McFarland USA

This is truly a good movie with a wholesome message. We are all people that need to live together, and this is a very powerful underlying message in McFarland USA. Everyone holds dreams in their heart, and some of us need to learn how to set goals so that we can work toward making those dreams come true. Some of us need to be drawn to the light so we see what it is that we really want from life in the first place. Kevin Costner played the role of coach Jim White, a life mentor, and a glowing light.

What I did not care for in MacFarland USA was the lack of female presence in main body of the storyline. It seemed to me that the women in this story were like a placeholder of propriety. In my personal life, I knew a young woman many years ago that challenged the “system” as it pertained to the sport of cross country. They did not want to let her run with the “boys”, as it would be a kind of embarrassment to her to be competing against males. My friend, Sharon, won her bid to compete with the “boys”, and there was a real embarrassment involved in the whole affair. Sharon beat many of the boys, and was a true trail blazer for women in sports. Maybe this should be another movie.

The last thing that happened and was inspiring about McFarland USA was after the movie was over. There were several kids and adults that stayed in the theater. It took a minute for me to catch up to their conversation. The adults (men & women), and the kids (male & female) were all related to a cross country team. They just loved the movie and did not want to leave. I left, but also liked McFarland USA very much.

Woman In Gold

Woman In Gold

Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds present a look into the past by way of standing up for the rights of a single individual, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren). Maria Altmann survived the German assault on the world in a daring escape from Austria with her husband Fredrick “Fritz” Altmann (Max Irons).

Some fifty years later, Maria decided to take on the Austrian Government to recover possessions that had been illegally seized from her family as part of the Nazi game plan to conquer the world and eliminate Jews from the face of the planet. Maria Altmann needed an attorney to her assist her in establishing whether she had a sound case against the Austrian Government. Maria approached a friend that had a son that was practicing law. Mrs. Schoenberg (Francis Fisher) put her in touch with her son Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds). And so the fight began.

The first part of the fight Maria encountered was to find people that cared about the rights of others. Sound familiar? Woman In Gold was an excellent movie in how it displayed how real people, one by one, came upon their own humanity. As the horrific story of the Nazis brutality and how others decided to profit from the Nazi ruthlessness (Austria) unfolded before their own eyes, each character came around to the decision that Maria Altmann’s battle was one that needed to be fought.  

Excellent cast, excellent movie, and thank you Maria Altmann for telling and sharing your story with the world. God bless you and your family. Rest in peace courageous warrior.  

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