My pick of movies to chill out to
Switch the phone off, dim the lights and put your feet up in front of the TV for a couple of hours of movie escapism. Here's my choice for some quality viewing on a late winter's evening.
I confess here that I'm a sucker for the romantic comedies but there's also nothing quite like a bit of fantasy to switch the mind off.
For me this is Woody Allen's finest hour from his modern collection. Owen Wilson perfectly stands in for Allen in this fantastical tale of a successful screen writer (Gil) on vacation in Paris. Gil and his fiance Inez (Rachel McAdams) are to be married but whilst in Paris Gil becomes consumed by its romance and the urge to become a novelist grips him. So much so that at midnight he is transported to a bygone era where he rubs shoulders with Ernest Hemingway, Cole Porter and Salvador Dali, amongst others.
A wonderful film that captures Paris beautifully and is strengthened further by some fine performances from Marion Cotillard, Michael Sheen and Kathy Bates.
The unfilmable film. Peter Jackson's superb fantasy adventure is a proper sit-by-the-fire-and-put-your-feet-up adventure. Ian McKellen's Gandalf is as mesmerising now as it was when the film first emerged.
Superb fantasy adventure and a real favourite.
A wonderful romantic comedy with some strong messages. Lily Collins is an up and coming young author and daughter to an already successful and published author in Greg Kinnear.
What I love about this film in particular is its focus on the writing whilst handling broader issues of love, loss and the difficulties of adolescence.
A fine film with some wonderful performances.
An acting masterclass from Julianne Moore. Dementia in the form of Alzheimer's disease is beautifully portrayed by Moore; a successful professor, wife and mother.
What really grabs you with this film is just how honest it is. Julianne Moore's acting is effortless and makes the entire experience a real pleasure whilst at the same time breaking your heart for what she is enduring.
Little wonder she won the 2015 Oscar for Best Actress. Highly recommended.
There's so much to like about Adam. English actor Hugh Dancy captures the frustrations of living with Asperger's Syndrome in a real and honest way. Losing his family has an enormous effect on him and turns his life upside down. He loses his job and all seems lost until Rose Byrne steps in and shows him that there is so much more to life than he is used to.
The two characters bond beautifully and Byrne is hypnotically beautiful to watch. Again, there is a message to be read here and the ending, whilst at first seems heart breaking, ends up showing us that the best outcome for everybody has been achieved.
Heartwarming and beautiful.
I bought these films through iTunes but I'm sure they are available through every other popular service.