Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

This radiant film about an elderly woman's accidental discovery of friendship with a genial young man is well worth watching. There isn't much more to say: it's a beautiful story about aging.


This fantastic book (a National Book Award finalist) by Atul Gawande about a surgeon's experiences in his residency is well worth reading. Hopefully you are able to cope with the descriptions of the cutting of human flesh: I found it painful to read at times (which is why I didn't become a physician). But it is refreshing to read Gawande's explanation about how he (and doctors in general) thinks about his profession. This book is more about surgery than his more recent book, Better.

How to Steal a Million

This Audrey Hepburn/Peter O'Toole romantic comedy is light-hearted and warm. Audrey Hepburn is stunningly beautiful, as in all of her movies. The documentary on the DVD about her life was also done well; I hadn't realized that she had spent so much energy in trying to help Africa.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Wow, two of my favorite actors: Robert Downey, Jr., and Val Kilmer. The movie is hilarious! Definitely worth watching, if you don't mind a little gratuitous violence. The self-referential plot is quite clever.

Mrs. Henderson Presents

An entertaining film that is based on a true story: a widow buys a music hall. She finds a manager who comes up with the idea of having naked women stand still, as if in a museum. Sounds trite, but it's a nice story with some fine actors (Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins). Definitely worth watching.

When Do We Eat?

This movie set around a sedar is pretty hilarious. The plot is crazy beyond belief, and full of zany one-liners and funny plot points. Deserves to have a cult following!

Finding Amanda

This cute movie was enjoyable and touching. Matthew Broderick displayed his usual lack of range and portrayed a clueless schlub; Brittany Snow was great as his prostitute niece. And Maura Tierney, who is always great fun to watch, played Broderick's long-suffering wife.

Poor People

I started this incredibly well-written book, but couldn't finish it, as it was too depressing. The author, William Vollmann, sure can write: but he writes about a topic that is guaranteed to make you sad: impoverished people across the world.


This movie is a beautiful coming-of-age story. The story opens and closes around a sweet-sixteen party (named Quinceañera), and in the middle explores the relationships in a religious Hispanic family riven by internal conflicts. Very enjoyable film.