50 of My Favorite Films — 35-31

Well, the next five are kind of an odd grouping. Two classics with three (possibly) lesser known films in between.

35. Leave Her to Heaven
There’s nothing wrong with Ellen. It’s just that she loves too much.

There’s absolutely something wrong with Ellen.

Synopsis: A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.

Gene Tierney, acting 12 different kinds of crazy. I caught this once on a sick day while I was watching TCM. Such a great find. Her character in this film is unbelievable and will do all sorts of things to keep her man. As in most films of that era, justice is served in the end, but not without a really wild ride to get you there.

34. Ten Tiny Love Stories
I don’t know, he was a good boy and handsome as the devil, but I just didn’t think he was the one.

Another movie that I randomly caught on TV once. Probably the Independent Film Channel. I stopped because I recognized Kimberly Williams-Paisley and kept watching because it was so interesting. I love the monologue style, with just the women telling their stories how they remember. It’s directed by Rodrigo García, son of writer Gabriel García Márquez (so, HELLO, the ability to tell a good story is in his blood), and this was the first film of his to draw me in to his work. He has a long list of credits that I am still working my way through, but you’ll see at least one more of his films before this list draws to a close.

Also — attention Rodrigo García: I have never acted really, but I would love to read a monologue for you. Call me.

This film won’t be everyone’s idea of a good time, so I’ll warn you there. But the stories are from the heart. Some painful, some odd…all interesting in their own right.

33. My Life Without Me
This is you. Eyes closed, out in the rain. You never thought you’d be doing something like this, you never saw yourself as, I don’t know how you’d describe it… as like one of those people who like looking up at the moon, who spend hours gazing at the waves or the sunset or… I guess you know the kind of people I’m talking about. Maybe you don’t. Anyway, you kind of like being like this, fighting the cold, feeling the water seep through your shirt and getting through your skin. And the feel of the ground growing soft beneath your feet. And the smell. And the sound of the rain hitting the leaves. All the things they talked about in the books you haven’t read. This is you, who would have guessed it? You.

What can I say without spoiling this beautiful film? It stars Sarah Polley which is the first thing that interested me. In case you are not aware, she starred in Road to Avonlea back in the day as Sarah Stanley, “The Story Girl.” The premise is an interesting one and you can probably figure it out from the title. It brings up a lot of questions about what a person might do if they found out they only had a short amount of time left on the earth. However, it’s a little different than your typical “Live Like You Were Dying” scenario. Mark Ruffalo and Scott Speedman (i <3 BENJAMIN COVINGTON 4EVA) also star, and in my opinion it’s worth watching for those two reasons alone.

32. Lovely, Still
It feels like you’ve been here my whole life.

I love elderly people. Period. I grew up around them, I preferred talking to them over my peers. Shoot, I still prefer a conversation with someone 10-20 years my senior over someone my own age (Dear 40-50 year olds, You are not elderly. I do not mean to imply that. Love, Elizabeth). This movie really hits the spot. It’s about an older gentleman (Martin Landau) who lives by himself and works as stock “boy” in a nearby grocery store. He is interested in one of his neighbors, another older woman. I can’t give away too much more without completely ruining the ending, but this is another sweet, sad love story. Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn give incredible performances. Watch it.

31. All This And Heaven Too
Henriette: You will think I am very silly I’m afraid, but standing here like this with the snow falling reminds of something I used to know. Do you remember a little round glass globe that…
Duc de Praslin: Oh yes, I know, with a snow scene inside. We had a paper weight on a desk at home like that. You shook it and the snow whirled around out from nowhere in a blinding storm.
Henriette: Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.
Duc de Praslin: And if you looked closely enough the whole world seemed to be obliterated and shut out.

Until about a day ago, I didn’t realize that this movie was based on true events. Hmm. Interesting. It’s the story of a governess (Bette Davis) who falls in love with her charges’ father (Charles Boyer) and the scandal that ensues. Not nearly as tawdry as it sounds and very beautiful. Bette Davis is young in this and Charles Boyer is as handsome as ever.

FACT: I used to have this photo of Charlie boy hanging on my fridge. I told you that I’m 80 inside.

This is a great piece of storytelling and a classic.

Side note: I own a first edition copy of this novel that I bought back in my crazy eBay days. The same crazy eBay days that landed me an invitation into Witness Protection.

PaperBackSwap Has Me Reading Again

Sometime last year I promised myself that I was going to get back into reading again. Wedding planning is a black hole, a vortex that sucks out all your energy and all the room your brain has for fun things. And for me that was reading. Lately I have been back at it and one of the things that has helped my transition back into “Reader” has been PaperBackSwap.com. This place is a wonder. A miracle. And I’m so sad I wasn’t introduced to it until a few months ago. But I jumped right in and started posting and receiving books. Let me tell you what I’ve received so far.

  • The Birth House by Ami McKay
  • The River Wife by Jonis Agee
  • The End of Alice by A.M. Homes
  • Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
  • Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving from a Big City to an Old Country Farmhouse by Michael Korda
  • Sarum by Edward Rutherford
  • The Forest by Edward Rutherford
  • The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherford
  • A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
  • The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather
  • And Ladies of the Club by Helen Hooven Santmyer
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

A few of those are epic sized. No idea when I will get to them, but I am slowly working my way through. During NaBloPoMo I will post my review of The End of Alice, but as we speak it is on its way to the next reader.

What are you reading lately? Are you a member of PaperBackSwap.com? If so, add me as a friend.

TOMORROW: Starting a series of posts covering our honeymoon trip up to Maine and Prince Edward Island, Canada. Long overdue, but I hope you’ll stop by. Lots and lots (and lots!) of pictures.