Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Bowl Full of Buttered Popcorn & Milkduds Helps the Movie Go Down

This Sunday Ted and I watched a movie I have been meaning to see since the Academy Awards aired this spring. Having grown up watching Walter Cronkite on the evening news as he told America about the Vietnam War, I’ve never been fond of war movies. (Even though they often have great soundtracks!)  I didn’t really watch the news then, but I remember Mr. Cronkite wearing his thick framed glasses and white shirt with a black tie. I can still visualize the news footage behind him showing vegetation so unlike what I knew growing up in Colorado. And I knew we were losing our boys in the war in that far away land.

The Hurt Locker won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and I was finally brave enough to watch it this weekend. And I am so glad I saw it! The film is visually stunning and brilliantly done. The director somehow made an ugly place (because of the war) so beautiful at times. It was difficult to watch, but I’m glad I did.  The imagery in the film is breathtaking.

This is where I’m hoping you can help. Have you seen movies that are challenging to watch, but worth the time? As I was considering this, I made a list that I might add to as I think of more. Films can entertain us, help us escape reality for a couple of hours, make us laugh and make us cry. I like it when a film makes me think, is the catalyst of discussion and changes my outlook on life- if only a little while.

~Boy A- With all the PR for The Social Network in the media right now, I was reminded of a film starring one of the actors from The Social Network. Andrew Garfield did a brilliant job in this heart-wrenching film from 2007 about a young man released from prison for a crime he committed as a child. It raises the question of who deserves a second chance. I watched it with Teddy, and was so glad I didn’t see it alone…because there was so much to discuss afterward.

~Precious- Another movie I put off seeing, but which caused me to think for months to come. I can still ponder some of the dialogue near the end of the movie and had much to discuss with my daughter Amy who is laboring in the trenches of social work.

~The Stoning of Soraya M-  Wow! I heard about this movie on facebook and it will forever change how I read the gospels and the book of Acts. There are elements of stoning that seemed so unreal to me before I saw this movie. I will not be able to read about the stoning of Stephen, or Paul, in the same “matter of fact” way again. The incredible beauty of the land and people are also depicted in this film. But it shows ugliness being taught to the next generation of men. The day after we watched this film, there was an article in the newspaper about the controversy over another woman in Iran who is to be stoned. 

What challenging movies are you glad you watched?  (And why am I suddenly in the mood for a senseless comedy?)


  1. Schindler's List, though an old one, remains a movie that haunts me. So hard to watch and yet so eye-opening.

    Precious, too, was hard but it made me appreciate what a blessing I had growing up with parents who loved and valued me. I also realized how little I know about what so many kids in the world go through.


  2. You didn't explain your milk dud comment lol. Anyways, I would respond that a good movie to make you think for a while would be The Last Samurai. I think it was an underrated movie. Keep up the blog.

  3. So I can think of two movies like that: American History X and Requiem fo a Dream. Both are difficult to watch but definitely worth it - they make you think a lot afterwards about what contributes to making people who they are. Of the two, I much prefer American History X but am glad that I have seen both. Great post, I liked the movies you wrote about also!

  4. Schindler's List, to echo the anon post above. Excellent. also, the Pursuit of Happyness, and Seven Pounds and The Soloist were all excellent, dealing with difficult subjects.

  5. The Passion, I don't believe any story can stir my very soul like that movie did. When I think that my sin nailed Christ to the cross, I am humbled. The torture, the beatings, and finally the death should all be mine. Only by the grace of God...!
    Your loving Husband