Greetings Earthlings. I’ve decided to recount last weekend in two or so posts as I found my weekend to be quite interesting to say the least (interesting to me at least). I’ll start with Friday evening…

Last Friday was beyond wet, cold, and yucky outside. Instead of heading outside like so many others, my suitemate and I decided to stay in for a little R & R. Before this could take place we made the trek across the snowy campus in order to pick up a few essentials. These included raspberry sorbet, frozen dinners, and four movies from the library. Our choices covered a broad range of genres including drama, romance, comedy, action, thriller, and basically anything else you could ever dream up. We chose Alfie, Atonement, The Black Dahlia, and last, but not least, The Reader. We arrived back to Fox around 5 pm, stuffed our frozen dinners in the freezer, arranged the futon into a bed complete with all our blankets and pillows, and commenced our movie marathon.

First up was The Reader. I had already had the pleasure of seeing this movie in the theaters, but was excited to see it again, especially because my suitemate had never seen it before. She liked it just as much as I did. The cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet, and David Kross, all exceptional actors on their own. Together this cast was incredible. The movie was riveting with plenty of shocking revelations, an almost disturbing relationship between two people of very different ages, and a court case that shakes up all the characters. The story has a dark twist to it that is to be expected from the beginning. The only question I was left with was this: Is it better to lie to cover up your shame and be punished for it, or to let your shame be known and be seen as less of a human being?

Poster from The Reader

The second movie was The Black Dahlia. This cast boasted Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank, Scarlett Johansson, and Aaron Eckhart. The movie followed the murder of the Black Dahlia, otherwise known as Elizabeth Short, and a police detectives out of control spiral as he becomes obsessed with finding her killer. The film tried desperately to mimic 1940’s gangster movies including characters with ingratiating accents. To be completely honest, this movie was awful. From the very first scene I turned to my friend and told her that this movie was already terrible, but I was determined to see it through. I’m not glad I did as it only got more dramatic and implausible. Plus there were plenty of ridiculously gory scenes for no apparent reason and the plot line was implausible. All in all I hope no one has to suffer through this one, but if you do bring snacks.

The Black poster, awful movie

The third movie was Alfie with Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Susan Sarandon, and Marisa Tomei. This was a good movie to watch right after the Black Dahlia. It was much lighter and very cute even though I wanted to jump in the film and give the main character a slap or two every now and then. The plot line was based on the original Alfie which was produced in 1966. I’ve never seen the first one, but I would be more than willing after seeing this modern take of it. Alfie is a charmer and a full time ladies man who is constantly getting himself into hot water with all of the women he dates (all relatively at the same time…). It is not until he is faced with a huge personal issue that he begins to evaluate all the damage he has caused others over the years. The film was pretty funny and Jude Law was absolutely precious as Alfie. It makes it entirely impossible to hate him. I found myself trapped somewhere between a desire to hug him and a need to give him a good slap in the face. I would recommend this one if you want a more light-hearted comedy that also touches on some significant problems in the modern world.

A still shot from Alfie

The final film, Atonement, is one that I had also seen before, but nonetheless really wanted to see again. Keira Knightly (one of my favorite actresses), James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, and Brenda Blethyn all star in this heavily nominated film. It is the story of Robbie and Cecilia and the incredible love they have for one another. This love is dragged through a deep and life changing lie told by Cecilia’s sister Briony who is jealous of her sister and Robbie. This lie impacts the lives of all of those involved and brings about a dreadful outcome that causes Briony to spend the rest of her life trying to atone for her biggest mistake. It is a powerful and moving film that horrifies, saddens, and teaches its audience that one lie can change the history of people’s lives forever. I personally loved the film, mainly because Keira Knightly is a powerhouse actress, but also because of the rolling country side in which it is shot and the raw emotions that are drawn from unsuspecting audience members.

Keira Knightly in a stunning emerald dress in Atonement

We didn’t end up getting to bed until around 2 am at which point we were thoroughly stuffed, content with our movie choices, and ready for countless hours of sleep. Our movie night was such a success that I am sure it will be repeated sometime in the near future, perhaps with other movie lovers who wish to take a night off for a little relaxation in our homemade movie theater.