Finding you are suddenly having to share your TV with the kids and running out of inspiration? We dust down a few movie-musts, including a couple of Golden Oldies, that might just be sitting in your DVD collection (remember them?). So pop on the kettle, open the popcorn and settle down for a couple of hours of utter bliss…
Film, Camera, Action … for little people
Mary Poppins (1964) U
Julie Andrews, Dick van Dyke
An absolute belter for all ages and in our view the original runs rings around the re-run. A magical nanny employs music and adventure to help a family find each other again. Jam packed full of laughter, fun and catchy tunes, this is Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke at their very best and offers escapism and raw feel-good factor.
Paddington (2014) U
Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters
A family favourite with an incredible cast – a young Peruvian bear (who you want to take home) travels to London in search of a home and finds himself lost and alone at Paddington Station. By chance he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary home, Paddington just can’t help getting into the odd scrape along the way…
Shrek (2001) U
Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz
Very entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, Shrek appeals to young and old alike – the perfect two level movie to watch with young children. Fairytale creatures are exiled to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess. Sing-a-long and laugh-a-long – who knew an ogre could be loveable!
Film, Camera, Action … for children
Harry Potter – (2001- 2010) PG
Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
These films need no introduction … the Harry Potter series of seven films will keep the whole family occupied for hours on end (though watch out for Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix as they are rated PG-13, so possibly not suitable for all). An orphaned boy, Harry, enrols in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world. Jaw dropping cast, electric special effects and strong story telling from JK Rowling, these will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
E.T. (1982) U
Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote
Cutting edge at the time and still holds a very special place in most 40+yr old’s hearts, ET is the perfect family movie. A wonderful and heartfelt portrait of childhood, exploring the friendship between Elliot, a young boy living in California and an extra-terrestrial who gets accidentally left behind by his spaceship. Iconic imagery leaves you with a warm fuzzy glow and there may even be a few tears shed…
Lion (2016) PG
Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara
One of those films that you think about long after its over… Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories and unwavering determination, he sets out to find his lost family and finally returns to his first home. Superb acting, stunning photography and a heartfelt memory that stays with you.
Film, Camera, Action … for teens
The Boat that Rocked (2009) 15
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy
A feel good, easy viewing movie by renowned director Richard Curtis. Focused on a band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted only classical music on the airwaves. Great fun, light and with the hallmark Curtis one-liners and amusing characters. Our teens loved this one.
A Star is Born (2018) 15
Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga
Tighten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride… this remake of an old classic is gritty and raw. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga fuse their considerable talents to depict the raw and passionate tale of Jack and Ally, two artistic souls coming together, on stage and in life. Theirs is a complex journey through the beauty and the heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive in this new take on the iconic love story. Bradley’s directorial debut is not to be missed.
Shawshank Redemption (1994) 15
Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
If you see nothing else … Shawshank is just one of those must see films, a classic. Andy Dufresne, a successful banker, is arrested for the murders of his wife and her lover and is sentenced to life imprisonment at the Shawshank prison. He becomes the most unconventional prisoner and forms an unlikely bond with Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding played by Morgan Freeman. Over a number of years they find solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. An oldie but a goodie!