Perusing the Criterion website, I came across one of my favorite films from the last decade --
Before The Rain
I haven't seen it since it's New York premiere in the 90s, but it remains a haunting presence. A stand out favorite along with Naked and Breaking the Waves.
Janet Maslin's New York Times review jogged me on two counts.
1) I hadn't remembered that it opened the same day as the very great Once Were Warriors.
2) it starred Katrin Cartlidge.
I loved her for her many great roles in Mike Leigh films. She died suddenly while we were living in Fiji. The news hit me surprisingly hard living all that way away. And hit me even harder when her sudden death was echoed by my son's best friend's mom's similar tragic unexpected passing, just a few weeks later. Trivial I know, and just very personal to me. But interesting too - it's only as I'm writing this, and doing a quick IMDB check to see what Mike Leigh films I was even thinking about, that I realize she appeared in the three movies I just tied together. Before the Rain, Naked, and Breaking the Waves. I know I loved them all. I know I associate them all from the same time. That she was the thread tying them together? That's the surprise.