Happy New Year!
I realize it's a bit late to be saying that, but for me, today seems like the first day of the new year. I just put the kids on the bus for their first full day of school since December 20th (thanks to some crazy New England weather). My husband is traveling for work this week -- he's somewhere in The Netherlands. I've got a submission deadline in just eight days and a stack of freshly washed and pressed fabrics waiting for me on my cutting table. It's go time.
And when I need to really be productive, I love to turn my brain off and my auto-pilot on by playing movies in the background. Not new movies that I need to watch to follow, I'm talking movies that I've seen or listened to so many times, I know them by heart. Old friends that take me away, that make me smile, that inspire me.
So here they are, my current top ten quilt-along movies:
1. "Pride & Prejudice" - the Keira Knightley version that came out in 2006. I want to be Keira Knightley -- is that wrong? I know I wrote that I play these movies in the background, but I have to look up every time Mr. Darcy helps Elizabeth into a carriage, just to see their responses to their hands touching. Now you know the truth, I'm a total romantic.
2. "Sense and Sensibility" - why not get all of the Jane Austen's out of the way at once. I've loved the 1995 version of this movie, starring Emma Thompson, since I first saw it in the theater -- it's beautiful and subtly funny. Emma Thompson actually wrote the screenplay which makes me like her all the more.
3. "Baby Boom" - let's change genres and get some of my '80s movies out of the way. Diane Keaton moves from NYC to the country and starts her own wildly successful gourmet baby food business. "Baby Boom" is funny and sweet and mildly inspiring, especially to a quilt designer living in the country...
4. "Funny Farm" - Chevy Chase also leaves the city for the country to try his hand at writing a novel and hilarity ensues. Hmmm, am I sensing a pattern here?
5. "Groundhog Day" - now into the '90s with a great Bill Murray/Andie MacDowell movie that's not only funny, but surprisingly inspiring and moving. And it takes place in small town Punxsutawney, go figure.
6. "The American President" - Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox -- how can you go wrong? I love Annette Bening's strong, independent character Sydney Ellen Wade (maybe I should start using three names) and Michael J. Fox is, as always, irresistibly charismatic (also love him in "Doc Hollywood" -- oops, there's that country theme again!)
7. "Notting Hill" - Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant and a cast of British actors whose names I do not know, but who absolutely steal the show in this funny, sweet movie. The role of Hugh Grant's friend "Bernie" is actually played by Hugh Bonneville who is Lord Grantham in "Downton Abbey" -- one of my favorite tv shows, but that's a story for another day.
8. "Under the Tuscan Sun" - Tuscany. Need I say more? Who doesn't want to go live in a villa in Tuscany??
9. "Julie & Julia" - I love this funny, upbeat, inspiring move. Meryl Streep is, as always, amazing ("Out of Africa" is also one of my favorite movies, although maybe a bit heavy for quilting) and I especially loved how the movie portrayed Julia's relationship with Paul Child (Stanley Tucci).
10. "The Hunt for Red October" - now I know this movie seems strange in a list of period movies and romantic comedies, but in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit to a strange attraction to submarine movies. Whenever I decide to repaint a room or stain a piece of furniture, this is the first movie I reach for. I throw it in the portable DVD player and get down to business. But seriously, Alec Baldwin was amazing in this movie and then, of course, there's Sean Connery. Maybe it actually has nothing to do with submarines. Although I do also like "Crimson Tide," another submarine movie starring Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, and Viggo Mortensen. It's still not clear to me. Is it the submarines or is it Alec and Viggo. Mmm, Viggo.
There it is, my current top ten list. There are many more movies that I could mention, but I really must get to work. Time's a wastin' and I've got a date with Alec.