No matter what part of the United States you live in, the weather outside is probably pretty frightful this weekend. In Denver, it is snowy with a wind-chill right around 10 degrees which, in my house, means that I am not going anywhere. After all, why in the world would I leave my couch when I could simply curl up with my favorite blanket, a rum and cider, and stream movies all day? Well, there is no reason really. So if you are shivering just at the thought of leaving the comfort of your couch, then don't! Stay in and watch any or all of these amazing films. And what's makes a cold, dark day just a little warmer? Watching movies about people who are definitely colder or worse off than you. Let's call it the "Jerry Springer Effect". Harsh, but true.
1. Fargo (1996)
In true Coen Brother's fashion, Fargo is dark, folksy, and also incredibly funny. Fargo opens with the discovery of two dead motorists found not to far from the body of a slain state trooper. Local police chief, Marge Gunderson (played by a brilliant France McDormand) begins piecing together the case which leads her hot on the trail of two incompetent, would-be kidnappers. Filled with beautiful, desolate, wide-angle shots of the Dakota plains, Fargo brings the moody landscape to life with a strong cast (William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi), twisted tale, and great one liners: "And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper."
2. Melancholia (2011)
Haven't ever heard of Lars Von Trier's tour de force Melancholia? You aren't alone. While this movie is certainly not what I would call the "Feel Good Movie of the Year," it is artistic unraveling on an individual and intergalactic scale. Kristen Dunst plays Justine, a young professional we meet on the night of her wedding to an always dreamy Alexander Skarsgard. From the beginning things seems to go wrong; their limo gets stuck and they are hours late for the reception, divorced parents bicker, Justine even disappears from the party. The plot snowballs, and ultimately we join Josephine and her sister Claire as they wait for the inevitable end of the world. Depressing? Yes, but this movie is so haunting and so gorgeously shot that it stayed with me for weeks.
3. Alive (1993)
Based on a true story, Alive follows the harrowing journey of the Uruguayan rugby team after their plane crashes in the Andes mountains in October of 1972. Many of the teammates survive, but without equipment, adequate shelter and supplies, making it home seems like an impossibility. Alive is not only a testament to the determination of the human spirit, but also an examination of what happens when people are forced to form their own version of society and make one of the most difficult choices there is.
4. The Shining (1980)
I think that we can all agree that spending months alone with your family in a snowed-in, creepy old hotel might be enough to make anyone go a little crazy, but as Stephen King clearly shows in The Shining, no one is quite as crazy as Jack Nicholson. After taking a job as the winter caretaker for the dismal and opulent Overlook Hotel, Jack Torrance (Nicholson) and his family find themselves cut of from the world and sometimes reality. As Torrance tries to write his novel, it becomes clear that something is terribly wrong both with him and the hotel. The Shining has all of the best elements for a horror movie: a psychic son, two ghostly twin girls on trikes, and a sinister looking "REDRUM" written on the wall. As each of these variables come together, the perfect storm is brewing for an inevitable descent into madness and murder.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Have you ever woken up and thought, "Man! I really embarrassed myself in that [moment, situation, relationship]. Why can't I just forget about it all?" Have you ever met someone that you really wish you could un-meet? Yeah, me too, and in the world of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you can. After a whirlwind romance, Joel Barish (Jim Carey) learns via postcard that his ex, Clementine (played by a chameleon-haired Kate Winslet) has decided that she wants to wipe her hands and her mind clean of both Joel and their relationship. What follows is a journey through our pasts, how our memories affect ourselves, and how the choices we make affect our futures.
6. Winter's Bone (2010)
Oh, Winter's Bone, how I love thee. Let me count the ways! Jennifer Lawrence, my girl crush du juor is the lead, talented beyond her years, and she truly carries this movie. She brings Strength with a capital "S" to a role that many women or men might crumble beneath. What makes Winter's Bone a great movie is that this is story about love and sacrifice for your family, no matter the lengths. Ree (Jennifer) finds herself raising her younger brother and sister completely on her own after her dad disappears. Her mom still lives at home, but no one is really home upstairs (if you get my drift), and when a cop shows up things only get worse. She learns that her dad is nowhere to be found just days before his court date for cooking meth, and he has signed over their house to post bail: If he doesn't show up for court, the house and their beloved woods will be toast. Filled with mystery and backwoods politics where the line between family and enemy are blurred, Winter's Bone leads you to some dark places, but they always lead to the brightest redemption.
7. Into the Wild
Does life ever push you to the point where you just want to sell your stuff, pack your bags, and live off the grid? Maybe, and only for a fleeting moment before you remember how much you love hot showers. Into the Wild follows the true story of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), a disillusioned college graduate who isolates himself from family, friends, and a career,sends his life savings to Oxfam, and walks away from his life. With a new name and new life, he heads west with the ultimate goal of living off the grid in the wilderness of Alaska, completely self-reliant. Along the way, he stops to experience true Americana and comes across some interesting characters. Once he finally reaches his destination, cold and hungry, he learns that living off the land isn't as easy as it seems, and that nature is more powerful than just a spiritual experience.
8. Let the Right One In (2008)
Let me reiterate, this is NOT Let Me In (American version) but Let the Right One In (Swedish): this is an important distinction. Obviously, I am a snob and usually go for the original over the remake. One sleepless night, a young boy, outside his parent's apartment building meets a mysterious friend; a friend who he only ever sees at night. When he figures out that she is not just "light sensitive" but a vampire. Oskar, an outcast himself, is not revolted as she expects. The two become fast friends and the most innocent, blood thirsty, childhood star-crossed first loves that have ever been featured on film. The film is compelling and you find yourself rooting for the two of them. I loved the cinematography as well: fresh blood on white snow always makes for an interesting juxtaposition.
9. Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Dating? Over it. As a matter of fact, I have been with the same person for so long that I think trying to ever date again would end as an epic fail for me. Grumpy Old Men broaches a subject that is even more horrifying to think about; dating as a senior; when hair is growing out of places it should grow and falling out of places it should grow. Grumpy Old Men is the story of two neighbors, former best friends, whose feud comes to a head over a shared love interest. Jack Lemmon as John Gustafson and Walter Matthau as Max Goldman engage less in a battle of wits, but more in one of childish pranks to try to win the attention of their hot new neighbor Ariel. Although, on the surface, Grumpy Old Men seems lighthearted, it also introduces some serious subjects, and ultimately have two friends figure out what it really important.
10. Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)
A heart-wrenching story of forbidden love, Snow Falling on Cedars opens in the midst of murder in a small Pacific-coast community. Kauzo Miyamoto (Rick Yune), a Japanese-American man, stands accused of murdering his best friend after he is found drowned in the icy Washington waters. Reporter Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke) is sent to follow the case, but he secretly has a conflict of interest: Kauzo's wife, Hatsue (Youki Koduh), is Ishamel's first love who he hasn't really let go of. While this movie doesn't always get great reviews, I love a good Romeo and Juliet story. Furthermore, Snow Falling on Cedars does adds another element, transposing a complicated love story against the backdrop of the socio-cultural complications of a Japanese-American community trying to move beyond the internment camps of WWII.
So nice to see you! I am Sarah, a twenty-something designer and image consultant living in Denver, Colorado. I have worked in high fashion, traveled the world, and now I am embarking on my newest & greatest adventure of getting married to my best friend. This is where you will find my inspiration for stylish living & suggestions on going from "everygirl" to a well-read, well-dressed, and well-rounded woman.