Here are some excellent recent movies available at your local DVD store in Curitiba:
The Words (As Palavras) – Drama. Bradley Cooper (Oscar nominated for Silver Linings Playbook) and Zoe Saldana (Avatar) star in this film about a writer whose search for success finally arrives when he writes a best-seller. The only problem is he’s not the real author of the book.
Jesse and Celeste Forever (Celeste e Jesse Para Sempre) – Romance. Rashida Jones and Andy Samber are a young couple divorcing who can’t seem to separate from each other’s lives. Rashida Jones is the cowriter of the movie and also the daughter of music legend Quincy Jones. [See full review in CIE]
Ruby Sparks (A Namorada Perfeita) – Fantasy/Romance. An entertaining storyline takes you on a fantasy about a successful writer struggling to find a subject for his next book who decides to base his next book on the perfect girlfriend. To everyone’s surprise, especially his, the imaginary literary invention arrives at his apartment.The excellent cast includes Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Elliot Gould, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas. Lead actress Zoe Kazan is the daughter of Hollywood legendary director Elia Kazan and the writer of this unique movie. [See full review in CIE]
Hope Springs (Um Divã para Dois) – Drama. A middle-aged couple tries to spark up their everyday lives after 30 years of marriage using couples therapy. Starring Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell. [See full review in CIE]
Silver Linings Playbook (O Lado Bom Da Vida) – Family comedy/drama. This movie was nominated for eight Oscars this year, and the young Jennifer Lawrence won for her performance as the girl next door in this quirky comedy about a dysfunctional family, also starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.
Take This Waltz (Entre o Amor e a Paixão) – Romance. Young Canadian writer/director Sarah Polley brings us along for an intimate look at youthful marriage and what happens when a wife falls in love with the guy next door. Michelle Williams (only 30 years old but already nominated for three Oscars) stars in this slow but absorbingly realistic film.
Salmon Fishing in Yemen (Amor Impossível) – Travel/Romance. This unlikely story centers on an attempt by an Arab sheik to construct a location for fly fishing in the middle of his desert kingdom. The minimal plot becomes enjoyable in the hands of talented director Lasse Hallström and the stellar cast of Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) and Ewan McGregor (The Impossible).
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Indomável Sonhadora) – Fantasy/Drama. This extraordinary film received four Oscar nominations despite being the first film by a new director. The movie’s unique charm arises not from its depressing and nominal plot, but from the shooting location of the river delta world of the southern US. It provides a unique look at a culture of Americans unknown to most people, along with a remarkable performance from an 8-year-old girl. [See full review in CIE]
Hysteria (Histeria) – History/Comedy. Maggie Gyllenhaal (Oscar nominated for Crazy Heart) , Hugh Dancy, and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil) star in his light examination of the early stages of female psychoanalysis. [See full review in CIE]
Hitchcock – Biography. Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins provides an intimate look at the life of legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock when he’s forced to used his own money to finance the making of his first horror film, Psycho, because the film studio refuse to support the scary script. The excellent cast includes Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, and Toni Collette. [See full review in CIE]
The Master (O Mestre) – Drama. Nominated for three Oscars, this tale of an American cult leader stars 3-time Oscar-nominated Joaquin Phoenix and Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Les Miserables (Os Miseráveis) – Musical. The winner of three Oscars, including one for star Anne Hathaway, the classic French novel was adapted into a musical and played on Broadway before becoming a film with Hugh Jackman (X-Men and Deception) and Russell Crowe (Oscar winner for Gladiator).
Lincoln – History. Winner of two Oscars, including for the performance of Daniel Day Lewis as American President Abraham Lincoln. This film directed by Steven Spielberg takes place during one month in the Lincoln presidency, as it follows his efforts in Congress to outlaw slavery. [See full review in CIE]
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (As Vantagens de Ser Invisível) – Teen drama. The fine young acting trio of Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller elevate this high school drama into an opportunity to follow the careers of some fine new American actors.
On the Road (Na Estrada) Drama. A faithful adaptation by Brazilian director Walter Salles of the famous novel from 1950s America. Fans of actress Kristen Stewart were surprised to see her innocent Twilight saga image turned upside down, here playing a teen runaway and including a nude scene. [See full review in CIE]
Detachment (O Substituto) – School drama. Adrien Brody attempts to enrich the lives of his students in an under-financed and troubled public high school in New York. Brody supplies his best performance since winning the Oscar for The Piano. [See full review in CIE]
A Dangerous Method (Um Método Perigoso) – History/Psychology. Oscar nominees Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen, along with Michael Fassbender playing psychologist Carl Jung offer a glimpse into the fascinating origins of psychoanalysis in 19th century Austria. [See full review in CIE]
The Impossible – History/Drama. The true story of a family on vacation in Thailand in 2004 when their hotel is hit by a tsunami, leaving in its wake one of the worst natural disasters in world history. Oscar nominated Naomi Watts (King Kong, Eastern Promises, The Painted Veil) and Ewan McGregor star. [See full review in CIE]
Being Flynn (A Família Flynn) – Memoir. Based on the true story of Nick Flynn, a troubled youth who finds himself working in a homeless shelter in New York after his mother’s suicide. While there, he discovers his father, whom he hasn’t seen in years, living in the shelter. While the movie is troubling to watch, the performance by Paul Dano as Nick makes it worthwhile. Dano is one of the best young actors in Hollywood, having appeared in such movies as The Extra Man, Ruby Sparks, and Little Miss Sunshine. Four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore portrays Nick’s mother in flashbacks, and his father is played by Robert De Niro, the reigning king of American cinema.
My Week with Marilyn (Sete Dias com Marilyn) – Drama/Biography. The true story of a young man who gets a job on his first film in the 1950s working as an assistant to the great stage actor Laurence Olivier. The film takes us behind the scenes as Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) attempts to direct a film starring Marilyn Monroe, portrayed brilliantly by Michelle Williams. Both Williams and Branagh were nominated for Oscars for this film, which also includes Julia Ormond and Toby Jones. [See full review in CIE]
Rum Diary (Diário de um Jornalista Bêbado) – Drama. Johnny Depp stars in this adaptation of an early Hunter S. Thompson novel about a wild American journalist working in Puerto Rico in the 1960s. [See full review in CIE]
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (O Exótico Hotel Marigold) – Comedy/Drama. A group of British men and women who have never met find themselves struggling to live a middle-class life on a limited income as they age in England and choose to embark on a new life in India. What they discover in India about themselves and each other is both heart warming and hilarious. This film was one of the biggest successes of the year in the US. A wonderful cast of some of England’s finest actors includes Judi Dench (Skyfall), Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, and Dev Patel. [See full review in CIE]
To Rome With Love (Para Roma com Amor) – Comedy. Woody Allen returned this year after his previous film shot in Paris with a new film shot entirely in Rome. Woody Allen is true to form, creating a delightful comedy of unexplained situations and mistaken identities. As always, Allen attracts a large cast of today’s finest actors including Penélope Cruz playing a prostitute, Ellen Page (Juno and Inception), Alison Pill, Judy Davis, Greta Gerwig, and Jesse Eisenberg. [See full review in CIE]
Life of Pi (As Aventuras de Pi) – Fantasy/Adventure. An India storyteller, Pi, tells his life story of growing up in India, where his father owned a zoo. His father decides to move the zoo to Canada, but along the way there is a storm at sea and all is lost except for Pi stranded alone in a lifeboat with a tiger. Winner of four Oscars.
The Sessions (As Sessões) – Biography. The true story of a paralyzed man who decides he wants to have sex for the only time in his life. A heartwarming story of a man’s struggle to maintain his sense of humor against formidable odds. Oscar nominee John Hawkes portrays polio victim Mark O’Brien who achieves his goal by hiring a sex surrogate played by Oscar winner Helen Hunt.
Michael Rubin is an American living in Curitiba.