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Carol

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carol

Image credit: Carol, 2015

This is serious folks- I’ve been writing Cinema Sips for three years, and I’m starting to run out of Christmas movies! Next year we might be down to The Gremlins.  It’s bad. Thankfully, last year’s masterpiece Carol (DVD/Download) has delayed the inevitable just a little bit longer. Featuring 1950’s holiday dysfunction, beautiful vintage clothes, and classic cocktails, this is the perfect thing to kick off a season of overindulging.

Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith (a personal favorite author of mine), Carol tells the unlikely love story between glamorous suburban housewife Carol, and bohemian shopgirl/photographer Therese. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara portray these characters so beautifully, and I find myself rooting for their impossible romance with all my heart. Director Todd Haynes has made what feels like a classic film in modern times, and this quiet story that happens to be set at Christmas is just the reminder I need that despite the tinsel and holiday music and greeting cards, real life is still happening too.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- nobody drinks a martini like Cate Blanchett. She’s in rare form here, ordering a lunch of dry martinis and poached eggs with creamed spinach. I’m not sure this combo is the best (or most appetizing) food pairing, it is the best cocktail choice for this movie. While watching Carol, I recommend drinking a Dry Martini (with an olive).*

Dry Martini

2 ½ oz Gin

½ oz Dry Vermouth

1-2 Olives

Stir gin and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an olive.

dry-martini

I’ll always love my old Christmas stand-bys like The Holiday, Love Actually, Little Women, etc, but it feels good to add a new classic to the mix. Sipping a martini in a Sandy Powell dress while 1950’s New York buzzes around you? Sounds like a perfect holiday fantasy to me. Cheers!

(*Note: I made this same cocktail selection two years ago for The Thin Man.  Perhaps a double feature is in order!)

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Top 5 Movies of 2015

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Full disclosure: I am not a professional film critic. I know what I like, and if you read this blog, you know that tends to include a lot of Rom-Coms and Dramas, and not so much Action and Sci-fi. So while I liked Mad Max: Fury Road more than I thought I would, and Hateful Eight was a FANTASTIC three hours of blood spatter and Ennio Morricone music, they didn’t make the cut. So here they are, my Top 5 Movies of 2015, in ranking order.

  1. Brooklyn
Brooklyn

Image credit: Brooklyn, 2015

Saoirse Ronan is all grown up in this wonderful movie about an Irish immigrant beginning her life in 1950’s Brooklyn. A love triangle, pretty clothes, and fun accents- yes please!

  1. Carol
carol

Image Credit: Carol, 2015

I knew just by the trailer that this would be one of my favorites of the year, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are fantastic as star-crossed lovers, and even Kyle Chandler holds his own against the powerhouse that is Blanchette. Plus, fabulous 1950’s clothes and martinis are always the way to my heart.

  1. Far from the Madding Crowd
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (2015)

Image Credit: Far from the Madding Crowd, 2015

I hate to make yet ANOTHER pick based on costumes, but good lord these are fantastic. The buttons! The gingham! I died. Carey Mulligan is wonderful as classic heroine Bathsheba Everdeen, and the men who court her aren’t too shabby either. This picturesque film of 19th century England makes me want to move to a farm with my border collie and raise sheep (if I can do it wearing one of Carey Mulligan’s costumes).

  1. The Martian
the-martian

Image credit: The Martian, 2015

I didn’t expect to like this MacGyver-in-Space film from Ridley Scott, but I was pleasantly surprised! Matt Damon is back in fighting form as an astronaut trapped on Mars, and the supporting cast adds levity and heart to the story. Really, I just like movies about smart people. Growing potatoes and harvesting water on Mars is pretty smart.

5.  Joy

Image credit: Joy, 2015

Image credit: Joy, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Lucci.  And that’s all I have to say about that.

 

*Disagree?  Go ahead, tell me what your favorites are!