If you've ready my profile on the right side of this page then you saw that our family doesn't have a cable TV subscription. Haven't had one in eight years. I don't have any special agenda against television -- it's just not our thing.
We love movies, though, so we have a subscription to Netflix and try to watch several movies per month with their DVD mailing service. I looked through my rentals for 2007 and selected the following as my favorites from the year:
5) Away From Her
What it's about: A retired couple deals with the consequences of the wife's onset of Alzheimer's.
Why I loved it: I felt that the couple was truly in love, although they had some baggage from past mistakes. It reminded me that everything I do today has a ripple effect on my empty nest years with Jamie, and that life's hardest decisions don't ever have easy answers.
4) Reign Over Me
What it's about: A man who lost his wife and daughters in the 9/11 tragedy works through the grief in a very unique way, and an old friend ends up finding himself in the effort to help.
Why I loved it: It got Jamie and I talking about bereavement and the individuality of life's emotions. It reminded me that nobody should be labeled and put in a box for our convenience.
3) Stranger Than Fiction
What it's about: A man discovers that his life is simply the fulfillment of a famous author's book in progress -- as she is writing things, he lives them. Hard to explain. Underneath it all is my favorite love story from 2007.
Why I loved it: It was original in so many ways -- the editing and tone of the film were completely fresh. Every character popped. Will Ferrell was amazing in a role that didn't require goofy outfits and one-liners, and I was rooting for his character all the way through.
2) Good Night, and Good Luck
What it's about: Newsman Edward R. Murrow goes against the herd and his superiors to shine a light on the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy during a time of national fear.
Why I loved it: The filmmaking was superb and gave me more details about a time I knew little about. The similarities to today are downright terrifying.
1) Born Into Brothels
What it's about: A photographer decides to document the life of kids in Calcutta, India's red light district. She ends up attaching herself to a few of the kids and doing everything in her power to inspire them to a better life. It is a documentary, not fiction.
Why I loved it: It was a stark illustration of the identical human conditon that exists across all cultures, genders and times. These kids just want a chance at a different life, just like anybody would. But they're still just kids, so they can't really see the inevitable life that awaits in the slums, and what it would mean to escape. Photography was a brilliant way to get them outside of themselves and see the world with new eyes.
Pan's Labyrinth, Mysterious Skin, Saved!, Lord of War, Thank You for Smoking, Spartan, The Station Agent, Fresh