The New York Daily News just published their list of "The year's best movies you didn't see", an idea in best-of lists that escapes a lot of year-end reporting (here's Cinematical's Official List). There are some good and even great films on it, like Funny Ha Ha, Rize and Lipstick & Dynamite. Unless you live in one of the Top 10 or 20 movie markets, chances are that these and a host of other films that will forever remain "seldom seen" did not play at a theater near you.

Here are another three I'll throw out there:
  • Howl's Moving Castle - Anyone whose impression of anime is the hyperkinetic rascals of Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh! is in for an oh-so-thrilling surprise. The depth of veteran writer-director Hayao Miyazaki's latest masterpiece -- this one about a young woman who is magically changed into an old hag and taken on a trip in a giant enchanted walking house -- is considerable and precious. Diana Wynn Jones's beloved book springs to life in the Spirited Away (2001) and Princess Mononoke (1997) creator's hands, and while hardcore Nipponophiles will harumph! Disney's more-than-passable dubbing job, most everyone else will be rightfully impressed with Miyazaki's rock-solid piece of storytelling. Newfound fans of Miyazaki-san will be thrilled to find that Disney has released a flood of his previous work on DVD this year, most notably Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds (1984) and Porco Rosso (1992).
  • The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill - Judy Irving's profile of an eccentric, nomadic San Franciscan who plays Dr. Doolittle to the city's fractured flock of free birds is loaded with the kind of joy-to-the-world sentiment that we are too-often promised by a movie but only occasionally find.
  • The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - This one certainly wouldn't make my Top 10, but why it did not play wide escapes me. Julianne Moore is lovely as a mother of 10 unable to raise her kids on her drunk-but-loving husband's meager salary, so she turns to "contesting", writing jingles and slogans for the brands of the day. Based on Terry Ryan's autobiographical novel about growing up as one of the 10, it will long be one of those all-purpose Mother's Day gifts that say, "Thanks for everything, Mom".
Seen something overlooked that you want to share? List it along with one or two lines on why it is worth mentioning.
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categories Cinematical