by HELEN GEIB
Struggling to think of an appropriate movie to watch to celebrate Thanksgiving? Try one of these- very different from each other- three films with a Thanksgiving focus:
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Ask someone to name the first Thanksgiving-themed movie that comes into her head and she’ll probably say Planes, Trains & Automobiles, John Hughes’ road movie comedy of the misadventures of a buttoned-down Chicago businessman trying- with the help and hindrance of an obnoxiously friendly traveling salesman- to make it home from New York in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Steve Martin and John Candy play the odd couple.
Pieces of April (2003)
If your family’s tastes run less to mainstream comedy and more to indie drama, writer-director Peter Hedges’ Pieces of April is your holiday movie of choice. Katie Holmes’ young New York City apartment-dweller has invited her semi-estranged parents (Oliver Platt and Patricia Clarkson) and brother to Thanksgiving dinner. Then her oven dies- on the morning of. A tribute to the power of the Thanksgiving meal to bring family and neighbors together, not to mention its all-around deliciousness and culinary variety, Pieces of April is also the best bet to please the cook.
The New World (2005)
And finally, for the cinematically adventurous there’s Terrence Malick’s transcendent biopic of Pocahontas, who leads her people in bringing food to the starving Jamestown colonists. Pocahontas is played by the luminous O’orianka Kilcher; Colin Farrell co-stars as John Smith and Christian Bale as John Rolfe. Watch it on the biggest screen you possibly can.
What are your Thanksgiving movie recommendations?
New releases this week: Charlie St. Cloud, Grown Ups, Ramona and Beezus, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World