Saturday, May 16, 2009

Looking for a Few Good Movies ...

Here at The Painted Possum, from time to time I'll talk about some REALLY GOOD MOVIES. If anyone out there wants to make suggestions for future posts, or has comments about my selections, let me know.

Places in the Heart (1984)

Truly one of the best movies ever, a flawless classic. Set in 1935, Waxahachie, TX, Edna Spalding is alone and financially destitute, after the accidental shooting of her Sheriff husband. Living on a small farm in the middle of America's Great Depression, she is helped by a wandering cotton farmer, Moses, and a blind border, Mr. Will, who teach her how to appreciate life, despite tragedy and hardships.

Reasons why I love this movie?

Places in the Heart came out in 1984, and at that time my daughter, whose nickname had been Possum since her birth in 1979, was five years old, about the same age as the "Possum" in this movie.

Danny Glover ... need I say more? He always brings a touch of magic to any film he's in. He's one of the best.

Sally Field, of course, is always funny and believable. She makes the characters she plays seem real.

And John Malkovich ! This was the first time I had seen John Malkovich. His acting was so superb, I was stunned. And I thought, "How wonderful that a blind person can become a great actor!" That's how convincing he is in this role.

(Many scenes are too violent for children)

Crimes of the Heart (1986)

Crimes of the Heart is the story of three eccentric southern sisters, who have all reunited one hot summer at their family home after the youngest, Babe, has shot her husband, and the grandfather (Old Paw) of the three woman is succumbing to old age.

Sissy Spacek, Jessica Lange, Diane Keaton, and Sam Shepard unite to make this movie hilariously funny, touching, and most memorable. I love the humor. One unforgettable line is Jessica Lange complaining about Sam Shepard's "Yankee wife and his little half-Yankee children."
(Southern gothic drama)

A Family Thing (1996)

Starring Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones, this is one of my favorites. Two middle-aged men, one white, one black, suddenly discover that they are literally brothers.

Any other writers handed this premise would probably play it for cheap laughs, but Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson made an earnest drama out of it, one lightened by a few affectionate laughs and much heartfelt sentimentality.

The movie is about the ways Earl Pilcher (Robert Duvall) and Ray Murdock (James Earl Jones) slowly, grudgingly, come to terms with this news and open themselves up to each other.

Funny and sincere.


Joanne Ramey Cage said...

I agree, "Places in the Heart" is one of the all-time best movies. My favorite part is the end, where they're all alive, in the church, singing a hymn. This was also the first movie I saw J. Malkovich in.

I've seen the other two, and liked them, especially the one with James Earl Jones and R. Duvall. I consider Duvall one of the all-time best actors.

The villager: said...

I came to your blog because you'd listed Starman as one of your best films. Have you already reviwed it ?

It's one of my all time favourites.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Yes Yes! All good movies.

Ramey Channell said...

To Villager:
Starman is a special movie, one of my favorites. I haven't reviewed it on my blog, but I will.