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IPPL Staff

While You Were Sleeping (1995) PG

This romantic comedy kicked off Sandra Bullock’s career. Filmed in and around Chicago at Christmas, we can appreciate our city in the 90s. A tad sweet, and a bit of a stretch, but a lonely woman, a mistaken identity, two handsome guys, and gingerbread characters somehow mix together to present a fun watch.

Check our catalog to find a copy of While You Were Sleeping today.
IPPL Staff

Sunshine Cleaning (2008) R

Amy Adams is Rose, a single mother who works as a house cleaner but dreams of better things. Emily Blunt is Norah, Rose's never-do-well younger sister who is still trying to deal with the early death of their mother. Together they start Sunshine Cleaning, a business that goes into homes and businesses to clean up after death or a crime has occurred.

Rose, Norah, Rose's son Oscar, and their father Joe (Alan Arkin) are a less than perfect but very real family. Sunshine Cleaning is a subtly acted movie about people determined not to let their dreams die, even as problems pile up against them.
IPPL Staff

Because of Winn-Dixie (2005) PG

Because of Winn-Dixie is about a dog that was found by a ten-year-old girl in a small town in Florida. Opal (AnnaSophia Robb) found the dog in a local grocery store and the dog changed the girl’s life and everyone in this small town. Great movie if you are an animal person or a dog lover. Either way – two thumbs up! Very cute movie.

Looking for more movies about cats and dogs? Check out our movie list.
IPPL Staff

Everything Must Go (2010) R

Everything Must Go stars Will Ferrell as Nick Halsey, a man who has lost everything: wife, home, and job. When his soon-to-be ex-wife throws all of his possessions on the lawn and locks the door, Nick has to reassess the mess his life has become and try to find the good guy he left behind somewhere. We are used to Ferrell in broadly comedic roles. In Everything Must Go, he gives a quiet, more nuanced performance.
Mary S.

Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945)

The crooner, Bing Crosby, plays Father O’Malley in Going My Way, winner of seven Academy Awards, and its sequel, The Bells of St. Mary’s. In the timeless classic, Going My Way, the young priest is assigned to a financially ailing New York Irish parish church with the mission of turning it around unbeknown to Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald), the founding pastor. Along the way, he befriends the parish hoodlums and tries to turn them into choirboys. The singing by Crosby, the boys, and an opera singer enhances the film.
In the sentimental movie, The Bells of St. Mary’s, Father O’Malley is sent to a parish with a school that is overcrowded and in need of major repairs. He butts heads with the sister superior, Sister Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), especially when he starts his first day by giving the students the day off. A businessman wants them to sell the school to him and turn it into a parking lot. The nuns are praying for a miracle. This is my favorite of the two movies.

Check out Turner Classic Movies for notes on Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary's.
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IPPL Staff

Leap Year (2010) PG

One of my favorite romantic comedies. Anna follows her heart to Dublin to propose to her perfect cardiologist boyfriend. She actually finds out what’s the most important thing to save if you’re in a fire. Shows the true Irish spirit and the photography of the Irish landscape is wonderful.

Check the catalog to see if this film is on shelf -- and celebrate leap year with Amy Adams and Matthew Goode.
IPPL Staff

Another Year

Another Year (2010) PG-13
This quiet slice of life movie shows the dramas, disappointments, and small triumphs touching the lives of happily married couple Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen). Gerri’s friend Mary is an emotional wreck and their 30-year-old son may never find the right girl. Beautifully acted, this movie shows the subtleties in relationships between us all.

Read other reviews from Rolling Stone and Huffington Post.
IPPL Staff

Win Win

Win Win (2011) R
I didn’t know what to expect – I’d just heard this was great. What I got was a fantastic film. A comedy – not rolling on the floor laughing – but funny, serious, and heartwarming all at once!

Check out reviews from TIME Magazine and Roger Ebert.

Also enjoy an interview with star Paul Giamatti at the Sundance Film Festival, plus check out a Q&A session with writer/director Tom McCarthy.

IPPL Staff

Spotlight: Doc Martin TV Series

Spotlight: Doc Martin TV Series (2004-2011)
I’ll watch most anything with British accents. This is one of the funniest! You must watch from Season 1 to Season 3.

Check out a story on NPR about star Martin Clunes. Visit TV.com for more about the show.
IPPL Staff

Going Postal

Going Postal (2010)
Based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Going Postal is the best movie between Color of Magic and Hogfather. It’s a nice balance of fantasy, humor, and soul-saving life observation. I believe it’s so good for teenagers!

You can also check out a 2010 review.
IPPL Staff

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris (2011) PG-13
It was so wonderful to see this Woody Allen movie. I have seen every Woody Allen movie, but this one is in a class with Annie Hall (1977) and Sleeper (1973). The time travel element really does the trick. Paris is a perfect background. I highly recommend this film.

Did you miss your chance to see the film on the big screen?  You're in luck -- the La Grange Theatre will be showing the movie for one night in March in conjunction with the Big Read 2012. Look for the program guide around February 1 for more details!
Shirley

Elf

Elf (2003) PG
I just watched this sweet-natured Will Ferrell holiday movie. He stars as Buddy, a 30-year-old, who, as an infant at an orphanage, crawled into Santa’s bag and soon arrived at the North Pole. Elf Bob Newhart raises him. Buddy learns of his true human-ness and sets off in search of his human dad (James Caan), who seriously needs some Christmas spirit. Buddy has fun elf-adventures along the way.

It ends pretty much as you think it will---all the more reason you and any kids watching will enjoy this one (though note the PG rating). Zooey Deschanel has a lovely part (and a lovely voice) as Buddy’s romantic interest.
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IPPL Staff

Emma

Emma (2009)
Jane Austen's Emma is either your favorite Austen or the one you can't stand. It is my favorite, and for over ten years I have loved the Gwyneth Paltrow movie version (1996).

Then I saw the 2009 three hour BBC production with Romola Garai as Emma, and my love is pulled two ways. Garai is delightful as the well-meaning but interfering Emma. The set and costumes are beautiful and the pacing is just right. But Jeremy Northam (from the 1996 movie) will always be my favorite Mr. Knightley.
IPPL Staff

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010) R
So nice to watch “grown-up movies” without special effects. The stories are character driven.

For more about the movie, check out reviews from the Los Angeles Times and The New York Daily News.

Written and directed by Woody Allen. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin, Antonio Banderas, Gemma Jones, and Naomi Watts.
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IPPL Staff

Love Finds Andy Hardy

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
Love finds Andy--and does it--three times over! First there is steady girlfriend Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford). Then there is the town flirt (Lana Turner), and last but not least, the sweet new girl next door Betsy Booth (Judy Garland), who has a crush on Andy.

Mickey Rooney is the high energy all-American teenager, getting himself in all sorts of trouble and learning wise lessons from his father Judge Hardy. In this installment, Andy's in hock for a used jalopy and has dates with two girls for the big Christmas Eve dance. A charming and funny look at an idealized bygone era.

Check out TCM.com for more on the film.