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My Movie Bucket List: Talky Films

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Dear Movie-Watchers and Blog-Followers,

I've never been one to have the patience for movies about people. You know the ones I'm talking about: no action or no real plot... just all character development. As a writer and a student, I'd like to be more engaged during these types of films. It wasn't until I watched Sideways and Up in the Air that I realized I've just been seeing the wrong "people films." These two kept me captivated and intrigued, despite their apparent lack of intense plot and Hollywood bells and whistles.

George Clooney does a masterful job of portraying real-world characters. Ryan Bingham, Clooney's role in Up in the Air, flies around the country to do one of the hardest jobs of all: firing companies' employees. The plot of the movie is rather basic, but his development of relationships, especially with love interest Alex Goran (played by Vera Formiga), is clear and realistic. Not to give a spoiler, but this is not a happy ending. Admittedly, I was a bit unhappy with the end only because of how depressing it was. But as all good films should, it concludes with a realistic portrayal of its protagonist, no matter how miserable it may be. If you find Up in the Air enjoyable, definitely check out The Descendants, another great Clooney film.

Despite Sideways being "about wine," it is really about Paul Giamatti's character Miles. Realistic, upsetting, and oh so comedic, Sideways is the perfect pseudo-rom-com. It meets a higher standard than some of its romantic comedy counterparts by filling Miles with quirks, idiosyncrasies, a backstory and some real development. I'd like to call it the high-class rom-com. However, don't let that label distract you -- this is still a drama. In fact, Sideways reminds me perfectly of my high school theater teacher's old adage "humor is more important in a drama than in a comedy." If not for the numerous belly laughs supplied by Giomatti's co-star Thomas Haden Church, the film would leave audiences in tears. Sideways accomplishes the perfect balance of realistic drama and fresh humor, making it an absolute knockout.

Can you handle movies seemingly just about people? Do you value plot or character more? Any more suggestions based on my liking of these two films? Leave any comments down below. As always, thank you for the support and suggestions! For more information and to track my progress in real-time, follow me on twitter @RachelDeChiara.

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