Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Anthony Hopkins’

My Top Ten Movies ‘Picks’

Cover of "Sense & Sensibility (Special Ed...

Cover of Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)

The other day –  my friend Sharon was enlisting help from her girlfriends – to help her choose our favorite movies – (aka: chick flicks) and being, first of all a girl – AND a great lover of film AND romance, drama AND  inspiring musical scores – I thought I would make up a list of my ‘top ten’ favorites – at least up to this moment in time.  This list may change – but for now – here it is – in my own humble opinion.

1)  Sense and Sensibility – with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant.  I am a HUGE fan of anything Jane Austin – but this movie has great acting AND a beautiful haunting musical score too – and makes it a winner.  This is about sisters that have many things happen to them – including great poverty and grief – and yet still remain constant in their love for each other.  It is a different role then you’ll ever see Hugh Grant in – and I loved it.  He was adorable.   I laughed AND cried – and see something new every time I see it.  An interesting note:  Emma Thompson is actually married in real life to the actor that played her sister’s ‘love interest’ in the movie.  The man who turns out to have a bit of a black heart – and loves money more than Mariann.  It is also a DVD with ‘extras’ and has the commentary by Emma Thompson – which is very informative (great things going on behind the scenes – and great way of setting up some of the scenes).  It is a film that you never grow tired of – because it is a ‘period-piece’ – and is always as current as the day it came out in the theater.

2)  Only You – with Robert Downing Jr. and Marissa Tomei.  About a woman who is convinced her ‘soul mate’ is out there somewhere after playing a game as a kid and having his name spelled out.  She grows up – tries to forget about him – is even engaged to another man – UNTIL she receives a chance phone call from the name she has been waiting for her whole life.  She begins a hilarious ‘romp’ through Italy to find him. It is one of the most romantic movies because of its setting in Europe and the musical score is genius.  Another movie you can watch over and over – with the hilarious Bonnie Hunt as the best friend who travels with her.

3) To Kill A Mocking Bird – with Gregory Peck – made in the early 60’s – it is a masterpiece.  And if you loved the book – you’ll love the movie – although not true entirely to some of the storyline – it is still powerful and stays true to the main theme in the book – which is prejudice in a small southern town in the 1930’s – and one man’s fight against the system.  Powerful and strong performances from the child actors – and in the DVD there are many ‘extras’ and interviews with those ‘children’ now adults and their take on looking back on the filming.  I love the interview with Gregory Peck and his story about meeting the author of this masterpiece, Harper Lee – and just what she said to him – you’ll laugh right out loud!  We watch this every Halloween as a family – it’s our family tradition – and probably the best ‘father/son’ movie you’ll ever see.  Gets my husband EVERY time!!

4)  Meet Joe Black – with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt.  This is a remake of the silent film, ‘Death takes a holiday’ – where ‘death’ takes on a human form and wanders around to learn about ‘life’.  Brad Pitt plays death – and it’s his best role (in my opinion)  very challenging to play – I mean, How do you play death?  But play it – he does and even with a little dry humor which is delightful.  Anthony Hopkins plays the man whom ‘death’ wants to come and visit and get a tour of ‘life’.  The acting is excellent – the banter very humorous and very serious at the same time – and again the musical score is pure genius.  I even borrowed it for a theater production of “Our Town’ several years ago – and I think all the students AND the audience were bawling at the end!  I love music that does that!

5) Age of Innocence – with Michelle Pfeiffer. Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis – A ‘period-piece’ set in the late 1800’s  to  about 1950.  Beautiful story about the way things were done in the upper classes in New York City.  Unrequited love in its most simple and unique form – a family class structure that is set and unmovable.  The musical score is beautiful – you will be transported back in time.  I find myself watching this one over and over – and it is as fresh today as when it first came out on DVD.

6)  Sabrina – with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford – I actually like this remake better than the original with Audrey Hepburn – because to me Humphrey Bogart is just not right for the role – and Harrison Ford is PERFECT!  Timeless story of a poor chauffeur’s daughter that goes to find herself in Europe all the while in love with the boy back home.  It’s delightful and has many surprises of its own.  I believe that it’s Harrison’s best role in a romantic comedy – and I can watch it over and over.  Very funny and moving story!

7)  While you were sleeping – my favorite Sandra Bullock movie of all times.  She’s adorable in this.  About a girl who’s in love with someone from afar – until one day she is thrust into his life – because she saves his – and puts her into a series of events where everyone assumes that she not only knows him – but is engaged to him!  Very funny and very moving at times – one I love to watch over and over – it will make you laugh and cry.

8) Fried Green Tomatoes – with Kathy Bates and Mary Stuart Masterson – a trip into the past – through loss, grief, eternal friendship and a bond that supersedes death.  This is hilarious – and then so sobering it will make you shiver.  A must see for all Kathy Bates fans.  My favorite Mary Stuart Masterson movie – a real gem.  Great musical score too.

9)  Diary of a Mad Black Woman – one of Tyler Perry’s masterpieces. This story is about love, loss, and forgiveness.  It is so worth watching for the Christian message but also for the great humor and multiple characters created and acted out by Tyler Perry.  Loved it.  It will make you laugh and cry.  And you will cheer at the end!

10)  Emma – the Kate Beckinsale version.  Another Jane Austin masterpiece – well acted and thought-provoking with much humor and love.  I highly recommend seeing it.

Look for part two soon – as I have many more movie delights I would love to share with you – and look forward to reading what your top ten favorites are!

God Bless!


The Remains Of The Day

”]Cover of "The Remains of the Day [Region ...

Last night I watched a brilliant story called ‘The remains of the day‘ with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.

As I was watching it – and getting involved in the story and the characters – I was keenly aware of the passage of time and events in our lives that slip by too fast.  Things and people in our lives that are here one day and gone another – or those that we feel will always be there – and then they’re not.  Choices that we make and things that we don’t think too much about – until they are gone.

In this story a man who is a butler of a huge household in England – hires a woman to be the head housekeeper.  They work together for years and have a very tragic and unrequited love story – because he cannot risk his own heart.  And eventually – she leaves and marries someone else.

It is 20 years before they see each other again – and she talks about her regret and the lost years – and what might have been – but realizes that it is too late – and though she cries when leaving him at the end – you have the sense that she does not love him anymore and that she has chosen her husband and the life they built together.

It is brilliantly acted – and you can actually feel the remorse and regret from both of them in their later years – though no love between them is ever mentioned. All because his life is very structured and safe and he cannot allow himself to fall in love.  I wanted to say – all through the movie, ‘you KNOW you love her – tell her!!!’  But he would not.  And he is alone.

Loving someone – giving your heart away is always a risk.

C. S. Lewis addressed the issue of protecting the heart back in the 1950’s: “If you want to make sure of keeping (your heart) intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to…the risk of a (broken heart) is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the danger (of a broken heart) is Hell.”

No friend will break your heart in Hell. No loved ones will disappoint you there. Why? Because there are no friends in hell. There is only the love of the self in hell. Hell is the place where the idolatry of the self comes to its logical, final conclusion.

I can tell you how to guarantee your heart will never be broken. The price, however, is astronomical. It will create for you the closest thing I know of to a “hell on earth.” Never give your heart to anyone – a friend, a child, a brother/sister, a sweetheart. Never give your heart and you consign yourself to living out your life in self-imposed loneliness.

My counsel is “Give your heart,” but give it wisely. Give it only to those who are capable of appreciating and treasuring it. The Biblical way of expressing this caution is “Don’t throw your pearls before swine” (Matthew 7:6). But even if you are successful in only giving your heart to those who will treasure your gift, your heart will be broken.

When your heart is broken, and sooner or later it will be, seek its healing in the presence of others. When you have allowed others to help you with the healing process, you will affirm the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson to be true: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

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