Donna's Cool Movies
Current Drama DVDs

More Current Drama DVDs....Page Two

The Pianist (2003)
Director: Roman Polanski, Cast: Adrien Brody

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Winner of the prestigious Golden Palm award at the 2002 Cannes film festival, The Pianist is the film that Roman Polanski was born to direct. A childhood survivor of Nazi-occupied Poland, Polanski was uniquely suited to tell the story of Wladyslaw Szpilman, a Polish Jew and concert pianist (played by Adrien Brody) who witnessed the Nazi invasion of Warsaw, miraculously eluded the Nazi death camps, and survived throughout World War II by hiding among the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto. Unlike any previous dramatization of the Nazi holocaust, The Pianist steadfastly maintains its protagonist's singular point of view, allowing Polanski to create an intimate odyssey on an epic wartime scale, drawing a direct parallel between Szpilman's tenacious, primitive existence and the wholesale destruction of the city he refuses to abandon. Uncompromising in its physical and emotional authenticity, The Pianist strikes an ultimate note of hope and soulful purity. As with Schindler's List, it's one of the greatest films ever made about humanity's darkest chapter.
-from website

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Far From Heaven (2002)
Director: Todd Haynes, Cast: Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert

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This uniquely beautiful film--from one of the smartest and most idiosyncratic of contemporary directors, Todd Haynes (Safe, Velvet Goldmine)--takes the lush 1950s visual style of so-called women's pictures (particularly those of Douglas Sirk, director of Imitation of Life and Magnificent Obsession) to tell a story that mixes both sexual and racial prejudice. Julianne Moore, an amazing fusion of vulnerability and will power, plays a housewife whose husband (Dennis Quaid) has a secret gay life. When she finds solace in the company of a black gardener (Dennis Haysbert), rumors and peer pressure destroy any chance she has at happiness. It's astonishing how a movie with such a stylized veneer can be so emotionally compelling; the cast and filmmakers have such an impeccable command of the look and feel of the genre that every moment is simultaneously artificial and deeply felt. Far from Heaven is ingenious and completely engrossing.
-from website

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Real Women Have Curves

Real Women Have Curves (2002)
Director: Patricia Cardoso, Cast: America Ferrera, Lupe Ontiveros

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A $6 million box office theatrical run followed awards and acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival. Should Ana leave home, go to college and experience life? Or stay home, get married, and keep working in her sister's struggling garment factory? It may seem like an easy decision, but for 18 year-old Ana, every choice she makes this summer will change her life. Right now, she may be making clothes for less shapely women. But Ana is about to discover that real women take chances, have flaws, embrace life, and above all have curves!
-from website

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The Mission

The Mission (Two-Disc Special Edition) (1986)
Director: Roland Joffé, Cast: Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons

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Rodrigo Mendoza (ROBERT DE NIRO) was a violent soldier-for-hire in 1750s South America. Now he is a man of peace serving the Rain Forest Indians he once enslaved. But armies of Spain and Portugal threaten the lifestyle and safety of the native peoples. Now Rodrigo may have to pick up his sword and musket once again. From the producer of Chariots of Fire and the director of The Killing Fields comes a powerful epic co-starring JEREMY IRONS and graced with dazzling Academy Award-winning cinematography, set to a memorable music score and scripted by the Oscar-winning screenwriter of A Man for All Seasons and Doctor Zhivago.
-from website

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Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Director: David Lynch, Cast: Laura Elena Harring, Naomi Watts

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Pandora couldn't resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let's just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, "a love story in the city of dreams," Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film's first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before we've become enthralled by the film's two main characters: the dazed and sullen femme fatale, Rita (Laura Elena Harring), and the pert blonde just-arrived from Ontario (played exquisitely by Naomi Watts) who decides to help Rita regain her memory. Triggered by a rapturous Spanish-language version of Roy Orbison's "Crying," Lynch's best film since Blue Velvet splits glowingly into two equally compelling parts.
-from website

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Director: Bruce Beresford, Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn

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With a gentle tug at the heartstrings, Evelyn tells the true story of an imperfect father whose devotion brought much-needed change to rigid Irish law. It's a labor of love for star and coproducer Pierce Brosnan, who brings just the right touch of Everyman charm to his role as Desmond Doyle, a struggling Dublin tradesman, father of three, and chronic pub-crawler whose wife abandons their family the day after Christmas, 1953. Desmond's a loving father who's boyishly irresponsible; Irish law dictates the removal of his children to stern Catholic orphanages, and his battle for custody is aided by two lawyers (Stephen Rea, Aidan Quinn) who seize this opportunity to revolutionize the courts. With straightforward, unobtrusive style, director Bruce Beresford draws fine performances from Brosnan, Julianna Margulies (as a barmaid who inspires Desmond's sobriety), and especially young Sophie Vavasseur in the title role as Desmond's bright, determined daughter. Sentimental without being saccharine, Evelyn is simple, well made, and bursting with genuine Irish spirit.
-from website

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