MR HOLLAND’S OPUS Directed by Stephen Herek Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Glenne Headly, Jay Thomas, Olympia Dukakis, William H. Macy, Alicia Witt
TEACHERS are such a maligned lot so movies like this 1995 gem help show us how inspirational their profession can be, and is.
This story is about musician Glenn Holland (Richard Dreyfuss) who reluctantly takes up teaching music back in the 1960s, and soon finds its his vocation. Spanning 30 years, Holland and the movie not only show us how the music landscape changes, and students’ tastes in music, but also how teaching itself is a committed vocation.
His students adore him, and he seems to be able to reach out to them, with the exception of his own son, who’s born deaf. There’s a sweet reconciliation to his refusal to accept that handicap, and you will probably be moved by Dreyfuss’ singing John Lennon’s Beautiful Boy to his son.
While the supporting cast — including Olympia Dukakis as the dry-wit headmistress, Jay Thomas as a fun football coach, Alicia Witt as a trying student — leaven the cliched tale, Dreyfuss’ acting is the highlight.
He offers a restrained, sensitive performance, earning him an Oscar nomination. The ending of this film will make you remember that teacher you liked. The film today will remind you of Glee. It’s a nice family watch. Only English subtitles.
Directed and written by Brad Marlowe
Starring Sommer Knight, David King, Brandon Hiott, Todd Surber, Tom Polanski
WEDNESDAY’S Child is an interesting, if dark, handling of teenage angst, or children of woe. The story is about Nathan, who grows up (David King) to become a little like Edward Scissorhands (of Johnny Depp fame).
Along comes rebellious teenager Joanne (Sommer Knight) and younger brother Billy (Brandon Hiott). There is something not right in their household, and we learn why only at the end. Before we get there, Joanne and Billy befriend
Nathan who has a wholesome influence on the girl-woman. She has, by then, been posted on the Internet for her wild ways with town toughie Tony (Todd Surber).
King offers a believable portrayal of the hermit Nathan, bogged down by emotional issues and mental anguish. Knight is sweet as wannabe rebel or wannabe prom princess.
This 1999 film is an elegant allegory on what misconception and bias can do to people. The ending is an indie gem. Subtitles in Malay, Chinese and English.
LE GRAND CHEF
Directed by Jeon Yun Soo
Starring Lim Won Hee, Lee Ha Na, Kim Kang Woo
With English and Mandarin subtitles
THIS South Korean film is based on a series of best-selling manga. It’s a fun watch about the intense rivalry between two chefs out to win Best Chef title. There’s another tale wrapped in this that goes back to history and the last royal chef of the Joseon era.
All this comes as some of the best culinary dishes in Korea are served. The images of the food are delectable, while the descriptions used by the judges are delicious.
Kim Kang Woo as the good guy whose cooking seems genius, Yim Won Hee as the devious chef and Lee Ha Na as the VJ with a heart make for lighthearted viewing.
Le Grand Chef saw a standing ovation at the 2007 Pusan Film Festival. Bottomline: You need to be careful about eating blowfish sashimi.
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