Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Movie Mom™


New in Theaters
  New to DVD

Black or White
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 on appeal for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Book of Life
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action, rude humor, some thematic elements and brief scary images
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Black Sea
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic images and violence
Release Date:
January 30, 2015

 

The Judge
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Release Date:
October 10, 2014

Strange Magic
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for some action and scary images
Release Date:
January 23, 2015

 

Fury
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout
Release Date:
October 17, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Holiday Movie

posted by Nell Minow

New York’s Paley Center for Media is asking visitors to select their favorites from a list of classic Christmas television specials. The top five vote-getters will be screened at the Paley Center in New York and Los Angeles between December 10 and 24, 2008.

Interview: Philippe Claudel of ‘I’ve Loved You So Long’

posted by Nell Minow

One of the most beautiful images on screen this year is the beginning of a French film called “I’ve Loved You So Long,” the story of sisters reunited after a long absence. As the movie opens, there is a close-up on the face of Juliette, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, who appears without any make-up, utterly vulnerable. Her stillness is eloquent and deeply moving and it orients us to the story that is about to unfold.

The title comes from a French children’s song. And we find out that Juliette has been in prison for a shocking crime. She barely knows her much younger sister, Léa (Elsa Zylberstein), who has come to pick up Juliette and bring her to her home with Léa’s husband, daughters, and father-in-law.

I spoke with writer-director Phillippe Claudel, best known as a novelist, about the movie, and began by asking him about that opening shot.

PC: It was very important for me to begin this story with shock, to give the audience the face of a destroyed woman, a dead woman, to take the time with my camera, to take my time to give the time to the audience to explore and enter deep inside this character. I chose a very classic style without a lot of camera movement, to work with the audience, to create a connection, space for the audience. I wanted to start with a simple and tragic picture with the face of Juliette.

My first question for Kristen when we spoke about the movie was one condition. I told her, “I want to destroy your beauty, to compose with you, the real character of Juliette, to read 15 years of prison just with your face.” Many actresses would accept that in pre-production but be different in shooting, but not Kristen. She was very professional. She understood the truth of this character needed this dirty face.

NM Your previous stories were all novels. What made you decide to tell this story as a movie?

PC: You need human experience for work. The novels I wrote before age 34 were constantly bad. The beginning of the true writing requires pain, love, experience of life, to became a man. After age 34, my novels suddenly were a little bit more good. It’s the same thing for the movie process. I wrote screenplays but didn’t feel ready to direct for 10 years. By then I had magined the story so that it was very clear in my mind. I was not afraid. I was very cool and knew exactly what i wanted.

NM: The movie has a lot of stillness, especially for a first-time film-maker. What made you decide to present the story that way?

PC: When I finished the writing of the screenplay, i thought about the style and it was important to adopt a very pure and simple and classic style for the story. It is a very strong and powerful story. I want the audience to forget the camera and director, the movie-making. I want the audience just to be with the characters.

NM: Even though as the movie begins Juliette has been released from prison, emotionally she is still a prisoner through her emotional isolation. And other characters are dealing with other forms of imprisonment, like Léa’s father-in-law, who is mute as the result of a stroke, and the sisters’ mother, who has dementia.

PC: I wanted to give different variations of the topic, a true prison and a metaphoric prison, the lonely life, the secrets, the little adopted girl, who has the secret of her birth, the illness of the mother. There are many many prisons in our lives. Maybe the lesson of the movie is to show the importance of others and they way they can help you to break the walls.

NM: One of the characters in the film speaks of his work with prisoners. Is that based on your experience?

PC: I worked 11 years in prison, teaching, starting when I was very young 22 or 23. when we are young like that we are too sure. We believe we know everything. It was a shock for me, a necessary shock, to discover another face of humanity. Nothing is simple, nothing is basic, all life and all people are very complex. It is impossible to have a basic judgment of good/bad, right/wrong. This experience changed me totally, i was not the same after. Many novels I wrote after this experience were very inspired by it. They were not about prison but about tragedy of our condition and the impossibility to know deeply the other people.

When Michel said the border between good and bad is very thin, it was a very personal, autobiographical scene.

When I stopped in 2000, I was always obsessed by this special universe. It was difficult to escape. I wrote a text like therapy, with sounds of music of the prison’s keys. It was an essay just different scenes of prison. It was very cinemagraphic and a French producer asked me to adapt it for the screen, but it was impossible.

NM: How is making a movie different from writing a book?

PC: I knew immediately this story was a movie and not a novel. I imagined to write a story about a woman, a desire to show this woman with pictures. Also, I wanted to work with real people. I like to write but it is a solitary and comfortable pleasure. To tell a story in a novel, you don’t need money and you don’t need people. But sometimes it is good to work with an artistic team. And my novels are about men, but when I imagine movies, it’s often with female faces.

NM: Kristen Scott Thomas is an English actress who lives in France. In the US, she is better known for her roles in films like “The English Patient.” Does she make many films in French?

PC: It is a very curious paradox. She lives in France but is constantly under-employed. It was very exciting to propose the real first lead for her in a French film. I liked having both Kristen Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein do something different. Kristen is beautiful, a little bit cold, aristocratic. I wanted to give her a very complex character and a very mute character. It is wonderful to play with an amazing expressive face, a pleasure to observe her. I told her to explore the first take and after that I would direct her. And Elsa, who is known for fashion and glamour, I cut her hair and put her in very basic clothes.

NM: What makes you laugh?

PC: Many many things, maybe in this moment, the President of Italy. Often the people who govern us are very comic; maybe that’s their role. And my daughter, every day.

Movie Alphabet Soup

posted by Nell Minow

Christian Toto’s participation in the movie blog alphabet soup meme started by blogcabins inspired me to create my own alphabetical list of movie titles. My theme is “the second 200″ — these are movies that may not be in my top 100 list, but would all find a place just below it. And they’re all wonderful choices for family movie nights.

Amistad This underrated historical drama about the trial of a rebellious slave is a brilliant exploration of America’s most fundamental principles and its most tragic compromises.

Ball of Fire One of the wittiest romantic comedies ever made, with a sizzling performance from Barbara Stanwyck.

Charade One of the glossiest romantic thrillers ever made with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and a swooningly romantic score by Henry Mancini.

The Defiant Ones Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis are escaped prisoners manacled together in an early Civil Rights-era drama.

The Emperor’s New Groove A refreshingly unpretentious animated film about a spoiled prince.

Fly Away Home A young girl goes to live with a father she barely knows and finds herself responsible for teaching a flock of geese to flow south for the winter in this beautiful film inspired by a true story.

Gregory’s Girl A sweet Scottish high school romance filled with adorably quirky characters and some quiet insights.

Holiday Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn star in this bittersweet romance about a wealthy girl who falls for her sister’s fiancee.

I Love You Again William Powell and Myrna Loy star in this hilarious comedy about a con man from the city who awakes from amnesia to find himself married to a beautiful small-town woman.

Jezebel Bette Davis plays the fiery Civil War-era Southern belle shocks her community by wearing a red dress to a ball where unmarried ladies always wear white.

Kiss Me Kate Brush up your Shakespeare with this musical version of “Kiss Me Kate” with dances by Bob Fosse and music by Cole Porter. In a word: Wunderbar

Ladyhawke This medieval romance has a heroic couple under a terrible enchantment. Michelle Pfeiffer is Lady Isabeau, who becomes a hawk by night. Rutger Hauer is the handsome captain who becomes a wolf by day.

Magnificent Obsession Rock Hudson is the reckless playboy carelessly causes the death of a beloved doctor abd discovers that the meaning of life is what one gives to others.

Ninotchka Greta Garbo laughs in this lovely romantic comedy about a stern Soviet who meets a dashing Parisian.

October Sky This true story of a boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist is one of the best films ever made about the thrill and hard work of science and a great family movie.

The Pirate Gene Kelly plays an actor who masquerades as a dreaded pirate to woo Judy Garland. It’s sly humor was lost on many audiences when it was first released but it is a treasure.

The Quiet Man Technicolor was invented for the green of the Irish hills and the red of Maureen O’Hara’s hair in this tempestuous love story starring John Wayne, with one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history.

Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles A Japanese man estranged from his dying son makes one last gesture to show how much he cares when he goes to China to complete his son’s promise to film an opera and fathers and sons connections resonate through the quietly powerful story.

Stranger Than Fiction In this witty meta-movie, Will Ferrell is terrific in a quiet role of an IRS investigator who may be a character in a novel. Co-stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman are magnificent and there is a sweet love story to boot.

The Thief And The Cobbler This neglected gem with stunning visuals and a sweet story was the life’s work of a brilliant animator named Richard Williams.

Up the Down Staircase Sandy Dennis plays an idealistic teacher in this film based on the autobiographical novel.

The Visitor One of this year’s loveliest films (with four of this year’s most beautiful performances) is the story of a lonely professor who tries to help some illegal immigrants. It raises many questions, not the least of which is which character is referred to by the title.

The World of Henry Orient There is no more evocative version of middle school friendships and other passions than this 1960’s story of two girls in New York. It has wonderful supporting work from Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Phyllis Kirk, and Tom Bosley, but the stars are the girls, the city, and the sparkling score.


X-Men
Marvel heroes come to life in this super-charged super-hero story of mutants who must fight prejudice as well as super-villains.

Yellow Submarine The Beatles rescue the gentle citizens of Pepperland from the Blue Meanies and remind everyone that “All You Need is Love.”

Z Costa-Gavras political thriller would be gripping as fiction but it is all true.

Be sure to check out Christian Toto’s list and the lists from the other participants collected by Blogcabin.

Vote for Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Person of 2008

posted by Nell Minow

The Nominees have been announced. Beliefnet’s candidates for Most Inspiring Person of 2008 are all heroes who exemplify the highest standards of courage and service. Please join us in saluting these extraordinary people by voting for your candidate and discussing the contributions of all of them and describing what inspires you in our forum. We are so grateful to all of these nominees for their extraordinary compassion and commitment and for reminding us that even in these cynical times there are still people who can inspire us with their example of giving for others.
* Heroic Boy Scouts?Transformed into True Leaders by a Deadly Iowa Tornado
Dozens of Nebraska and Iowa Boy Scouts attending a weeklong leadership training session rallied into action without missing a beat when a devastating tornado ripped through their remote western Iowa campsite. Courageously, the boys overcame fear and panic to rescue their friends and community members and assist the injured.
* Paul Newman?Beloved Film Star and Philanthropist Who Built a Life by Doing Good for Others
Academy Award Winner and generous humanitarian, Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camps for seriously ill children give hundreds of thousands of kids an opportunity to laugh, play and enjoy the fresh air, green grass and sunshine.
* Randy Pausch?Carnegie Mellon’s “Last Lecture” Professor Who Inspired Millions to Live Their Dreams
Hugely popular professor who recently passed away after a brave journey through pancreatic cancer showed the importance of living each day well–even when facing death–and to never give up on your dreams. His “Last Lecture” video and book, and interviews with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America remain an inspiration to people around the world.
* Master Sgt. William “Spanky” Gibson?Oklahoma Marine Who Returned to Iraq Despite Devastating War Injuries
After doctors amputated his leg above the knee as a result of a combat injury, 19-year veteran Master Sgt. Gibson refused whole-heartedly to think of himself as disabled. “Born to be a Marine,” Gibson retrained with gusto, and returned to battle with a prosthetic leg; he proudly serves his country to this very day.
* Dr. Halima Bashir?Sudanese Doctor Brutalized for Condemning Darfur Horrors
Bashir’s memoir relates how she was brutally punished for medically treating the injured and then declaiming the rape and torture of young girls who are being traumatized by government-backed rapists in Darfur. Her breathtaking life story and passionate commitment to speaking out against violence on behalf of those who cannot fight for themselves has inspired millions.
* Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor?Amazing Story of Stroke and Recovery by a Brain Scientist who Views Her Experience as a Gift to Others
A doctor who spent her life studying the human brain awoke to discover that she was having a massive stroke herself. As she watched her own brain deteriorate she reached a profound level of spirituality that eventually inspired her to change the course of her life and share new knowledge with the world.
* Christina Applegate?Vivacious Actress and Breast Cancer Survivor Passionate about Raising Awareness and Helping Other Women Find the Treatment they Need
The well-known actress has risen as an inspiration to women everywhere. When her mother was stricken with the disease, she became a passionate crusader for breast cancer awareness and finding a cure. Now a breast cancer survivor herself, she continues to inspire and motivate others to join the fight against this deadly disease.
* Dara Torres?Olympic Swimming Medalist and Selfless Competitor
At the Beijing Olympics this past summer, 41-year-old Dara Torres hauled in three silver medals for Team USA, to become the oldest swimming medalist in Olympic history. But many considered Torres’ most valiant and inspiring moment to be her instinctive and selfless gesture to help a competitor that stopped the clock seconds before race.
* Darin Headrick?Reuniting a Tornado-torn Community by Rebuilding its Schools
When ten people died and 95 percent of tiny Greensburg, Kansas was destroyed by a two mile wide tornado, Superintendent of Schools Darin Headrick spearheaded efforts to get the school system back up and running better than ever before. His environmentally-friendly “Green” schools gave students and families hope and a reason to stay and grow with the new community they pledged to build.
* Steven Curtis Chapman?Christian Music Artist Who Faced a Parent’s Darkest Hour
Award-winning singing star sustained his family’s spirit and faith through the tragic loss of his daughter. His courage in the face of personal loss balanced by a reliance on God serves as a model for millions of people around the world. Chapman is a tireless advocate for underprivileged children and Christian relief.

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