Movie suggestions?

Dear Internet,

I’m under a lot of stress right now. I’m interested in Netflixing some new movies, and I’d like suggestions. Usually there’s a good variety of movies I like. But right now, I’m looking for:

MUST-HAVE

–happy endings, or at least bittersweet.

–very minimal violence/blood (preferably none). I could probably handle something like a sword duel, but certainly no guns or on-screen explicit violence. I’m serious about this one.

–a quality story. I’m picky. I prefer movies that have a well-written plot and characters.

THINGS I TEND TO LIKE

–Whimsical, quirky, or goofy (Amelie)

–Surreal and lovely (Like Water for Chocolate, which is more violent than I want right now)

–Artistically interesting (certain animation styles, unusual camera angles, etc.)

–Coming of age stories for girls (Little Women, Anne of Green Gables)

–Powerful, striking, and moving (Baraka, Koyaanisqatsi)

–Light-hearted and fun (The Princess Bride, The Muppet Movie)

–Fascinating characters (Lawrence of Arabia, also too violent right now)

–Historically-based movies (Jane Grey, although like just about every historical movie, it’s really violent)

–Interesting documentaries (Wordplay, Planet Earth, although I’d prefer actual movies)

–Stories set outside the United States, especially foreign-made ones–bonus points for China (Eat Drink Man Woman)

–Kids’ and young adult fantasy movies (Labyrinth, Neverending Story)

–Dancing and musicals (Jesus Christ Superstar, although this might be too intense right now).

Ideas? Let me know. Thanks!

7 thoughts on “Movie suggestions?

  1. Enlightenment Guaranteed. I loved this movie. Funny, poignant, contemplative…

    Here’s is the skinny from Netflix:

    When his wife and children unexpectedly walk out on him, Uwe (Uwe Ochsenknecht) decides to join his brother Gustav (Gustav-Peter Wohler), a struggling feng shui consultant, on a pilgrimage from Munich to Japan, where Gustav hopes to find enlightenment as a guest in a Buddhist monastery. The plot thickens when, after a night of hard drinking, they get lost in the streets of Tokyo, temporarily derailing their search for serenity.

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  2. The real question is what have you already seen? But since I don’t know that, I suggest the following:

    Classics:
    12 Angry Men (not violent, despite the title)

    Anything with Charlie Chaplain, but esp. Modern Times and City Lights

    The Shop Around The Corner (Cute 1940’s version of You’ve Got Mail)

    Foreign:
    Children of Heaven (Iranian boy tries to get shoes for his sister)

    Ushpizin (Orthodox Jews deal with rude guests)

    The King of Masks (Chinese girl tries to pass as a boy)

    The Road Home (Chinese love story)

    Anime:

    Absolutely anything by Miyazaki, but especially My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle

    Whisper of the Heart

    Haibane Renmei

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  3. Thank! Everyone on LJ is saying Miyazaki too, but I’ve never liked anything of his very much. The foreign ones in particular sound like they might be up my alley.

    (You can see what others are saying on my lj if you want.)

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  4. Hmm… interesting challenge…

    I’ll start with Knocked Up. I think Judd Apatow is maybe the most interesting writer in Hollywood today. His movies have no villains… everyone is their own worst enemy. And no violence, either. This movie is built around amazingly rich, complex, and real character interactions.

    Next up… “Crossing the Bridge”. It’s a documentary about the modern music scene in Istanbul, by the bass player from Einzige Neubaten.

    “The Gods Must Be Crazy”… if you’ve never seen it, do. Possibly mild violence, iirc, but a fascinating and gently hilarious story of a !Kung tribesman finding a Coke bottle and thinking it came from the gods.

    “The Aristocrats”… an utterly obscene documentary about one particular dirty joke, told by some of the greatest comic talents alive. It offended ME!

    “The French Chef with Julia Child”. TV series available on Netflix. Her relaxed, joyous style in the kitchen is a marvel to behold, and you’ll learn a lot.

    “American Splendor”… about the comic of the same name, sort of. Beautifully acted, emotionally challenging, and really unusually filmed.

    “The Reduced Shakespeare Company”… the complete works of Shakespeare in 90 minutes. A laugh riot! And Hamlet in five seconds BACKWARDS is the bestest encore ever.

    “Grizzly Man”… a documentary of a guy who lived in Alaska among grizzly bears for years, until they ate him. Challenging, disturbing… and there but for the grace of God, I felt after watching. Extraordinary.

    “Ratatoulle”… if you didn’t see it, do! Pixar just gets better and better.

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  5. Oh, and I almost forgot a favorite… “Tampopo”. It’s a Japanese movie about food, in the style of a spaghetti western (which are of course in the style of samurai films). Mild violence (a couple of fistfights), but hilarious, sexy, and committed to the highest aesthetic. One of my favorite films ever.

    And thinking of Japanese, Klee and I just watched “Lost in Translation” the other day and really enjoyed it. It’s a sweet off-kilter romance, and seriously weird to boot.

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  6. Thanks! I didn’t like Tampopo very much. I’ve heard Ratatouille is violent. I love Reduced Shakespeare. I may try some of the others, but I have a huge list with people on lj suggested. So I may not get very far. Hard to say.

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