Tag Archive: Ewan McGregor


Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

This past weekend, our church women’s group came together for a cookie baking session.

 

Image by Cohdra

Image by Cohdra

Each woman was to bring two batches or more of pre-made cookie dough along with any pans and decorations they had on hand. I made three different cookies doughs: Sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies and M&M cookie dough. At the end of the night, each woman took home a variety of cookies. Four hours of baking ended with nine different kinds of cookies that included ranger cookies and red velvet cookies.

 

The amazing thing is I still have some of those cookies as of Monday morning. I suspect they will all be gone by the end of the day.

 

At the end of the evening, we decided we needed to have another fellowship time and a movie seemed like a good idea. It was also unanimous that Les Mis should be that movie. Just the commercial with Anne Hathaway singing gave me chills up and down the spine.

 

Then again, I have always been a fan of a good musical. The first one that I remember as being life changing was Singin’ In the Rain which starred Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Conner. This movie about the change over from silent movies to talkies focuses on how one leading man is able to transition well while his abhorrent leading lady is not. To make matters worse, he has fallen in love with a chorus girl who has a great voice.

 

I believe it is universally accepted this is the best musicals of all time as well as being one of the best movies ever made. For the last ten years, however, it seems as if we are treated to a new musical every Christmas. While Les Mis has continual singing, making it more opera than musical, the songs break your heart with their beauty.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Poster Image from IMDb.com

One of my favorite musicals in the past few years is Mamma Mia starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. This musical featuring the songbook of ABBA is a happy, zippy movie that exists in a very adult world that might be a little hedonistic at times. I love putting this one on when I have to do housework.

 

Another musical in recent years that I love is Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. The story is a familiar one to opera fans. A young idealistic man falls in love with a beautiful woman who is a courtesan. She also has the dread disease of the early 1900s which is consumption, aka tuberculosis.

 

What I love about this movie is how director Baz Luhrmann uses modern songs in a period piece and somehow it all works out. You have a great love story, fantastic musical pieces and the sage wisdom given by tough people trying to look out for a young man who is writing his first show that must be a block buster. The sets are bright, eclectic and over-the top which matches the movie and it all works.

 

While these movies are not exactly little-kid friendly, they are something you can watch with your teens if they happen to like musicals. Otherwise, you can always join me. I am happy to have a sing-a-long at my house any time.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

Last week I talked about two different movies associated with Tim Burton. The American director has always had a different style that was interesting but hidden away by the weirdness of his movies.

 

Say what you will but there are times that his movies are magical and take you to a different place.

 

One of my favorites is mythical and large in its storytelling. But the story is one that an adult child can relate to when you have a parent who tells larger than life tales.

 

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Big Fish starring Ewan McGregor as a man who did incredible things –so he says – as a young man but now he is old and dying. His son does not believe a word from the old man. In fact, the son is incredibly angry at his father.

 

All of his life he has heard these fantastical stories that he could never prove. But as the old man – as played by Albert Finney – is in the hospital for one last time, the son does something he has never done before.

 

He begins to check the old stories out. He looks for the truth in the incredible.

 

Billy Crudup plays the son with the right mix of anger and love. Jessica Lange plays the mother who is losing the most extraordinary love of her life. And one of the most amazing pieces in the puzzle is Helena Bonham-Carter as a woman from the past.

 

I sometimes think Helena does the unbelievably strange parts to avoid being type-cast as the sweet girl next door. How else do you explain Sweeney Todd or  Harry Potter? But here, as she does in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Helena looks erethral at times. She glows with youth and hope, until the end when she reveals the truth. And then her natural beauty is simply there.

 

Now this movie is best suited for an adult crowd. And not because it is offensive. The movie is geared for adults with its content and the context in which we see it. The story is for adults. There is nothing wrong with that, some movies should be for kids and some should be for adults.

 

This one with its issues of death and dying, of losing a parent just as you, the adult child, finally get to know them. No teenager wants to deal with those issues. Some adults don’t want to either.

 

But there is something about watching a young man figure out his father as he is about to become a parent. There is something in watching a man discovering those crazy stories were based on some sort of truth, even the one that involves a final wish.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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