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My Movie Bucket List: Location, Location, Location

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Greetings Movie Connoisseurs,

"Location, location, location." This well-known phrase is typically used to discuss real estate or parking spots. I, however, have adopted the expression to review two films for which I think location is absolutely paramount. Fargo and Garden State, two fairly new films, are both aptly titled to demonstrate the sheer importance of their locations.

Being a Jersey Girl myself, I was very eager to cross Garden State off my list. Not to mention, the film stars one of my favorite actresses, the brilliant Natalie Portman. I confess, though, I was left pretty uninspired by this seemingly well-liked film. Sure, it had its moments of romance -- screaming freely in the quarry with the rain pouring on the actors. But if I'm being perfectly honest, I dozed off for a bit. I've speculated that the film is just too much about people. It had a basic plot but I don't think I ever fell in love with the characters that were supposed to really drive the film. That being said, I am not giving up on Garden State. I think I may have just missed it, you know? I will certainly be giving the film another shot before I completely bash it. I have to say, despite my disappointments, it was pretty cool to see that much of the film was shot in my hometown and the areas surrounding my house -- the film certainly captured the essence of Jersey, in all of its glory and tedium.

As for Fargo, the Coen brothers masterfully poke fun at their North Dakotan roots. From the outset, the crime and money made this plot appealing in a would-be Hollywood sort of way. However, the somewhat predictable plot meshed oh-so-wonderfully with the comedic characters and satire. This film managed to keep me attentive, anxious and audibly laughing until the last minute. Even the most disturbing image, a leg being shoved into a woodchipper, was made absolutely hilarious. Despite all of the humor and violence, Fargo still manages to have a feel-good ending. I admit, since watching the film I've assumed the Frances McDormand accent whenever I say "Oh, yah." You can also catch me throwing in an "Oh up in Brainerd?" every now and then... It's a fun accent, okay? If you haven't seen it yet, this is certainly one to watch.

Do you think I should give Garden State another chance? Are films that have a specific location more grounded than films with just a general sense of place? How does location influence the way you watch a film? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you don't understand this elusive list, read my first post here. To follow my progress and hear my random musings, follow me on twitter @RDeChiara. As always, thanks for reading and happy watching!

Adaptation
Almost Famous
American Beauty
American Graffiti
American Psycho
An Education
As Good as It Gets
Blood Diamond
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Bringing Up Baby
Burn After Reading
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Casablanca
Cast Away
Crash
Crimes and Misdemeanor
Dazed and Confused
Deer Hunter
District 9
Driving Miss Daisy
Fargo
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Fight Club
Forrest Gump
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Frost/Nixon
Gangs of New York
Garden State
Gone with the Wind
Good Will Hunting
Goodfellas
Hotel Rwanda
Into the Wild
Kramer vs. Kramer
LA Confidential
Leaving Las Vegas
Letters from Iwo Jima
Lost in Translation
Man on Wire
Memento
Michael Clayton
Million Dollar Baby
Mystic River
No Country for Old Men
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Panic Room
Philadelphia
Pulp Fiction
Rain Man
Ransom
Ray
Rebel Without a Cause
Risky Business
Rocky
Saint Elmo's Fire
Scarface
Schindler's List
Shakespeare in Love
Sideways
Star Wars
Terms of Endearment
The Birdcage
The Departed
The Fighter
The Godfather Trilogy
The Hours
The Hurt Locker
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Outsiders
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shining
The Silence of the Lambs

The Sting
The Usual Suspects
The Wrestler
True Grit
Up in the Air
Winter's Bone
Witness
Working Girl