Thursday, September 07, 2006

Two Thumbs Up

When we have faith in ourselves, we can move others to overcome extraordinary obstacles to help us accomplish our goals. That is the theme of two movies I saw separately during the past week.

My wife and I saw Little Miss Sunshine at the local Michigan theater on Saturday. In this offbeat comedy drama, a dysfunctional extended family helps a young girl realize her dreams of competing in a junior beauty contest.

The motley ensemble includes a suicidal uncle, a drug addicted grandfather and a teenaged brother who has forsaken speech to discipline himself for a career in the Air Force.

Just getting to the pageant aboard a just-as-dysfunctional mini-bus tests their relationships and determination in a story that has you alternately crying tears of laughter and tears of sadness.

A more poignant tale of personal faith is Whalerider, a movie we rented from the local library. This film traces the journey of a young girl trying to win the love and respect of her grandfather, a chief of a people whose culture seems doomed by encroaching modern society.

Her grandfather, distraught that he has no male heir to whom he can pass on his leadership role, must come to grips with a world over which he has diminishing control . . . and for which he partly blames his granddaughter.

Both of these are independent films which means they don't receive the hype or advertising of your average studio-produced flick. They rely mostly on word-of-mouth and film festival awards to bring them public acceptance and box office business. It's been a long while since I've seen ONE new movie I could recommend. Well, here's two.


Anonymous enforcer said...

what the heck are you doing up at 4am?

6:16 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hmmm, I haven't seen either of those... thanks for the review!

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Great minds think Strange enough, my blog for today is about a movie we'd rented from Netflix.
I saw the Sunshine one advertised on tv and it did look cute. BUT...we have no movie theater here on the island. Closest one is one hour away....hence, the need for Netflix. So thanks for the great recommendation on these two...I'll add them to my list.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Sounds interesting. Sometimes the idependant movies are the best because the creators are often thinking of the message they want to send, not the tons of money they might receive.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous bernadette said...

Is James Caan in either of these movies?

4:41 PM  
Blogger vicki said...

Oh, Bernadette! No,no,no. We want movies with Pierce Brosnan.
I have heard great things about Little Miss Sunshine so that's definitely on my list. As soon as I find a theater as good as the Michigan...

7:25 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Are you sure you're a guy? Is Wendy writing for you? Or,---are you really that beautiful inside? My honey has always had a squishy spot inside for the lovely things in movies, but I didn't know that men ever really admitted to being squeezably soft. Thanks for the nice post--- I'll keep Little Miss Sunshine in mind for our 6 months in Florida, where the cable stinks!

8:02 PM  
Anonymous cassie-b said...

I've seen 3 (positive comments) blog comments about Little Miss Sunshine this week. I guess we're going to go and see it.

Thanks for the reviews.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

I don't think there is a movie theater in this whole redneck state that plays independent films. I could be wrong, but I don't think so. I've gotta wait for them to come on the IFC channel (Independent Film channel) on dishnetwork. I would check the library for Whalerider but this little town HAS NO LIBRARY!!! Except for the one at the high school. I'm a big fish in a little pond... LOL!

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Hi Dave, I've not seen the sunshine movie but I enjoyer Whalerider too.

8:05 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Well whoop-de-do. We already own Whalerider so there's one rental we won't have to get. Now all we need are the reruns of Steve Irwin and we'll be set through 2007.

11:36 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

I blame my GRANDAUGHTERS for NOTHING (even if it is their fault)! ~ jb///

4:23 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Thanks Dave, I'll have to see both of them.....

12:46 AM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Hi Dave---Thanks for visiting at my place and for the nice comments. Yes, I admit to playing the baritone in the concert band, but did the majorette thing in the marching band the last two years. I wrote that quickly last night after the trip from Cincinnati to Toledo and didn't proof read and edit until today. Boy, you shouldn't try to type when it is late --- especially on a stiff keyboard! It's Sunday, so I have to plead--- forgive us our errors as we forgive others who strike out!

2:02 PM  
Blogger molly said...

Little Miss Sunshine was terrific. Every actor contributed something special, but the uncle and son really got me, especially in the end the way the uncle offered support to the son. I thought his lines about suffering were wise and utterly hysterical.

10:33 AM  

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