I don’t know when or exactly why I came to love the movies. I was hardly more than a toddler when I went with my parents to the drive-in to see Spirit of St. Louis—and slept through much of it, but I still remember Jimmy Stewart! At six I had a couch date late at night alone with my mom for a watching of The Wizard of Oz. At eight during the Easter season, again mom and I went together to see The Ten Commandments. At nine my Granny took me to the drive-in on a summer night to see Ben Hurr. At ten my whole family went to the drive-in to see Old Yeller. When I was twelve and we were waiting on my baby sister to be born soon, we all took a pregnant mom and went to the theater to watch Big Red.
We didn’t go often, but when we did, it was an event. By the time I started dating, rules for the downtown theater meant no jeans or shorts. It was a good date place. DH and I both loved movies. Our first date was Mary Poppins and the second was My Fair Lady. These are not his favorite movies, but he was trying to impress so anything was acceptable then.
I loved the movies because in those days movies were stories. Now days the words trash, stupid, empty, and maybe horror are what to come to mind. Today we saw seven movie trailers…all were zombies, comic book characters, the exorcising of evil spirits, and one thriller that was built around the world in chaos from extreme terrorism. We don’t go to the movies like we used to for date night, married date night, or just plain entertainment because most of the movies out there cost a fortune and are not entertaining.
But we have done a wild turnabout since Christmas. Our local theater has been bought out and cleaned up. Some great movies are out there. We need some getting away like the old days. We have seen three movies in two weeks. Amazing. The fact the theater furnace was broken and we watched one movie at 62 degrees made the management give all of us free movie passes for another show sometime. That helped pull us out. Going early in the week, at the cheaper time slot, and getting Senior Citizens price breaks help too.
We have seen three distinctly different movies, all three telling a story, a good story. We saw Spotlight, Brooklyn, and Revenant. (What is with the new one word titles?) Of the three, Brooklyn was the one done “like the old days”. Sweet faces, few bad words, limited sex with no nudity, an often-told romance told in a new way. The story is of an Irish immigrant in the early 1950s and her homesickness that turns to a romance with an Italian boy. A family death calls her back to Ireland where she has to define the meaning of home. Ah geez, it is lovely movie that carried me back to a former time. The colors in the movie are so vivid…something about the photography allows you to feel the water of the Irish coast, the corduroy pillows, the velour coats, the warm tea pots on the table. The bullet bras, heeled shoes worn with rolled down socks, yellow cabs of 1950, and real Italian spaghetti and Irish rashers help set the scenes.
So I am excited about the Academy Awards this year. I wish I could see more before the Oscars, but now I have seen enough to feel like I can “participate” in the Academy Awards glamour night. The fact that five of the eight nominated films this year came from published books is just one more punch up for writers. Maybe stories of all kinds will make a real come back!
How about you, are you a movie and Oscar buff?