As everybody prepares to head off for winter break, faculty and staff at Richmond School of Law have compiled a list of some of their favorite movies. For each, we include the name of the person recommending the film, together with some information about it or why people suggest them. Remember that the University of Richmond provides access to Kanopy, where you can watch some of these without requiring a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription.
Jurassic Park: Rarely can one go wrong with Steven Spielberg. (I say “rarely” because apparently he executive produced the film version of Cats, so…nobody’s perfect.) Add to Spielberg the musical genius of John Williams and the devastating handsomeness…er, acting abilities…of Jeff Goldblum, and you’ve got yourself a classic. Oh, and there are dinosaurs, too. Lots and lots of dinosaurs. Dinosaurs that look equal parts menacing and magnificent, and sound absolutely terrifying. Truly, the visual and sound effects of Jurassic Park continue to amaze, nearly three decades after the film was produced. Grab your carton of ice cream (à la Laura Dern) and enjoy the ride!
Best in Show: Are you sad that we’ve no more episodes of Schitt’s Creek to look forward to? Do you adore the chemistry between Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara? Can you laugh at depictions of neurotic, overcaffeinated lawyers? Do you have the slightest affection for dogs? If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then Best in Show is the movie for you. This lighthearted mockumentary was largely improvised by the über-talented cast (which, yes, features the aforementioned O’Hara and Levy). You will feel immediate affection for most if not all characters – dog and human alike – not in spite but because of their many personality quirks.
Jim Gibson recommends this noodle-house Western:
Tampopo It’s an obscure Japanese film about a cook’s quest to make the perfect bowl of ramen. It sounds boring, but it’s actually hilarious — a silly, escapist diversion from this crazy year. Be warned: by the end of the movie, you will be really, really hungry. [on Kanopy]
Mary Ruth Walters
While You Were Sleeping One of my all-time favorite movies to watch around the holidays is While You Were Sleeping. I’ll admit that it is a rom-com, but Sandra Bullock totally knocks it out of the park with this one. She plays the part of Lucy, a lonely fare token collector for the Chicago Transit Authority, who saves a man’s life on Christmas Day. While he’s in the hospital in a coma, she’s mistaken for his fiancée and confusion ensues. What follows is a charming and heartwarming story that just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Kristen Osenga Recommends two mainstream movies about PATENT LAW. OK, they are not exactly about the patent system, but they are kind of feel good (after feeling really crappy) movies that involve inventors and IP and how patent law may save the day, although that’s not exactly the point of either movie.
Flash of Genius (Greg Kinnear)
Joy (Jennifer Lawrence)
Andy Spalding recommends the following two movies:
Corinna Lain suggests several options to enjoy during the break, or really at any time.
Harry Potter – all of the movies are good, so start with the first one and go from there.
Wings of Desire This is a great opportunity to get to know German film maker Wim Wenders. The movie plays extensively with the use of color for symbolism, and is the place where many people first heard the iconic music of Australian rock singer Nick Cave. [On Kanopy]
Kebab Connection A quirky German-language film about a Turkish kebab store owner, whose son is coming to terms with adulthood, while embracing his interests in becoming a kung-fu action movie director. [On Kanopy]
Run Lola Run In this movie Lola (Franka Potenta) gets a call from her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) who has just 20 minutes to get 100,000 Deutsch Marks to pay back money lost in a subway station. The movie portrays three alternative plots, each dependent on a minor event in Lola’s decision that day.
Joyce Manna Janto rounds out our list with a good dose of Christmas movies. The others each have a holiday connection, so we’ll call them “Christmas adjacent.”
Miracle on 34th Street, not only a Christmas movie but a legal Christmas movie. Lawyer uses obscure passage in the U.S. Code to save Christmas!
Christmas adjacent movies:
Love, Actually, The Bishop’s Wife aka the Preacher’s Wife (re-make starring Denzel Washington), Die Hard and Die Hard 2. These two are Christmas adjacent in that there are only scenes that are set around the holiday both movies introduced iconic holiday songs. Holiday Inn (White Christmas) and Meet Me in St. Louis (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas).