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Becoming a Classic Christmas Movie on the Disney Channel
I first saw this movie the year it was first released, 2000. It has shown every year since, especially around the holidays and I think it is becoming a great little holiday classic. Good, clean, fun family movie. Hallee Hirsh is adorable as the lead and looks so cute as her younger self.
The Hours (2002)
Must see - twice
I do not normally take the time to write a review - but this film affected me so much, I felt compelled to try. I fear I cannot capture the enormity of this film as a seminal work of art in words - kind of like Richard (Ed Harris) in his speech to Clarissa about having failed as a writer (even though he is celebrated) - the inability to capture in words the gestalt of life or in this case, just this film. I will leave to others to describe the plot, I am more compelled to describe the impact/impressions this film had/made on me:
1) Incredible acting by the entire cast right down to the main kids (young Richard and the little girl). Loved Claire Danes - a perfectly portrayed teenager - caring daughter but cheerfully oblivious to the deeper currents in life that only become really known to one as we age.
2) The Virginia Woolf create by Nicole Kidman was so real - I couldn't even find the "celebrity" when I looked closely for her. Kudo to hair & makeup because even on the closeups it was perfection (Ditto Ed Harris and his Aids makeup and Julianne Moore and her elderly makeup). So compelling a character did Nicole create, that I want to see her again in other films - nose and all playing different characters. Tom Cruise, as incredible a force he is as an actor, has not come close to such a performance.
3) Julianne Moore - wow - what was the Academy thinking with Catherine Zeta Jones? - absolutely no comparison in layers of complexity between the two roles and Julianne's mastery of that depth and of her character. She had the more difficult role by far and was perfection in it.
4) Was this movie life changing as said by another commenter? Yes and I cannot even tell you exactly why. Perhaps an even greater appreciation of the art and contribution to humanity of a brilliantly written, designed and acted film. Perhaps a greater sense of my own humanity - because our humanity is a shared thing and there is such a thing as the collective/universal unconscious. That many of us sometimes feel lost or that we do not belong or cannot find the meaning we so eagerly search for - happiness (whatever that is exactly) is elusive. We are not alone - it is human to feel despair even when by all accounts we have nothing specifically to complain about and "should" feel happy.
I went to see it twice and it was even better the second time.