The Squid and the Whale
I came across this movie purely by chance (thanks to my brother’s obsession with Wes Anderson, as he is the producer), but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The whole way through I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story, but in a very odd, kind of inexplicable way. You sort of hate all the characters but care about them and feel bad for them at the same time. It is the story of a New York family going through a divorce and the two sons choose sides with a different parent. It is amazing the way it depicts how two accomplished, intellectuals can have absolutely no idea how to raise a family. The writing and dialogue is wonderful and it is a movie you will keep thinking about for a long time after you are done watching it. It has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I believe it has earned it, definitely worth a watch.
Being John Malkovich
I should start by letting you guys know that I am big Charlie Kaufman fan: I think his storylines are bizarre, his characters are issue-ridden, and his writing is superb. But until yesterday, I had never before seen Being John Malkovich, and to be honest, I don’t think it stands up to the bar he had set with both Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Adaptation: two of my very favorite movies. I think my problem with the movie was mainly that I couldn’t get into the main character, played by John Cusak. Usual in Kaufman’s movies I find the protagonist extremely sensitive and likeable, but that didn’t ring true here. That being said, it is of course another bizarre and thought-provoking storyline and John Malkovich is great in the film. I recommend giving it a shot yourself to form your own opinion (it is widely critically aclaimed), but I can’t help but recommend the other two of Kaufman’s movies, which I mentioned above, quite a bit higher.