Besides Bollywood – Films I Love

Lars and the Real Girl
These are a few of my favourite non-Hindi films at the moment. Now and then I find one that I really like, and here is where you will find my thoughts on them.

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LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (2007)
Director: Craig Gillespie Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Shneider, Kelli Garner, Patricial Clarkson.
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A wonderfully quirky, bittersweet film about love, acceptance and the relativity of reality. Ryan Gosling is absolutely beautiful to watch in his role as Lars; an awkward young man who falls in love with his sex doll Bianca. Funny, offbeat and filled with charming characters and plenty of brilliant acting – this is a film you really wouldn’t want to miss out on.

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(500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)
Director: Marc Webb. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Matthew Gray Gubler, Chloe Moretz.
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This is a bittersweet, soulful, slightly quirky and beautifully told story about unrequited love. It has a real and innocent, naïve feeling about it, which I found wonderfully relateable. It’s a warming blend of funny and sad, romantic and thorny, emotional intimacy and disconnectedness – very touching and genuinely believable. I especially loved the dialogues, how the story unfolds out of sequence, and its overall simplicity. Brilliant, unique and true to life, this film is not to be missed.

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BEFORE SUNRISE (1995)
Director: Richard Linklater. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy.
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What I love the most about it is actually not the film itself, but the soul and idea of the story behind it. I find it very easy to relate to, and there are scenes that intimately touch upon some of my own real-life experiences and encounters, which creates a very genuine and real feeling. There would have been room for improvement in several aspects of this film, but somehow the overall feeling is fantastic. I’d love to see a remake of it as a Hindi film, Bollywood style, preferably by Imtiaz Ali.

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BEFORE SUNSET (2004)
Director: Richard Linklater. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy.
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I loved Before Sunset for the same reasons as Before Sunrise, it’s prequel. I reckon the fact that the actors are the same ones and that the amount of time that’s passed in real-life is captured accordingly in the film itself adds to it’s sense of honesty, and it comes across as very real. As a stand-alone film, I probably wouldn’t have been captured by it, but seen back-to-back these two films are absolutely gorgeous.

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OUTSOURCED (2006)
Director: John Jeffcoat. Cast: Josh Hamilton, Ayesha Dharker.
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I absolutely love this film, it’s incredibly funny! I totally recognise so many of the situations and reactions, feelings and impressions of the complete chock that India can be to a first-time visiting firang, and this film has done a great job capturing it in a relatable and quirky way. Sure, there are plenty of stereotypes (both ways) and a certain level of predictability, but the essence of this film is purely entertaining, simply brilliant. Best laugh I’ve had in ages!

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DEAR FRANKIE (2004)
Director: Shona Auerbach. Cast: Emily Mortimer, Jack McElhone, Gerard Butler.
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A great story very well told, with a big heart and wonderfully bittersweet moments.

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P.S. I LOVE YOU (2007)
Director: Richard LaGravenese. Cast: Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr, Lisa Kudrow.
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This film is a successful reflection of a wonderful story – as told by Cecilia Ahern in the book with the same name – a soulful couple of hours bursting with feeling. There’s plenty of brilliant acting and beautiful dialogues, but what really shines is the story itself; an unyielding but yet compassionate exploration of the circle of love, loss and longing. If I’m after a good cry of the feel-good variety, this is what I’d watch.

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BREAKING AND ENTERING (2006)
Director/writer: Anthony Minghella. Cast: Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn, Juliette Binoche, Vera Farmiga, Rafi Gavron, Poppy Rogers.
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This is such a wonderful, wonderful film… What really stands out is the uniquely absorbing, naked and vulnerable mood as well as the absolutely brilliant and clever dialogues. The screenplay is exceptionally well-written, having a big heart and an insightful emotional depth. I’m loving each and every character, their compelling stories and most of all how they all are developing in their coming together. And on top of all this, there’s all the incredible performances, beautiful shots and moving scenes that you could ever wish for… you even get a bit of parkour as a bonus.

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STAY (2005)
Director: Marc Forster. Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Naomi Watts, Bob Hoskins.

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MEMENTO (2000)
Director: Christopher Nolan. Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano.

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THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY (2001-2003)
Director: Peter Jackson. Cast: Elijah Wood, Orlando Bloom, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkis, Ian McKellen, Billy Boyd, Liv Tyler, John Rhys-Davies, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett.

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THE HOLIDAY (2006)
Director: Nancy Meyers. Cast: Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black.

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SLIDING DOORS (1998)
Director: Peter Howitt. Cast: John Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow.

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LONG WAY ROUND (2004) and LONG WAY DOWN (2007)
By/with: Ewan McGregor, Charley Boorman, Russ Malkin, Claudio von Planta.
This isn’t technically a film, but a documentary/tv-series.

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BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Cast: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves.

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MEET JOE BLACK (1998)
Director: Martin Brest. Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Clare Forlani.

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THE MEXICAN (2001)
Director: Gore Verbinsky. Cast: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts.

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THE STATION AGENT (2003)
Director: Thomas McCarty. Cast: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Josh Pais.

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NOTTING HILL (1999)
Director: Roger Michell. Cast: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant, Rhys Ifans.

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ABOUT A BOY (2002)
Directors: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz. Cast: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Sharon Small, Toni Collette.

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BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY (2001)
Director: Sharon Maguire. Cast: Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth.

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PEACEFUL WARRIOR (2006)
Director: Victor Salva. Writer: Dan Millman. Cast: Scott Mechlowicz, Nick Nolte.

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ROMEO + JULIET (1996)
Director: Baz Luhrmann. Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes.

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EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990)
Director: Tim Burton. Cast: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder.

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GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)
Director: Gus Van Sant. Cast: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård.

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DON JUAN DEMARCO (1994)
Director: Jeremy Leven. Cast: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway.

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CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON/WO HU CANG LONG (2003)
Director: Ang Lee. Cast: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang.

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GHOST TOWN (2008)
Director: David Koepp. Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni, Greg Kinnear.
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Hilarious, unique, clever, romantic and heartfelt.

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ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
Director: Michel Gondry. Cast: Jim Carrey, Cate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo.

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SEVEN POUNDS (2008)
Director: Gabriele Muccino. Cast: Will Smith, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson.

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THE MISTS OF AVALON (2001)
Director: Uli Edel. Cast: Anjelica Huston, Joan Allen, Julianna Margulies, Michael Vartan, Edward Atterton.

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LEGENDS OF THE FALL (1994)
Director: Edward Zwick. Cast: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, Henry Thomas, Christina Pickles, Karina Lombard.

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THE 10TH KINGDOM (2000)
Directors: David Carson, Herbert Wise. Cast: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Scott Cohen, John Larroquette, Dianne Wiest, Daniel Lapaine, Rutger Hauer.

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JADESOTURI (2006)
Director: Antti-Jussi Annila. Cast: Tommi Eronen, Markku Peltola, Jingchu Zhang, Krista Kosonen, Hao Dang, Taisheng Chen.

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PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL (2003)
Director: Gore Verbinsky. Cast: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley.

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STRANGER THAN FICTION (2006)
Director: Marc Forster. Cast: Will Ferrell, Tony Hale, Maggie Gyllenhaal.

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WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (1993)
Director: Lasse Hallström. Cast: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis.

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BENNY & JOON (1993)
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik. Cast: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore.

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CRY-BABY (1990)
Director: John Waters. Cast: Johnny Depp, Amy Locane, Susan Tyrrell, Polly Bergen, Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, Kim McGuire, Darren E. Burrows, Stephen Mailer.

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FIGHT CLUB (1999)
Director: David Fincher. Cast: Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter.

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DAG OCH NATT (2004)
Director: Simon Staho. Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Pernilla August, Maria Bonnevie, Michael Nyqvist, Sam Kessel, Fares Fares, Lena Endre, Tuva Novotny, Hans Alfredson.

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MIFFO (2003)
Director: Daniel Lind Lagerlöf. Cast: Jonas Karlsson, Livia Millhagen.

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HANS OCH HENNES (2001)
Director: Daniel Lind Lagerlöf. Cast: Jonas Karlsson, Johanna Sällström, Ralph Carlsson, Shanti Roney.

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THE MATRIX (1999)
Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Matt Doran.

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And as a bonus, here’s a few Swedish films I recommend.

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(more to come..!)