Flashback Friday-Actor Spotlight-Annette Bening- Mars Attacks! (1996) & What Planet Are You From (2000)

Tonight’s Flashback Friday post and actor spotlight is Annette Bening.

In 1996, she was part of all star cast in Mars Attacks!

Martian spaceships are circling Earth. A meeting is arranged in hopes of keeping the peace. But the Martians do not plan to keep the peace.  And they have a sick sense of humor.

This movie is a throwback to the alien movies of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  It is also a little campy, but not in an over the top way.

Four years later, she starred in What Planet Are You From?

Harold Anderson (Gary Shandling) looks like your all-American banker. But he is not. He is an alien from another planet, devoid of emotion and natural reproduction. Their plan is to take over the world. Harold’s mission is to find a mate and have a child. Enter Susan (Annette Bening).  They meet, marry and become pregnant, but Harold’s mission still holds. Will he become human and emotional or just stick to the plan?

This movie an interesting mixture of an alien invasion/dry humor romantic comedy. It also asks some important questions about relationships and how we navigate the sometimes rocky roads we travel while in relationships.

I recommend them both.


A Little Chaos Review

Chaos is not always a bad thing. It leads to change, which leads to new opportunities.

A Little Chaos is about the creation of the garden of Versailles and the landscape artists who helped to build the garden.

Alan Rickman pulls triple duty on this film. Director, co-screenwriter and stars as Louie XIV. Matthias Schoenaerts is Andre Le Notre, who is trusted with the task of building the gardens. Kate Winslet is Sabine De Barra, a widowed gardener who works with Andre to build the garden.

As Andre and Sabine work together to create the garden, forces are plotting to prevent the garden from being completed. Andre’s spiteful wife, Madame Le Notre (Helen McCrory) sees Sabine as a rival and is more than eager to sabotage her success. Louie is willing to take a gamble on garden, but will the vision become reality?

This movie is phenomenal. Twenty years after Sense and Sensibility, the chemistry between Rickman and Winslet is still there.  In the lead roles of Sabine and Andre, Winslet and Schoenaerts have the solid chemistry that makes a historical romantic drama believable.  And for my fellow Janeite’s, the Austen connection goes beyond Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet. Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion) and Phyllida Law (Emma, Miss Austen Regrets) all have roles in this film.

I absolutely recommend it.

A Little Chaos is presently in theaters. 

Flashback Friday- Goodnight And Good Luck (2005)

The 1950’s, in America are often portrayed as a time of prosperity and peace.

The reality of that time is very different.

The country was gripped by McCarthyism. Led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, McCarthyism or The Second Red Scare, Americans were convinced that Communists were secretly infiltrating the United States. Careers and lives were forever changed by this time in America.

While many went along with the crowd, respected broadcaster Edward R. Murrow decided to take a stand.

The 2005 movie, Good Night and Good Luck, starring David Strathairn in the role of Mr. Murrow, is the story of how the country was finally brought to their senses. Aided by Fred Friendly (George Clooney) and  team of behind the scenes of producers, writers and other staff, Mr. Murrow was determined the learn the truth of the man behind the Communist witch hunts.

Not only is this movie entertaining and educational, it is applicable to our own time.

I highly recommend it.

Jenny’s Wedding

Hollywood, depending on whom one sometimes speaks to, is either behind the times or right on target.

Katherine Heigl’s newest film, Jenny’s Wedding, is right on target. In light of the recent SCOTUS ruling that states that marriage is no longer just between one man and one woman, Jenny’s Wedding put a human face on the issue.

Based on the trailer, Jenny (Katherine Heigl) and Kitty (Alexis Bledel) are not stereotypes. They are simply two women in love who want marry and have the same privileges as Jenny’s straight and married sister, Anne (Grace Gummer).   Jenny’s parents, Eddie (Tom Wilkinson) and Rose (Linda Emond), again based on the trailer, are like many parents. They see the change that is going on in this country, but they cannot truly confront their own feelings until the issue in the persona of their daughter.

It will be interesting to see how this movie is received when it is released later this month.

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