Thanksgiving on the Big Screen

Thanksgiving has been the theme of a number of challenging and entertaining films in recent years.

Woody Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose, tells the story of a New York theatrical agent whose clients are mostly what society—and the entertainment business—considers losers. The film ends with a touching Thanksgiving Dinner at Danny’s apartment. All his “acts” gather for TV dinners. Yet the love of Danny Rose for his washed-up clients is part of the charm of hisThanksgiving “feast” and tells us something about all our efforts to create community around a meal.

A 2003 movie, Pieces of April, written and directed by Peter Hedges and starring Katie Holmes, is (like Allen’s film), concerned with adult themes, situations and language, but with an important story. A young woman, April Burns, lives in near-poverty in New York City. She invites her dysfunctional family to drive into the city from Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, in an effort to reconcile with them. April has to cope with a lot of problems, not the least of which is the fact that her stove isn’t working. April’s mother is dying of cancer, and this will probably be her final Thanksgiving. The film is alternately funny and sad, but in the end teaches a lot about the power of food and family.

No Thanksgiving feast is ever perfect, but as we try to bring out in this year’s holiday-themed program, our family meals and our shared gratitude are essential to our life and our faith. The ACR team wishes you a blessed Thanksgiving—and we’re grateful for each of our listeners!