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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Bacon’

 

      Every once in a while I like to make recommendations to family and friends on movies I think they might really like. However, this is the very first time I’ve made such recommendations for movies on my blog. One of the movies recommended was released just last year; others were released in the last decade while one was released more than 30 years ago. Soon I’ll be embarking on a five-part series on Immigration, a very serious topic. Before getting personally wrapped up with that issue I’d like to recommend the following movies for your viewing pleasure:

Taking Chance

Uncle Nino

Where the Heart Is

Somewhere in Time

 

 Taking Chance

 Plot Summary for Taking Chance (2009)

     In April, 2004, casualties mount in Iraq. At Quantico, choices focus on increasing troop strength or only replacing casualties. Lt. Col. Mike Strobl (played by Kevin Bacon) crunches numbers. Stung by his superior’s rejection of his recommendation because he lacks recent combat experience, Strobl volunteers for escort duty, accompanying the remains of Pfc. Chance Phelps, killed at 19. From Dover to Philadelphia by hearse, from there to Minneapolis and on to Billings by plane, and then by car to Phelps’ Wyoming home – person after person pays respects. Kind words, small gifts, and gratitude are given Strobl to deliver to the family on this soul-searching journey. What are his own discoveries? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

 Uncle Nino

 Plot Summary for  Uncle Nino (2005)

      An elderly Italian peasant, Uncle Nino (Pierrino Mascarino) comes to America for the first time to spend some time with his nephew, Robert Micelli (Joan of Arcadia’s Joe Mantegna), and his family. With his violin, a suitcase full of homemade wine, and a photo of his hero, Abraham Lincoln, in tow, Nino expects to be embraced by the country of his dreams. What he discovers instead is a place of take-out food, manicured lawns, teen smoking, processed vegetables, and a barely communicative family—each disconnected from the others, caught up in lives of multi-tasking.

      While Robert works round-the-clock to ensure a much-deserved promotion, Marie (Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee Anne Archer) fills her time working, organizing the household, and growing increasingly lonelier. Fourteen-year-old Bobby (Trevor Morgan) devotes more time to his garage band and petty acts of neighbourhood vandalism than his schoolwork, and twelve-year-old Gina (Gina Mantegna, making her film debut) spends most of her time at her friend’s house.

      Though barely conversant in English, Uncle Nino slowly begins to connect with Gina through her love of dogs and Bobby through his passion for music. It isn’t until Uncle Nino and the kids tear up the entire front yard and plant an elaborate garden, however, that Robert confronts the uncle he hasn’t seen in thirty years. Finally learning the true reason for his uncle’s visit, Robert reflects on his life and reconsiders the things that are truly important to him.

      A work of deep sentiment that avoids sentimentality, “Uncle Nino” is a film about the lost art of living. A fable-like story grounded in realism, Uncle Nino is a feel-good, Capra-esque tale, whose magical lead character teaches others how to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures: good food and drink, music, and most important, La Famiglia!

      “Uncle Nino” is the winner of the Crystal Heart Award at the Heartland Film Festival, an Audience Choice Award from the Marco Island Film Festival, and the recipient of the Dove Family-Approved Seal from The Dove Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages and promoted the production and distribution of wholesome entertainment for all ages.

 

 Where the Heart Is

 Plot Summary for Where the Heart Is (2000)

     Having lived her entire life in a trailer, Novalee Nation (played by Natalie Portman) is a pregnant, superstitious and uneducated seventeen year old. With the exception of her boyfriend and the unborn baby’s father Willie Jack Pickens, she is all alone in the world with no money of her own. On the drive from their current home in Tennessee to Bakersfield, California where they are planning on moving, Willie Jack abandons Novalee in the small town of Sequoyah, Oklahoma. With no food or money, Novalee ends up secretly living in the town’s Wal-Mart. As her stay in Sequoyah is extended, Novalee is befriended and ultimately assisted by a variety of townsfolk, including a recovering alcoholic named Sister Husband, single mother and nurse Lexi Coop who names her children after snack foods, WalMart’s contract photographer named Moses Whitecotten, and the temporary librarian named Forney Hull, an academically brilliant man originally from New England. As much as they help Novalee, she in turn has a profound affect on them as each is dealing with an issue which stops them from having a truly fulfilled life. Forney ends up falling in love with Novalee, who feels she has to make a decision of how she can best help him. She is assisted in this decision by an unlikely source. Written by Huggo

Somewhere in Time

 Plot Summary for Somewhere in Time (1980)

     The movie opens with college student Richard Collier gathering rave reviews for his new play. At the party, he comes face to face with an old woman who presses something in his hand and whispers, “Come back to me.” He opens his hand to find an old pocket watch. Cut to several years later. Playwright Collier is in the midst of a break-up and writers block. He leaves the city for awhile to think things out and finds himself near his alma mater at the Grand Hotel. While wandering around the hotel, he finds a photograph of a beautiful young woman. Richard is entranced, and tries to find out all he can about her. During the course of his research he learns she was Elise McKenna, an actress from the turn of the century. He also discovers that she was the mysterious old woman who gave him the watch. Finally determining that he must meet her somehow, he employs self-hypnosis and wills himself back to 1912. He meets Elise and they fall in love, which does not make her manager, William Fawcett Robinson, happy at all. Will their love survive Robinson’s disapproval? Will Richard be able to stay in 1912? Written by Kathy Chelsen

  Final Comments

      I hope you take the opportunity to watch these movies. In the case of Taking Chance it is a dramatic way to comprehend the real impact of a young military person killed (taking away everything he is, or everything he might’ve been). And, those left behind as family and friends may in fact suffer a lifetime over such a loss. By comparison, Uncle Nino, Where the Heart Is, and Somewhere in Time are all feel-good movies. But I have to warn you, for all four movies you must keep a box of Kleenex close by. Enjoy.

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