Movie Mom

Movie Mom

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Lucy
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong violence, disturbing images, and sexuality
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

 

Heaven is for Real
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for thematic material including some medical situations
Release Date:
April 16, 2014

And So It Goes
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements
Release Date:
July 25, 2014

 

Sabotage
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating:
Rated R For strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
Release Date:
March 28, 2014

Wish I Was Here
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language and some sexual content
Release Date:
July 18, 2014

 

Transcendence
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and violence, some bloody images, brief strong language and sensuality
Release Date:
April 19, 2014

Why and when do we pray? — “Then She Found Me”

posted by Nell Minow

Oscar-winner Helen Hunt returns to the screen in the upcoming “Then She Found Me,” adapted from the book by Elinor Lipman. Hunt not only stars — she co-wrote and directed the film, which is about a teacher who tries to cope with the immature husband who abandons her (Matthew Broderick), the sensitive single father of one of her students who cares about her (Colin Firth), the sudden appearance of her biological mother (Bette Midler) after the death of her adoptive parents, and overpowering desire to have a baby.

Hunt’s character, April, is an observant Jew, like her adoptive parents. Her biological mother, Bernice, is not observant in any religion. At the doctor’s office, about to undergo artificial insemination, Bernice suggests that April pray. April refuses. And then, almost unheard of in a Hollywood film (and not in the book, either), the two of them have a private discussion of the meaning and importance of prayer. Do we pray when we feel closest to and most trusting of God or when we feel most lost and bereft? One reason April cannot bring herself to pray at this moment is that it will require her to think about just how much it means to her and to think about the role the connection that God plays in her life. She does not want to think about either. She does not want to give up the notion that this thing she is doing is human — and therefore controllable, not divine. We see for the first time how sensitive Bernice can be and how much she cares about April, how well she understands how much April needs to be more honest with herself about what is going on.

April does pray. But I wonder if the prayer she says is the one a real-life observant Jew would say in those circumstances. I guessed she would say Mishaberach, a prayer of healing, or Shehekianu, a prayer of gratitude and being in the moment. Instead, she says the oldest and holiest of prayers, the Shema. Perhaps the screenwriters use that prayer because it is the most widely recognized. Or perhaps, in her moment of greatest hope and anguish, April would reach back to the first prayer she learned, the one that reminds us that God is One.

The Great Debaters

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for depiction of strong thematic material including violence and disturbing images, and for language and brief sexuality.
Movie Release Date:December 25, 2007
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2008

Great%20Debaters.jpg In 1935, the debate team from a tiny all-black college took on the top white team in the country and they won. This is that story, Oprah-fied to be sure (Winfrey’s company produced the film), but powerfully told by director Denzel Washington, who also stars as the team’s coach, distinguished poet Melvin B. Tolson.

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Mad Money

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language, and brief drug references.
Movie Release Date:January 18, 2008
DVD Release Date:May 13, 2008

What force on earth is strong enough to unite an upper middle class suburban housewife, a poor African-American single mother and a young, spaced-out rock n’ roll fan living in a trailer? Why, the opportunity to steal from the government, of course.
“Mad Money” is a conventional heist comedy about a plot to steal money from the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes star as low-level employees of the Bureau who come up with a complicated plan to get around the elaborate security procedures. Working together beneath the notice of government officials, the three women combine their roles to walk off with bags of used money that has been returned to the Bureau to be destroyed. Each of them has a different justification for their decision to steal — a special need or a past injustice that the money will cure. mad_money.jpg

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Gregory’s Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 26, 1982

Gregory (John Sinclair) is a gangling but amiable Scottish teenager who is mildly befuddled by just about everything, especially Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), who takes his place on the soccer team. In contrast, the girls he knows, including his ten-year-old sister, seem to understand everything (except why boys are so fascinated by numbers) in this sweet, endearing comedy with a great deal of insight and affection for its characters.

Previous Posts

Interview: Dan Cohen of "Alive Inside"
Dan Cohen is the gifted and passionately committed man who transforms the lives of people with dementia and other severely debilitating diseases.  He is featured in the documentary "Alive Inside." He is the founder of Music and Memory, which provides resources to help bring these programs to peopl

posted 8:00:36am Jul. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Contest: "Lullaby" -- Family Drama With Amy Adams, Richard Jenkins, and Garrett Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund stars as Jonathan in this uneven but moving drama about a family facing the loss of a husband and father. The performances are excellent, especially Richard Jenkins as the father and "Downton Abbey's" Jessica Brown Findlay as Jonathan's sister. I have two copies of the DVD to give

posted 3:50:33pm Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Comic-Con 2014: Day One
Here's what's at Comic-Con, which means here's what's coming everywhere else: affordable 3D printers with hand-held scanners that transmit 360 degree images to your tablet or laptop instantly. GoPro

posted 11:08:17am Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Remembering the Vietnam War: 10 Movies
As we observe the 50th anniversary of the War in Vietnam, here are ten of the best of the movie and documentary depictions of the war and its impact on history and culture in the United States. The best-known films about Vietnam include "Apocalypse Now," "Full Metal Jacket," "Platoon," "The Deer Hun

posted 8:00:34am Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Lucy
I always enjoy Luc Besson's stylish car chases and shootouts. I like his use of locations, his strong female characters, and unexpected flashes of sentiment in the midst of mayhem.  While

posted 6:00:51pm Jul. 24, 2014 | read full post »


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