Entries Tagged 'Family' ↓


In this powerful yet quirky celebration of mother/child love, a single mother and her mute, grief-stricken mute daughter, Amy, hide out from child welfare. When eight-year-old Amy starts to hear music and responds by singing, it’s the stuff movie magic is made of. [australia, 1997]

whale rider

Pai, a young Maori girl teaches her seaside community about family, leadership and faith in this magical tale that seamlessly blends myth and reality. When a fractured family struggles to keep itself together after suffering a tragic loss, the grandfather trains all the young boys in martial arts and mysticism in hopes of finding a new leader. Meanwhile Pai, banned from the sessions because she’s a girl, trains in secret and succeeds in invoking the legend of the Whale Rider. [New Zealand, 2003].

the journey of natty gann

The Journey of Natty Gann ideal for 12-14 year old girls. During the Depression Era, motherless-Natty is left with a neglectful and somewhat abusive caretaker while her Dad goes West to make money cutting lumber. Natty has to run away and spends the entire movie traveling west by train and walking. She has lots of adventures and throughout the movie, she is tough, smart, and makes her own decisions. She befriends a wolf who was being used in illegal dog-fights. Great movie for girls. I highly recommend it. [review by mother T.A. Lane] [us, 1985]

the secret of roan inish

10 year-old Fiona Connelly is sent to live with her grandparents on the Donegal coast. She and her older cousin become obsessed with the island where her family lived for generations, and continually try to visit it. Fiona is also convinced that her younger brother Jamie who was swept out to sea as an infant is alive and being cared for by the seal people of her grandfather’s fables. Beautiful wild Irish scenery, and a not-too sweet story make this children’s story a cut above the usual fare. [uk, 1994]

national velvet

Any horse-crazy young girl knows the story of the piebald long shot that wins the Grand National Steeplechase. A 12-year old Elizabeth Taylor stars as Velvet, a young girl determined to race her horse in the biggest of all races. When no other jockey is available, Velvet breaks the rules and races herself. Also starring Mickey Rooney as her trainer, and Angela Landsbury as her boy-crazed older sister. A must see for those in the horse-obsessed years. [us, 1944]

little women

This sepia toned film is a tribute to the original book. Starring Winona Ryder as the ever-independent Jo, it also features a strong ensemble cast including Susan Sarandon and Kirsten Dunst. Re-read the book, and then rent the film on a cozy autumn night. You won’t be disappointed. [us, 1994]

fly away home

A fun and inspiring coming of age story about a 14-year-old girl who flies a skein of geese south for the winter. The girl, grief-stricken by her mother’s death and sent to live with her preoccupied inventor dad on his farm, comes to terms with her loss by nurturing a family of baby geese who imprint on her. Directed by Carroll Ballard, the movie has a fresh outdoor adventure flavour, and espouses valuable lessons for girls about independence, following your heart, and healing. [canada, 1996]

freaky friday

In Jodie Foster’s earlier career she was a child star at Disney. As an unprecocious and slightly gawky tomboy, Jodie’s appeal was as “everygirl.” In this flick she’s a teenager who trades bodies with her mother for a day, and each tries to carry on as usual. Problem is, mom’s a Brady-style 70′s housewife and daughter is a football playing wisegirl. Hilarity ensues, but of course, each learns a valuable lesson. If you saw the original in 1976, maybe it’s time to watch it with your daughter. (Or if you refuse to grow up, just rent it yourself.)[us, 1976]

harriet the spy

This hip adaptation of the popular coming-of-age tale of Harriet, the aspiring scribe, blends jazzy filmmaking with all that growing up stuff about loss, the cruelty of children, and, in this case, being a writer. Rosie O’Donnell’s brisk but heartfelt turn as the no-nonsense Ole Golly is an added bonus. And Eartha Kitt has a marvelous cameo as Harriet’s eccentric neighbor, Mrs. Plummer. [us, 1996]

ever after

Make no mistake, this is not your grandmother’s fairy tale: this damsel is not in distress. In this update of Cinderella, Drew Barrymore rescues the prince, fights for the downtrodden, espouses socialism, befriends Leonardo Da Vinci, swordfights the villian, and finds true love. Recommended for those in need of a good fairytale makeover. [us, 1998]