Movie Picks 2 Great Films to Rent on Video or DVD

Babette’s Feast

Set in a rugged fishing village in Denmark during the 1800s, this Oscar-winning adaptation of the Isek Dineson story concerns two sisters who spend their lives helping the needy, and how their lives are changed after welcoming an unassuming French housekeeper into their home. Gabriel Axel’s subtle, low-key direction centers on the preparation and consumption of an exquisite French meal by the elderly villagers in the sisters’ care, and the healing effect the experience has on all involved. Both feast and film are detailed labors of love grounded in the virtues of sacrifice, humility and love. (Rated G-adults and adolescents)

Searching for Bobby Fischer

A powerful statement about the importance of having compassionate parents and dedicated teachers, this fact-based story centers on the struggle of a seven-year old to become a champion chess player in the face of his teacher’s drive and his father’s obsession with winning. First-time director Steve Zaillian successfully captures the conflict between well-meaning adults and a sweet-natured child in this engrossing study of a child prodigy. Memorable performance by Lawrence Fishburne as the Greenwich Village speed-chess whiz who offers the boy a different perspective on the game. (Rated PG-adults and children)

The Elephant Man

A masterful treatise by cult director David Lynch on the nature of humanity and the idea that all people have integrity, no matter their perceived shortcomings. This evocative black-and-white film portrays the rescue of a disfigured man from a circus freak show by a concerned and dedicated physician, and his improbable elevation to the heights of fashionable Victorian society. Stunning performances by Anthony Hopkins as the doctor and John Hurt as the Elephant Man. (Rated PG-adults)

Tender Mercies

Written by Horton Foote and directed by Bruce Beresford, this simple, elegant film tracks the return to love and interior strength of a has-been country singer played by Robert Duvall whose alcoholism has destroyed his career and first marriage. A rare mix of toughness and gentleness, this engrossing film treats in a refreshingly uncynical manner a lost man finding new hope and love by turning to the Christian faith. (Rated PG-adults and older adolescents)

The Prince of Egypt

A magnificent animated feature dramatizing the biblical story of Moses and his call to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt to the Promised Land. This emotionally intense classic proclaims God’s involvement with mankind and illustrates the need in human society for virtue, integrity, character and the Ten Commandments. (Rated PG-adults and older children)

Here are some suggestions to help you reduce the amount of time you spend wandering the aisles of your local video store. Following are five films – some for children, some for adults – that are well worth your time and attention. I believe these are among the very best films ever made in terms of artistic integrity, entertainment quality and moral acceptability.

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