On Friday 19 June one of our volunteers, Molly McNamara-Langton, had a chat with BBC Radio Humberside’s Sally Fairfax, in the latest of our semi-regular project working with the BBC to recommend fantastic films on a different theme. This time, as regulations are relaxed to allow us to meet limited numbers of people from other households, Molly was discussing films with reunions at their heart.
This project takes in a wider range of films than we might normally show at HIC, with Hollywood blockbusters and mainstream drama, comedy or animation alongside classics, lesser-known titles and foreign language gems. You can listen again to Molly’s interview using the audio player below, and read on to find out more about the films she chose.
Let’s start with THE NOTEBOOK, from 2004. This adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun’s (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven years later, the couple was reunited, and, despite having taken radically different paths, they found themselves unable to resist the call of a second chance. Find out where to watch THE NOTEBOOK here.
Next it’s a great documentary from 2018, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret — a secret with radical repercussions for us all. It’s an intriguing dramatisation of the nature v nurture debate, but it never loses sight of the three scarred people at the centre of the tale and the injustice they have suffered. Find out where to watch THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS here.
Our third film, HIGH FIDELITY, from 2000, is based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name. This romantic comedy has Cusack playing Rob, the owner of a record store in Chicago. He and his employees Dick (Todd Louiso) and Barry (Jack Black) spend their time making ‘top five’ lists for every conceivable situation. The store isn’t doing so well and things go from bad to worse when Rob’s lawyer girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) splits up with him. Rob makes another top five list, of former loves, and sets out to reconnect with them in an effort to find out why his relationships keep failing and – maybe – win Laura back. Find out where to watch HIGH FIDELITY here.
Our next pick is LION, from 2016. When five-year-old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) gets lost on a trip with his brother, he ends up hundreds of miles from home in Kolkata. Unable to identify himself, he ends up in an orphanage from where he is eventually adopted by an Australian family. Twenty-five years later, the adult Saroo (Dev Patel) has a prosperous, loving home but is haunted by memories of his childhood in India. Plagued with guilt, he embarks on a quest to find the family he never knew. LION was a critical hit and box office success, and scored six Oscar nominations. Find out where to watch LION here.
Our final selection is BEFORE SUNSET, the second film in Richard Linklater’s Sunrise / Sunset / Midnight trilogy exploring the romance between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delphy). Set nine years after they first met, BEFORE SUNSET sees Jesse and Celine’s paths cross once more in Paris. They have a chance we all wish we had – to see what might have been. But they only have a few hours together to work out if they do in fact belong together. It received great critical acclaim as that rarest of things, a sequel that genuinely builds on the first film. Linklater and Delphy’s witty, naturalistic screenplay won an Oscar nomination and the film is regularly rated as one of the best romances ever to grace the cinema screen. Find out where to watch BEFORE SUNSET here.