We know you probably want to start devouring your resolutions this January, but don’t forget to take some time and recover from the go-go attitude and gluttonous meals of the holiday season. Call a friend and have a movie marathon, celebrating 10 movies you probably haven’t seen but SHOULD see this year.
Based on the novel by Joe Dunthorne, the film is a coming of age story of a 15-year-old boy named Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts). Entering his mid-teens, he only has two objectives: to lose his virginity before his next birthday and make the chemistry between his parents come alive again, just as his mother’s ex-lover re-enters the scene.
The vibe of the movie is very Wes Anderson, with its unique humour and eccentric characters. Coupled with songs from the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, this movie probably has one of the most underrated soundtracks EVER.
Anyone who’s a sucker for indie romances will enjoy Ruby Sparks. Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who also directed Little Miss Sunshine together), the film stars Paul Dano as Calvin, a struggling novelist who manifests a female character he thinks will love him. And out of the blue, she, aka Ruby Sparks (played by the movie’s screenwriter Zoe Kazan), becomes real.
This may sound awfully similar to Stranger Than Fiction but this movie is not your typical romantic comedy. While whimsical, cute and endearing, the film’s ending is surprisingly realistic. And to be honest, I wish most Hollywood films resolved things just as nicely as this movie did.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story stars Keir Gilchrist as a 16-year-old who checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward after attempting suicide. Feeling pressured by his friends and parents to do well in school, he deals with his problems there, while meeting a range of interesting characters (played by Zach Galifianakis and Emma Roberts), who are dealing with their own issues too.
Mental illness is often a touchy issue when it’s meant to be comedic, but this film successfully meshes in the right amount of humour and drama to provide a touching, coming of age story. Those who are used to seeing Galifianakis as the satchel-wearing Alan in The Hangover will be interested to see him playing a more dramatic role, while Gilchrist and Roberts shine as awkward teens trying to sort out their growing feelings for each other.
And can I mention how great the soundtrack of this film is? Featuring the likes of Broken Social Scene and The Middle East, I also watch this film solely for this awesome scene.
Lars and the Real Girl
Before Ryan Gosling stole our hearts in Crazy, Stupid, Love, he starred in an indie comedy called Lars and the Real Girl. Playing a delusional and lonely young man, Gosling’s character strikes up an unconventional relationship with a sex doll he finds on the Internet.
This is honestly one of the most heartfelt movies I’ve ever seen with one of the best performances I’ve ever witnessed by Gosling. Unlike the actor’s more recent bad boy roles in Drive and The Place Beyond the Pines, Gosling is sweet, lovable and awkward here. You’ll just want to give him a hug when you watch this movie. (It’s not like we don’t want to do that now anyway.)