Tag Archive: actress

Family Movie Night


By Karyn Bowman


In wining six Oscars, La La Land may have proved that it really didn’t need to win that Best Picture award. Yes, I am sure the mix-up was upsetting. Moonlight is a special film that I heard about all year.


la la landBut there is so much to like about La La Land.

For me, the # 1 thing was the OscarTM winning Best Song – City of Stars. It is a song that trickles and skips down the scale. It is light hearted and hopeful and sad all at the same time. There is something so perfect about it. I feel as if I know this song, as if Hoagy Carmichael wrote it himself. But no. That’s not how it happened. Somehow this son best reflects my feelings about this movie.


When the husband and I went to the cinema last Friday, I was afraid I would not like it; I was afraid the hype would ruin the movie for me. The thing that ruined the movie for me was sitting too close and getting motion sickness from the twirling scenes. I had to leave the theater and come back. I sat in the back next to someone I am sure did not want anyone sitting next to him.


an-american-in-paris-o-s-t-1951I started watching the movie again, allowing the music and magic take hold. At times I felt as if I was watching any number of movies set on Hollywood sets with characters from different movie genres walking across the lot. But there is also a scene that made me think of Singin’ in the Rain or An american in Paris. I am sure there were other references I missed.


The story is about an aspiring actress and a jazz musician who want to succeed in their professions. They both work in Los Angelos. Seb and Mia meet by accident and they meet at parties. They think they are not attacted to each other and then they fall in love. What they love about each other is the passion each has for their work.


Even when they break up, it is not long before one is rooting for the other.


This movie doesn’t feel like your usual musical and yet there are constant refernces to old Hollywood classics. I see hints of Fred and Ginger, who danced in the oddest of places. There are moody atmospheres in clubs and being alone at the home of the one you love. There is the sadness of the drive home after feeling like a failure. There is the happiness of a second chance.


Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone capture our hearts as Seb and Mia, the couple who fall in love when they are not even sure they want to fall in love. We see their dissapointments and failures written all over their faces. It is all right there, you can see it and you can feel their pain. You can feel their passion for their work and why they continue.


Maybe La La Land didn’t win the award for Best Picture. But that doesn’t mean its not a winning movie.


Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you considerer it another day or one that you can share with a variety of family members and friends?

 With it being on a Sunday, it means you can take Friday, Saturday or Sunday to have a special meal and time with your sweetie. Maybe you plan to have a special day with the kids, making cookies or a craft.

 I have no idea what I will be doing for Valentine’s Day beyond having the church choir sing a special song for that day to God. After that, all bets are off. I have a feeling I may need to get red decorating sugar so we can make heart cookies at my house.

 What I usually like to do is pick out a special movie to watch together with my husband. It might be Bull Durham or When Harry Met Sally…  Those are classics for our generation. I assume some people will be trying to get An Affair to Remember or Casablanca because those are also classic movies on the subject of love. I might even go as far as to find an old Bette Davis movie so that my son can finally see what a great actress can do in a movie.

I was shocked when I said first said her name a few weeks ago and my oldest son did not know who she was. I told him we need a Bette Davis film fest and the first choice might be Dark Victory (1939) in which Davis plays a socialite who learns she has a brain tumor and there is nothing the doctors can do for her. How she chooses to live the end of her days is the victory here and Davis gives it her all. Bring the tissue box for a performance that was the fourth of Davis’ eleven Oscar™ nominations.

 Davis had a long career starting in the 1930s and lasting until she died in 1989. My son only recognized her when he looked up her career on IMDb.com and saw Watcher In The Woods (1980) on her list of credits. Don’t stop there. Take the time to find some of her greatest performances including All About Eve (1950), The Little Foxes (1941) and Jezebel (1938).

 These movies, while having nothing objectionable, content wise are better suited for older teens. Davis stated that all she ever wanted was for movies to be larger than life. Her goal was to portray life on the screen with a bit of an “umph.”

 Meryl Streep may be one of the best living actresses but Bette Davis was one of the best ever.

 Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

 Let the world know your family’s recent selection by dropping a line to momgoestothemovies@sbcglobal.net. You can also ‘friend’ me on Facebook.