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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

November 27, 2013 at 1:25 PM

At Thanksgiving, some movie-related gratitude

As Thanksgiving weekend approaches (my turkey’s sitting in the fridge getting a dry brine, right this minute; curious if it will work), it’s become a P&P tradition to devote one post to things I’m thankful for — not family and friends (though they would of course top the list), but those within the movie realm. So, a big thank- you-for-existing to . . .

– Cinerama, which I visited just this week (caught “Catching Fire” there with my teenage niece), and whose big screen remains matchless. (The popcorn isn’t bad either.) And that means thanking owner Paul Allen, who in an age of disappearing single-screen cinemas has turned Cinerama into a gem.

– David McRae, about to celebrate his first year as operator of the Ark Lodge Cinemas; and every locally owned, independently run cinema in the area.

– All cinemas, independent or otherwise, that serve Coke products over Pepsi. (Yes, this list is highly personal; your mileage may vary.) And that don’t let the popcorn sit around too long.

– Parents who take their kids to the movies and teach them that seeing a movie on an enormous screen alongside other people requires good behavior — and is absolutely worth the extra trouble, because it’s way more fun than watching a movie on an iPad.

– Moviegoers who turn their cellphones off and let themselves get lost in what’s happening on screen (which is, if you let it, way more fun than texting).

– Cate Blanchett, because I have no idea how she does what she does, but it dazzles me every time. Particularly “Blue Jasmine.”

– Robert Redford, for reminding us this year that he’s a great actor — with almost no words (“All Is Lost”).

– Nicole Holofcener, for making yet another perfect romantic comedy for grown-ups (“Enough Said”). Wouldn’t anybody else like to join her?

– Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Amy Aker, Veerle Baetens, Barkhad Abdi, Liam James, Onata Aprile, Dane DeHaan,  and many more — for transforming from name-I-didn’t-recognize to star-I’ll-watch-for, in one mesmerizing performance this year. (Don’t recognize the names? Look them up; check out their movies — all are worth the trouble.)

– All those documentary filmmakers who know they’ll never get rich or famous, but just want to tell a good story. Among my favorites this year: “Stories We Tell,” “56 Up,” “At Berkeley,””The Waiting Room,” “20 Feet From Stardom.”

- Alfonso Cuaron, for showing that it’s possible to make a gazillion dollars (well, OK, nearly $250 million and counting) with a non-sequel, non-superhero, non-silly adventure. Bravo, “Gravity.”

– Helena Bonham Carter, because she was born to play Miss Havisham, and finally did (in “Great Expectations”; briefly in theaters earlier this month).

– Every dress in “The Great Gatsby.” In my dreams, a trunkful of them arrives at my door, from a Mysterious Admirer.

– Alexander Payne, because his movies always make me laugh and make me cry. “Nebraska” did both.

– Emma Thompson, just because.

– Everyone who reads P&P, especially those who comment or email, or those who just read quietly. (That’s everyone, right?) May your Thanksgiving tables be bountiful, and may your moviegoing experiences this holiday season be filled with joy, laughter, and fabulous popcorn (if that’s your thing). See you next week!

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