Thursday, May 03, 2018
Thursday Movie Picks: Characters Making a New Start
For the 18th week of 2018 as part of Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks series hosted by Wanderer. We venture in films in which characters start over in the hope they embark on a new start in life. Here are my three picks:
1. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
From Martin Scorsese comes a film that might seem unusual for a filmmaker who is known mainly for making films about men and their environment and flaws but this gem from 1974 proves that he can also tell stories about women. Starring Ellen Burstyn as a woman whose husband just died as she moves to the American southwest with her son in the hopes they can start a new life. It’s a film that has Scorsese play into the struggle that a woman endures as she has a son who is bratty and talkative while dating men who aren’t so nice with the exception of a rancher. Add Jodie Foster in the role of a tomboy who would get Burstyn’s son into all sorts of shit and you have one of Scorsese’s finest films that is often overlooked.
2. Private Benjamin
A woman’s life is shattered following the death of her husband (Albert Brooks) on their wedding night and what does she do? She joins the army. It’s a hilarious premise in a film starring Goldie Hawn as a Jewish princess who gets everything she wants and then is forced to start over by joining the army in the belief that it’s a holiday spa by her army recruiter played by the late, great Harry Dean Stanton. Along the way, Hawn manages to find herself and eventually realizes that she doesn’t need a man to make her happy. Only she can do that herself as it’s one of the great comedies of the 1980s.
In another film that starred Albert Brooks is a film he also writes and directs about a sci-fi writer who endures another divorce and questions his own direction in life as he decides to start over by moving back home with his mother. Also starring Debbie Reynolds as Brooks’ mother, it’s a charming little comedy about a man trying to figure things out as well as re-establish his relationship with his mother who had been carrying secrets of her own. It’s one of Brooks’ finest films as a filmmaker as well as one of his most accessible films to date.
© thevoid99 2018