Spring is in the air — in some parts of the country, at least — and April boasts both Earth Day and Arbor Day. In honor of all that, this week's Movie Night includes films that have something(ish) to do with greenery. Here's to a fresh springtime, with April showers bringing May flowers and all that jazz.
Nicolas Cage, in a surprisingly impressive turn, plays twin characters Charlie and Donald Kaufman in this strange art-reflects-life story. It's basically the telling of real-life Charlie Kaufman's experiences adapting The Orchid Thief for the big screen. Meryl Streep puts forth her usual superb performance, playing a fictionalized version of real-life author Susan Orlean. The film is interesting and well-made, and if nothing else, orchids are magnificent flowers to look at.
Two more movie suggestions, so
Splendor in the Grass
Okay, so it's not the happiest of films, and it's only tangentially related to grass: The title is from a line of poetry by William Wordsworth about the fleeting beauty of life, which I will extend to also pertain to springtime, for the sake of this post. Regardless, this is one of my favorite classic movies starring two of my favorite actors: Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. Released in 1961, the setting is 1920s Kansas, where lovestruck teenagers Deanie (Wood) and Bud (Beatty) are discouraged from pursuing their relationship — especially a sexual relationship — by their parents. The star-crossed lovers reluctantly separate, which drives Deanie to madness and institutionalization. Warren Beatty is utterly dreamy in his strapping youth, and Natalie Wood will break your heart with her big, passionate brown eyes.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Savannah, Georgia, is at its southern-belle finest in this film, which features ample shots of the lush, gorgeous city. Clint Eastwood directs the crime drama involving a gay antiques dealer (Kevin Spacey), who may or may not have murdered his employee (Jude Law), with whom he most likely had a more-than-professional relationship. John Cusack stars as the visiting freelance journalist who finds himself increasingly entangled in this mystery surrounding some of Savannah's most eccentric, elite citizens. Note: The film is not in black and white; this image is simply the only quality screen shot I could find.