Thursday, December 17, 2009

Off-Beat Movie Recommendation

Found this looking back through my draft file! We watched this movie six months ago....

We just watched a wonderful movie that we probably never would have chosen, except my fabulous mother-in-law lent it to us and insisted we watch it before we return it!

It's called Behind the Mask, which Bantam18 and I do not think was a good title choice, and it was a 1999 made-for-TV movie. It's about estranged fathers and sons.


But as the movie unfolds, it begins to slowly dawn on you what a fine bit of screenwriting this is, what amazing performances the actors are giving and what poignant themes are being so beautifully handled.

Without giving away the plot, let me just mention some of the themes that are developed:

--the deep longing of any man or woman for a father or father figure
--the beauty of all human beings, including the physically and mentally disabled (there is a diverse group of disabled adults portrayed in a touching and tender way; one is a remarkable main character, played by Matthew Fox of Lost)
--a black church is portrayed in an appealing and positive light, as a loving and encouraging force in the lives of the handicapped adults
--faith is portrayed as a positive, healing force
--the tension between relationships (son and wife) vs. career is thoughtfully explored
--marriage is portrayed as a relationship with a certain fragility, requiring investment, but rewardingly worth it
--it's never too late to start over, to admit your whole life was focused on the wrong things, and change course
--forgiveness and reconciliation

Though this would never go on a list of their favorite movies, our four oldest were really drawn into the story in spite of the "made-for-TV" aura that initially underwhelmed them. One of them actually watched it twice. So--something to look for next time you are perusing Netflix for a good family movie!

1 comment:

Erin said...

I love Matthew Fox, so I'll have to check this out. Thanks for the rec!