Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Virtual Advent: Favorite Not-Holiday Movies, 2013

bond's childhood home on fire
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...

Back by popular demand, it's the fourth annual Favorite Not-Holiday Movies post! Every year I list some movies that I consider to be "holiday" movies, even though they have little if anything to do with Christmas, because I have a mental block when it comes to recognizing proper Christmas movies. For more not-holiday movies, check out my lists from 2010, 2011, and 2012 (and LA Confidential is still my favorite Christmas movie).

I actually didn't see many movies this past year, so I was surprised when I started itching to watch a fresh batch of not-holiday films this past week. I guess there's nothing like a good not-holiday movie to put one in the Christmas spirit! Without further ado, here's my not-holiday flick picks for 2013:

  • Lost in Translation—The lovely Bridget from Portable Pieces of Thoughts recommended this movie to me last year. I have to confess I wasn't expecting a lot from it, but I wound up enjoying it so much I actually bought it! It's romantic in the literary sense of the word, beautifully shot, and Bill Murray is hilarious and adorable. I have to watch this movie at least once a year or I will forget how awesome it is, and that would be sad-making.
  • Midnight in Paris—1920s Paris and Tom Hiddleston as F. Scott Fitzgerald. What more needs to be said? I'm also a total sucker for movies where people just decide, "Hey, I'm just gonna move to Paris. C'est la vie, suckers." Then they immediately find some French person to hook up with.
  • Ratatouille—For two years in a row now, I've DESPERATELY wanted to watch this movie right around Thanksgiving. Unfortunately it's always checked out at the library. ALWAYS. By the time I move far enough in the holds queue to get a crack at it, it's usually March. I should probably just buy it.
  • Skyfall—It's just not Christmas without Daniel Craig. SERIOUSLY, IT IS NOT. The Golden Compass made my not-holiday list in 2011, and Casino Royale made the list in 2012. This year the Craig holiday movie of choice is Skyfall, a beautifully shot film with a spy plot that doesn't totally suck. I'm not sure I'm going to feel right about the holidays until I see Bond's childhood home engulfed in flames.
  • The Hobbit, part the first—I'm pretty sure this movie has a subtitle, but damn if I can remember what it is. The Unexpected Sexiness of Dwarves? Who knows. I actually thought this film would suck hairballs, and I'm still kind of resentful that Peter Jackson turned at 180-page book into six hours worth of movie, but still. Hobbits! Wizards! You can't have Christmas without them.
  • My Week with Marilyn—Evangeline from Edwardian Promenade reminded me of this movie's existence the other night while we were breaking down Eddie Redmayne's many positive attributes, as you do. I'm pretty sure there's a Christmas scene in this film somewhere. But even if there isn't, several of the actors are Harry Potter alumni, which automatically makes it thisclose to a Christmas movie. And besides that, it's a great coming of age story. I need to see this film again!

virtual advent tour 2013

Have any not-holiday movies you like to watch at this time of year? Share them in the comments!

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