Three “Outside the Box” Movies: Oleanna, Millions, and Melinda & Melinda

Oleanna (1994)

A play by David Mamet as a film
A play by David Mamet as a film

This intense, smart, thought-provoking, and perhaps controversial,  film centers on just 2 people: John (William H. Macy), a middle-aged college professor who struggles to understand (and be understood by) one his undergrad students, Carol (Debra Eisenstadt).  It takes time to get into it b/c David Mamet’s speech is NOT your everyday movie dialogue.  This movie will bring up a LOT of issues (depending on what YOU make of it)… and make every viewer think!  (IMHO, one of the key themes is the danger of being TOO politically correct.)

Millions (2004)

A film directed by Danny Boyle
A film directed by Danny Boyle

This is an eccentric, fun, and original film.  It’s shot in beautiful locations w/ a great group of UK actors, including many kids.


Damien, who recently lost his mother, is an ADORABLE, sensitive, and bright boy living in suburban Ireland w/ his dad and older bro.  He has a great knowledge of saints and martyrs, and imagines them as part of his everyday life.  When a large bag of money falls on his playhouse, Damien thinks it’s a gift from God.


Damien sets about giving his share to the poor (using various methods), while his brother Anthony spends his half like there’s no tomorrow.

Melinda and Melinda (2005)

A film directed by Woody Allen
A film film directed by Woody Allen

This film is actually split into 2- a comedy (which features Will Farrell as a neurotic character actor) and a tragedy (where Chewitel Ejiofor plays a charming composer).  Manhattan looks beautiful in the hands of Woody Allen- of course!


Melinda (petite/blonde/Australian Radha Mitchell) is the center of both stories.  She does a GOOD job of portraying 2 different women w/ a range of emotions/issues.




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