Maybe because A Christmas Story, based on writings by humorist Jean Shepherd, concerns itself with the universalities of childhood, at least as it existed in America in the 20th century. From the mysteries of life — like, Does a human tongue stick to a frozen flag pole? — to the ‘unthinkable disasters’ of youth that are hilarious in adult retrospect, A Christmas Story taps into the bewildered and not-so-innocent child still in all of us.
Atlantan Miss Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy) is a ‘fine, rich, Jewish lady,’ says her black chauffeur, Hoke Coburn (Morgan Freeman). Driving Miss Daisy is the bittersweet drama about the unspoken friendship between this unlikely pair over a quarter of a century, from 1948 to 1973.
Director Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi is one of the most ambitious biographical films ever made, encompassing not just more than half a century of one man’s life but also one country’s struggle for independence. Ben Kingsley is a marvel as Mohandas K. — later called Mahatma — Gandhi, doing a remarkable job of conveying the soft-spoken determination of a man who would come to inspire a messianic fervor among his people and convincingly aging himself 55 years with little more than alterations in his posture and way of carrying himself.
What would the AFA have to say about The Godfather? Francis Ford Coppola’s riveting generational saga of Sicilian mob families in New York City is steeped in themes like loyalty to family and the importance of religion, and at the same time demonstrates how dangerous too-close family ties can be.
But like many men who do great things using personality traits that would be drawbacks in lesser men, Patton’s idiosyncrasies eventually turn around and bite him. He’s tolerated only as long as he gets results — and good publicity. Patton is a spectacular and unvarnished look at a man who thrives in war while also sowing the seeds of his own downfall.