Friday, August 5, 2016

What We've Been Watching: Kind Hearts, Joy, Small Act, and Doris

Louis Mazzini's mother belongs to the aristocratic family D'Ascoyne, but she ran away with an opera singer. Therefore, she and Louis were rejected by the D'Ascoynes. Once adult, Louis decides to avenges his mother and him, by becoming the next Duke of the family. Murdering every potential successor is clearly the safest way to achieve his goal.
We were both delighted way beyond expectation by this classic comedy. We knew that Alec Guiness played 8 parts but we didn't expect the wonderful script full of nuances which left us slightly shocked (in a happily funny way). We didn't expect the subplots which gave the film comic depth and kept us interested. We didn't expect the skill with which Dennis Price and Joan Greenwood smoothly played their parts. We certainly didn't expect the twist at the end.

This is definitely a movie that isn't watched enough these days.

A story based on the life of a struggling Long Island single mom who became one of the country's most successful entrepreneurs.
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Joy Mangano, a self-made millionaire whose business empire was based on inventing the Miracle Mop. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed this.

Many film critics said they thought it was too chaotic but to us that was part of the point of the movie. Without the endurance tests that make up Joy's life could she have stuck with making her miracle mop a best seller?

(2010 documentary)
A young Kenyan's life changes drastically when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger. Years later, he founds his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received.
The good deeds we do, however small, can be important in a way we can't imagine. That is the overall message of this small but heartwarming documentary about Chris Mburu. He came from a tiny Kenyan village but, helped by a $15 monthly donation from a Swedish woman he never met, was able to go to secondary school. From there he won scholarships, began a successful career, and was able to begin his own educational foundation.

We see him tracking down his benefactor and finding they had unimagined connections. We also see three children striving to win a scholarship from Chris's foundation and the difference it would make in their lives.

It is unexpectedly riveting and may just inspire you to do your own small act of kindness to help an unknown child somewhere in the world. We ourselves went to Unbound (formerly CFCA) and began sponsoring an elderly Filipino lady who just needs $36 to make life better.

A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman (Sally Fields) to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.
A charming little film which was a thousand times better than The Intern which had 70-year old Robert DeNiro as an intern imparting wisdom to entrepreneur Anne Hathaway.

Perhaps that is because this movie was shot incredibly quickly on a shoestring so they didn't worry about tying up every loose end. They also didn't make every person "consistent." The characters display all the blind spots and inconsistencies of real people.

It was refreshing and, as many have noted, Sally Fields is the engine that makes it work. She is wonderful in this. It's a simple little film without a lot of layers but it does offer an enjoyable peek into a thought provoking world.

1 comment:

  1. I first watched Kind Hearts and Coronets in a college psychology class of all places (part of a discussion on murder and madness, a lighthearted intro you might say). I've 'forced' a few friends and family to see it again with me over the years and it is definitely a movie that I seem to pick up some new subtlety each time, either a pun or double entendre etc.