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Now that it's November, it doesn't feel totally premature to proclaim winter's arrival. I wore a wool coat with a wool scarf, a cashmere sweater and fleece-lined tights today! And I was definitely wishing I'd worn gloves, too!
I don't know how it is where you are, but for me, it's cold. I put my summer clothing into under-bed storage this week, and I've been rifling through the thrift store clothing racks for fisherman sweaters and 1950s fur jackets. Winter is here and it's gonna stick around for a few months. We might as well get used to it.
To make things a little easier, I tend to romanticize. For example, when it was disgustingly hot and sticky all summer, I would just envision myself as some gleamy flapper inside of "The Great Gatsby," wearing breezy cotton and fanning herself in a proper drawing room. That wasn't anywhere close to real life, but my overactive imagination made the sometimes garbage-smell of my summer streets a little bit more manageable.
When the temperature dips and the snow starts to fall which, thankfully, it hasn't done yet, I let my imagination reference my favorite wintertime movies to make things seem a little dreamier. These movies are not Christmas movies, not really. They take place around the holiday season, but their messages aren't about having a happy holiday, or about saving Christmas; they don't star talking dogs who bring orphans home.
They are movies that can be by-the-fireplace-cozy or ice-storm-stark or a little bit of both. They make snow-covered forests seem like the ideal hangout spot or make me long to walk down a city side street in cool December darkness, because you know that weird quiet that spreads even in busy cities during winter nights and all you can hear are your shoes clicking on the sidewalk? That's one of the most perfect non-sounds I can think of.
So here are my favorite movies to pop in the DVD player this time of year. Because once December hits, I'm watching "Love, Actually." I'm only human.
1. "The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe"
Well, duh. Obviously I'm going to feature a film where Tilda Swinton plays an icy witch who wants it to be winter ALL THE TIME. I know that her winter curse is supposedly a bad thing and all the animals are cold and sad, but you have to admit how gorgeous the forest looks with its branches all dusted with snow. You just want to go for a stroll and then pop into Mr. Tumnus' house for a cup of tea and then fall asleep by the fire.
If that's a little too domestic for you, there's The White Witch's ice-covered palace in frosty shades of blue and white where you can drape yourself in fur after stuffing your face full of Turkish delight on the sleigh ride over. There's something for everyone! But it is sad when Aslan (A.K.A. Jesus) dies. But then he comes back, because have you read the Bible? And then it's spring and you heave a sigh of relief like when actual spring returns because you're tired of having soggy socks, ugh.
If Narnia is up your alley, here are a few purchases you can make to bring it into your life. Unless you have a magical wardrobe which, in that case, why are you on a computer right now?
2. "When Harry Met Sally"
So I've already mentioned "Love, Actually" as a wonderful romantic comedy, but "When Harry Met Sally" is up-up-up there, too (Nora Ephron, hello!), and since a good chunk of it takes place over the course of several winters, I had to include it. And, hey, don't tell me you don't cry during the segments with the elderly couples! And while the fashion occasionally leaves a little to be desired (1989, whattup!), there is something so comforting and reminiscent of my childhood that makes the idea of teasing out my hair and wearing a giant coat outfitted with shoulder pads seem really appealing. Throw in New York in the wintertime and, ahhh -- I want to curl up in a ball of delight.
To truly bring this movie into your world would involve a stroll in Central Park or a very particularly ordered deli sandwich, but I managed to put together some things you can buy online instead.
3. "Never Let Me Go"
I have only watched this movie twice. The first time, during a TIFF screening roughly 5 hours after finishing the book it's based on. I immediately broke down in tears and was comforted by an older woman sitting behind me who patted me on the shoulder and reassured me, "It's only a movie!" To which I shouted, "But it's so sad!"
The second time was 6 months later, after feeling a pit in my stomach over it but thinking I was finally ready to submit myself again. I was not, and I broke down sobbing again. I still purchased the DVD at one point, because I hate myself and my feelings, apparently.
The thing about "Never Let Me Go" though, is that, despite its life-ruining, supremely depressing subject matter, it offers up a ton of eye candy (and I don't just mean Andrew Garfield's floppy hair). So many sweaters! English countryside! English beachside! Everyone has great bangs! I want to move to The Cottages with the gang and have a little bird land on my teapot too!
Now you know which wintry movies I like best and, if you're so inclined, you can now pretend to live inside of them. But before you go, tell me which chilly movies are your favorites? I almost included "Eyes Wide Shut" too, but where are you gonna find a cloak and mask at this hour?