Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Coffeehouse: Movies

Movies that are actually worth watching are quite hard to come by these days. Other than the musicals, well-known family classics such as It's a Wonderful Life or An Affair to Remember and such, I am going to throw out there a few which I personally love and hold dear: most of which I think to be edifying films which inspire in a wholesome way or that are simply works of art in themselves. Please note that these are films that appeal to my own tastes, therefore discretion should be used in viewing some of these with families.

Cinderella Man: This movie was such a refreshing surprise! Starring Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger and Paul Giamatti (an excellent, more obscure actor) it tells a true story of a father and husband during the Great Depression who is a boxer. He "raised the nation's spirit" and was driven by love for his family to win. To me it was a film which beautifully showed that commitment and love can make it through anything, and that, through grace, anything is possible. It celebrated marriage and family and was emotionally charging and real. The acting was also superb. If you can handle watching boxing, I highly recommend renting this one.

Life Is Beautiful: A Hands-down beautiful film. I wouldn't reccomend watching it if you're sensitive to sad dramas... after I had Aidan I watched it for a second time and found that it was almost unbearable, too heart-wrenching.

Captain's Courageous: "One of cinema's greatest classic adventure stories is director Victor Fleming's Captains Courageous (1937). It is an adaptation of English novelist Rudyard Kipling's 1897 work of the same name, and advertised: "As Great as Mutiny on the Bounty" with exciting action sequences, and a heart-felt story of the emerging relationship between an over-privileged and bratty young boy and a humble, common fisherman." ~from
If you haven't read the book or seen this, it is a heartbreakingly good story of conversion.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: (This is sort of a classic which most of you know.)

The Third Man: a classic mystery.

The Hunt for Red October: I am a big fan of Sean Connery's... AND of films that take place at sea. -I think the latter passion comes from all the time I spent in Maine along the Atlantic coast as a child. This film is based on the novel.

Coffee And Cigarettes: I know, you're thinking "what a gross title"... However, if you've ever been a smoker or an avid coffee drinker, I think you know where the passion/logic/humor can be behind this title. But the movie, although set around table after table of people smoking and drinking coffeee, is really about conversation. It's pretty high on my favorites, possibly one of the best I've seen aside from Cinderella Man since Life is Beautiful. It is a film by Jim Jarmusch. Click on the link I've provided for the actual movie site and check out the cast. Cate Blanchett does an excellent one-act for her scene.
One reviewer wrote: "C & C is, at bottom, a brilliant exploration of the dynamics of human relationships. They're all in there: insecurity, power plays, dominance, control, superiority, kindness, compassion, success, failure, condescension, envy..." ~ from:

Wuthering Heights: This is a movie adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel. Filmed in 1939, it is a haunting, strange movie...a tragic love story starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.

Pride and Prejudice: (Based on Jane Austen's novel.)Although the newer version of this wonderful story is quite a work of art in itself (especially the exquisite filming), it left out much of the script in order to keep it short. The British version starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. from 1995 is still dear to me. There is also Emma, Sense and Sensibility and others.

The Secret of Roan Inish: The film is based on the Celtic myth of the selkie - a creature who is half woman/half seal. They were thought to occupy the sea around the Orkney and Shetland Isles. (to read m0re go to the source:
Filmed on the West coast of Ireland, it also has an excellent traditional Irish soundtrack. Another great film with fabulous music set in Ireland is...

Waking Ned Divine, a comedy about an old man who wins the lottery. I love the comic, sort of overdone love sub-plot between these two lovely, beautiful Irish actors. Susan Lynch stars in this film as well as in The Secret of Roan Inish.

Babette's Feast: "Last but not least" (or further down the page, rather), this may perhaps be one of the greatest film ever made!! "Babette's Feast" is about edible art -- Art with a capital A -- a tour de force for the taste buds laid down before neither gourmets nor gourmands, but a sect of gruel-eating puritans. In this piquant Danish drama, an exiled artist confronts the uneducated palate, awakening interest if not applause..." (~from a review by By Rita Kempley.) Another review worth reading is here.

Tender Mercies: This 1983 film starrs Robert Duvall.. it's a mellow, very quiet film: the kind in which the director was comfortable to have the viewer listen to crickets and a truck passing by, a man playing guitar and such. It's a beautiful story of a troubled man struggling with alchoholism really come alive and "into the light"...

Coal Miner's Daughter: This movie tells the story of country singer Loretta Lynn, who was born into a loving, poor family in the heart of Appalachia. Her father (the Coal Miner) is played by Levon Helm who is also the singer/drummer for The Band. Sissy Spacek plays Loretta and sings the whole part which is impressive. It also starrs (very young) Tommy Lee Jones. Loretta Lynn had a very fast-moving, tough time but most of the time remained very faithful to her family. It's a moving story, one of my favorites. (Perhaps that's because a lot of my heart is still back there in the Appalachian mountains where she was from.)

Enough for now... I know that I'll think of more, but those I'll save for another week's Friday Coffeehouse!

Happy movie-watching...

~Sia, Vancouver, WA

one of us :: 5:55 PM :: 8 Comments