It's hard to see movies when to see a movie you have to use one of the two to three days a month that you get someone to babysit your kids and there are other things you like to do on those nights like go see friends or to parties or just sit in a restaurant until you are the last one there.
But I did manage to get out for a few this past year, and rented a few, too, though not a lot. Of everything I saw, these were my favorites:
Shaun of the Dead. I haven't seen many of the horror movie spoofs we make here, but this British zombie spoof is hilarious. Two losers so drunk or out of it that they don't even notice when all of their neighbors have turned into zombies and are walking the streets.
The Aquatic Life with Steve Zissou. Not Wes Anderson's best, but it has its little charms, like all of his do. Not charming was sitting in the theater near a couple of people who wanted everyone to know that they were the biggest Wes Anderson fans in the world and they tried to show it to us by laughing loudly almost every line of dialogue. They wanted us to know that their senses of humor were so refined that they saw jokes where the rest of us mortals only saw people talking. We should be ashamed to call ourselves fans of Wes, their laughs said. How annoying.
Mary Poppins. June got into this movie so I ended up watching it no fewer than 3,000 times this year, and I love it more every time I see it. The dad sings in just my register, so I can sing along pretty well, too.
Me and You and Everyone We Know. Just one of those odd movies about strange people that makes you laugh at the odd funny things they do in their little, odd lives. Actually kind of moving or whatever, though. I really enjoyed this.
Dig! Disgusting documentary about the disgusting, drug-addled lives of a band known as "The Brian Jonestown Massacre." You finish the movie feeling like you went on tour with them for a year.
The Edukators. Nice, warm movie about three liberal activists in Germany who break into the homes of wealthy industrialists and rearrange their furniture. They kidnap one almost by accident and have to look hard at how much they want to sacrifice in the name of the values they profess.
Capote. I saw this and was convinced that what's his name would be a shoe-in for best actor, but then he wasn't even nominated for a Golden Globe. Maybe I don't know squat about what makes a good acting performance.
Bad Education. Almodovar just gets so much more intense and beautiful with every movie, I think. I enjoyed this as much as I did Talk to Her, I think.
Singin' in the Rain. What an amazing movie. I still don't know who's better, Gene Kelley or Fred, but there are few musicals that approach this one.
My Fair Lady. Surprisingly few great songs in this one, and what little choreography there is is lame, but this is one of the funniest musicals I've ever seen. Richard Harris is hysterical.
Gosh, that's not a lot of movies for an entire year, or is it? I probably saw twice that many, so half of what I saw made it to this list. I'm good enough at knowing what I like that I am good at not going to movies that I'll end up hating.