actually, i think i love the movie more as time goes by.
yes, it's a great story about love and frustrations and family and forgiveness, but there are a lot of movies like that. so why does this one stand out for me? because of all of the little things about the way it tells its story, and even (especially?) those things that seem almost trivial but actually make the movie everything that it is.
- the way the kids run away to the museum that is a total homage to my childhood book from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler
- the music from a charlie brown Christmas playing in the background as margot leaves raleigh's house
- dudley kneeling down to hand eli his shoe after the car crash
- the little dalmatian mice occasionally in the background
- that there are bullet wounds in the characters' costumes at the end of margot's birthday play
- that richie takes his shoes off during the tennis game meltdown
- dudley pointing out that the gypsy cab "has a dent in it."
- "and another dent here. and another one here."
- the instrumental version of hey jude (my favorite beatles song) playing over the introduction
- the faint sound of a bird screech and richie looking around for it before eli answers the door
- the moment when richie watches margot step off the bus to meet him at the station
- the line of men in white uniforms walking out behind him in slow motion while he watches her
- the way that pagoda walks over to the balcony as soon as eli leave the room and says "there he goes."
- that dudley has an extremely acute sense of hearing and absolute cannot tell time
- the way that etheline gets so vulnerable when henry shares his feelings for her
- the barrette in margot's hair
i could go on.
and yet i think it's even something more than all of those things, but that's the best i can figure out so far.