Thursday, March 10, 2016
Thursday Movie Picks-Films that have a narrator but you never see the Narrator
First off.....I miss my craft room (enter whining....here). The up and down weather has been nasty to my joints. Now, off with the whining when I should have been wining and dining. If you wish to see what the others have picked head on over to the host, Wandering Through The Shelves.
This was a tough one for me because so many narrators of films actually show up in the film. So what are the three I picked? See the list below....
1. HOW GREEN WAY MY VALLEY-1941
This is a great movie to pick not only because it fits the bill and is also a great film but it feels Irish even though it takes place in a Welsh mining town. The director is John Ford and the young star is Roddy McDowall with a great cast, many part of Ford's favourites. This movie has been slammed because it won the Oscar for Best Picture over Citizen Kane and, even though Kane is the better film, this film should not be slighted because of politics from over 70 years ago. The film centers around a good wholesome family where the father and his grown sons all work the mines. The town depends on the mines and when their wages are cut, a strike ensues and the people suffer even more. On top of this, the young daughter, played by the beautiful Maureen O'Hara falls for the preacher (Walter Pidgeon-from New Brunswick) and vice versa but the towns people start to gossip which adds to their sadness. All this is told by the adult man who was the youngest boy in the house played by Roddy. It is about family, hardship and solidarity. A worthy film to see.
2. JULES ET JIM-1962
Yup, I went foreign film and I went all out with the French New Wave. This film is one of the best showcasing this style of film and directed by the great Francois Truffaut. It is not for everyone because of...well,....the above-foreign film and French New Wave, but it is still a classic. This is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Henri-Pierre Roche. If he really did live the life shown in this movie, I feel sorry for him. It is about the friendship between a Bohemian Frenchman and an Austrian who live the carefree days before World War 1. They meet the nutjob, I mean, enigmatic Catherine and both fall for her. Jules, The Austrian, ends up with her and marries her and they move back to his homeland. Enter World War 1 where both men are in the war fearful they will one day meet since they are on opposing sides. After the war, they reconnect and seeing how much Catherine and Jim are drawn to each other, Jules lets her be free. Will Jim end up with her or will Jules? Are they both nuts? There is so much more to the story and it really does showcase the 1960's style. Truffaut used many different styles for this film including the narration.
3. THE ROYAL TENNENBAUMS-2001
The director is Wes Anderson...need I say more. You either love him or you don't. I really, really like him and he often has his favourites in his films, one being Bill Murray. You will see a certain style come through all his films which is quirky to say the least but done with intelligence and humour even though many of the cast never smile in his films. In this film, the deadbeat dad, played by Gene Hackman, smiles and enjoys life even though he is a bastard. He has 3 kids who were all prodigys when they were young but are now all screw ups. Ben Stiller is the one son who has lost his wife so is now very over protective of his 2 freakish boys plus they only seem to wear red tracksuits. The other son is a tennis pro going no where fast and is in love with his adopted sister, played by Gwyneth Paltrow who seems to be the saddest nut in this film. She is married to Bill Murray but also loves her brother, um...adopted brother (no this does not take place in Arkansas). Somehow this father, who comes back home because he is dying of cancer (or is he??), brings life back to his children. It's better than I am making it sound and you should give it a try. Dysfunctional family but a family nevertheless. Oh and the narrator is Alec Baldwin who did a pretty good job of it actually.
I have to pay tribute to one more even though it was only on TV and it is the wrong time of the year but here is my special mention....
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS-1966
I mean how can you top this classic! We all know this and if it wasn't for Boris Karloff (of Frankenstein fame) being the narrator, it wouldn't be half as good. He is perfect for this. I think almost all of you know the plot which is in the title but it is worth seeing every year. Who can resist that cute doggie too:)
Can you think of any film with narrators who don't appear on screen? I did find this a toughie