March of the Penguins AUG 19 2005
This French film is one of those movies that comes along once or twice a year and has Hollywood scratching its head as to why it's so popular and where the hell did it come from any anyway? Then there's a scramble to duplicate the success, usually predicated on the idea that the particular subject matter somehow touched a nerve with people, and 9-12 months later, you start seeing things like The Poughkeepsie Witch Project advertised in the Entertainment section of your local newspaper.
March of the Penguins -- along with Wedding Crashers, I guess -- is the surprise hit of the summer. Like many sleeper hits, there's something quite unHollywood about it; it wasn't manufactured to push specific demographic buttons or market tested to within an inch of its life. It's handmade, crafted, and full of soul. Which isn't to say that it's perfect; I thought a little more narration would have filled in some of the gaps...those penguins were so damn interesting, I wanted to hear so much more about them.
 MotP just passed Amelie (a better film, IMO) to become the second highest grossing French film in the US. The Fifth Element is still #1.