Thursday, November 27, 2008


This is one of my favorite Hayley Mills pictures. She is so adorable as Pollyanna, the most optimistic girl since Shirley Temple. Pollyanna moves to a town where cynicism reigns king. She encourages her new friends and neighbors to play "The Glad Game" to keep their spirits up. Everyone in town feels the effects of Pollyanna's charm and enthusiasm, as is especially evident in the film's bittersweet conclusion. I remember watching this movie over and over again at my grandmother's house as a young girl. It is a delightful adventure with an important moral.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Breakfast Club

I am a little surprised is has taken me this long to post a summary of this 80s classic. I remember the first time I ever watched it. It was about 3 in the morning and I could not sleep at all. My dad was also awake, and he told me that The Breakfast Club was starting in 10 minutes. I had never heard of it. I think I was about 14 or 15 years old at the time. He did not stay up to watch it with me, but I remember being completely mesmerized. I urged everyone I knew to see this film throughout all of high school. It is really a teenage anthem in movie form. I hope that everyone has a chance to see this one before the end of adolescence, but if not, it is totally worth seeing anyway! Five teenagers from different cliques are forced to spend a Saturday together in detention. They discover they have a lot more in common than they thought. It is a truly emotional film about what people really think and feel under the surface. The best of the "Brat Pack" films for sure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

(No, I do not mean the Keira Knightley version!) A&E did a television mini series based on Jane Austen's classic novel. Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle star as one of literature's most beloved and memorable pairs: Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Everyone should read the novel before renting this film, but if that sounds unappealing, the film does give the complete story. The run time is about 5 hours, so this is really best saved for a rainy day and a cozy fire. Despite the length, this is a favorite in my house and among my girlfriends.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Edward Scissorhands

This Tim Burton classic is a devastating look at what it is like being different in American suburbia. While it is an extreme and unrealistic situation, one can still relate to Johnny Depp's character, Edward, as he struggles to fit in. Winona Ryder plays the love interest. A girl who seemingly has everything going for her, Ryder finds a friendship in Edward that she was not expecting. Though a completely heartbreaking love story, Edward Scissorhands is a unique classic that is not to be missed.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Though I am a native Minnesotan, I had never seen this film until very recently. The city of Fargo is, of course, in North Dakota, but the majority of the action in this Coen Brothers classic takes place in Minnesota. Frances McDormand portrays the unforgettable Marge Gunderson, a pregnant police chief investigating a simple crime gone wrong. William H. Macy's desperate attempts to gain a whole lot of capital go deadly in this unusual adventure. I will not give anything away, but I will say that the accents are slightly exaggerated in my opinion. Otherwise, a great film overall.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

This epic trilogy is one of the greatest undertakings in motion picture history. I remember when the first one came out, and I scrambled to read the book as quickly as possible before rushing out to the theaters. I am so happy that I did. These books are splendidly woven tales of fantasy and imagination mixed with real issues like war, friendship and love. If there are actually people out there who have not already seen these films, I would definitely recommend reading the books first. Unlike many film adaptations, I think that seeing these movies enhances my enjoyment of the series. There were some details that I had missed or forgotten while ploughing through the books. But there are also so many wonderful adventures that are not included in the film versions, and any fan should really get the whole picture.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am sure I will be criticized for this one, but I think Heathers is a classic satire about life in the popular clique. This Mean Girls of the 80s is a black comedy about the effects of suicide among the high school elite. Winona Ryder meets Christian Slater, and from there her life is swept up in a whirlwind of deadly mistakes she cannot reverse. Slater plays J.D., a tainted youth who seduces Ryder's character, Veronica, with his charm and wit. Part of the reason I include this film on my list is its misleading reputation. Before seeing it myself, I had heard it was about suicide becoming trendy. This is not at all the plot of this film, but it definitely must be seen to be believed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Say Anything

This 80s classic is not to be missed! An unlikely love story between a kickboxer and a social princess, it is moving and completely sweet. The innocence and openness of the characters is really something you do not always see in films. John Cusack plays Lloyd Dobler; anyone who has heard the phrase "Lloyd Dobler is the perfect man" needs to see this film and learn what he is all about. It is a story of hope, possibility and above all, young love.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Silence of the Lambs

I am certain I have already admitted that I am not a fan of scary movies.  But my family, those who know and love me best, were convinced I could handle this one.  I am so happy they felt that way, because I was completely mesmerized by this film.  In the 21st century, we are all bombarded with crime shows, so we barely recognize truly superb mysteries anymore.  This Oscar winner is chilling and gripping from start to finish.  Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster are fantastic.  I am fighting the urge to watch the sequel.  (I heard it was a little more gory than I might be able to handle.)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Rear Window

A Streetcar Named Desire

Some Like it Hot