Saturday, February 28, 2009

Two Lincoln Movies

In this month of Lincoln, I must heartily endorse the movie "Young Mr. Lincoln" for all ages. The 1939 fictionalized tale is black-and-white, which only adds to its historical feel. My youngest children don't realize this isn't actual footage. Henry Fonda plays the young lawyer as he progresses from shop owner to practising lawyer. All the good legends are included in the 100 minutes: his love of books, being honest, log cabin poverty, going the extra mile, and young love. Best of all is the tough case he takes on behalf of a woman whose son was unjustly accused of murder. A griping tale of wits. How can Mr. Lincoln prove him innocent?!

Secondly, we watched "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln" but cannot recommend it as easily. This 1976 production is actually filmed on stage, but is Slow paced and focused heavily on Mary Todd-Lincoln's mental illness. That was difficult to explain to younger children. Here's the product description:

Julie Harris, recreates her 1972 award-winning Broadway portrayal in this powerful and touching look at the final 17 years in the life of Mary Todd Lincoln, widow to the martyred President. Based on real events, this production casts a sad and sympathetic light onto this frighteningly complicated woman. Mary Lincoln scavenges desperately for money, loses a cherished son to consumption, is branded a lunatic and committed to a mental institution; culminating with her spending her final days fleeing from the preying eyes of the public and a scandal-hungry press.

Any other "Lincoln" suggestions for next year?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"The Maldonado Miracle" Review

From our NetFlix queue came "The Maldonado Miracle" for our family movie night this week. We liked it much more than we expected! GREAT movie about a fictitious Catholic church whose crucifix starts dripping blood. The little immigrant boy is adorable and you will start praying for him to get his dog back. Peter Fonda is the parish priest whose hope is dying in the nearly-ghost town. Mare Winningham is the perky cafe owner who befriends little Jose and his dog. Several miracles woven together effortlessly into one, short (99 min.) movie. The script and director both won a Daytime Emmy in 2004.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Meet the Robinsons

Disney's Meet the Robinsons (2007) is one of my very favorite animated movies. It's funny and original and has some lovely things to say about life, love, attitudes about learning and how our choices affect our future.

I recently helped sponsor a homeschool team at our state Latin Convention. Because the theme of the convention was "Our success is only limited by our imagination," we thought a Meet the Robinsons theme would be appropriate. I thought you might enjoy a few pictures:


Lewis and the Bowler Hat Guy just before roll call:

The Bowler Hat Guy in action:
Lewis, Frannie, the Bowler Hat Guy and Grandpa:

Coming soon

The BBC films for the international best-selling books by Alexander MCall Smith, The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency, will be available soon in the USA.

I can't wait!

Preview it here.

More about it from the author's official website.