Best of 2011: going to the movies

We all have to take break from reading some time. Why not spend your reading down time watching these excellent films of 2011. You just might win the lottery.

Non-fiction / documentary

Bill Cunningham New York If you watch just one of the DVD’s on this list, make it this one. I was smiling through the entire film. Even if you aren’t interested in New York or Fashion, you’ll be charmed (I’m sure).

Kings of Pastry This isn’t the Food Network. This is the story of the grueling Meilleurs Ouvriers de France pastry competition. Believe it or not, these Pastry Chefs spend 4 years preparing for each competition.

Bhutto This is the story of Benazir Bhutto, the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation. Told with archival footage and interviews, this is fascinating whether or not you are familiar with Pakistani history.

Lucky: if money can’t buy happiness, can winning the lottery come close? This film follows several lottery winners (and one daily player who has yet to win), documenting how their lives change.

Dramatic Films

Max Manus: Man of War You may not have thought it possible, but this is a World War II story you haven’t heard before. This is a truly memorable story of the little-known Norwegian underground anti-war movement.

Meek’s Cutoff This story is told by the somewhat-quirky film maker (see Old Joy) Kelly Reichardt. The setting is 1845’s Oregon Trail, but the real story is about freedom and constriction.

Bridesmaids Written by one of today’s most brilliant comedians, Kristen Wiig, this movie is chock-full of potty humor that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if the cast weren’t almost entirely female.

Les Cousins This 1959 film has just been released on DVD. It’s a film of epic proportions, one that explores such major themes as good and evil, love and jealousy, and modern success.

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