Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Mccormick's Quick Takes on Strong Women in Movies

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Mccormick's Quick Takes on Strong Women in Movies

Article excerpt

Chocolat (Miramax, 2000). Fans of Babette's Feast and Ballroom Dancing will find a lot to like in this luscious morsel of a film about two magical and rebellious pilgrims who arrive in a very provincial French village at the start of Lent

But instead of bearing ashes or sackcloth, the decidedly nonsomber Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter entice townsfolk with a wide range of forbidden chocolates, each delicate confection designed to cure a particular customer's ailment

Greeted at first with fear and trepidation, the insurrectionists are soon embraced by a growing tide of citizens, ultimately provoking the wrath of the mayor and his cronies. Fortunately, this is a Lenten tale that ends with an Easter feast. *** 1/2

You Can Count on Me (Paramount Classics, 2000). Samantha Prescott (Laura Linney) may well be a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown--or indeed, two women on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

On the surface, Sammy--a loan officer at the local bank and the in-charge and slightly unbending (but Iov. lng) mom of an 8-year-old boy--seems like a person in command of every aspect of her life. But when her out-of control brother drops into town, her commitment-phobic boyfriend proposes marriage, and her fussbudget boss (Matthew Broderick) takes her to bed, Sammy starts to fray around the edges.

Soon she's balancing Broderick and the boyfriend, trying to parent a son and a brother--and hoping to hold everything together without falling apart. Not a movie with a lot of answers, but it certainly poses some interesting questions. …

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