The Straight Story

lessons from The Straight Story

“The Straight Story” starring Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, and Harry Dean Stanton was trending lately so we decided to watch it, too. We were glad we did!

movie of the week The Straight Story

It was based on a true story of two brothers who had been estranged for over ten years. Now getting up in years, they lived over 300 miles apart. Until the day one of them had a stroke. The story is about the second brother trying to get to his brother to make amends while he still had a chance.

No longer able to drive, Alvin Straight travels the 260 miles on his lawnmower, pulling a trailer. Along the way, he meets and converses with many people. These meetings, in my book, were God-ordained as he shares wisdom with them about family and other things.

Other than an exciting ride down a hill with no breaks, there is not a lot of excitement in the film but there are many lessons each of us can take to heart.

Some Wisdom from the Movie

  1. You can break one stick but bundle them together and they are unbreakable. That bundle is family.
  2. The worst part of getting old is remembering when you were young.
  3. On Getting Old: Learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. Let the little stuff go.
  4. A brother is a brother.
Straight Story - live together in harmony

In Conclusion

Go find this one and watch it together as a family. I think you might learn something.

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streets of hope

Streets of Hope

Movie of the Week

In looking for some hope in our scary world, I’ve been watching movies and reading books based on true stories. I’ll tell you I have shed more tears, both of sorrow and joy, on this journey hearing the stories of others.

Recently, my husband and I have ventured on The Dove Channel. As you might expect, it is a Christian based channel with stories of hope and love and JESUS. This week we watched Rev. Roger Minassian’s amazing story of perseverance and love in a movie called Streets of Hope.

streets of hope

“at the age of 53 left the security of his pastorate to step outside his comfort zone to do the truly amazing. Knowing nothing about gang youth, he took to the streets and transformed our city, ravaged by gang violence, by taking hundreds of gang kids off of our streets. It is also the story of Santos Delgado, a gang member, who at age 16 had no future and little hope. He knew his future was either prison or death. His girlfriend was pregnant. He had to make life-changing decisions. This film is about taking risks, embracing change, overcoming the impossible, and finding hope.”

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1954442/plotsummary?ref_=tt_ov_pl

Taking it to the Streets

I found myself hoping against hope with every decision Santos made. I felt the frustration of Rev. Roger Minassian as time after time kids went back to the gangs, sometimes ending in death.

Perseverance was the key. Rev Roger Minassian had to remind himself over and over that God placed him there for a purpose. Imagine how he must have felt at times, wanting to give up, but remembering that if he could reach even one kid it would be worth it all. I was thrilled to see that indeed, he reached way more than 1 kid.

Streets of Hope Recommendation

Streets of Hope is a keeper. Find it on Amazon, Vudu, and YouTube. Check out the trailer below.

movie marathon

Lessons Learned from Four True Life Movies

movie marathon, true story movies, lessons learned

What happens when you decide to watch only true story movies?

You’re emotions get all flummoxed.

I told my husband that I wanted to watch some movies based on true stories. Wow! He did some searching and we were on our way to a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I’ll try to give a little overview.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Who doesn’t love Mr. Rogers? And, of course, we love everything Tom Hanks has done. Sometimes you wonder if the person you see on TV is the same in person. IF you know Tom Hanks. you know he does his homework when he does a real-life movie. And “Neighborhood” was no different.

You might watch this and say, “This really wasn’t about Mr. Rogers.” It’s true. Rogers wasn’t the main character; the reporter was. But this movie showed the effect Mr. Rogers has on everyone he met. When you were in his presence, he was totally focused on you. One Hundred Percent.

Lessons Learned: I’d like people to say this about me.


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Sully

Tom Hanks stars in this Clint Eastwood movie. I actually remember when this pilot landed a disabled jet on the Hudson River. It was a pretty scary event as it came not long after the 911 event. New Yorkers felt a bit uneasy when a plane is flying out from its normal paths.

We often don’t realize the effect it has on someone (and their family) to be thrown into the limelight basically for just doing their job. The side we didn’t see was all the investigating going on in the background. While we were praising Mr. Sully for saving all the lives on his plane, the FAA was trying to blame him for not returning to the airport. It kind of opens your eyes to a lot.

Eastwood is another one that does his homework before making a movie. I appreciate that. He has done several of this caliber lately. Some have said that the movie was lackluster, but I will remind you that life is often lackluster. I like how it showed us the “other side” of fame.

Lessons Learned? Hmmm. Don’t fly… anywhere? haha. Or maybe make sure you have everything in order every time you leave home. OR Things are not always as they seem.


Into the Wild

 After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Even living as a “Bum” he actually did pretty well for himself. He moved here and there meeting people, establishing friendships.

But ultimately, he wanted to go to the wild of Alaska, so he would pick up and move on. He finally, made it to the remote parts of Alaska crossing the frozen Tundra: ALONE.

Lessons Learned: True happiness only comes when it is shared.


Togo

Here’s one for the dog lovers. In the adventure film Togo, a team of sled dogs races across Alaska to deliver much-needed medicine. The film is inspired by a true event that took place in 1925.

It might sound familiar because there was a Disney movie made years earlier called “Balto”. Here is the true story: A relay of 20 sled dog teams then traveled a distance of 674 miles from Nenana to Nome. Leonhard Seppala and his sled dog team led by Togo traveled 340 miles roundtrip to pick up the serum and start bringing it back, eventually handing it off to Charlie Olson’s team. One of his dogs was named Balto.

Lessons Learned: You don’t always get the reward you deserve. Don’t sweat it. It’s teamwork that counts.



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Same Kind of Different review

Movie Review: Same Kind of Different

movie poster - Same Kind of Different as ME

This Movie Stirred My Soul

I just finished watching a movie, The Same Kind of Different as Me. I had to come to tell you about it immediately while my heart was still moved. This movie is based on the true story of an international art dealer who cheated on his wife. His wife forgave him but for penance, she required him to come with her and serve at a local homeless shelter. She dreams of an angry homeless man that is very wise. Low and behold he showed up at the shelter. Deborah tells her husband to befriend him. It took time and several tries but he finally makes friends with him and the story begins. I don’t want to spoil the story so I will stop there.

I will say that the homeless man taught me two things I hope to not forget:

  1. We are all homeless, just looking for the way Home. Everyone has a past we are not proud of and we are homeless because this world is not our home. We need to look beyond what we see (race, status, education) and realize that God is the only way home. We are all the same kind of different and we need to come together to help each other make it home.
  2. Some people need to have the “hell” loved out of them.  Sometimes, we must look deep, really deep to find the good in people. But it is there. We can’t give up on them. Keep loving them until they find the God that loves them.

Watch the Trailer

Same Kind of Different Touches all Emotions

This film will have you learning, laughing, crying, and finally, searching your own attitudes of the heart. Check out the 4-day devotional plan available on YouVersion.


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Rent on Amazon Video

At the time of this writing, rent it for $2.99. However, Sign up for a trial month on Amazon Video membership for only $3

Same Kind of Different is based on the book written by the actual people that experienced this God Story. It has some great actors like Jon Voight, Greg Kinnear, and Renne’ Zellweger. You will also love a beautiful song by Brad Paisley, Stubborn Angels.

Brad Paisley’s Stubborn Angel

True Story Told by Those who Experienced it.

If you are more of a book reader than a moviegoer, you can pick the book up in hardcover, softcover, Kindle, audiobook or CD MP3. There’s is even a children’s version to help you teach your children about kindness.

Mandy Farmer
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I Remember Mama Movie Review

Movie review, I Remember Mama
Movie review

Bonus Mother’s Day Post

As we approach Mother’s Day, I thought I’d give an extra bonus movie review. I’m always reminded of this old movie that my daughter and I found while homeschooling. We were learning about immigration at the time and came across this wonderful black & white movie based on the book, Mama’s Bank Account by Kathryn Forbes. {affilitate}

The story of Kathryn’s recollection of her life growing up being immigrants to America from Norway. She recalls all the ups and downs and financial struggles of being in a new land.

I Remember Mama – movie plot

Loosely based on Kathryn Forbes’ book -Mama’s Bank Account-, this film actually contains richer detail and more intricate characterizations. In turn-of-the-century San Francisco, young Katrina Hansen chronicles episodes of life with her extended family, who combine traditional Norwegian values with “modern” American ways. So successful that it became a popular radio show, and then a TV sitcom, both with Barbara Bel Geddes and Irene Dunne from the film.


Molly Malloy <mailcall@intersource.com>

I didn’t realize this

I didn’t realize until now looking up information that I Remember Mama became a popular radio show and a TV sitcom.

At the time of this post, the movie is available on Amazon Streaming for $2.99 rental or or purchase the DVD for $13.99. {affiliate} The TV Series is available on HULU with your subscription.


It’s a wonderful movie for Mother’s Day because their mother was the rock in the family. You will also meet their quirky aunts and benevolent uncle. A heartwarming story.

Another Review


In the format of a story, aspiring writer Katrin Hanson recollects her life growing up in the early twentieth century San Francisco with her Norwegian immigrant family: her siblings Nels, Christine and Dagmar; and her Papa and Mama named Lars and Martha. Mama is the practical one in the family. One of the family’s rituals is doing the household financial accounts every Saturday night.

Using the money brought home by Papa and what is kept in their petty cash tin, Mama would allocate it to the weekly bills.

“It’s good – we do not have to go to the bank” is what Mama would say if they had enough money. Luckily, they never had to go to the bank as dipping into their bank account was the worst thing they could have done.

Beyond her practicality, Mama is truthful and compassionate and will do anything for those she loves. This not only includes her husband and children but also her “scary” Uncle Chris & her trio of sisters. – All four of whom can be difficult to love much of the time. – And their poor boarder, Mr. Hyde, who provides more to the family in his readings than any financial compensation ever could. But Katrin and her siblings learn of a lie told by Mama, all in the name of protecting them.


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Movie Review: Breathe

What a beautifully, inspiring movie!

“Breathe” is an inspiring true story. After being paralyzed by polio at age 28, Robin Cavendish refuses to be immobile and with his loyal wife, Diana, becomes an advocate for the severely disabled. “Breathe” is the feature-film directing debut of actor Andy Serkis.

I love to see how others have made their way through trials. And this movie fast became a great biography. Celebrating the lives of ones who made a huge difference for the severely disabled. So many good takeaways from the movie. The first being, “Don’t sell yourself short. Your life isn’t useless.” And then especially the loyalty and commitment of his wife and other friends. We can all learn something from this life.

Deeply Touching

“Breathe” deeply touched my heart by the determination of Robin and Diana to never give up. Even though things seemed hopeless or they had no one backing them, they moved forward and made things happen. In the end, they helped countless severely disabled people have a fulfilling life instead of one of depression with no hope.

This movie also gently spoke of allowing terminally ill patients the privilege of dying on their own terms but not only that but also that a change of venue can bring an amazing change of view on one’s viewpoint of life for the severely disabled. Each life has value and should be treated that way. It isn’t right to put people away from view in a hospital ward just because they are severely handicapped. We should be doing whatever we can to make life better for them.

In the end, Robin chose to end his life because his body could not take any more from artificial breathing. But he lived a fulfilling life for twenty years. His son got to know him and love him. He was able to die gracefully with his family nearby without a traumatic ending.

I was spellbound by this movie, cheering at times and crying at other times. Beautifully done.

Definitely a MUST SEE FILM.

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