6. Buddy Boy, Directed by Mark Hanlon
Starring Aidan Gillen, Susan Tyrell, & Emmanuelle Seigner
Poor Francis. Wait what? Strangely sympathetic voyeur with a profound stutter is ignored and abused by virtually everyone in his life, til he improbably hooks up with a sexy Frenchwoman and his Catholic guilt takes over and pushes him over the edge. What's real and what's in his sadly deluded mind? You won't necessarily find out, but you'll love it if you like gratuitously weird cinema like me.
Favorite Character- Francis
7. Kes. Directed by Ken Loach
Starring David Bradley, Freddie Fletcher, & Colin Welland
My 2nd Ken Loach film, and my favorite. Young Billy Caspar (Bradley) finds meaning in his life by capturing and training a wild kestrel, but the apathy of his mother and conniving cruelty of his older brother spell tragedy for the troubled lad. Billy indulges in both thievery and lying but remains likable and earns compassion throughout; the movie really shows the horrors of the school system, especially in years past, for kids who didn't fit in.
Favorite Character- Billy
8. Shaun of the Dead, Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, & Kate Ashfield
Critically acclaimed Rom-zom-com deserves all the praise it gets and more. I am not the biggest fan of British humor (Monty Python ceaselessly puzzles me) but "Shaun of the Dead'" incorporates Britain's typical dry wit while remaining accessible and delivering lots of laughs.
Favorite Character- Shaun
9. God Bless America, Directed by Bobcat Goldtwait
Starring Joel Murray, Tara Lynn Barr, & Maddie Hasson
Black comedy forces you to side with the bad guy (?) (Murray, Bill's brother) as he kills annoying celebrities, media whores, and members of the Westboro Baptist Church (yay!) Murray gives a ferocious, sympathetic performance as beleaguered Frank, who has his own set of morals, puzzling to others as they may be.
Favorite Character- Frank
10. Fargo, Directed by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Starring Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, & Steve Buscemi
Frances McDormand is an engaging presence in this cleverly conceived, twisty black comedy-crime thriller about a kidnapping scheme gone awry. McDormand plays a pregnant, cool-headed policewoman, and her hard work paid off when she won Best Actress at the 1996 Academy Awards, running against competition as stiff as Emily Watson. A lot of fun and slightly violent. The Coens at their best.
Favorite Character- Marge
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