Phil Boatwright: Movies That I’m Thankful for

Numerous films have enriched me either through amusement (“The Nutty Professor” with Jerry Lewis; “The Mouse That Roared”; “Dr. Strangelove”; “The Great Race”) or by including the theme of God’s grace (“Amish Grace”; “The Passion of the Christ”; “Places in the Heart”), but for this Thanksgiving I wanted to feature movies that prompt me to be grateful.

At first, they may seem odd choices for the Thanksgiving holiday, but ultimately each of these films emphasizes the need for us to treasure our blessings. So, after the scrumptious feast and the big game(s), hopefully one of these selections will complete a satisfying day with kith and kin.

“Little Boy” (2015)

An 8-year-old wants his dad home from the war and he’s told that if you have faith even as little as the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. He wonders, however, how do we get that faith? Gutsy and profound, Little Boy reminds us that the faith of a child can be more powerful than whole armies.

It also reminds us that prejudice is something taught and, once taught, is very hard to unlearn. Little boy is rated PG-13, mainly for name-calling. During WWII most in America used a slur when referring to the Japanese. And Japanese-Americans lost rights simply because they had the “face of the enemy.” The film points this out in an attempt to see that such injustice never recurs.

A solid cast is led by a child, with young Jakob Salvati’s poignant portrayal reminding us to be thankful for faith, which is God’s path to an eternal relationship with Him.

“Raising Helen” (2004)

Kate Hudson plays Helen, an up-and-coming assistant to a modeling agency boss (Helen Mirren). But her career plans are put on hold after her sister (Felicity Huffman) and brother-in-law are killed in a car crash, leaving her to care for their three kids, ages 5, 10 and 15. She gets help from another older sister, the bossy Jenny (Joan Cusack), and a kind-hearted pastor (John Corbett), who falls in love with Helen while guiding her down life’s new path.

Raising Helen is one of the few-and-far-between films the Christian community is always saying they want: witty, involving, even perceptive, one without crudity, profanity or exploitive sexuality. And it presents a man of the cloth in a good light.

It’s a film that reminds us to be thankful for how God can bless us through our families. (PG-13)

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Source: Baptist Press