2012 Oscar winner Octavia Spencer in The Help. Along with the entire cast including Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard, she gave a brilliant performance, accomplishing the rare feat of transforming the masterful bestselling novel by Kathryn Stockett to the big screen. In fact, in my humble opinion, I felt the sensitive nature of the subject matter was delivered to the audience even more powerfully on film than through the book. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, I left the movie theatre feeling shock, at the horrible reality of racism during the surprisingly recent 1960's; contempt, from the ignorance/pretentiousness of wealthy white Junior League members (particularly as a former Charlotte and Atlanta JL member myself); and inspiration, from the brave accomplishments and collaboration of the main characters, publishing their powerful stories during the 1960's South.
|Octavia Spencer at Oscars, courtesy of People.com|
Short film (spreading virally through various social media sites like Facebook) documenting the grassroots-like international movement/campaign of the Invisible Children to heighten awareness of the atrocities of Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). Although somewhat controversial in its effectiveness, the film does a brilliant job of documenting this horrific reality. These crimes originated in Uganda, and later spread through the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan, affecting thousands of innocent children and families. Although similar atrocities have occurred throughout history, it is unfathomable to imagine such horrors are taking place in our world today. The link to this short film is attached below.
Excerpt from Kony2012 website:
"THE LRA HAS EARNED A REPUTATION FOR ITS CRUEL AND BRUTAL TACTICS. WHEN JOSEPH KONY FOUND HIMSELF RUNNING OUT OF FIGHTERS, HE STARTED ABDUCTING CHILDREN TO BE SOLDIERS IN HIS ARMY OR “WIVES” FOR HIS OFFICERS. THE LRA IS ENCOURAGED TO RAPE, MUTILATE, AND KILL CIVILIANS–OFTEN WITH BLUNT WEAPONS."
We recently watched this film (Cox OnDemand), although it does not hit theatres until mid March, 2012. We selected this film at random, based on its stellar cast including Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, Marcia Gay Harden, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner. Adrien Brody plays the main character, a substitute teacher who moves between schools frequently enough to avoid making any lasting connections or attachments to his students. Though he is placed in a school filled with apathetic/troubled students and a burnt-out administration and staff, he manages to make an impact both in the school and his community. Although a rather dark film with heavy and depressing subject matter, Brody's performance is brilliant, compelling, and thoroughly relevant amidst today's sad realities of many school environments.
Friends with Kids
On a much lighter note, my husband I have a dinner/movie date tonight to see Friends with Kids, starring Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Jennifer Westfeldt, (also written and directed by Westfeldt)... As huge Mad Men fans, we are highly anticipating its return to AMC in late March. In the meantime, we will get our fix of Hamm in this lighthearted comedy/drama..... stay tuned to hear how this one turns out!
|Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, courtesy of People.com|
Addendum...I hate to disappoint, but we did not LOVE the movie, Friends with Kids. Although I appreciated its comedy, it was a rather annoying variety of humor. We were both waiting for it to end (never a good sign)....I would definitely suggest renting this one, as it is still decent entertainment with a solid cast!