This critical darling won about a zillion awards, including a Best Actress Oscar for Helen Mirren, who plays Queen Elizabeth II. The drama follows the Royal Family in the aftermath of Princess Diana's tragic death in 1997. Michael Sheen plays Tony Blair while James Cromwell is impressive as Prince Philip. Like Best Actor comrade Forest Whitaker who won for his portrayal of a ruthless Ugandan dictator, Mirren earned accolades for her humanization of a public figure many people deemed cold and distant.
Two more if you
Planet Earth: The Complete Collection
Currently airing on the Discovery Channel with a narration by Sigorney Weaver, this version of the Planet Earth series is the original U.K. broadcast narrated by David Attenborough. The 5-disc, 11-part documentary doles out overviews of various parts of the earth, from grassy plains to ocean depths. Having already seen several of the chapters on the Discovery Channel I can say with certainty that this series is incredibly impressive. The filmmakers spent thousands of hours, often in difficult terrain, waiting in camouflage to capture rare footage for HD. The result is so entertaining and absorbing, you don't even notice you've learned something.
Night at the Museum
Sure, it's a kids' movie starring Ben Stiller, but Night at the Museum has a fun premise and a great supporting cast which includes Ricky Gervais, Robin Williams and Dick Van Dyke. Stiller plays a night guard at a natural history museum who suddenly meets all the museum's, uh, citizens when he re-awakens an ancient curse. To learn more about this fantastical romp, check out my review.