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An Under-rated Story and Movie
18 April 2012
FYI, I'm female, 57 years old. I don't like predictable, romantic movies.

This movie, in spite of Helen Hunt in the lead part (sorry, Helen), delivers a lovely story, very human, very shot through with vulnerability in the face of reality.

Helen delivers one of the most tender performances in her career (not that I am familiar with all of her work; but from what I've seen, she kind of comes across as a tough little cookie in a stunted sorta way, right?)... yet, I really liked her in this movie. I tend to watch movies that I really like over and over, and "Then She Found Me" is one of them. And no, she doesn't abandon that toughness - that essence that Jack Nickelson captures in "As Good as It Gets": she says what she means, means what she says; something tells me HH is worth knowing: I do believe this is one of HH's strengths (as uncomfortable as it sometimes makes ME feel).

The profound Jewish tale narrated in the beginning (rather shocking, and to me, mysteriously cruel), then fleshed out at the end (thank God) is one of this movie's attractions to me.

I also find the outlandish behavior by its characters not unrealistic. Life is so full of surprises - what happens to us, what we can't anticipate, what we can't control. This movie delivers in so many ways that endears me, truly inciting empathy with the various characters.

We humans rationalize or distort many of our decisions so they're less burdensome to carry... Bette Midler's character is outrageous in one degree, yet understandable in another. She's lived her life with a past that she can't quite own, preferring to transform it into the story she tells _____ - and most likely herself. Yet she hangs strong and determined when she's exposed; her desire to serve is greater than her desire to deceive herself......... of course there's a "selfish" motive in this - but it's the selfishness born of empty living... something greater.

Colin Firth is phenomenal... can this man fail in any role? And it's kind of nice, too, that there seems to be a real chemistry between him and _____.

Unless you're under 20, I think you'll find this movie rather rich and intriguing.

Helen, you did a great job acting and directing. Thank you.
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Out of Africa (1985)
Lovely, Heartbreaking, Poetic, Exciting, Gorgeous
19 January 2011
A frontier movie: Europeans moving into and changing Africa; a woman who, failing to conform to her society's norms, courageously and willingly transplants herself into a new world yet unwillingly is forced into a man's role without the benefits of being male. Though she acts, she's not in control of her life. She doesn't achieve what she really wants; her life consists of her responses to it. She's frustrated, left grasping, wondering if Africa will remember her when she's left (so beautifully expressed and narrated at the end of the movie!). Of course there's a man, and of course it's Robert Redford. (Side comment: Meryl Streep says Robert Redford is the best of all her on-stage kissers.) Robert's (natural) aloofness (and genuineness) work well in this role, but for me, there's an element of too cool, too untouchable, that's not satisfying in this character. I'm just not sure if it's the character or Robert. But you must see this film - you must fly in the biplane over the coastline with Robert and Meryl and see what I swear are honest-to-God tears and wonder on Meryl's face. It's a great movie with one of the most moving scores you'll ever hear.
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Definitely One of My Top 10
19 January 2011
If the movie is this good, I must read Somerset Maugham's works. I refuse to see the remake with Bill Murray. This is a Classic. There's even a Sydney Carton-ish event (does anyone else see "the marriage" in this way?). I saw this late late one night, and was frankly astonished that it was made in the 40s. A movie for all times and all ages (well, above 14 or so).

Okay, so IMDb wants more from me: a war, a man, a choice: the traditional life of predictable events -or- a life lived one day at a time, asking questions, seeking answers, without regard to the opinion of others, seeking a foundation of meaning and integrity and compassion? This is not the redemptive journey of a broken man, but the journey of a self-respecting man who could have a secure, productive, prestigious, rewarding life, yet chooses instead to ask: Why? What? Who?

He's not so much searching for himself, but for his right place in the world he does not yet comprehend.
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Much different - and better - than expected
19 January 2011
The story is quite original and the movie is unnerving. As for bashing the ending (which so many dislike!) - I admit the ending does come out of left-field - and introduces a reality that few people can accept/stomach. This late-arriving, very unexpected explanation for the drama in this family's life recalls to my mind that truth is stranger than fiction: the writers obviously were not content for an expected/easy wrap up of the story (Hollywood) - they exposed a (believable) evil behind Nell's torment. The only thing I regret is the ending's end: not original, not satisfying. Would prefer to see justice served, and the innocent set free (as in the truth shall set us free).
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It's a shame if you don't see it...
17 March 2008
This movie transcends "story-telling" - a rare movie that, like a dream, elicits feeling and perception about a situation that does not immediately or personally apply to the dreamer - that are virtually impossible while conscious. Ever dream of confronting a tornado or trying to outrun a tsunami - a situation in which you've never found yourself? This is reason enough to see the movie.

The story itself is touching, bittersweet and more ... I don't know what ending would have been more emotional - the actual or the other alternative.

Little did I know that I would develop an embarrassing fan-crush on this actor a couple of years after I'd seen this movie: James McEvoy. I will have to see it again, and yes, I will buy it. What a range he has, and he was the shining star of the film (but then, so was his sidekick).

Might as well buy it.
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All About Eve (1950)
About EveryMan, About EveryWoman, About EveryLife
11 August 2005
You will see yourself in every character in this very intelligent, entrancing movie. Though set in "the theatre," the story could just as easily have been told in a small town, a corporation – even a religious organization. Being set in the "glamorous" world of entertainment – its seems all the more timely in these days of fame, fortune and the insufficiency (almost shame) of being ordinary. The theatre setting also underscores the reality that the world is a stage, and all its people, players.

So much to study in this movie: the genuine, trusting (and romantic) human; the streetwise, good, hardworking human, who's seen it all and doesn't embrace it; the jaded, heart-hardened, deceitful loser with power, who admires the same and disdains human goodness; the ambitious sociopath who fools so many; the unsuspecting onlookers who see only the façade of success; the inescapable fact that supreme achievement has been had by very low characters; the painful passage of an aging woman into the light of knowing she's loved for being beautiful beyond her appearance, for being HER; the touching portrayal of her lover who remembers his love for her as he passes on a much younger, beautiful, talented actress; the sorrow of a (betraying) friend who discovers the frightened and lonely heart of her successful friend … The dialogue is sharp and clever, barked and growled, smarmy and tender… A truly human movie about being human. Go – find yourself in everyone!
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