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Staff Pick: Now, Voyager

Cover of Now VoyagerDiane of Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests Now, Voyager

Hollywood cranked out women’s pictures, or weepies, with excessive emotional fervor from the 1930s to 1950s. For many historians, 1942’s Now, Voyager starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains, is the definitive weepie. Davis portrays Charlotte Vale, a dowdy Boston spinster, oppressed and driven to a nervous breakdown by a domineering mother. She recovers with the help of a kindly psychiatrist, played by Claude Rains, who runs a mental health sanitarium. After leaving the doctor’s care, Charlotte takes an ocean voyage where she finds self-confidence and love through a romance with an unhappily-married man, played by Paul Henreid, and ends up taking his emotionally troubled daughter under her wing.

 

For more movies featuring Bette Davis as the headstrong lead try

Cover of Dark Victory
Dark Victory follows the life of a fast moving Long Island socialite who skids to a stop when she discovers that she has less than a year to live.

Cover of The Letter
Set on a rubber plantation in Malaya, The Letter centers on a woman’s reasons for killing a man who was a close family friend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of The Old MaidHeadstrong, beautiful Tina has nothing but disdain for her Aunt Charlotte, in The Old Maid, but unloved, unlovable Aunt Charlotte is really Tina’s mother, whose romance with a Civil War soldier that didn’t return resulted in Tina’s birth.

Cover of Deception
World War II has separated pianist Christine Radcliffe from her great love, cellist Karel Novak. Thinking Karel has been killed in action, she is unexpectedly reunited with him. Pulling off the ultimate Deception, she’ll lie to keep her shameful past as the mistress of a wealthy composer a secret.

Cover of The Great Lie
In The Great Lie, tempestuous and ambitious concert pianist Sandra shares a bond with down-to-earth Maggie and her little boy, Pete. No one knows that Pete is Sandra’s son – the son of the heroic aviator both women love.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on April 27, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Dazed and Confused

Picture of DianeIt’s 1976, the last day of school in Austin, Texas, the music is rocking, the keg is tapped, and Matthew McConaughey is “All right, all right, all right.”  Join the party in Dazed and Confused, the coming of age cult comedy film written and directed by Boyhood’s Richard Linklater.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on March 10, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Night After Night

Picture of Diane“Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!”
“Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”

For snappy, tongue-in-cheek dialogue written by Mae West herself, try West’s 1932 film debut Night After Night . The queen of the double entendre rules all five movies in the Mae West Glamour Collection with bawdy charm.

 

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on December 9, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Diane D. staff picks photo“I just love finding new places to wear diamonds,” said Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Director Howard Hawks’ style and Jane Russell’s sharp delivery, with Marilyn’s iconic performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” make this female buddy film a lighthearted pleasure.

By MPPL on September 9, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Big Eden

Diane D. staff picks photoI was a member of the audience for the premier of Big Eden at the world famous Castro Theatre in June 2000 and happily joined in the thunderous 10 minute standing ovation. Big Eden is a winsome gay romantic comedy which turns stereotypes upside down with humor and a heart-warming romance.

By MPPL on June 17, 2014 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Gosford Park

Diane D.Are you hooked on Downton Abbey? Did you know the series was inspired by Robert Altman’s film Gosford Park? Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Gosford Park. Check out Maggie Smith as Countess of Trentham before she became Downton Abbey’s Countess of Grantham!

By Readers' Advisor on February 25, 2014 Categories: Historical Fiction, Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: One Goal II: The Inside Story of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by Bob Verdi

One Goal 2 book coverDiane of Fiction/AV/Teen Services recommends One Goal II: The Inside Story of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks by Bob Verdi:

From the streak to the Stanley Cup, One Goal II and the 53 minute long DVD 17 Seconds (which comes with the book) portray the inside story of the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks. The hardcover book and DVD provide an all-access pass inside the locker room party in Boston, the airplane ride home with the Cup following Game 6, and interviews with the players. Through full color photos, fans ride along on the players’ buses during the championship parade and follow the Blackhawks as they spend their Cup days with family and friends, sharing the greatest trophy in sports with their communities.

Additionally, the book contains an innovative, mini video screen. It plays the Blackhawks’ two goals in 17 seconds to win the Cup and a five-minute feature with interviews about those two goals and the ensuing celebration.

By Readers' Advisor on February 3, 2014 Categories: Books, Movies and TV, Nonfiction, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Winter’s Bone

Diane staff picks photoMy favorite film of 2010 was Debra Granik’s haunting Winter’s Bone. This unflinching reworking of Daniel Woodrell’s novel, with astonishing performances from Jennifer Lawrence as a 17-year-old struggling to save her family and John Hawkes as her meth-addicted uncle, deserves the many accolades heaped upon it.

By Readers' Advisor on November 26, 2013 Categories: Books, Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Diane’s Pick: A Simple Life

Diane's staff picks photoDirector Ann Hui’s exquisitely realistic A Simple Life, starring Andy Lau and Deanie Yip, won the awards for Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress at the 2012 Hong Kong Film Awards. Roger Ebert wrote, “It expresses hope in human nature. It is one of the year’s best films.”

By Readers' Advisor on August 27, 2013 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks

Diane’s Pick: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Diane D.Number 23 on the list of 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die, The Eyes of Tammy Faye offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of televangelist Tamara Faye LaValley Bakker Messner before and after her fall from grace. Check out this sympathetic portrait of the 80s pop icon.

By Readers' Advisor on May 28, 2013 Categories: Movies and TV, Nonfiction, Picks by Diane, Staff Picks