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Educating Rita


Racing with the Moon

Six Degrees of Separation

The Apartment

The Last Picture Show


The Human Condition

A Price Above Rubies

Broadcast News

Cool Hand Luke

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Dear Heart (1964) VHS
(Cast: Glenn Ford, Geraldine Page, Angela Lansbury)
This film is among my old, sentimental favorites. A rather obnoxious, single woman goes to a Postmasters convention in New York City and attaches herself to a man who she thinks is a prospective bachelor. As the story unfolds, she finds that even though he is actually engaged to a haughty gold-digger, they are truly falling in love. The themes of loneliness and longing are highlighted in this engaging story about the need to love and be loved. [ladyjean]


Dominick and Eugene

Educating Rita (1983)
(Cast: Michael Caine, Julie Walters)
An inspiring story of a young married English woman who seeks to better herself through a college education. Enter the drunken professor who is assigned to be her tutor, and we embark upon the completely charming journey of these two people who at first wrangle with each other, then become fast friends and confidantes, during a time in both their lives that is rocky and challenging. Friendship, trust, and intellectual and spiritual growth are the themes in this classic tale. [ladyjean]

Five Easy Pieces

Grand Canyon

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1968)
(Cast: Spencer Tracey, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier)
A ground-breaking film when it was first released in 1968, it's now a little tame, but still a strong and well-acted story by a cast of movie icons. Tracey and Hepburn's daughter falls in the love with Poitier and brings him home to tell her folks they plan to marry. Lots of talking heads scenes here, but the dialogue is engrossing as both sides of the equation (Poitier's parents provide the "who came to dinner" twist) attempt to work out the emotional and intellectual complications inherent in this young couple's pending inter-racial relationship. [ladyjean]

Guilty By Suspicion

Hannah and Her Sisters

Harry & Son VHS

Ladder 49 (2004)

Leaving Normal VHS

Life As A House (2001)
(Cast: Kevin Kline, Kristen Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen, Jena Malone)
An inspirational contemporary classic film about redemption and healing. A life-changing event prompts architect George Monroe to examine the chaos of his life. Here, the house provides both the plot and metaphor. He has spent his entire career building beautiful buildings for others, while neglecting his own dilapidated house. George's life becomes a single-minded mission to rebuild his house both physically and symbolically, bringing about a profound healing of his relationships with his ex-wife and teenage son. In the end, he also rights the grievous wrong which sent his life spiraling out of control decades earlier. [laciefae]

Lost In America

Marty (1955)
(Cast: Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Joe Mantel, Jerry Paris)
A man in his mid-30s (who call himself “a fat, ugly man”) and a woman around the same age (who is socially labeled “a dog”) meet at a New York dance hall and find true love. This “everyman’s tale” is well-acted and very touching as it deals with the idea of not being special (meaning: physically attractive and financially successful) in mid-20th century America. Winner of the Best Picture Oscar for 1956. [ladyjean]

Message in a Bottle

Racing with the Moon (1984)
(Cast: Sean Penn, Nicolas Cafe, Elizabeth McGovern)
This film is a real beauty...from the gorgeous cinematography of the northern California coast to the luscious music score that's true to the period by Dave Grusin, there's absolutely nothing to complain about here. Set at the beginning of World War II, the story follows two young men soon to be heading overseas and the adventures they have leading up to that pivotal moment. Great characterizations (acted by very talented actors) and an excellent script make this a truly heartwarming film. A simple slice of life story that is highly recommended. [ladyjean]

Ruby In Paradise VHS

Running On Empty
(Cast: River Phoenix, Martha Plimpton)

Shirley Valentine (1989) VHS

Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
(Cast: Will Smith, Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Mary Beth Hurt)
This is a very interesting movie, based on the stage play of the same name. The theme of impersonating someone you think will certainly impress the rich and affluent upper class (in this case, Sidney Poitier's son) is played out in a very intelligent and entertaining screenplay, with performances to match. But perhaps the most interesing thing about this movie is that it inspired the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," in which you try to find a direct connection from one person to another in six steps. This game is always a lot of fun and validates the spiritual law that we're all connected...all is ONE. [ladyjean]

Stand By Me

Stanley and Iris

Strange Relations

Terms of Endearment

The Apartment (1960)
(Cast: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred McMurray)
This is a very entertaining movie, but it is very old-fashioned by modern-day politically correct standards. Sometimes those modern standards take the oomph out a film, and I believe that would be the case here. And, after all, the moral values depicted in the movie were what was acceptable at the time, so who'd really want to do away with reality? With that said, this story deals with adultry, corrupt office politics, attempted suicide, borderline alcholism, and extreme male chauvinism...all couched within a love story-comedy plot. The thing that redeems this film is that the two lead characters truly have hearts of gold, and somehow they manage to make it through the mess they find themselves in. [ladyjean]

The Big Chill (1983)
(Cast: Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, William Hurt, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Berenger, Mary Kay Place, Jo Beth Williams, Meg Tilly)
When you are young, you think you understand life...but how surprised you are when you reach a more mature milestone and the shock about life and death hits you right in the face. That’s “the big chill”: the realization that “my God, people do die.” And perhaps you will never be quite the same again upon having that experience. Yes, we all have to face the death of others in our lives, and somehow we have to go on. This film uses an ensemble cast to illustrate the different ways that human beings deal with that loss. The film is extremely witty and clever, with a great Baby Boomer soundtrack to boot. [ladyjean]

The Evening Star

The Defiant Ones

The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

The Goodbye Girl (1977)
(Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Marsha Mason, Quinn Cummings)
She’s always losing her man, until a not-who-you-think-he’d-be Mr. Right comes along in the guise of an eccentric, arrogant actor friend of her last lover. The sometimes-dancer and mother of a young daughter are forced to share a New York apartment with this kooky stranger, and guess what? They all fall in love! This is a delightful movie, with great acting all around (Richard Dreyfuss won the Best Actor Oscar), but it does offer insight into the importance or recognizing the right thing when it comes along: a lot of us seem to be looking in the wrong place and end up being too blind to see what it is that we really need. [ladyjean]

The Horse Whisperer

The Last Picture Show (1971)
(Cast: Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Cybill Shepherd, Ben Johnson, Ellen Burstyn, Cloris Leachman, Eileen Brennan, Clu Gulager, Sam Bottoms, Randy Quaid)
This gritty depiction of rural Texas in the early 1950s is right-on with its characters, scenery and dialogue. I should know, I was born in that part of the country and it certainly could have a desolate, empty feeling a lot of the time. These are basic people: not the dreamers who move away from their small home town seeking fame and fortune, but the kind of people that stay put and play the hand that was dealt them. Because of that, the stakes in any situation seem a little higher and the hope of something good a little dimmer, but somehow they keep on agoin’, even if they don’t think there’s anywhere left to go. Great acting by a good ensemble cast of newcomers and more seasoned actors. This film was adapted from the Larry McMurtry novel of the same name, and he’s a master at pinpointing the most poignant side of life. Lots of Oscar nominations, too! [ladyjean]

The Mosquito Coast

The Rat Race

Thelma and Louise

This Sporting Life

Trapeze (1956)
(Cast: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lolabrigida)
This has been a favorite movie of mine since childhood, one that I would watch almost every time it came on late night TV. It's your basic love triangle between the three major actors, but it's moreso about the challenge of achieving a hard-sought-after goal. Tony Curtis wants to be the only man in the world who can do a "triple" and he goes to Burt Lancaster (the guy who did a triple, fell during the act, and is now crippled) to get him to teach it to him. Burt relunctantly goes back into the circus business and acts as catcher for Tony. High drama, late-50s style, but a story about the triumph of the human spirit, nonetheless. [ladyjean]

Under the Tuscan Sun


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