Sofia Coppola follows up her Oscar-winning Lost in Translation with her most ambitious effort yet. Based on the book Marie Anotinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser, Coppola's film infuses modern pop-culture elements into a regal, historical biopic, resulting in a strikingly original work. Kirsten Dunst plays Marie Antoinette, a 14-year-old Austrian who is about to wed France's next king, Louis XVI (a fattened-up Jason Schwartzman). Her new life is a constant barrage of pomp and circumstance, which baffles the otherwise ordinary teenager. While love has nothing to do with the union between Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, producing an offspring does. Unfortunately, Louis XVI shows no interest in having a physical relationship with his willing wife. Instead, Marie Antoinette begins to embrace her life of royalty, biding her time by shopping and partying and living the life of a spoiled teenager. As time passes, Louis XVI works out his problems and soon the couple has begun to bear children. But eventually, the impoverished French people become fed up with the disparity of wealth between the royal family and the average Frenchman, unleashing a revolt that would change the course of history forever. Coppola's decision to use a modern pop-music soundtrack (Bow Wow Wow, the Strokes) is bold, to be sure, yet it is the type of personal choice that rings firmly true. Another brave decision was to let her well-assembled cast (including Judy Davis, Danny Huston, Rip Torn, Asia Argento and Marianne Faithful) speak in their natural accents. Decisions like these are what make Marie Antoinette such a personal, distinct work, proving that Coppola only continues to grow as an artist.
50 First Dates
In the unforgettable romantic comedy 50 First Dates, love means never having to say, "Who the hell are you?" Marine biologist Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) finds the perfect woman, Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore) and falls head over heels for her. But when he sees her the following day, she hasn’t a clue as to who he is. Lucy suffers from a rare brain disorder that wipes her memory clean every night. Now, with the help of his friend Ula (Rob Schneider), he has to concoct new and increasingly clever ways to meet her and get her to fall for him every single day. 50 First Dates reunites the successful team of Sandler and Barrymore from The Wedding Singer.
Sense and Sensibility
Actress Emma Thompson both wrote and stars in this adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility a novel that perceptively examines the social manners and laws of early-19th-century Britain. Set in the English countryside, the film follows the loves and heartaches of sisters Elinor (Thompson) and Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet). The two have extremely divergent approaches to life: Elinor represents 'sense' and believes in behaving with propriety and thoughtfulness, while Marianne represents 'sensibility' and basks in her own emotions. Both women, however, experience confusion when their lovers, seemingly on the verge of proposing marriage, spurn them.
Friends With Money
Friends With Money focuses on four female friends examining their relationships with their significant others and themselves--and not always liking what they see. Frances McDormand stars as Jane, a successful dress designer who has taken to wild public outbursts, stops washing her hair, and is married to a kind man who might be gay (Simon McBurney). Joan Cusack is Franny, a multimillionaire who appears to have the perfect life with her husband (Greg Germann) and kids. Catherine Keener plays Christine, who is building her dream house and writing a screenplay with her husband (Jason Isaacs) as their life together is crumbling. And the youngest of the foursome, Olivia (Jennifer Aniston), is a pot-smoking ne'er-do-well who works as a maid, stalks her ex-lover, and has a thing about not paying for certain high-end cosmetics. As they prepare to attend a major fundraiser for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), they all take stock of their lives, reaching some very difficult conclusions. Nicole Holofcener's first two films, 1996's Walking and Talking and 2001's Lovely & Amazing, were intelligent looks at modern-day relationships between friends and family. Continuing her one-movie-every-five-years schedule, 2006's Friends With Money follows that tradition of smart screenwriting, excellent acting, and careful direction. Holofcener has again created the kind of fascinating, complex characters, insightful and believable dialogue, and wholly realistic situations, crafting an adult look at life and love in the 21st century.
Sleepless in Seattle
Sam Baldwin (Tom Hanks) is a good father and a successful architect, but also a lonely widower. One night his precocious 8-year-old son Jonah calls a late-night radio talk show seeking a cure for his father's despondency. When Sam hesitantly takes the phone and discloses the story of his magic-filled marriage, he proves to be a deeply feeling and gentle man. His plight profoundly moves the programme's sympathetic female listeners, and thousands of women write in offering to help him 'recover' from his mournful insomnia. Recently betrothed Annie Reed (Meg Ryan) is one of the many listeners touched by Sam's story. To complicate matters, she's afraid her upcoming marriage promises stability and security but no excitement. Although Annie's supposed to be driving to her future in-laws' house for the holidays, she knows that she's already fallen in love with Sam and is on the road to destiny. She treks across country on a wildly romantic impulse to meet him...