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Monday, May 28, 2012

Netflix Instant Watch Picks for June 2012

Hopefully You've Already Seen This, But If You Haven't, Get On It! Edition

Breakfast at Tiffany's
        Modern day Hollywood might do everything in its power to convince us otherwise, but there really, actually, is such a thing as a good Romantic Comedy. Don't believe me? Well, then you've probably never gotten around to seeing Breakfast at Tiffany's, a tinsel-town repurposing of Truman Capote's tonally different novella that stands as its own wonderful piece of art. A struggling writer (George Peppard) moves into an apartment and meets a curious neighbor named Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), a vivacious, mischievous woman with a mysterious past. The two strike up a quirky friendship, as Golightly leads the scribe into her crazed, over-populated life. Like its source novel, the film adaptation as stiffed with terrific characters, and razor-sharp wit, all impeccably lensed. It's a modest, charming effort, one who's goofy graces have helped it stand the test of time. If the movies still have the power to melt your heart, it's about time you saw this.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
        There's a reason that this movie, released just eight years ago, is slotted in an article next to canonical efforts from '61 and '67: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of those rare films that was truly a classic upon release. So many of the flick's images are already iconic, and its deep emotional core still resonates just as strongly today as it did in 2004, if not more so. The film stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet as a pair of unlikely lovers who, in duel moments of romantic devastation, decide to take part in a futuristic procedure that allows an individual to be erased from one's memory. The movie is a thoughtful, and emotional look at what we as humans go through for love, among the absolute best of its kind since Annie Hall. Besides its enormous heart, Sunshine is a visual delight, an intriguing sci-fi-ish puzzle, and a pretty great joke-teller to boot. I'm sure you've already heard all this, and there's a tremendous chance you've already seen the movie, as I'm not exactly the first to sing its praises. If you haven't though, it's about time that you checked out one of only a handful of films that could rightfully be called a modern classic.

The Graduate
        The, 'Best Actor of the 60s/70s,' discussion rarely includes Dustin Hoffman, but it certainly should. While tough guys like De Niro, Pacino, and Nicholson were making man's-man classics for decades at a time, Hoffman was throwing himself into hugely divergent films. He might not be the man behind Travis Bickle or Michael Corleone, but the range shown between Midnight Cowboy, All the President's Men, and Marathon Man is remarkable. Still, my favorite flick of old Dusty's remains his big break, The Graduate. Hoffman stars as Benjamin Braddock, a recent college grad with a chronic case of the, 'what now?'s. He lazily falls into an affair with a friend of his parents, the glamourous and cold Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), drowning in apathy until he finally finds something worth caring about, and goes for it. The Graduate is one of the most motivational movies I've ever seen, partially because it doesn't lie to its audience about effort, consequences, and integrity. It's also one of the most visually expressive movies of an absurdly expressive era, netting Mike Nichols an Oscar for Best Director. The perfect movie to wake you up from a lull in your life, The Graduate is one of the greatest films ever made about young adulthood, and deserves to be seen by every measure.

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