My Weekend in Movies (Thanksgiving Edition)

Movie marathons are one of my favorite ways to spend a wintry, weekend day. How wonderful is it to get cozy under the covers, with your dog (or cat, depending on your preference) lounging by your side?

Lately, I’ve logged most of my Netflix instant play hours watching Law and Order: SVU. This week, my mind was begging me for a break from the monotonous SVU plot progression (you know, crime scene, misguided evidence, revelation, court room, fin). Donc, alors, I spent my Sunday cuddled up with: 

1. Patrik, Age 1.5

A seriously adorable romantic comedy in which a same-sex couple decides they want to start a family by adopting an infant. They’re ecstatic when they receive a letter stating that they have been selected as parents for a boy named Patrik. Due to a typo in the system, their little bundle of joy turns out to be a troubled and homophobic 15 year old.

The main character, Göran, develops an endearing, unconditional, and patient relationship with Patrik, who has been tossed around from institution to institution throughout his life. Of course, as with all good romantic comedies, there’s a happy ending, lessons learned, and an overall warm and fuzzy feeling.

2. Elles

Elles does a really good job of exploring questions around feminism, sexuality, and sex work. Anne is a journalist for Elle, working on a feature about Parisian students who are also sex workers. As Anne researchers her story, her own biases and assumptions rooted in her middle class worldview become more and more apparent.

It’s an excellent portrayal of how our backgrounds, particularly in relation to class, affects the lived interpretations of what it means to be a powerful or empowered woman in the Western world.

3. Attenberg

Okay, so this may actually be my new favorite movie. Marina, the main character, is a total hermit. Besides her father and her best friend, Bella, Marina chooses not to associate with anyone in her small Greek town. In her solitude, she has developed as an unbelievably quirky, honest, and imaginative woman. Sitting on the couch watching nature documentaries and squawking along with the birds? Quirk-alert. Practicing silly walks with her best friend? Awesomely strange.

There’s also an anthropological motif in the movie that I love. As they overlook their town, her father comments to Marina, “It’s as if we were designing ruins.” And after watching a documentary on gorillas, we see Marina grooming her sickly father. Repeatedly, we are reminded of how culture and rituals are human-created and how we fit into the larger animal kingdom. It’s a beautiful, sincere, and undeniably unique movie.

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