Archive for the ‘Wednesday Movies’ Category

Blog Roundup Special Edition: Movies!

Brave Writer Lifestyle February Roundup

Welcome to the latest blog roundup! See how other homeschooling families practice the Brave Writer Lifestyle!

This roundup in particular is special because February is Movies and TV month here at Brave Writer.

The Brave Writer Lifestyle and Movies

Family Movie Night: Hidden Figures by Kara

36 of the Best Childrens + Young Adult Books Made into Movies by Alicia

25 Movies You Can Pair with Books by Erin

The Secret Garden Book Club and Movie Time by Dachelle

Our Brave Writer Lifestyle February: Books, Movies, and the 2018 Winter Games by Cait

We hope to share more roundups in the future! If you write about an aspect of the Brave Writer Lifestyle, let us know! Email your post’s url to


2018 Brave Writer Lifestyle

Brave Writer Lifestyle Monthly Tips and Resources

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Movie Wednesday: Anne of Green Gables

Movie Wednesday Anne of Green Gables

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

Anne Shirley, an imaginative and red-headed orphan, has spent her life living in orphanages and working in strangers’ homes. One day, she is sent to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, elderly siblings who live on their farm in Avonlea called Green Gables. There’s only one problem: the Cuthberts had wanted a boy. But Anne’s eccentric, dramatic, and vibrant free-spirit quickly wins the Cuthberts over.

Anne has many delightful misadventures as she tries to integrate socially into the community, experiencing friendship, heartache, joy, and loss as she attempts to find a sense of belonging and forge bonds with the people in her new life.

[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!]

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is the first novel in a series chronicling the life of its titular character. Published in 1908, Anne of Green Gables has gone on to be adapted to screen numerous times, including the 1985 television mini-series film starring Megan Follows as the vivacious Anne.

The film and its sequels follow Anne throughout her life, though the sequels particularly diverge noticeably from the source material. Nevertheless, this telling of Anne’s story has endured with the source’s readership for remaining faithful in tone, if not plot, with whimsical dialogue and warm, cozy cinematography.

More recently, Anne with an E onNetflix is a television series adaptation of Montgomery’s novel. It has a more somber and bleak tone, putting more emphasis on the themes of prejudice and bullying in an attempt to make the material more relevant to a modern audience.

A note to parents: Anne with an E contains more mature content than might be expected from an adaptation of the source material. We recommend looking up the series on sites such as Common Sense Media for detailed lists of content so that you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for your family.

Movie Night: Anne of Green GablesPrince Edward Island

Discussion Questions

  • Some members of the Avonlea community, most notably Mrs. Lynde, prejudge Anne for being an orphan. What do you think the story may be trying to say about prejudice?
  • Anne has a vivid imagination and often pretends she is someone else. Why do you think she feels the need to escape herself and her circumstances?
  • Anne is very fixated on her appearance, particularly her red hair, and she often flies into a rage when teased about it. Do you think Anne should have had to apologize to Mrs. Lynde for insulting her appearance? Explain why or why not.
  • Anne’s influence on the Cuthberts is obvious, but what do you think the Cuthberts influence on Anne might be?

Additional Resources

Anne of Green Gables is our Boomerang Book Club’s May 2018 selection (includes the language arts product below)!

BoomerangLearn language arts with the Anne of Green Gables 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: Romeo and Juliet

Movie Wednesday Romeo and Juliet

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

Long ago in the city of Verona, two feuding families, the Montagues and the Capulets, find it impossible to reconcile their differences causing one too many brawls to break out in the streets. But one night, Romeo Montague and his friends sneak into a masked ball held by the Capulets. There Romeo meets Juliet Capulet and without knowing each other’s true identities the two find themselves pulled to one another, only to learn too late that they are from rival families. The star-crossed lovers resolve to marry in secret, but when Romeo is confronted by Juliet’s cousin in the streets of Verona, blades are drawn and the lovers’ fates are set on a cruel course.

[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!]

“Two households, both alike in dignity,” is one of the most famous opening lines of a play. Most likely written sometime in the early 1590s, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet spins a tragic tale of love and hate, and deals with themes still desperately relevant to this day such as the nature of inherited prejudice, absentee parenting, and teen suicide. Perhaps that is why it is one of Shakespeare’s most frequently performed and adapted plays.

Romeo and Juliet is credited with coining the phrase “star-crossed lovers.” The expression has become the name of a recognized trope in storytelling and remains popular. It’s a common misconception that the phrase means “two lovers fated to be together.” The actual meaning of the phrase is a pair of lovers “thwarted by the stars.” In other words, the lovers are destined to meet but fate conspires to keep the lovers from remaining together. This trope often ends tragically, as it does in Romeo and Juliet.

In 2013, Romeo and Juliet was adapted to screen (yet again). Starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld as the titular lovers, the film features Renaissance inspired wardrobe, a breathtaking score, and was filmed in Italy (locations included Verona, Mantua, and Rome).

The film has drawn criticism for “altering Shakespeare’s text” to be more accessible to a modern audience. However, this critique may be based in a misunderstanding of the texts of Shakespeare.

The versions of Shakespeare’s plays that are nowadays agreed upon and performed were created by editing together from “source texts” which do not always agree with one another. The various Folios and Quartos used to compile the modern versions of the plays often don’t quite line up with each other; there are noticeable variations within them. The plays we know today were created by editors “averaging out” these differences. What we recognize as “what Shakespeare wrote” is actually the result of editing choices made long after his passing, so altering that text isn’t necessarily “changing the words of Shakespeare” so much as editing his editors.

With that in mind, the 2013 film gives the viewer a unique opportunity to experience Romeo and Juliet through real locations and pseudo-period aesthetics but with text somewhat re-imagined for a modern teen audience. So, get ready to be swept up in this classic tale of love and hate, vengeance and redemption, and maybe grab a box of tissues, too.

A note to parents: Romeo and Juliet (2013) is rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements. We recommend looking up the film on sites like Common Sense Media before deciding if it is right for your family

Discussion Questions

  • A famous example of the star-crossed lovers trope, which pulls heavily from Romeo and Juliet, is the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala from the Star Wars Saga. Can you think of any other examples in books, film, or television? Which ones and how do you feel about them?
  • In the 2013 version of Romeo and Juliet, a scene between Juliet and her cousin Tybalt was added. This scene does not feature in the original play; Juliet and Tybalt never interact in the play. How do you think adding a scene between them changes things?
  • Juliet’s parents, although they initially seem kind to her, turn viciously against her the moment she asserts her own will causing her to become desperate and ultimately leading to her death. Romeo’s parents are never seen really interacting with him or, indeed, parenting him at all; he is left without mature parental support. How do you think these negative examples of parenting impact each of the title characters and their choices?
  • A crucial plot point in the latter half of the story is a letter to Romeo going astray. How might the story have changed if Juliet and Romeo had had access to better means of communication, such as our modern cell phones?
  • Although Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy and our young lovers take their own lives during its climactic scenes, the two rival families are reconciled by these very events and the feud between them is laid to rest along with their children. The parents, who started all this hatred, live but their children, who are victims of that hatred, die in order to end it. What do you think Shakespeare may have been trying to say with this outcome?

Additional Resources

Star-Crossed Lovers – TV Tropes

William Shakespeare – Encyclopedia Britannica

Shakespeare’s Accent – What Shakespeare’s language originally sounded like

Shakespeare Family Workshop – Brave Writer class

Movie Discussion Club

Movie Wednesday Master List

Movie Wednesday Master List

A big part of the Brave Writer Lifestyle is creating a language rich environment using movies and television. Below you will find a list of blog posts all about movies that include summaries, discussion questions, and additional resources.

Also included in the list are links to any Arrows and Boomerangs (literature based language arts guides) that correspond to film adaptations.

Brave Writer Guide to the MoviesGrab Brave Writer’s FREE Movie Discussion Guide!

Our 11 page digital guide helps you to comment meaningfully on plot, characterization, make-up and costumes, acting, setting and even film editing. It gives you the background and a series of questions to help your kids discuss movies on a deeper level, rather than the usual “It was really good…” responses they offer.

Master List of Movie Wednesday Blog Posts

Back to the Future – Rated: PG ** NEW **
Beauty and the Beast – Rated: PG
Because of Winn-Dixie – Rated: PG – Arrow
BFG, The – Rated: PG
Book Thief, The – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Bridge to Terabithia, The – Rated: PG
Charlotte’s Web – Rated: G – Quiver of Arrows
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – Rated: PG
Doctor Who – Rated: TV-PG
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Rated: PG-13
Fault in Our Stars, The – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Frozen – Rated: PG
Great Gatsby, The – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Rated: PG – Arrow
Hobbit, The – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Hound of the Baskervilles, The – Rated: NR (recommended age: 10+) – Boomerang
How to Train Your Dragon – Rated: PG – Arrow
Hunger Games, The – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Inside Out – Rated: PG
It’s a Wonderful Life – Rated: PG
James and the Giant Peach – Rated: PG – Arrow
Jane Eyre – Rated: PG-13 – Boomerang
Little Women – Rated: PG – Boomerang
Mary Poppins – Rated: G – Arrow
Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Rated: PG – Quiver of Arrows
Paddington Bear – Rated: PG
Phantom of the Opera, The – PG-13
Planet of the Apes – Rated: G, PG
Princess Bride, The – Rated: PG – Boomerang
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Rated: PG-13
Romeo and Juliet – Rated: PG-13
Series of Unfortunate Events, A – Rated: TV-PG, PG – Arrow
Star Wars – Rated: PG, PG-13
Sword in the Stone, The – Rated: G
Tale of Despereaux, The – Rated: G – Arrow
To Kill a Mockingbird – Rated: NR (recommended age 12+)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Rated: G
Wizard of Oz, The – Rated: PG

Bookmark this page! This list will be edited as new movie posts are added to the Brave Writer blog.

Movie Wednesday Master List

Movie Wednesday: Star Wars

Movie Wednesday Star Wars

by Amy Frantz, Brave Writer alum

Up above the desert Outer Rim planet of Tatooine, a desperate battle rages between the evil Galactic Empire and the Rebellion who oppose them. But down on the planet’s surface, Luke Skywalker lives on a quiet moisture farm with his over-protective uncle and aunt where nothing interesting or exciting ever seems to happen. At least, not to Luke. But all that changes one day when Luke’s uncle purchases two new droids to work on the farm and one of the mechanical helpers claims to be on a secret mission from the Rebellion to find the mysterious Jedi Knight, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke must choose between the mundane but safe life he’s always known or the mantle of a hero destined to fight against evil in the galaxy.

[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!]

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” might be one of the most famous openings to a film in cinematic history, but back in the 1970s before the first Star Wars film was released, there was no guarantee that George Lucas’ audacious space opera would make any money, let alone revolutionize the way people thought about movies forever. Beset with on location difficulties (rain and sand storms, oh my!), budget issues, a hefty bit of scorn from the higher ups at the studio, and starring three relative unknowns in the leading roles, Lucas’ space epic, inspired by the stories of his own youth, might have seemed doomed to failure.

Yet despite all this, Star Wars (which would later be renamed “Episode IV: A New Hope”) made record breaking amounts of money at the box office and kick-started an unprecedented level of fan hysteria which continues to this day (for proof one need only look at the latest installment of the franchise, The Last Jedi, which to date has made over $1.3 billion and has been nominated for four Oscars). Fans were lining up around the block to see this movie! People were connecting with this strange yet familiar fairy tale in space, with its hopeful messages and its princesses and scoundrels and farm boys fighting against galactic monolithic evil.

Two more films (The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) were released in 1980 and 1983, completing what is now referred to as the original trilogy. In 1999, The Phantom Menace was released as the first film in the prequel trilogy (followed by 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith), which follows events in the life of Luke’s father. In 2012, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with the rights to the Star Wars franchise, to Disney who in turn launched their own series of films (The Force Awakens, 2015. Rogue One, 2016. The Last Jedi, 2017) following new sets of characters and centering female protagonists.

Amidst all the hype nowadays, it might be easy to forget that Star Wars began as one man’s passion project. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and the late Carrie Fisher might be household names now, but back in the ’70s almost no one knew who they were. Today Star Wars has been branded across the collective consciousness as a true cinematic phenomenon, but its humble origins are still important to remember.

So, travel back to the cinema of the ’70s, turn down the lights, make some popcorn, and experience the beginning of the Star Wars Saga whether for the hundredth or the very first time!

A note to parents: Although all three original trilogy films and the first two prequels are rated PG, Revenge of the Sith, Rogue One, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi are all rated PG-13. Revenge of the Sith in particular contains disturbing themes and imagery. We recommend looking up the films on sites like Common Sense Media before deciding if they are right for your family.

Discussion Questions

  • One of the most distinguishing features of the Star Wars films are their soundtracks composed and conducted by John Williams, who has himself become a fixture of the film industry. Do you have a favorite musical moment from the first film and how do you think the film might change if it were scored differently?
  • R2-D2 and C-3P0 are bought and sold at the beginning of the film and are later banned from the cantina for being droids. Do you think it’s okay to treat artificial forms of intelligence this way? Why or why not?
  • After the destruction of her home planet, we don’t see Princess Leia work through this colossal loss on scene, however the film spends whole scenes with Luke dealing with the loss of his family and later “Ben” Kenobi. Why do you think this is and how do you feel about it?
  • George Lucas stirred up controversy years after the release of Star Wars by creating “special editions” of the original trilogy films with updated special effects and some deleted scenes put back in. Do you think it’s a filmmaker’s right to alter their own creations or should a film be left alone once it has been released and never be altered? Explain your answer.
  • If you have seen the other films in the saga, how do you think the first film holds up to them?
  • Do you have a favorite film in the saga? Which one and why?

Additional Resources – the official website

The Star Wars Show – go behind the scenes with the latest additions to the franchise with news and interviews

DIY Death Star Nightlight (flashing lights warning)

Movie Discussion Club