The gratitude lists emailed among friends and families this Thanksgiving are lovely and thoughtful, expressing heartfelt appreciation for food, shelter, health, friends, family, babies’ smiles, rainbows, Mom’s lasagna, all that good stuff. The only problem is, when mentioned in the same breath as Mom and rainbows, offering thanks for the genius of Netflix looks pretty puny. But not here: Here’s where movie lovers can offer up movie love in the spirit of the holiday. I’ll go first:
1. Thanks to great American actors whose appearances invigorate every movie they’re in. My choice trio: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Jeffrey Wright, above. Who would you add to the list?
2. Thanks for cup holders and stadium seating in movie theaters.
3. Thanks to filmmakers who know the proper length for their movies. Sometimes 90 minutes is all that’s needed to tell a story; occasionally 140 minutes feels right. (Mostly, the 90-minute range is plenty. Thanks again.)
4. Thanks for the work of great actors already famous in their own countries, stars in the bigger world, including Korea’s Song Kang-ho, France’s Mathieu Amalric, Denmark’s Mads Mikkelsen, India’s Irrfan Khan, Hong Kong’s Tony Leung, and the Palestinian powerhouse Hiam Abbass.
5. Thanks to great young ones, including Fannings and Culkins.
6. Thanks to filmmakers with singular visions, including Spike Jonze, Terence Davies in England, the Dardennes brothers in Belgium, and Henry Selick, who made the inimitable Coraline.
7. Thanks to those who make animated movies, tellers of some of the medium’s most profound stories.
8. Thanks to movies that revel in a lot of talk–I’m thinking of In the Loop.
9. Thanks to movies that revel in a lot of silence–I’m thinking of The Hurt Locker.
10. And thanks to you, the engaged, lively, opinionated readers of this blog. Now it’s your turn to add to the list. And yes, If you want, you can also express gratitude for health, moonlight, chirping birds, and Grandpa’s jokes. Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo credits (l.to r.): Andrew Schwartz, François Duhamel, Karen Ballard