Marilyn Gardner Woods
Film Festival at my house!
Updated: Oct 5, 2021
In an effort to calm my nerves in anticipation of a vaccine appointment, I staged a mini-Film Festival at my house over the last few days and nights.
Success finally. My appointment is this week. First time I've actually been grateful to be in the advanced age category.
While waiting, I watched what I thought were three extraordinary movies which provided a mesmerizing escape plus a scope of emotions I hadn't experienced in these long ten plus months of Covid:
The romance of Sylvie’s Love...
Sylvie experiences a summer love affair with an aspiring saxophonist that lasts forever, although there’s separation.
Cinematically, this movie is breathtaking with its mid-century New York music scene backdrop. The young lovers, enchanting. Had to buy the soundtrack.
As Roger Ebert wrote,
“It’s almost as if someone gently whispered, “Old Hollywood” into your ear then, sweeping you off your feet, and landed you where the atmosphere is lush, the colors and emotions are heightened, and costumes are dream.”
Both stars, Tessa Thompson, the elegant and willful Sylvie, and the unbelievably charismatic Nnamdi Asomugha are perfection. Who knew the 2003 NFL’s first round draft choice by the Oakland Raiders could morph so convincingly into a leading man? And play sax?
And speaking of football, there’s that and the thought-provoking inspiration of men, (one an NFL footballer) famous in their own right, united in a cause in One Night in Miami. The film is a skillfully woven and riveting fictionalized drama peppered with historical facts and truths.
One night in 1964, Cassius Clay, Jim Brown (Cleveland Browns star fullback and Pro Football Hall of Famer), Malcom X, and Sam Cooke got together in a motel room to child, debate, argue and celebrate Clay’s victory over heavyweight champ, Sonny Liston.
No grand statements about sports or race or politics…just a bunch of guys talking, dropping their defenses and opening their hearts. A mighty directorial debut by Regina King.
But it was Leslie Odom’s (he of Hamilton fame) stirring performance of Sam Cooke’s
"A Change is Gonna Come” that moved me to action. Downloaded the song and bought Malcolm X’s autobiography. (Click link to hear the brilliant original)
There is a major injection of sadness in You Can Count on Me, an exquisitely portrayed slice of life in upstate New York. I couldn’t stop the tears as siblings, Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo, embraced on the park bench in one of the last scenes.
Plus, as Rudy Jr., Rory Caulkin gives the most soulful performance of an eight-year-old ever. Oh yeah, and Matthew Broderick's character is kick-ass surprising and superb. Unforgettable performances all around.
Amazing good old boy country music soundtrack along with some Yo-yo Ma Bach on cello, which is also now in my music along with Loretta Lynn’s "The Other Woman." (OMG check it out!)
Memorable performances, music, and intriguing messages in three wonderful films—and for an encore, I get a vaccine!
Sylvie's Love, One Night in Miami, and You Can Count on Me on Amazon Prime.
Thank you, will give them a look see. How did you get a Covid Appt? Any MW intel would be welcome.
Part of my 2020 isolation was reading your touching book. What a great life you two had. So glad you wrote it.
Also, thank you for the movie recommendations. Pretty hard to find things to watch right now.
Thanks for the tip and congrats on getting the vaccine!
Thank you Marilyn for the movie list and congrats on your Vaccination appointment. I have not been so lucky.
There’s just nothin’ you can’t write! This is wonderful! Gorman! She will single handedly bring back poetry! What a star! GL