by Anthony King
On a recent episode of F This Movie! I mentioned how I love watching heavy family dramas in the month of November. After 31 days of terror and mayhem, I like to slow things down a bit and dive head first into a different type of terror and mayhem: negative emotions. Actually, I don't think there are any such things as “negative” emotions (all emotions are valid and healthy in appropriate doses). I love a story that digs in deep to those emotions that so often come out during the holidays. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and I love getting together with family, but sometimes our families can drive us crazy, or worse, inward. When done well, a heavy and depressing drama can coat one's soul, like a warm elixir coating your throat on a chilly fall day.
Thanks to my friend Matt Bledsoe for coining the term, the month of turkeys and parades and crazed, early morning shoppers will henceforth be known as Sadvember. Here are five movies whose spirits shine brightly the true meaning of Sadvember.
The Ice Storm (1997, dir. Ang Lee)
Ordinary People (1980, dir. Robert Redford)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979, dir. Robert Benton)
The Squid and the Whale (2005, dir. Noah Baumbach)You've Got Mail and, my all time favorite, When Harry Met Sally... just to name a few) including several from Baumbach like The Meyerowitz Stories, Kicking and Screaming, and Mr. Jealousy. But something about his films scream autumnal depression to me and I can never get enough. On my Mount Rushmore of directors, Noah Baumbach is my Teddy Roosevelt.
Home for the Holidays (1995, dir. Jodie Foster)
As stated previously, I watch all kinds of movies during November, not just sad ones. New for me this month will be some fun rom-coms (2 Days in New York), some rom-sads (both Scenes from a Marriage), and some animation (Pocahontas). But here are 15 more of my favorites to include in your Sadvember watchlist if you feel so inclined. Not all are straight dramas, but all include incredibly sad moments. Feel those feelings!
Blue Jay (2016), Carnal Knowledge (1971), Cold War (2018), Come and See (1985), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Dead Poets Society (1989), Doubt (2008), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Jeremy (1973), Landline (2017), My Bodyguard (1980), Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987), The Serpent's Egg (1977), Spotlight (2015), Terms of Endearment (1983)