For Your Viewing Pleasure

I like movies that are little quirky but with a strong message. There are so many smaller films out there that people never see simply because they aren’t widely released. I wanted to mention a few I especially enjoyed.

If you've never seen Lars and the Real Girl, I highly recommend it. The premise is really strange — you see, Lars is in love with a sex doll that he orders online. Now, before you pass on this movie, it isn't a traditional comedy because the movie also shows us what true loneliness looks like. I love the fact that Lars’ family and friends eventually rally behind his new girlfriend, even taking her out on the town and making her hair appointments. Yes, the story is just plain weird, but once you see the way it unfolds, I guarantee that you will root for Lars. And that makes for some fine film-making.

The Girl in the Café is an HBO movie that takes place during the G-8 summit. At times funny, this movie takes a not-so-simple love story and transforms it into a strong political message. The girl in the café, Gina, seems very sweet at first (if a bit strange), but she surprises us when she starts confronting politicians about why they aren't doing more to end suffering in the world. Lawrence, her love interest, is a shy man who doesn't appreciate her outbursts, especially since he doesn't want to lose his job. This creates an interesting twist in this love story that succeeds in reminding us of the importance of caring about others in the world.

My last pick, which won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, is called Osama. No, not that Osama. This Osama is actually a girl who disguises herself as a boy to help support her family after her father and uncle die. The tension in this movie keeps you riveted, because at any time Osama could be found out by the Taliban — the scene where the boys are being taught to bathe themselves and the scene where Osama is punished in the well are especially hard to take. This film gives us an insider's look into the lives of men and women under the Taliban, and I highly recommend it.