As the New Year begins, I reflect ever-so-briefly on some of the most memorable movies of 2009. There were many others I could add to this list, but these were the ones, which for various reasons made my list.
Dan in Real Life Dan in Real Life is the story of a widower with three daughters managing the difficult task of parenting, working, and seeking love. There was a tenderness to this story, which drew me along. Positive: The necessity for fathers to love their girls. If girls will not find love in fathers, they will seek it elsewhere. Also, there is the significance of the family. There is laughter and joy. Negative: False views of love displayed; “the love at first sight” syndrome. Comments: Not the ideal dad, no biblical guidance, but some redeeming values.
Breach “Based on the true story, FBI upstart Eric O’Neill enters into a power game with his boss, Robert Hanssen, an agent who was ultimately convicted of selling secrets to the Soviet Union.” Positive: Loyalty and commitment to family and defense of country’s secrets and integrity. Negative: The same loyalty is used to manipulate others. Comments: Guilt can kill.
Seven Pounds Suffering from guilt, Will Smith’s character will give everything to those in need. Positive: Self-sacrifice and overwhelming love. Negative: As always and so common in Hollywood, sex outside of wedlock is still wrong. Lying and breaking the law to help others. Comments: Is it ever legitimate to lie? Rahab in Judges proves there are exceptions, whether this is one needs to be proven.
Rescue Dawn A US fighter-pilot (Christian Bale) is shut down on a mission and tries to survive in the jungles of Vietnam. Based on a true story. Positive: Friendship, Loyalty, Encouragement to those in need. Negative: Little to say. Comments: The question arises, What must be done in war to stay alive?
Defiance “Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe escape into the Belarussian forests, where they join Russian resistance fighters and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and about 1,000 Jewish non-combatants.” Positive: Familial Loyalty, helping the needy, friendship. Good introduction to Jewish culture and rituals. Negative: Taking the lives of those who took the lives of family members. God says: Vengeance is mine! Comments: Lots of ethical questions. Must we kill to eat and survive? Seems like an Exodus theme. Jews leaving tyranny and establishing order.