The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and other reviews

The sixth movie I’ve had the privilege of viewing courtesy of the Austin Film Festival took place tonight at the Paramount. (My favorite theatre in Austin.) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a screen adaptation of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir. Bauby was the editor in chief of French Elle when he suffered a massive stroke which left him completely paralyzed save for his left eyelid. Prisoner in his body, Bauby copes by living in his imagination and his memories… Eventually he dictates literally letter by letter with the blink of his left eye his memoir. Movie was sweet, witty, and inspiring. I cried. You can always tell if I’m going to cry at a movie.. If there’s a touching or heart breaking scene with a dad, I’m reduced to a blubbering daddy’s girl. Never fails.

Anyway. I know it’s not out yet but go watch it. I was touched. Must read the book. Oh, I also give it 4 stars out of 5.

Here’s the other 5 movies I’ve seen so far.

Oh, Saigon – So before Oh, Saigon I had Joy Luck Club. I grew up in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood and went to school with predominantly Hispanic neighborhood only to go to a predominantly white high school. Joy Luck Club made me feel more normal. A lot of familial parallels. I kicked off my personal first experience with AFF with Oh, Saigon. A personal documentary by Doan Hoang about her family’s history starting from the last day of the Vietnam war. Her family was the last family chartered by helicopter out of the U.S. Embassy. They left behind a half sister who was 15 at the time. She starts off her documentary just interviewing her parents about that day.. about their life in Vietnam. She takes her documentary to Vietnam twice, finds her half sister, and facilitates a reunion between her father and his brother who fought against each other during the war. I just see a lot of my family’s story in this story. I cried. It’s that dad thing I told you about earlier. I called my dad after the director’s Q&A. He told me he was there at the Embassy that day but didn’t even try to get through the gates because Mom wasn’t with him. Sigh. Ugg.. that movie killed me. It’s showing on PBS in May. Asked Doan when her DVD’s getting released. After May. I’m there! Another 4/5 stars.

American Fork – A dark comedy? Maybe? One of those life is so bad it’s funny movie. About an overweight man (with Napolean Dynamite qualities). He’s worked in a grocery store for 11 years before his boss promoted him to assistant manager. Only to find out everyone else is an assistant manager too. Anyway, he struggles and he struggles. Alec Baldwin is hilarious as a D-list celebrity with a horrible acting class. I laughed. I don’t know. Maybe 2.9 stars.

Adrift in Manhattan – I hated it. That’s all. Was a new thing for me in the sense that I’ve never been to Dobie Theatre before. It’s a quaint little theatre. Love the Egyptian theme it has going on. Kind of random. Yeah the movie was blah. Bad pretentious, not even tolerable pretentious. You don’t have to take my word for it though, someone who walked out of the theatre called it a “breath of fresh air.” Bleh!

Lars and the Real Girl – HILARIOUS. From one of the writers of Six Feet Under. My favorite favorite favorite. I saw it two days ago and I’m still thinking about it. I wanted to watch it since it’s Ryan Gosling and I’m in love with Ryan Gosling’s slow smile. A little apprehensive about his sex appeal since I saw previews and he got chubby for the role. I swear to you, I wanted to kiss him even more in this movie that I did in The Notebook. So I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone. That’s how much I love it. Saw it at the Paramount and the entire movie theatre was roaring in laughter the entire movie. It was also the biggest crowd I’ve seen. The badge line was wrapped around the theatre and onto the street. The pass line also wrapped around the opposite corner. The entire cast did wonderfully. GO SEE IT WHEN IT COMES OUT. I will tell you again. Buying this one too.

Starting out in the Evening – Eh. It started off shaky. The redhead that I loved in Six Feet Under was quite annoying in this one. Bad lipstick shade made it difficult to pay attention to anything she’s saying.. which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because she’s quite annoying! Luckily I got over it. Movie slowly unveiled itself as substantial and well done. I liked it. The honey scene cracks me up.

Okay. That only took forever. Don’t forget to watch Lars and the Real Girl.