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Movies That Move Me

As I travel around the world on the internet, reading various blogs every day as I do, I often think “hey! That is a great idea for a post! I should do that!” Then I forget about it, and go on with my life…
Not this time. After reading several terrific list-based posts yesterday, I decided that the time had come to follow through. Heaven knows I love to make lists, and can blather on about why something is amazing, or sucky, with the best of them!

These are few movies that, no matter how often I see them, touch some part of me, move me, or just make me think.
In no particular order:

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol.
“Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.” (Summary from IMDb.com)
Yes, I fell in love with the novel by William Styron, first. But Sophie will forever be Meryl Streep for me. She is simply luminous in this film. Her beauty is so pure in such a complicated tragedy, that it is nearly impossible to take my eyes from her face. Each time I see the film, my heart breaks again. For Sophie, for Nathan, but mostly for Stingo, who we know will triumph, but will never be the same. The blend of poetry, music, tragedy friendship and love keep me coming back over and over.

The Color Purple (1985)

Another favorite book, Alice Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’ was translated stunningly by Steven Spielberg. The story remains as powerful and moving as it should be (often a failing in book-to-film ventures), and is also visually perfect. Simply seeing the beauty of this on the big screen shows how Spielberg understood the title line, shown in this clip:

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

This film–and book too–helped me see that all kinds of women are beautiful, powerful, and strong. Watching Celie learn to own her smile, to grin without hiding, makes me believe in myself. And when I am feeling down, I sing this song in my head, and feel better.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Yes, another book-to-film has made my list. Big surprise.
Based on a short novel by Stephen King, this movie has everything to get me crying. Even though I know what will happen, I still cheer at the end. My favorite scene (likely everyone’s) is this one:

Locking himself in the Warden’s office, Andy plays Mozart over the prison sound system, just because it is so beautiful. He earns himself a stretch in solitary, but it sure seems worth it.

“For the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.”

Doesn’t get much better than that.

The Fisher King (1991)

This movie breaks my heart, makes me laugh, cry, sing, and leaves me wanting more every single time. Probably my favorite of all Robin Williams’ work, his complex portrayal of a man so broken by grief that he vanishes into a fantasy land of medieval knights and chivalry is stunning, and at times comic. The blend of fantasy and reality in this movie just takes my breath away.

For example, Grand Central Station, is suddenly a ballroom:

Directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, this movie should be seen by everyone, as far as I am concerned. You won’t be disappointed. Bring a hankie, though!

Next time, my rock-star boyfriends…

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