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Surviving Thanksgiving

 

Photo of scene from "Home for the Holidays.Perhaps you're from a perfect family.

Perhaps your holiday gatherings are uneventful and blend together seamlessly in a series of identical, idyllic celebrations.

If so, there is a chance you will not enjoy this film.

If, on the other hand, your Thanksgivings have included one or more of the following:

  • sibling rivalry,
  • a mother who can deflate even a well adjusted child with a choice missive,
  • a sweetly delusional father,
  • long-smoldering slights carefully nurtured and tended to over the years conflagrated at the dinner table,
  • raw jockeying for parental attention and approval,
  • awkward romantic advances,
  • and benign games turned fist-fights,

I am confident you will fully get and enjoy this movie.

The Jody Foster directed Home for the Holidays has no competition in my heart for all time best (and most truthful) holiday movie. For a while I could not get through a holiday season without watching this movie (sometime twice).

It is smartly written and superbly acted, especially by an improvising Robert Downey Jr. (charmingly nuanced), Holly Hunter (less fragile than she seems) and the incredible Anne Bancroft (no words can do her justice). 

Rather than a fantasy of what the holidays symbolize, the film demonstrates what, in fact, the holidays are actually like for many of us--and manages to find in the ritual's complexity, not just the fatiguing smallness, but a tenuous beauty as well.

 

Author Bio:

Carine Risley does not require the attentions of a therapist to prepare for family reunions.

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