Think back to where you were in 2006. Myself, I was finishing up junior year in high school and desperately deciding to which colleges to apply. If only I’d watched a few more movies to take the pressure off school, cheerleading, and theater I might have decided I wanted to be an actress far sooner! Try out these great finds from that year:
The Painted Veil – Named for a first line in Shelley’s poem (“Lift not the painted veil which those who live/Call Life”), this beautiful love story stars Naomi Watts and Edward Norton, bringing the 1925 novel of the same title to film for the millennium audience. Wild and frivolous Kitty meets the shy and intelligent Dr. Walter Fane, a British medical doctor en route to fight cholera in a small Chinese village. They marry in haste, he for love and she for convenience. Their marriage turns from disappointment to respect to finally love in their service to the people and each other. Directed by John Curran, the film is worth every minute of its thorough two hours.
The Fall – Also donning the 1920s theme is the Tardem Singh film, The Fall. It was shot over 4 years, piggybacking on travel for commercial shoots, and includes footage from over 20 countries. It also boasts no digital graphics, and knowing that information will add to the grandeur of the story. Lee Pace (“Pushing Daisies”) plays Roy Walker, a movie stuntman whose suicidal attempt from a broken heart is forestalled upon meeting precocious Alexandria, also in the hospital. Together, they embark on a heroic adventure of courage and honor to vanquish Death.
The Fountain – Hugh Jackman stars in this independent film covering three historical periods of Mayan history, modern medicine, and future spirituality. Most well known for his hit, Requiem for a Dream, director Darren Aronofsky again rips open the human heart, this time probing for the value of sacrifice and the nature of love. The movie requires an open mind, and if Jackman’s incredible performance doesn’t have you in tears, the soundtrack will.
Pan’s Labryinth – The year is 1944 and fascist Spain is still warring with its rebels. Deep in the Castilian countryside a young girl wanders into an ancient labyrinth discovering a mystical faun, spirited fairies, and the strength within herself to carry a courageous burden. The adventure is nothing less than thrilling when the lives of everyone surrounding young Ofelia are threatened. Reality becomes fantasy when it no longer bears fidelity to love.
Stranger Than Fiction – Emma Thompson once again makes a beautiful collaboration of theatre and film in this semi-science fiction film about a writer who meets her real-life hero. Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is an IRS auditor who leads an atrociously mundane and calculated life until he meets the voice of fate. In an attempt to escape a foretold death, Harold learns to embrace the true joy of fulfilled dreams, the love of a feisty baker (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and the acceptance of life lived unpredictably.