Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Favorite Movies for Five on Friday

Hello, Dear Friends, in honor of the upcoming
Oscars, I wanted to share Five favorite movies

First on the list is 'Dances with Wolves'
with Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell,
and Floyd Red Crow Westerman as Chief Ten Bears. 

This movie won 7 Academy Awards,
including Best Picture of 1990.

It was based on the 1988 book of the same title
by Michael Blake. 

Apart from the obvious reasons :),
I loved this movie for its beautiful cinematography, 
noble ideology, and lovely romance.

It was filmed in South Dakota and Wyoming
and was selected for preservation in the U.S. National
Film Registry by the Library of Congress 
as being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant'. 

Sent to protect a U.S. outpost on the desolate frontier, 
Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) finds himself 
alone in the vast wilderness. 
He ends up befriending the very people 
 he was supposed to protect the fort from. (the Sioux Indians)

He falls in love with the beautiful
'Stands With a Fist',(Mary McDonnell)
a white woman, who was adopted by the tribe as a child
after being kidnapped by a Pawnee raid.

The language barrier proves daunting
 between the Lt. and the tribe,
so she is recruited as interpreter
 with what little English she remembers
from her childhood, and they form a close bond.  

Lt. Dunbar befriends a wolf, and when observed
playing together, the tribe gives him the name, 
'Dances With Wolves'. 

When the encroaching U.S. Army threatens to overrun 
the Sioux, he is forced to make a choice - 
one that will forever change his destiny 
and that of a proud and defiant nation. 

The second movie on my list is 
'Fried Green Tomatoes
at the Whistle Stop Cafe', 
featuring Academy Award winning Actresses, 
Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy and Cicely Tyson. 

We are also introduced to the wonderful
Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary-Louise Parker. 

This movie was based on the best selling 1987 novel
of the same name by Fannie Flagg.

When an unhappy housewife, Evelyn Couch (Kathy Bates), goes on
her weekly visit to the nursing home with her husband
to visit his Mother, she befriends
Ninny Threadgoode, (Jessica Tandy)
a colorful old woman who brightens Evelyn's outlook
by sharing tales from her past. 

As Ninny recounts the exploits of her free spirited 
sister-in-law, Idgie (Mary Stewart Masterson), owner 
of a small Alabama cafe' in the 1920's, and the bond 
shared with her friend Ruth, (Mary Louise Parker)
Evelyn gains confidence to change her own life for the better. 

Idgie as a child with her beloved brother. 
She was a Tom-boy who hated dresses. :)

The plot switches back and forth from the mid-1980's 
when Evelyn visits the nursing home, 
to the stories told by Ninnie of Idgie's life in the 1920's.

In between we meet a host of wonderful characters 
from the Whistle Stop Cafe' and relive the story 
of the lives of Idgie and Ruth. 

I loved this movie for its beautiful period fashions
and setting, the lovely story of friendship and devotion
despite many difficulties and hardships, 
and the bittersweet journey of an old woman's memories
which inspires a re-evaluation of Evelyn's life. 

The third movie on my list is
'Out of Africa'. 

This 1985 movie won 7 Academy Awards,
including best picture.

Starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep,
this cinematic masterpiece was based
on the autobiographical book
'Out of Africa' by Isak Dinesan,
the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen. 

I love the opening lines of both the book and the movie, 
"I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills".

This movie was filmed on location in the Ngong Hills
outside of Nairobi in the actual home of Karen Blixen. 

Karen  (Meryl Streep), marries her friend, 
Bror Blixen (Klaus Maria Brandauer) in 
a marriage of convenience for the title of Baroness, 
and he becomes recipient of her upper class wealth. 

In 1913, she travels to Africa intending to start a dairy farm
with him, only to find that he has spent all their money 
on a coffee plantation instead. 

As she struggles to maintain the plantation through various 
problems and disasters while 
her husband leaves her alone to go on long business trips
and hunting expeditions, she strives to improve relations
with the local natives. 

Eventually she discovers that he has been unfaithful -

and she asks him to leave. 

She then develops feelings for his friend, 
the noted hunter and adventurer, 
Denys Finch-Hatton (Robert Redford). 

After going on safari with him and falling in love, 
she invites him to live with her.
When she presses for marriage, 
he begins to criticize her for wanting to 
'own things and people'. 

His frequent absences and lack of commitment 
causes her to question their relationship 
but she loves him and can't let him go. 

I loved this movie for its epic romance, 
the beautiful cinematography
(filmed and directed by Sydney Pollack), 
and the period styles. 
The actual descendants of her
original native plantation workers
were actors in the movie, also. 
The fact that this was a true story, 
gave it credibility and intrigue. 

The ending will break your heart. 

The Fourth Movie on my list, 
'Under the Tuscan Sun' 
did not win any academy awards, 
but Diane Lane's winsome portrayal 
of the love forsaken Frances Mayes 
did get nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. 
This 2003 movie is based on the best-selling 
memoir by Frances Mayes of the same name.

The 1996 book was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller
list  and stayed on for over 2 years.

When Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) learns that her husband
is cheating on her from a writer whom she gave a bad review,
her life is turned upside down.
She loses her marriage and her home to her ex and
his much younger, pregnant girlfriend and
sinks down into a deep depression.

Image result for Photo of Sandra Oh in Under the Tuscan Sun

When her best friend, Patti (Sandra Oh)
gives her tickets to take a tour of Italy in
an effort to bring her out of her depression,
she impulsively buys a rundown Tuscan villa
and struggles to start a new life.

While renovating the villa, she meets a colorful 
and unusual cast of characters with sweet and gentle souls. 

I loved this movie for the charming characters,
the sweet vulnerability of Frances as she learns
to rebuild her life and trust again,
and how she creates a beautiful life out of
the ashes of her despair.

Not to mention her beautiful wardrobe,
 the unassuming but fabulous villa,
and of course, the lovely Tuscan countryside.

My fifth and final movie choice is 
the 1981 movie, 'On Golden Pond', starring 
Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, 
and Jane Fonda.

Henry Fonda won the Golden Globe and Academy Award
for Best Actor in what would be his final film role.

Katherine Hepburn won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

This film also stars Henry's daughter, Jane Fonda,
(in the movie and in real life)
Dabney Coleman and Doug McKeon.  

The movie was filmed on beautiful Squam Lake 
in Holderness, New Hampshire. 

Elderly couple, Ethel and Norman Thayer return 
to their summer cottage where Ethel is thrilled to 
hear the loons calling once again. 

Cantankerous retiree, Norman refuses to acknowledge 
the beauty around him and with his 80th birthday 
approaching, Ethel starts to see signs of senility. 

When his daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), arrives with her 
new fiance (Dabney Coleman) and his teenage son, Billy
(Doug McKeon), it is apparent that Father and Daughter
have a strained and difficult relationship. 

Leaving Billy behind while traveling to Europe, 
Norman and Billy at first form a reluctant relationship. 

But soon they form a bond in their quest to catch Norman's 
legendary fish, 'Walter'. 

We are treated to views of the beautiful lake
and the vintage wooden speed boat. 

Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained 
relationship with her aging father before it is too late
and we find it is very nearly so. 

I loved this film, not only for its legendary film stars, 
Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn, 
but for the bittersweet story of a stubborn 
husband and father facing his own mortality. 

The beautiful backdrop of the lake, the cabin, 
and the haunting calls of the loons
brought back sweet memories for me of 
summers spent at a similar cabin in the 
White Mountains of New Hampshire, as a child
with my family. 

I hope you have enjoyed my reviews of five of my favorite movies,
Dear Friends.

What is your favorite movie?


Today I am linking with:

Love Made My Home - Five On Fridays


  1. Hi dear Karen !! Ahhh me encanta Kevin Consnner !! Es mi actor favorito ese film me entretuvo mucho

  2. I totally agree with these choices! What an awesome post and what fun!

  3. Dearest Karen,
    Well, you leave me behind as Pieter and me have lacked the time for movies in our life... Always things to write for our seminars and most in foreign languages. That and a big garden to care for etc. is consuming all our time. Like Pieter's trip of a lifetime to China, what we only now can together unravel and digest after 29 years. It happened during our most turbulent year. We had just come back form 3 weeks Indonesia, visited Dad on his 66th birthday (the ONLY birthday I ever attended since being an immigrant) and 2-½ months later we both went different directions. Pieter did not fly home from Taiwan but went to Amsterdam to guide his Campbell colleagues through The Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland and Austria and we flew back with Mom & Dad in tow. I did the sight seeing with them as Pieter only had his weekends available and was traveling for Campbell. He got the news that we had to move... Sad tiding and yes, about a year later we had to face that. That's also where part of his slides got lost (with an entire box of things...).
    We never unpacked in Pennsylvania, nor in Italy where we went next. Most things stayed boxed for years, in storage till we moved back to the USA but had to work and live in Indonesia. Being a gypsy for that many years, you really get behind in everything and I do have brand-new videos that we both never found the time for watching. I have lots of books to read... guess I need to live till age 120 with good enough eye sight.
    But we're happy and that's all that matters! I know how to write the word 'bored' in seven language but don't know its feeling...
    Hugs and happy weekend!

  4. I love all of your choices but Dances with Wolves. (I know I saw it, but can't remember much.) My very favorite movies are To Kill a Mockingbird and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Thanks for the lovely reviews. Life is so much richer with good books and movies, isn't it?

  5. Greetings Karen, I so enjoyed reading your blog post today and seeing all the movies that are special to you. Some I have seen and loved and there are some which I never saw. I'll always love Gone With the Wind but there's a couple of foreign films that I loved too. I hope your weekend is off to a great start. Hugs,Pat

  6. What a great five, bringing back some lovely memories. You have certainly prompted me to revisit them particularly Dancing with Wolves, one of my favourites. Have a great weekend.

  7. What a great selection of films. I absolutely loved Fried tomatoes, On golden pond and Out of Africa. I haven't seen the other two. Looks like I've got some catching up to do. Have a great weekend. Barbara xx

  8. What a good idea and how great your reviews were with all the film shots. I've seen and enjoyed four of them not Under the Tuscan Sun, I'll have to try and catch it. x

  9. I've enjoyed your post featuring five favourite movies that have won Awards. Out of Africa would be one of mine too. Ones on my list would be The English Patient, Dr. Zhivago, Chariots of Fire, A River Runs Through It. I love orchestral sound tracks and music is part of the enjoyment of watching a good movie. Then for a happy few hours my all time favourite would be The Sound of Music. i hope you're having a good weekend.

  10. You and I could definitely have a movie marathon! Every one of those five would be on my list as well! I could watch Out of Africa every month and find something new in it.

  11. The one thing all of your films have in common is how beautifully photographed they are.

  12. Aaahhh, Under The Tuscan Sun, probably my favorite movie, Karen. I will tell you a little story. Jess traveled to Europe for three months, and when she made it to Italy, she e-mailed me to tell me that she was in Tuscany and to watch the movie Under The Tuscan Sun so that I would think of her and she would think of me. So, I watched the movie that night while Jess was actually in Tuscany!! I've seen this movie so many times, and every time I find something else in the movie that I missed. It's wonderful.

    The other movies you chose are classics. Love love Dances With Wolves. The only one I haven't seen that you mentioned is Fried Green Tomatoes. Now I must! It was nice to hear all of your favorites, Karen. And it was even nicer that they were my favorites too.

    Have a wonderful weekend, dear.


  13. What a great idea for a Five! Out of Africa is one of my favourites too, not least for its music, and yes, it breaks my heart every time I watch it. It's soooo beautiful. Hope you are having a good weekend. x

  14. I love all five, and I think On Golden Pond is an all time favorite. I am surprised you could keep the list to five as mine would be much longer.

  15. Your fav films are also mine, ... just them all, it's incredible, I still cannot believe it !

    Thank you for this gorgeous post, I've enjoyed it so, so very much !

    Enjoy the remainder of your day, my amiable friend,
    sending hugs to you
    with love

  16. What a great line up! All the best classics. I saw them all but now I want to revisit them again. My favorite is Wizard of Oz! Sorry about the deleted comment :-)

  17. Dances w/wolves was great, but so long. I have Fried Green tomatoes,
    one of my favorites. Out of Africa was another favorite, the music was wonderful and loved Redford an Streep. On Golden pond was kind depressing to me. Tuscan sun was cute.

  18. This was a fun post, Karen! I love seeing what others like in movies. I've watched a few of these, but never have seen Under the Tuscan Sun, if you can believe it! I've gotta check Netflix to see if it's there and watch it. I keep meaning to.

  19. A fun post! I've seen all but Fried Green Tomatoes and it sounds like one I would enjoy. Out of Africa is one of my favorites - I love the way they went camping - with luxury, including taking a phonograph with Mozart to play while they ate dinner. Just lovely.

  20. These were all great movies. I have so many favorites, it would be hard to choose one. I love movies from the 40s, Chocolat, Babette's Feast, so many more. I just rewatched Mary Poppins, and enjoyed it so much!

  21. Great list and I agree with them all, oh my it is hard to pick my favorite movie, Period movies are my favorites!

  22. You could watch movies any time with me dear Friend! I would say that everyone of these films - are either a favorite by me too - or I at least found it excellent. I particularly loved Out of Africa and Under the Tuscan Sun. I think Out of Africa is one of the most visually beautiful films I've ever seen.
    Thanks for sharing and blessings. xoxo

  23. I have only seen one of your 5..Dances with Wolves and I enjoyed it a lot too.

  24. Eu assisti todos e amei cada um! Difícil comentar os detalhes, chorei e emocionei nesses filmes. Parabéns pela escolha!

  25. Love your movie review and you have all of my favorites here! Lots of fun. Think my favorites were out of africa and dances with wolves. Such great movies!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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