What young girl hasn't wished she was a March sister? Louisa May Alcott's masterful 1868 novel is timeless, and the 1994 movie remake—starring Susan Sarandon, Winona Ryder, Claire Danes and a young Kirsten Dunst—is the kind of film that transports moviegoers young and old. Set in Civil War–era New England, you can't help but feel the cold and the hunger that afflicts the four daughters of a Union Army chaplain. Young viewers will be in awe of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, while the adult set will watch Susan's Marmee with awe and admiration.
It seems certain actresses were born to play the Queen. Cate Blanchett leads that pack (with Helen Mirren and Judi Dench as close runners-up). In her Oscar-nominated performance, Cate plays Queen Elizabeth I of England during the early years of her reign, and we witness her transformation from a kind-hearted girl to an assertive—sometimes even ruthless—queen. As any successful period film does, Elizabeth reminds us that though modern-day existence is a far cry from 1550s England, certain human emotions—lust, jealousy, rage—transcend time.
Director James Cameron transports viewers aboard 1912's RMS Titanic and instills a palpable sense of wonder and possibility in the first half of this film that's the same as the passengers climbing aboard must have felt in those early days of voyage. Though we knew the ending before it started, that didn't stop us from rooting for the romance of Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack and Kate Winslet's Rose. We cried as we saw the iceberg approaching. We remembered the King of the World, and then went back to see him again. And again. Which made this three-hour movie the highest-grossing film of all time...until director James Cameron decided to take on the future
If turn-of-the-century New York City was really inhabited by a group of song-and-dance newsboys, can we please hop into the DeLorean and take a look-see? Before he catapulted to High School Musical
and This Is It
levels of fame, choreographer Kenny Ortega made his directorial debut with this Disney film about the real-life newsboys strike of 1899. Starring a young Christian Bale, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret, the 1992 flick was a box-office flop but grew a cult following upon its VHS release. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but we see a rereleased sing-along in its future.
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