Movies/TV

The Most Underrated Films You Need To Watch (part 3)

Right let’s keep going with this. Here’s another load of movies that I feel not enough people know and enjoy, so hopefully I’ll entice you to take a look at them. As per usual, trailers are linked to titles.

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Le Divorce

This movie combines two of my favourite languages, aka French and English. Young American Isabel (Kate Hudson) comes to Paris to visit her poet sister Roxie (Naomi Watts), married to a Frenchman. But when she arrives, she finds the family home in turmoil as Charles-Henri is leaving his pregnant wife and child to be with another. Sucked into Roxie’s world, Isabel meets famous writer Olivia Pace (Glenn Close), young Yves (Romain Duris) and the entire De Persand family. When she falls for charismatic “Uncle Edgar” (Thierry Lhermitte), Isabel soon realises that the French are more different than she thought.

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August Rush

This beautiful tale of love and music will enchant young and old. Young orphan Evan Taylor (Freddie Highmore) is convinced his parents will find him using the music that he hears everywhere and that links him to them. When he flees the orphanage and ends up in New York, he meets “Wizard” (Robin Williams) who banks on Evan’s talent for music to earn big bucks. Elsewhere, ex-musician Louis Connelly (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) lives haunted by the memory of the talented cellist Lyla Novacek (Keri Russell) with whom he shared one magic night. But Lyla lives secluded since she lost her son and refuses to play music again.

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What’s Your Number

Ally Darling (Anna Faris) has just been dumped. As her younger sister’s wedding draws near, she worries that she won’t have an acceptable date. When she gets fired, Ally accidentally stumbles on an article claiming that having more than twenty sexual partners qualifies you as a loose woman. Realising she’s already reached that number, Ally decides to revisit her old boyfriends in the hope of rekindling a romance. Casanova neighbour Colin Shea (Chris Evans) helps her find the men she hopes to put to the test again. Chaos, mayhem and hilarity ensues!

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The Jane Austen Book Club

Based on a novel. Sylvia (Amy Brenneman) has just been left by her husband. Desperate to cheer her up, her friends Bernadette (Kathy Baker) and Jocelyn (Maria Bello) start a book club focused on Jane Austen. They’re joined by Sylvia’s lesbian daughter Allegra (Maggie Grace), English high school teacher Prudie (Emily Blunt) and Sci-Fi fan Grigg (Hugh Dancy). As they proceed to read all of Austen’s novels, friendships and relationships evolve, unfold and fall apart.

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Victor Victoria

This movie was the talk of the town when it came out, but hasn’t been heard of much since. So here’s to rectifying that. Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews) is a trained Soprano who can’t seem to find work anywhere in 1930s Paris. Incapable of paying her rent and buying food, she’d do anything. When she meets gay singer Toddy (Robert Preston), the two of them come up with the perfect solution: Victoria needs to become Victor, a gay female impersonator, in order to get ahead in her career. But when Victor becomes an overnight star, Victoria finds that she can’t be herself anymore, especially when she falls for the charming King Marchand (James Preston).

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Elizabethtown

If you just ignore Orlando Bloom’s terrible American accent, and sometimes even his Keanu Reeve-ness, this movie is actually quite lovely. And the soundtrack is EPIC. Drew Baylor (Bloom) is a shoe designer who’s just been fired for costing his company billions of dollars. As he’s about to kill himself, he finds out his father has died and he needs to fly to Elizabethtown to deal with the rather extravagant and complicated extended family. On his way he meets Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst), a happy-go-lucky flight attendant who might just be able to prove to him that life is better than he thinks.

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Little Women

This classic has been done and redone countless times, but this 1994 version is the best there is. Concord, Massachusetts, during and after the Civil War. While their father is away with the army, the March sisters, led by their fearless mother Marmee (Susan Sarandon), learn to grow up in a world unfavourable for women of character. Eldest Meg (Trini Alvarado) is the mothering-type and dreams of a quiet life with a good husband, while restless and tomboyish Jo (Wynona Ryder) wants to become a famous writer. Frail and gifted Beth (Claire Danes) wants to help people, leaving only young Amy (Kirsten Dunst/Samantha Mathis) to be the little brat. With their rich neighbour Laurie (Christian Bale), the four sisters will learn that life doesn’t always go the way we plan, but that doesn’t make it less great.

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Practical Magic

Now me and my Mum LOVE this movie, but no one I know has even heard of it. Sisters Sally (Sandra Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Nicole Kidman) are orphans who grew up with their crazy aunts. Talk of the town is that the Owens women are all witches, but worst of all they are cursed never to live happily with a lover. When young Sally makes a spell creating the perfect man, knowing he can never exist, she hopes to escape the family tradition. Years later Sally returns to live with the aunts after the death of her husband, while Gillian travels cross-country having fun with her mysterious boyfriend Jimmy Angelov (Goran Visnjic). When he tries to hurt her, Gillian reaches out to her sister for help, but the two of them can’t get rid of Jimmy, even when Detective Gary Hallet (Aidan Quinn) starts snooping around.

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Ever After

Interesting re-telling of the classic Cinderella story set in 16th Century France. Young Danielle (Drew Barrymore) lives happily with her father, but when he remarries and consequently dies, her life changes forever. New stepmother Rodmilla de Ghent (Angelica Huston) takes over the castle, turning Danielle into a maid. When audacious Danielle accidentally meets young Prince Henri II (Dougray Scott), life changes for the better as she pretends to be a lady at the court, slowly falling in love with the man who’s strong enough to set her free.

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Moonstruck

This movie was a massive hit in the late 80s, but it’s been forgotten since. Loretta Castorini (Cher) is a widowed bookkeeper in New York’s Little Italy. Her parents despair she’ll ever marry again, but Loretta unexpectedly decides to accept the offer of her long-time friend Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), in particular as she’s not in love with him. As Johnny flies to Sicily to be at his dying mother’s side, Loretta seeks out his brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage) with whom he’s lost all contact. As the two meet, sparks fly and they find themselves falling head over heels for each other despite their blatant differences. Will the full moon protect the lovers or lead them to despair?

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Hope Floats

Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) believed herself to be happily married to her high school sweetheart. When she finds out he’s been cheating on her with her best friend, she decides to move back home to Smithville, Texas, with her daughter Bernice (Mae Whitman). Living with her eccentric mother Ramona (Gena Rowland), Birdee has to prove herself in a town that believes her to still be the popular cheerleader she was, as well as dealing with Bernice’s issues about the divorce and school. There to help is old time friend Justin Matisse (Harry Connick Junior) who’s still in love with her.

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Sarah’s Key

Based on the French novel Elle s’appelait Sarah by Tatiana de Rosnay. American journalist Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas) lives in Paris with her family. When she’s assigned an article about the Vel D’Hiv mass deportation of Jews in 1942, she has to dig up a part of French history that no one wants to confront. As the family decides to move into her father in law’s old apartment, it turns out that it used to belong to a Jewish family that disappeared in that same event, except for little Sarah, who seems to have vanished into thin air…

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Mona Lisa Smile

Very similar to Dead Poets Society, this film focuses on art professor Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) who’s just accepted a position at Wellesley College for girls. As she meets her students, she realises that while all of them are incredibly bright, the majority appears to just be waiting around for a husband to appear. A free thinker and a modernist, Katherine will attempt to teach them that there is more to life, and that they don’t need a man to reach their potential.

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Thirteen

Tracy Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood) is thirteen and doesn’t belong with the popular crowd in school. A straight A student, she does have issues at home, cutting herself to help dealing with her parents’ divorce and her mother’s (Holly Hunter) new boyfriend. But when fate throws her together with Queen Bee Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed), her life changes completely. Suddenly thrust into the ‘in’ crowd, Tracy discovers sex, drugs, and everything else that could get her thrown in jail. As her relationships with friends and family are alienated, the movie focuses on where the limit is to being a teenager.

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Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Based on the Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison. In sleepy Eastbourne, the Nicholson family is deemed a little odd. Georgia ( Georgia Groome) is a fourteen year old in full bloom, fighting her parents’ hold on her as well as the usual school and friendship problems. As the school year begins again, Georgia and her best friend Jas (Eleanor Tomlinson) fall head over heels for newbies Robbie (Aaron Johnson) and Tom (Sean Bourke). Desperate for their attention, the girls scheme the perfect occasions to meet the boys, but things never go the way they planned.

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Raising Helen

Helen Harris (Kate Hudson) is a gifted talent spotter at a modelling agency and leads the glamorous life she always wanted. When her sister and brother in law unexpectedly die in a car crash, Helen finds that she has been given guardianship of their three children Audrey (Hayden Panettiere), Henry (Spencer Breslin) and Sarah (Abigail Breslin). Forced to reconsider her future, Helen has to quit her job and move away from Manhattan. When she registers the children at school, she meets principal Pastor Dan (John Corbett). Along with her eldest sister Jenny (Joan Cusack), her neighbour Nilma (Sakina Jeffrey), Helen will have to learn what it means to be a Mom.

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Sky High

Will Stronghold is special. Not only do his parents dote on him to join the family business, but he is in fact the son of two notoriously famous superheroes: Commander (Kurt Russel) and Jetstream (Kelly Preston). Along with best friend Layla (Danielle Panabaker), he starts at Sky High, the hidden high school for superheroes and their offspring. While other students’ talents have already appeared, Will’s power hasn’t yet manifested. Sent to the sidekick class, Will and Layla meet a bunch of other “misfits”. But when Will suddenly mans up during a fight, he has to leave his friends behind to start his hero training. Will he be able to tell friend from foe?

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Anastasia

Yes, it’s an animated movie, and yes, it’s not a Disney. But to be fair, Don Bluth worked at Disney long enough. When the revolution destroys the Romanovs, arch-enemy Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) goes out of his way to make sure the curse he put on them is carried out. Escaping with her grandmother Marie (Angela Lansbury), young Anastasia (Kirsten Dunst) is accidentally left behind. Years later, orphan Anya (Meg Ryan) decides to go to St. Petersburg to discover the truth about the family she can’t remember. On her way she meets Dimitri (John Cusack), a con man who’s desperate to find an Anastasia lookalike in order to bring her to her grandmother in Paris and pocket a reward. But as teacher and pupil realise they both hold secrets, Rasputin awakes to find he still has one Romanov to kill…

Antz

Antz

Now in theory, this isn’t a Woody Allen movie. But it might as well be. Worker ant Z (Woody Allen) doesn’t fit in. Completely neurotic, he has difficulties dealing with the Totalitarian society he has to live in. When he accidentally meets Princess Bala (Sharon Stone) on a night out, he falls head over heels for the one woman he really can’t have. In an attempt to see her again during a parade, he switches places with his soldier friend Weaver (Sylvester Stallone) and finds himself forced to go to war. When he returns as a hailed hero, the secret comes out and he’s forced to leave the colony. When Bala is accidentally taken away, Z decides that together they will find Insectopia, the land where food litters the streets and insects live free.

Next instalment coming soon…

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Pictures from: google.com, imdb.com, amazon.com, wikipedia.com, wordpress.com

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