Film Reviews

Pay It Forward

Pay It Forward is a great film and one that I would fully recommend to all survivors to see everywhere. It's about people helping people, sometimes the idea works and sometimes it doesn't , but that doesn't mean you give up. All the people in the film have problems, they are all different. But just by looking at what they can offer - and looking at other people's needs - they get things done. It is possible to help people without exploiting them. And this film examines this issue in depth, its not a moralistic film but its a film with a strong value system. And in times like today, I'm writing this the day after the terrible terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. People need something to inspire them its only a film I know, but this film does that and it does it in style.

http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/home.html

Directed by Mimi Leder Starring Haley Joel Osment (Trevor McKinney) Kevin Spacey (Eugene Simonet) Helen Hunt (Arlene McKinney) Jay Mohr Jon Bon Jovi James Caviezel Angie Dickinson (Grace) Liev Schreiber David Ramsey Written by Catherine Ryan Hyde (book) Leslie Dixon (screenplay) Original Music by Thomas Newman Rated: (for mature elements: substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence)Directed by Mimi Leder Starring Haley Joel Osment (Trevor McKinney) Kevin Spacey (Eugene Simonet) Helen Hunt (Arlene McKinney) Jay Mohr Jon Bon Jovi James Caviezel Angie Dickinson (Grace) Liev Schreiber David Ramsey Written by Catherine Ryan Hyde (book) Leslie Dixon (screenplay) Original Music by Thomas Newman Rated: (for mature elements: substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence)


What About Bob - Bill Murray, Richard Dreyfuss and Julie Hagerty

My recommendation for a good chuckle is the film 'What About Bob'It truly captures the madness of the whole trip. Bob's problems would certainly lead to abuse in the UK, but Bob superbly played by Bill Murray fights madness with madness and never gives up. Bob is the client, his therapist is Richard Dreyfuss - who you can have a little bit of sympathy for at first, but who then becomes madder than Bob, and its this aspect of the film that makes it so real, or should that be surreal. The amazing thing is that the film's events are based on one session! Rent this film out now and then send in your recommendation.

 

Have you ever sat down and watched a film, and wondered what on earth it was all about, but still had to watch it to the end to find out.

'The Swimmer' (US 1968) is such a film. Starring Burt Lancaster, Janice Rule, and Kim Hunter.

Essentially it's about a man (Burt Lancaster) clad only in swimming trunks trying to find his way home across a dozen swimming pools. In reality its about trauma and the support or lack of it, when things go wrong. The ending is very sad, and at that point the film starts to make sense. A lot of time as gone into to trying to work out why people do things without looking at the real causes. The coldness felt in this film towards Burt is typical of the UK today.

 

This month's film review is in part also a tribute from VEX to Mary Edwardes and Florence, the woman who she helped.

The Snake Pit - bw U.S. - 1948.Starring Olivia de Havilland.

Is a true classic. A young woman in need of help is placed inside an institution and is abused. In the process you learn that the whole system for dealing with people with problems is abusive. This film was made more poignant for me due to when I watched it, around the spring of 1995. Upon it's release in this country the British censor insisted on a foreword explaining that everyone in the film was an actor and that conditions in British mental hospitals were unlike those depicted. perhaps this was the case in 1948, but the late nineties in Britain is a more wretched place.

Falling Down - US - 1992 -

Micheal Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Tictotin, Tuesday Weld, Frederic Forrest, Lois Smith.

You never find out the name of the character who Micheal Douglas plays in this excellent film. Which is all about isolation and alienation. It recalls the 'Swimmer' in this respect, except the violence shown towards Michael Douglas reflects the times that we now live in. His response is also violent. The themes that are ever present in the film are race, class - and the friendships that can cut across all these barriers and this is what gives the film its humanity. The ending like the 'Swimmer' is very sad. Yet also contains some hope.

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