Entries Tagged 'Quirky Independent' ↓


This dank little exploration of the dysfunctional side of educated poverty perks up every time Babz Chula enters the picture. Her kick-ass Angie is a fiftysomething dope grower and sexual dynamo who makes all the whining twentysomethings around her look a tad pathetic. And she’s a great cook too. [canada, 1998]

a walk on the moon

Mother and daughter attempt to escape the constraints of their conservative Jewish vacation spot during the heady summer of ’69. Diane Lane is the young dissatisfied housewife whose muted sexual hunger is fanned by the sexy, sunburnt “Blouse Man”. Anna Paquin is teen fury, rebellion and remorse as the daughter whose Bubby announces her arrival into womanhood to the entire camp. And as mom gets down with the “Blouse Man”, daughter tries to seduce her reluctant boyfriend. All pay for their illicit deeds, but at least it’s the gals who do the rabble rousing. [us, 1999]

like water for chocolate

This irresistible Mexican feast of magic and passion is the most sensuous foodie movie around. Here an unmarried woman whose life centres on the kitchen transmits her emotions into her cooking with unusual effects on diners. A wedding cake causes guests to burst into tears; and a meal of quail and rose petals arouses one daughter so much, she bursts into flames and races off with a passing revolutionary. [mexico, 1992]

enchanted april

A beautifully filmed story of two bored, married women who act on impulse and rent an Italian villa for the month of April. The story revolves around their interactions with two fellow guests at the villa who could not be more different from the English housewives. A small, gentle story of manners and romance. [uk, 1992]

hideous kinky

Kate Winslet, in an obvious attempt to leave behind stuffy period dramas, stars as a 70′s hippy traipsing through Morocco, with two small daughters in tow. Her search for enlightenment and freedom takes on such rigid proportions that it’s as confining as the middle-class life she escaped in England. With one daughter pleading to go home, Winslet’s becomes even more determined in her quest to reach enlightenment. The inevitable crisis, although distressing, has a happy ending–a refreshing surprise for those of us accustomed to wayward women being punished in Hollywood films. [uk, 1998]

bhaji on the beach

This ensemble piece features a group of Anglo-Indian women ranging from traditional grandmothers to rebellious 20-somethings. The women plan an off-season day trip from their home in Birmingham to Blackpool. The day unfolds with gossip, romance, family squabbles, hearty laughter, and secrets. A pleasant independent flick about the relationships between generations of women. [uk, 1994]

lovely and amazing

This indie story of mothers and daughters features Brenda Blethyn as the mother of three rather emotionally screwed up daughters. Katherine Keener plays the eldest daugher, and main character, a slightly lost 36 year old mother of one who makes chairs for mice and tries to sell them to ultra-hip LA stores, but ends up working at a photomart. The middle daughter is an aspiring actress with severe body image problems (possibly related to her mother’s determination to get liposuction). The youngest daughter is an adopted African-American child (the same age as Keener’s character’s daughter), who delights in faking drowning. At times funny, sweet, and also painful, this slightly off center but realistic film is definitely worth watching. [us, 2002]

harold and maude

Harold’s name may be first but it’s Maude (Ruth Gordon) who steals the show as feisty octogenarian who teaches the morbidly suicidal Harold a few things about life and a lot more about love. A bonus to this flick is the bubbly sing-along soundtrack by a pre-Islam Cat Stevens. [us, 1971]

live bait

With a nod to Harold and Maude, this charming film has a confused Gen Xer muddling his way through school, home, and love. Things perk up when he falls for a sixty-something sculptor (Micki Maunsell). Crisp and sweet as a fall apple. [canada, 1995]

strangers in good company

An unlikely group of septuagenarian and octogenarian women find themselves stranded in an abandoned farmhouse when a bus breaks down. It doesn’t sound like much of a premise, but it’s fascinating to watch the characters interact in this small Quebec film. Most unbelievable is that none of the women are actors. Okay, now it sounds even worse, but this really is a lovely film about aging, relationships, and survival. [canada, 1990]