and the relationships between women. Despite the dark subject, the film never feels heavy. Almodovar excels at that, I don’t know how he does it.
3 The Hours
The Hours is a film based on Michael Cunningham’s exceptional book. (Read it, it’s wonderful.) It tells the story of a writer (Virginia Woolf) the reader (Laura Brown) and the modern day Mrs. Dalloway (Clarissa Vauhan.) Virginia Woolf is struggling to write Mrs. Dalloway, Laura Brown is reading Mrs. Dalloway and is unhappy in her marriage, and Clarissa Vaughan is trying to plan a party for her poet, AIDS stricken friend. It follows each of these women through the course of one day of their lives, with the book Mrs. Dalloway tying them together. All three women (Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, and Meryl Streep) give wonderful performances, and the film inspires a meditation on a variety of different themes.