Amidst the Hollywood hoopla about all the major summer studio releases, there is a selection of smaller, less-heralded movies that represent probably the best viewing for adult audiences in St. Louis. Here are five movies I recommend that have kind of gone under the radar, but represent some of the most enjoyable motion picture fare for adult audiences in town.
“Bernie” is based on the actual story of an undertaker in a small town in Texas who is accused of murdering his paramour, the widow of a wealthy local banker. The film uses real people from the town in the film, and stars Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. The cast is perfect and the story is fascinating.
“The Intouchables” is also based on a true story. This award-winning motion picture is about a well-to-do French businessman left paralyzed after a paragliding accident who hires a petty thief with an over-the-top personality to be his man Friday. The story of their unusual friendship and lives makes for some very compelling, often humorous viewing. The film is in French with English subtitles. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it remade by an American studio in the years ahead.
“Moonrise Kingdom” is the highly stylized story of a boy and girl who are both 12-years-old and live on a small island off Rhode Island. After being pen pals, they believe they have fallen in love and take off together into the wilds of the island. The cast includes Bill Murray, Francis MacDormand, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel and Bob Balaban. This movie features what might be the most talented cast of any motion picture released in 2012.
“Safety Not Guaranteed” is an off-beat relationship movie about time travel set in the areas around Seattle. It’s about love, seeming weirdness and the possibility (or impossibility) of time travel. It is an intriguing story.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” has an all-star British cast of Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and Dev Patel, who starred in “Slumdog Millionaire.” It is about a small group of English retirees who come to India to what they believe to be a luxury retirement hotel, only to find culture and circumstances are not what they expected. This film is brilliantly acted and offers thought-provoking moments about life and self-imposed destiny.