We stumbled quite accidentally onto two charming and delightful movies that were odes to the powers and beauties of the human imagination, the wonders of friendship, and the search for redemption after suffering loss. Both were movies we ignored at the multiplexes, but, of course, we ignore 99 percent of all movies these days at the multiplexes. The first is Bridge to Terabithia, the story of a preteen boy named Jess who is struggling with life, family, and bullies until Leslie, a girl his own age, moves in next door. Leslie introduces Jess to a magical and creative world of giants, ogres, and fantasy in the forest near their homes. Armed with the strength gained from imagination, Jess and Leslie, learn to cope with their struggles and form a fast friendship. Leslie is as charming a little girl as you would ever want to meet, who wins your heart as quickly as she arrives as a next-door neighbor.
The second movie was Miss Potter. This movie is the story of Beatrix Potter who was set on the course to old-maidhood by rejecting a series of egregious suitors her really nasty mother tried to pawn off on her. Miss Potter (we would not deign to call her Beatrix, after all) succeeds in convincing a publisher to print her first book, Peter Rabbit, and from there the future is secure for her. Her drawings are charmingly animated occasionally throughout the movie. Miss Potter's imagination and drawing and art skills combined to make her the most successful writer of children's books ever.
Both of these movies were totally charming, moving, memorable, and enjoyable. Anyone but the most hardhearted and insensitive person and critic would enjoy them also.
Last night we began the belated viewing of the HBO series on John Adams. We watched the first two-hour installment, riveted to the story. We had seen the musical play 1776 before, and we had both read McCullough's biography of John Adams. We reluctantly added HBO to our monthly satellite TV bill, first to see the docu-drama Recount about the Florida election mess, and then to see the John Adams series. I'm glad we paid the extra few dollars.