|The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel|
It's a fine movie. It's not a great movie. It's only grossed a little over $38 million at the box office. But the story makes you think, and it stays with you for a while after you've left the theater. Something that doesn't happen when you see one of the summer blockbusters like The Avengers (gross: $600 million) or Madagascar 3 (gross: $160 million) or Men in Black 3 (gross: $165 million).
We've been to our arthouse theater, called the Jacob Burns Film Center, any number of times, and I always fear that I will seem out of place because the audience will consist of sophisticated 20-somethings who dress all in black, sip exotic coffees, and read French literature.
But I am always wrong. After we saw Marigold Hotel, B and I repaired to a nearby restaurant for dinner, and we joked about the audience that actually does show up for these movies -- movies that rely on plot and character and dramatic tension rather than car chases and special effects. The audience for these movies that make you think consists almost exclusively of people with expanding waistlines and gray hair, and who are dressed not all in black, but in "mom" jeans and faded golf shirts.
No matter how many times we go to this theater, I am surprised by the audience. And every time I am also startled, at some point, by the sudden realization that we fit right in to this crowd -- with my gray hair, my expanding waistline and my faded golf shirt.
|Naomi Watts, 43, is one of my favorites|
The Film Center is the place where last winter we went to see The Descendants (gross: $82 million) and The Artist (gross: $45 million).
Last year we drove over there to watch Helen Mirrin in The Last Station (gross: $6 million), a movie about the final days of Leo Tolstoy. And Sarah's Key (gross: $8 million) starring Kristin Scott Thomas -- who knew she could speak French! -- as an American journalist, married to a Frenchman, who stumbles on a secret about the family apartment in Paris.
Before that, we caught Summer Hours (gross: $2 million) with Juliette Binoche, a movie about three siblings who converge on their aging mother's house in rural France. We saw the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (gross: $10 million). I later had to go back by myself to see The Girl Who Played with Fire (gross: $8 million), because B thought the movie was too violent and she didn't want to subject herself to the experience again.
|Benicio del Toro, 46, seems to be one of hers|
The point is, it's the older, mature audience -- not the young, hip audience -- that goes to see these more ambitious movies, movies that stick with you longer than the butter from the popcorn. If you have Netflix, or access to the DVD collection at your local library, I could recommend all of these movies to you. Some are better than others -- some are not even in English -- but they all give you something to think about.
Meanwhile, B and I are getting ready for our next trip to the Film Center, maybe to catch up on the new Woody Allen movie To Rome with Love. Or . . . I hear Naomi Watts is going to play Princess Diana in an upcoming movie. Gotta put that one on my list!