Welcome back to director Mel Gibson. It has been ten years since he last directed a film and boy did he pick a great story for his return.
Hacksaw Ridge tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a medic who served in WWII but who refused to carry a weapon.
Desmond Doss grows up in a home with an alcoholic father whose experiences in WWI haunt both him and his household. Thanks to his religious beliefs and a few personal experiences including a confrontation with his own father, Desmond is adamantly opposed to violence.These views are severely challenged when he joins the army as a “conscientious co-operator”. He feels compelled to be a part of the war, but refuses to carry a weapon. As a medic he wants to help save lives, but the Army does not know what to do with a soldier who won’t even touch a gun. Continue reading “Film Review -Hacksaw Ridge (2016)”
A French film originally titled Bienvenue a Marly-Gomont, The African Doctor tells the true story of Seyolo Zantoko, a Congolese native and his struggles to serve as a doctor in a small French village in order to obtain French nationality and to expose his family to wider world.
The tale begins as Seyolo graduates from a French medical school. He is offered a prestigious job in his homeland of Zaire/Congo working for a corrupt government official. Despite the money and the perks attached to this position, he has heard instead of a small French village which has been seeking a doctor for its citizens for many years with no success. He decides to take this job in the hopes that it will allow him to become a French citizen. When phoning home with the good news to his wife and children, the family is thrilled due to the mistaken impression that his job is in Paris. Needless to say, they are all in for a shock when they arrive in France and find themselves feeling like fish out of water, in a very rural community which is not happy that their new doctor and his family are black foreigners. Continue reading “Foreign Film Friday -The African Doctor (2016)”
Hidden Figures is a biographical drama which tells the story of three brilliant African-American women who worked at NASA in the early years of the space program and their struggles and success in contributing to that program in an era of segregation.
I often lament the fact that “they” just don’t make movies like they used to. Today’s films often seem short of a good story and rely too much on special effects and obvious, sometimes gross humor. The development of the characters is often lacking as well as interesting and witty dialogue.
When I envision what a good movie should be, Hidden Figures is exactly what I am talking about. A quiet story about ordinary people of courage who are persistent in the face of rejection and defeat, who live their lives with integrity and honor while also challenging the status quo. Continue reading “Film Review -Hidden Figures (2017)”
I’m almost ashamed to admit that by my count I watched over one hundred films in the past year. That is not including made for television movies (I’m looking at you Hallmark.) Most of those were classic films, but I did manage to see a few new releases.
Here is a rundown on my film year.
In 2016 I saw the following new releases:
Of these films, the only one I didn’t enjoy was Hail Caesar. I was very disappointed as this was a movie I was eagerly awaiting due to its story about classic Hollywood. I’m a fan of series or sequels as long as the story is entertaining so I enjoyed Greek Wedding 2, Civil War and Jason Bourne. It was great to be introduced to a new Jane Austen story in Love and Friendship and I thought the new Ben-Hur was interesting. Continue reading “Film Year 2016 in Review”
The Holiday is not just one of my favorite Christmas films, but one of my favorite films period. This story which is now a decade old follows two women who decide to switch homes and lives for the holidays. In the process, they both meet new people, including potential love interests, and learn something about themselves.
Although there are many implausibilities about this film, I really don’t care because it has charm, warmth and heart. It harkens back to the days of classic films when you fell in love with a movie, because you fell in love with the characters and the story was moved along not by CGI action and graphic sex scenes but by great dialogue.
So, to rip off one of my favorite poets (I’m looking at you Elizabeth Barrett Browning), and without further ado…
How do I love thee, The Holiday, let me count the ways:
- Arthur played by Eli Wallach -Arthur is the elderly next door neighbor who Iris (Kate Winslet) befriends and who becomes a pseudo-therapist/mentor to her. I love the way they each see the truth about each other and encourage one another to live more meaningful lives. My favorite scene of Arthur is towards the end when he thinks he’s been forgotten and he walks into a benefit in his honor. I cry every single time, because who wouldn’t want to come to the end of their life and realize that they have made a difference and are remembered well. I want an Arthur!!
Continue reading “Seven Reasons to Love The Holiday (2006)”