There are movies a family can watch and then there are movies that a family will watch and want to add to their own library. Below are several that fit the latter category.
Facing the Giants
Facing the Giants is a movie about a Christian high school football coach, Grant Taylor, struggling to keep his team alive — a team that is on a 6-year losing streak when the movie begins. The rest of Grant’s personal life seems to be falling apart at the seams as well.
He has a car that won’t stay running, a house that needs repairs, and he and his wife Brooke are struggling with infertility. A trip to the doctor reveals that the infertility lies with Grant. As everything piles up, he hits the proverbial bottom. Just as Grant is about to give up, a gentleman who goes through the halls of the Christian high school praying for the students comes into Grant’s office and encourages him to keep on going.
He tells him that one cannot fully know when the end has come. We then see Grant make a point of praying and searching out the Lord regarding the circumstances in his life, especially the football team, and making a determination that he is going to “prepare for rain” and not give up with his players. As Grant’s personal journey unfolds throughout the movie, so does that of his wife Brooke as she struggles with infertility.
As a woman also diagnosed with infertility (though we recently received a miracle pregnancy) I felt that the emotions surrounding this heart breaking issue were more than adequately and honestly portrayed within the movie.
From the tears to the sacrifice of praise Brooke offers up, my own heart responded in answer to the wide array of emotions portrayed as the movie progressed. For those used to the usual Hollywood drama and acting this movie may seem stifled and at times poor in the acting department. However, for those seeking a family friendly movie that touches on heart issues that regular, every day people struggle with, this is the movie to watch.
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
Be prepared for you and your entire family to have your hearts captured by a little red-headed girl who wishes her name was Cordelia rather than just plain Anne. We meet her as an orphan girl helping a harried mother of several sets of twins, and who loses herself in books and her imagination to cope with life. Although it may seem a bit melodramatic at the start, Meagan Follows as Anne does such an incredible acting job that even the adults in the family get drawn into her story. Following Anne on her journey to finding a forever home, we see the progression of a couple mistakenly taking her into their home, thinking she is the boy they sent from the orphanage for help on their farm, taking her into their hearts instead.
Now that Anne has found her forever home, she can begin to live as other children, and she does that with charm and whimsy. Getting herself into all sorts of scrapes, from almost drowning in a leaking dinghy as she playacts the Lady of the Lake, to frightening her bosom buddy Diana into a dead faint because of her scary stories, to dyeing her hair green, the entire movie is one that entertains and entrances.
From lovable child that is at times almost flighty, to solid and deep young woman, Anne’s world changes and the people around her grow up. She resists such changes, perhaps in response to a lost childhood pre-adoption, and in so doing almost loses herself. Anne steals everyone’s heart, but can’t find her own.
However, going away from her beloved Green Gables and teaching at a woman’s college causes her to find who she really is and discover what is really important. Following Anne from childhood to adulthood in both series is one that will take the viewer on a journey from hysterical laughter to romantic sighs and even sappy tears.
Children will love her and adults can’t help but revisit their own transition from childhood to adulthood as they watch Anne’s passage of the same. The “Anne movies” will be movies that delight old and young alike and will earn their investment many times over as they are watched repeatedly throughout the years.
Man from Snowy River and Return to Snowy River
Due to a tragedy in his life, Jim Craig, a young adult, is forced out of his home in the mountains of Australia in order to prove himself. Rejected by the highlanders and not belonging to the valley, he is a man not only seeking to prove himself to the people of the mountains, but he must find who he is as a man. Arriving into the lowlands, he comes to work for a rancher named Harrison, as one of the cowhands.
Falling quickly for Harrison’s daughter Jess, Jim is also drawn to a costly stallion that Harrison recently purchased. After secretly breaking the colt with Jessica, Jim is the one blamed when the colt runs off with the brombies (wild horses).
Harrison sets up a challenge for any man who wants to take it, to not only get the colt back, but also to capture the wild horses so he can add them to his existing herd. Jim is one of the men who takes this challenge up.
Return to Snowy River takes up where Man From Snowy River left off, though a few years have lapsed in the story line. It is difficult to understand where the characters are and where they have come from in the opening moments, simply because Jim Craig is missing and Harrison is being played by a different actor. However, because of the acting and particular scenes, the viewer will be drawn in just as quickly as they were with the first movie.
With stunning footage, beautiful music scores, and the ultimate romance, both movies are mesmerizing to watch and viewers will more than likely find themselves watching them again as the years pass. Some may find the movies slow paced, as dialogue and relationships are minimal and, instead, scenery and horses are emphasized. However, for those that love beauty, whether it is in horses running, music that steals your breath, or a love story that transcends all obstacles, this is the movie to watch.
(Please not that there is mild profanity in these movies that some may feel make them inapropriate for children.)
Pic of the Day: Our indoor cat moved from a gray apartment block view to this