Archive for the ‘Wednesday Movies’ Category

Movie Wednesday: Jane Eyre

Movie Wednesday Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is an orphan. She lives in her cruel aunt’s household where she is mistreated and blamed for her mistreatment. Her aunt soon sends her away to an all girls boarding school where the appalling living conditions are matched only by the ill-treatment of the students. Finally, as an adult, Jane departs and takes up a governess position at Thornfield Hall where she meets the enigmatic Mr. Rochester. A strong passion begins to grow between Jane and her employer, but there are mysteries contained within Thornfield that will threaten everything Jane has come to know and love.


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Originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography under the penname Currer Bell in 1847, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is considered a classic of Gothic Romance and has been oft adapted to screen with films dating back as far as 1910.

In 2011, Jane Eyre was once again adapted to screen by director Cary Fukunaga and starring Mia Wasikowska in the titular role and Michael Fassbender as Mr. Rochester, alongside Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax. This film tells Jane’s story out of sequence, beginning with her fleeing Thornfield and flashing back to the events that led her to do so.

A note to parents: Jane Eyre (2011) is rated PG-13. We recommend looking up the film on sites such as Commonsense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether the film is right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • The 2011 film uses a nonlinear narrative, meaning scenes are out of strict chronological sequence, did you find it difficult or easy to follow? How does the format impact the telling of the story?
  • Jane begins at Thornfield as Mr. Rochester’s employee, he even withholds a portion of her wages attempting to insure she returns from visiting her ailing aunt, how do you think that impacts the power balance between the two characters? Is it possible to form a healthy relationship when one person holds most of the power in a dynamic?
  • Fire is a running motif throughout the story, beginning as small candle flames and hearths but escalating to engulf Thornfield Hall and disable Mr. Rochester, what do you think the fire represents?
  • Mr. Rochester withholds vital information about himself from Jane with disastrous consequences, why do you think he did that? And do you agree with Jane’s decision to return to him after she has learned the truth?

BoomerangLearn language arts with the Jane Eyre Boomerang!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Movie Wednesday: The Wizard of Oz

Movie Wednesday Wizard of Oz

Dorothy lives a quiet life on her family’s farm in Kansas. She longs for adventure—and that’s exactly what she gets when a tornado sucks up her house and drops it into the Land of Oz!

With her little dog Toto, Dorothy meets a host of colorful characters: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Together they set off for the Emerald City home of the Wizard of Oz. Only he can grant their deepest wishes, and get Dorothy home. But can they escape the fearsome Wicked Witch of the West? And is the Wizard all that he seems?


[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]


Adapted from the widely popular novel by L. Frank Baum, the Wizard of Oz was brought to the big screen in 1939. The film had a troubled production period. The script had many drafts by various writers and the production went through five different directors! Many of those writers and directors are not credited in the final film regardless of their contributions.

Despite all this and the fact that the film was initially considered a box office flop, the Wizard of Oz has gone on to become an iconic staple of American cinema. Notable for its juxtaposition of black and white film with bright outrageous technicolor, as well as its award winning score, the Wizard of Oz is widely considered a classic.

Discussion Questions

  • The film differs from the book in a number of ways (example: the ruby slippers were originally silver). Why do you think some of these changes were made?
  • The ending of the film, where the audience is told that the Land of Oz was just a dream, was added in because the studio felt that a 1939 audience wouldn’t accept Oz’s fantastical elements. How does this change the message of the film? Do you think it hurts or enhances the story? Explain.
  • One of the two Oscars the film won was for the song “Over the Rainbow.” What’s your favorite song in the movie and why?
  • The Wizard of Oz has a lot of memorable lines. Do you have a favorite? Why is it your favorite?
  • What do you think of the Wicked Witch of the West? Why do you think she might behave as she does?
  • If you found yourself in Oz, what would you do?

Additional Resources

DIY ruby slippers

How to make Wizard of Oz inspired bookmarks

DIY no sew Dorothy dress

Movie Discussion Club

Movie Wednesday: The Hunger Games

Movie Wednesday The Hunger Games

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Untold years in the future, the nation of Panem hosts an annual event called the Hunger Games, in which one boy and one girl from 12 Districts between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen as Tributes and forced to compete in a live broadcast death match until only one Victor remains.

Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from the outlying District 12, volunteers for the Hunger Games to save her younger sister from competing. Katniss, along with fellow Tribute Peeta, is taken from her home and family and carted off to the extravagant Capital where she will have to fight to the death against other children if she hopes to survive and return home.

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (featuring the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, which are among our Boomerang titles) was adapted into four films released from 2012 to 2015 to much critical acclaim, becoming one of the biggest film franchises. Touching on issues of family, violence, reality TV culture, consumerism, and political injustice, the Hunger Games films tell a story of human struggle and are a great jumping off point for Big Juicy Conversations.

A note to parents: All four installments in the Hunger Games films are rated PG-13. We recommend looking up the films on sites such as Commonsense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether the films are right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • If someone you cared about was picked for the Hunger Games, would you volunteer in their place like Katniss does for Prim? Explain.
  • Why do you think the Capital has such outrageous fashions and trends? What do you think these things say about the society living in the Capital?
  • The Hunger Games films stay pretty faithful to the books, but if you’ve read the books you may notice some differences. Were there any changes the films made that you didn’t like? Explain your answers.
  • In the fictional world of Panem, the Hunger Games are broadcast live and are presented in a manner which is unmistakably similar to the reality TV of our real world. What do you think the story may be trying to say about reality television and pop culture?
  • How do you feel about the Hunger Games mechanizing and marketing materials since the films are so critical of consumerism and commercialism?

Additional Resources

Hunger Games Book Club ideas from notbefore7

Learn language arts with the Hunger Games and Catching Fire Boomerangs!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is geared toward 8th to 10th graders (ages 12—advanced, 13-15) and is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Movie Wednesday: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Movie Wednesday: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Swallow Falls is a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean where everyone makes their living by fishing for sardines. But when the world stops eating sardines, the future looks set to be grey and tasteless.

But Swallow Falls is also home to one of the world’s most original inventors, Flint Lockwood. Flint’s latest invention can turn water into food, and it might just save the town’s economy and make it world famous… or possibly destroy civilization with enormous meatballs and spaghetti tornadoes! Now it’s up to Flint, Steve the Monkey, and weather reporter Sam Sparks, to save the world from the first ever food storm!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a fun, colorful film about big ideas and never giving up. Give it a go!

Discussion Questions

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is based on a picture book of the same name. If you’ve read it, how do you think the film compares?
  • Would you want to live somewhere where it rained food? Why or why not?
  • Which characters change throughout the film and which ones stay the same? Share examples.
  • Ultimately, did Flint help Swallow Falls or just give it more problems? Explain your answer.
  • What do you think is the overall “message” of the film? It’s OK to be geeky? Follow your dreams? Too much junk food can kill? Something else?

Additional Resources

Family Breakfast Party – How to make a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs themed breakfast.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs picture book – Check out the story that started it all.

Movie Discussion Club

Movie Wednesday: Planet of the Apes

Movie Wednesday Planet of the Apes

[This post contains Amazon affiliate links. When you click on those links to make purchases,
Brave Writer receives compensation at no extra cost to you. Thank you!]

Taylor, an astronaut explorer and his crew, depart the planet Earth in 1972. They awake from stasis to discover that they have crash landed on a strange planet in the year 3978. The astronauts learn that the planet is inhabited by primitive humans without the power of speech and is ruled instead by intelligent talking apes. Taylor is captured and brought to the ape city where he and his captors will have to face questions of what constitutes intelligent life and grapple with their beliefs and identities as Taylor’s mere presence throws the ape society into an uproar.

Before the big budget, CGI heavy reboot in 2011, Planet of the Apes was first brought to the big screen in 1968. Hailed for its cutting-edge makeup and prosthetics as well as its challenging and innovative story, this film is considered a classic in its genre and stars Charlton Heston as Taylor. The film was inspired by the early ‘60s novel by Pierre Boulle and launched a franchise which endures to this day.

With the next installment in the reboot set to release in July 2017, now is a great time to journey back to the cinema of the ‘60s and ‘70s and experience this widely popular and seminal film series from the beginning.

A note to parents: Although the original Planet of the Apes films are rated G and PG respectively, they were released prior to significant changes in how films are rated and their content is not comparable to modern day films of the same rating. Discretion is advised for younger viewing audiences and you may wish to look up the content of the films prior to viewing using a site such as Commonsense Media.

Discussion Questions

  • The apes have a cast system segregating chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans into strict social roles. Why do you think this is? And do you think it’s a good system? Explain your answers.
  • In the original film, apes treat humans as inferior life and therefore feel it’s acceptable to experiment and treat them poorly, similar to the way humans treat animals now. What do you think this says about our own society?
  • If you found yourself on the planet of the apes, how do you think you would react? Would you make the same choices as Taylor or would you make different ones? Explain you answer.

A full length documentary detailing the production of all five original films is available with the DVD/Blu-Ray set.


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Brave Writer Goes to the Movies