More and more, the great holiday Thanksgiving seems to be getting squeezed out of the public psyche by Christmas and Halloween. Holiday shopping seems to start earlier and earlier each year. And Halloween is no longer just for kids. But Thanksgiving is an important part of Americana with family, moral and religious implications. Not just for football and turkey, Hollywood has also produced a number of feature-length movies based on the traditions of Thanksgiving. Take a look back at the top five Thanksgiving movies ever made.
5. ‘Home for the Holidays’ (1995)
Produced and directed by Jodie Foster, “Home for the Holidays” depicts a Thanksgiving with the personal and professional problems of Claudia Larson. Played by Holly Hunter, Claudia spends Thanksgiving with her parents while dealing with the loss of her job and her 15-year-old daughter’s intention to lose her virginity. Jodie Foster received praise for her Thanksgiving movie, although the film only made $17 million dollars in the United States with a larger budget.
4. ‘Pieces of April’ (2003)
A Thanksgiving movie for the Millennial Generation, “Pieces of April” is definitely not a retelling of the Pilgrims’ first winter in the new world. An independent movie, “Pieces of April” moves from comedic plots such as a broken oven on Thanksgiving to a woman, Joy Burns, who is dying of breast cancer. Katie Holmes, who plays Burns’ 21-year-old daughter, is the star of the movie. But Patricia Clarkson gave the greatest performance for her portrayal of Joy Burns. Despite only making $2.3 million, “Pieces of April” was nominated for and received numerous awards.
3. ‘Pocahontas’ (1995)
The most famous love story associated with Thanksgiving, it was only a matter of time before Disney made a movie based on Pocahontas and John Smith. In “Pocahontas,” Mel Gibson is the voice of John Smith and Irene Bedard portrays Pocahontas. Rated G, “Pocahontas” is a great Thanksgiving movie that the whole family can enjoy. Earning over $141 million in the United States alone, “Pocahontas” was both nominated for and received numerous major movie awards.
2. ‘The New World’ (2005)
A more serious version of the Pocahontas story, “The New World” was a critical success. In this movie, the entire love triangle is explored with Q’Orianka Kilcher playing Pocahontas, Colin Farrell starring as John Smith and Christian Bale as John Rolfe. Rated PG-13 for battle scenes, the whole family can probably enjoy this movie on Thanksgiving. Although the actors deliver powerful performances and “The New World” won numerous awards, the movie only earned $12.7 million in the United States for New Line Cinema.
1. ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ (1987)
The most irreverent Thanksgiving movie on the list, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is nevertheless a classic. Another in the long line of John Hughes’ hilarious comedies, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” follows the adventures of Del Griffith and Neal Page as they try to return home for Thanksgiving. Steve Martin is masterful as Page, the straight man for Griffith’s antics, played by John Candy. Despite its R rating and madcap humor, the movie ends with a powerful Thanksgiving message. “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” made $48.1 million in the United States alone.
“Pieces of April,” movies.yahoo.com
“Home for the Holidays,” movies.yahoo.com
“The New World,” movies.yahoo.com
“Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” movies.yahoo.com