Movie-ing Thanksgiving

It’s our monthly “Free Week” here at 4F,1H. Next week’s topic is “Thanksgiving”, since we will celebrate it on this coming Thursday. However, since I am The Friday Fox, the topic then will be  moot.

Few will be visiting here for my post next week,( from my experience), since many folks have family around, leftovers to deal with, places to clean and, yes, SALES to attend; I understand, really. Almost everyone will be getting into the Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year or other holiday modes; Thanksgiving season doesn’t last like Christmas does.
Thanksgiving, as we celebrate it in the United States and Canada,(where they celebrate it a month or so earlier, in the beginning of October), is as a religious or secular a holiday as anyone cares to make it.

Many people take the opportunity to attend services and formally thank God for their blessings, yet more people seem to simply have it in their hearts while they gather family and food, and probably just as many only use it only as a reason to join with family and friends for a good time and a feast…or one friend and a pizza, (even if that friend is their dog or cat.) Anyone of any creed can enjoy Thanksgiving.

But I know of few movies that center around this fun holiday.

I am quite a movie buff, in fact, if you see “MovieWatcher” logged in on Xbox Live, that is me. The only movies that I can think of that are truly about Thanksgiving are “What’s Cooking?”, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” and “Avalon”.
“What’s Cooking?” is a mixed bag, a fair movie with adult themes that involve four families in Los Angeles: An African-American family, a Jewish family, a Hispanic family and a Vietnamese-American family. It had great promise, but it could have been a lot better.

“The Thanksgiving Visitor” is based on a Truman Capote short story, a memoir of his childhood. If you only know the parody of himself that he became before he died, or that he is the author of ‘In Cold Blood”, you need to know that Capote could really write, and the movie is a good one.

But “Avalon” is by far my favorite. It is centered around many years of Thanksgivings in the lives of a Jewish immigrant family and their American children and grandchildren. Their growth in business, their first homes in the inner city to moves to the suburbs, and how one act, one simple act, can mean everything to one person and cause a fissure in a heart and a family. It may make others have a little more patience and realize that a few moments can mean the world to another, or break another’s heart, depending on the acts of those around them.

(It can also remind a person that insurance is not the place to cut in a budget!)

The members’ contradicting each other and repeated memories through the years are so warmly typical of any family where generations often gather around a table that I certainly hope some of today’s children experience such scenes. I fear that most do not. It’s such a loss.

So, if you just need to relax and finish the leftovers, you can see Avalon online to rent from Amazon, or perhaps from other venues online, a local video store or your library.

Or come to my house. I haven’t run it lately…and I will have a lot of leftovers!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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6 Responses to Movie-ing Thanksgiving

  1. jeff7salter says:

    I believe I own a small slim hardcover copy of Capote’s story you referenced. It was a gift from a library friend and colleague. I’m pretty sure I examined the volume and perhaps started reading it, but for some reason — perhaps schedules or deadlines — I don’t recall finishing it. Now I’ll have to track it down and read the whole thing.
    I remember seeing the TV ads for Avalon… when the movie was coming out. It’s interesting to see how you describe it, because I got very little sense of the story from those previews. Guess they needed a new person making trailers.
    I’ll bet you have great leftovers at your house!


    • Well, thanks, Jeff! But UI will be honest…Joe would make it a priority to be at my mother’s the day after Thanksgiving to go for HER leftovers. A cousin once described her as having “a magical way with food”. Mine are OK, but certainly second to hers, which, unfortunately, are no longer available.
      “Avalon” is one family’s history and ,I suppose, a history of many European immigrants between the 1930s-1980(?), in New York.
      I think you would enjoy it; it is a very family-friendly movie, suitable for anyone.


  2. Avalon sound like a good movie. I think I will look into it.

    I like An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving with Jacqueline Bisset. It is based off of a Lousia Mae Alcott book.


  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I don’t watch movies too often, unless it happens to be on the TV and the rest of my family is watching it. But on Thanksgiving Day our set is usually tuned to football games. If I get tired of them and want to watch something else, I might go off to the bedroom and watch Avalon on my laptop. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • When I was growing up, The Game was on, it HAD to be. When I got married we had it on, but it’s fallen by the wayside over the years.Depending on who is here when, it may be on this year again.
      You know,it doesn’t HAVE to be Thanksgiving to watch Avalon, Patty! LOL! I hope one day you see it. Let me know what you think of it.
      I made my mother sit and watch it…the memories,( and disagreements about them), made her laugh as much as it did me , since it sounded like her side of the family,( our most recent immigrants in the family).


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