Film Series

 

Viewing Films that Make a Difference.
Meets the first Sunday of the month.

 

 

 

 

Little WomenWinona Ryder (in an Oscar-nominated performance) and Susan Sarandon star in this affectionate and superbly acted family favorite. With her husband off at war, Marmee (Sarandon) is left alone to raise their four daughters, her “little women”. There is the spirited Jo (Ryder); conservative Meg (Trini Alvarado); fragile Beth (Claire Danes); and romantic Amy (played at different ages by Kristen Dunst and Samantha Mathis). As the years pass, the sisters share some of the most cherished and painful memories of self-discovery, as Marmee guide them through issues of independence, romance and virtue. 

The Book ThiefBased on the beloved international bestselling book, The Book Thief tells the story of an extraordinary, spirited young girl sent to live with a foster family in WWII Germany. Intrigued by the only book she brought with her, she begins collecting books as she finds them. With the help of her new parents and a secret guest under the stairs, she learns to read and creates a magical world that inspires them all. The Book Thief is lackadaisical and episodic, with an affecting spirit brought to life by the stellar performances of Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nélisse as well as exceptional period detail. 

HIdden FiguresHidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)--brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

Entertaining AngelsDorothy Day is not your conventional saint. She lives hard, makes mistakes, and endures the consequences. But the unquenchable fire burning within her cannot be contained. She wants to make a difference and during the Depression, she vows to house the homeless, feed the hungry, and care for the sick. Easily said but not easily done when her total finances amount to 97 cents in a battered canister. Yet she persists, frequently walking on stormy waters of faith. Popular stars and important themes combine in this compelling true story of the "American Mother Teresa.” Moira Kelly plays Day, the impassioned New Yorker who launched the Catholic Worker movement. Martin Sheen, Melinda Dillon and Brian Keith join Kelly in this moving saga of a faith not just believed, but lived. 

A Man for All SeasonsRobert Bolt's successful play was not considered a hot commercial property by Columbia Pictures. Perhaps that's why Columbia left director Fred Zinnemann alone to make A Man for All Seasons, as long as he stuck to a relatively small budget. The results took everyone by surprise, as the talky morality play became a box-office hit and collected the top Oscars for 1966. At the play's heart is the standoff between King Henry VIII (Robert Shaw, in young lion form) and Sir Thomas More (Paul Scofield, in an Oscar-winning performance). Henry wants More's official approval of divorce, but More's strict ethical and religious code will not let him waffle. More's rectitude is a source of exasperation to Cardinal Wolsey (Orson Welles in a cameo), who chides, "If you could just see facts flat on without that horrible moral squint." Zinnemann's approach is all simplicity, the language is worth savoring, and the ethical politics are debated with all the calm and majesty of an absorbing chess game.

The Nanny DiariesThe Nanny Diaries tells the story of the emotional and often humorous journey of Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson), a young woman struggling to understand her place in the world. Fresh out of college, she gets tremendous pressure from her nurse mother to find a respectable position in business although Annie would prefer an anthropologist's field diary. Through a serendipitous meeting, Annie ends up in the elite and ritualistic culture of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Choosing to duck out of real life, Annie accepts the position as a nanny for a wealthy family, referred to as simply "the X's." She quickly learns that life is not very rosy on the other side of the tax bracket, as she must cater to the every whim of Mrs. X (Laura Linney) and her precocious son Grayer, while attempting to avoid the formidable Mr. X (Paul Giamatti). 

Mr. ChurchSet 1965 Los Angeles, Mr. Church begins with a stranger arriving on the doorstep of 10-year-old Charlotte Brody (Britt Robertson) and her single mother who is battling breast cancer. They soon learn that the quiet man, Henry Church (Eddie Murphy) has been hired by Marie's recently deceased former lover to cook for them and help maintain the household. As Mr. Church's time with the family extends from months into years, he becomes a father figure for Charlie during her formative years, nurturing her love of literature and making a lasting impact on her life. Even as Mr. Church tries to keep his own life separate, he eventually learns that the connection he feels to Charlie is what family is all about.  Mr. Church was directed by Oscar-nominated director, Bruce Beresford (Breaker Morant, Tender Mercies, and Driving Miss Daisy).