Good movies possess the artistic ability to transform our thoughts and emotions in an instant. They inform, they entertain, they delight, and sometimes, they force us to confront and challenge societal norms and even our own beliefs. This is the magic of the movies.
This weekend we discovered new titles that did just that and revisited one title that resonates just as much today as it did in 1996. Without further ado, our weekend watches.
“Saint Frances” (2019)
A powerful film that visits themes such as acceptance, strength, and struggle. Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) a thirty-something purposeless woman is forced to make an emotionally and physically strenuous decision for abortion when she accidentally becomes pregnant. While she grapples through the residual emotions of her recent decision, Bridget becomes the nanny for a mixed-race, same-sex family (Charin Alvarez and Lily Mojekwu) and their rambunctious and sage six-year-old daughter, Frances (Ramona Edith-Williams). What unfolds is a story of maternal instincts, compassion, and strength. “Saint Frances” is an important depiction of women in film and their sheer ability to challenge societal norms and stereotypes so unfairly placed them. A little on the nose at times, yet human and sincere. Available to rent virtually at https://www.denverfilm.org/at-the-movies/. 4.1/5 stars.
“Love, Simon” (2018)
This coming-of-age film is a must watch. Simon (Nick Robinson) is a high school senior who has been suppressing a major secret from his friends and family since he was in middle school – he’s gay. With the imminent threat of being exposed on the high school Facebook page by an irritating class mate, Simon goes to great lengths to keep his secret while simultaneously preparing to come out to his friends and family in his own way and his own time. “Love, Simon” has many more layers to it than expected and does a magnificent job of capturing the emotions and struggles that are the reality for so many closeted teens. This is a story of growth and the delicate experience of finding oneself. Poignant and heart-warming all at the same time. Available to rent on the iTunes store. 4.2/5 stars.
“The Birdcage” (1996)
What can we say about this movie that has not already been said? The story of gay Miami Beach nightclub owners Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) and his partner, Albert (Nathan Lane). Armand’s son, Val (Dan Futterman) suddenly drops an earth-shattering revelation on the couple that he has a fiancé, Barbara (Calista Flockhart) – the daughter of conservative and narrow minded senator (Gene Hackman) and his equally conservative wife, Louise (Dianne Wiest). The story unfolds rapidly and exposes what happens when two wildly different worlds collide. A comedic masterpiece that highlights the importance of remaining true to oneself and accepting of others. Based on the musical “La Cage aux Folles”. Available to stream for free via Amazon Prime Video. 4/5 stars.