Review: Mudbound
Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Mainstream Chick with Greta Gerwig @Middleburg

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Mainstream Chick’s Top Picks of 2016

It’s that time of year – when friends, family, and strangers in the elevator ask, “Hey, Did you see [fill in the blank]? Is it any good? What’s your favorite movie of 2016?” Well, here I attempt to answer those questions as succinctly as possible — with a countdown of my top ten movies of the year (12 if you count the ties), as well as a bunch of honorable mentions. They are films that resonated for one (positive) reason or another and represent a broad range of genres. Check ’em out!

A Man Called Ove (En man som heter Ove)

This adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s bestselling novel is one of my favorite films of the year. Written and directed by Hannes Holm it’s a Swedish curmudgeon finds his humanity story that could easily have been sappy and cliched, but balances the mean and the sweet just right for a totally enjoyable ride.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Adapted from the best-selling novel by Jonas Jonasson, which I thoroughly enjoyed, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a fun little Swedish flick about an old man who, just before his nursing home keepers can sing him happy 100th, climbs out the window and has a big adventure. It is in Swedish, feels kind of Forrest Gumpish, and it involves a biker gang and an elephant.

Force Majeure

There is a lot of buzz around Force Majeure, a Swedish relationship drama. They LOVED it at Cannes, it is Sweden’s Oscar entry, and the Foreign Press has just nominated it as best foreign language film. But the question to me is, does it appeal more to European audiences than Americans? I liked it and I think it is a well-done film with a compelling question at its center, but best film?

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

With all the hoopla about the penultimate Harry Potter and the third installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, the end of the Steig Larson Millennium Trilogy may have slipped your notice. And that’s too bad since The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest may be the best of the trilogy. Whether you’ve seen the first two, this movie is an entertaining ride on its own.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The second installment of the Millennium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, is really good, but unlike the first installment, I felt that there were lots of missing pieces that could only be filled in IF you read the book. Whether they make a difference to enjoying the ride is a different question altogether.

2010 Fall Movies

We’re moving out of the summer blockbuster kids’ movies and into the fall when traditionally a more serious adult roster hits the screens. This year? Well, there are a few that seem Oscar worthy, several with our favorite men headlining, a couple that look like real chick flicks and what just might be some nice comedies. See for yourself.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)

In 1994, Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson died, leaving behind three unpublished novels. They became international bestsellers. And all three have been adapted to the screen in Swedish. The first in the trilogy is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (Interestingly, the Swedish title is Men who Hate Women – a decidedly more apt description. Warning: There are some extremely raw scenes of sexual violence in the film.) In it we are introduced to the two main characters of the series – Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Mikael is a journalist who we meet just as he is being found guilty of libel and sentenced to jail time. In Sweden you don’t go immediately to jail, so he is at loose ends since he cannot go back to work at the magazine for whom he wrote the libelous piece.