Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Take Me to the Movies

For Writer's Post Blog Hop #19.

I have a lot of favourite movies - 'The American President' (Michael Douglas and Annette Benning) is a feel-good movie which makes me laugh, 'Apollo 13' always makes me cry (with relief, not sadness). Love Hugh Jackman in 'Australia' (even though it was panned by the critics) and in the time-travel 'Kate and Leopold' too, and adore Colin Firth in whatever movie (but especially as Darcy in the BBC's 'Pride and Prejudice').

In the end, however, I have to go with my all-time favourite Martin Sheen. I fell in love with him 30+ years ago when I first saw him playing John Dean in 'Blind Ambition' and then playing JFK in the 'Kennedy' mini-series in the late 70's - and, of course, more recently as President Jed Bartlet in 'The West Wing' TV series.

However, my favourite Martin Sheen movies are those from the 1980's when he was a VERY attractive 40+ year old. None of them particularly well known, but all worth watching - Judgement in Berlin, The War at Home (with his son Emilio), Shattered Spirits (heart-reading portrayal as an alcoholic) and Wall Street.

My favourite from this time is a low-budget but delightful movie called 'Da' which I have watched countless times. Martin plays Charlie, a New York playwright who returns to his Irish home when his father dies. Much of the movie shows flashbacks from Charlie's thoughts, about his sometimes difficult relationship with his father as he reminisces and eventually finds reconciliation. It alternates between sadness and humour and can have you laughing and crying at the same time.

It was filmed in Ireland, with most of the location filming being done in the small towns of Dalkey and Bray, a few miles south of Dublin. I had a lot of fun tracking down some of the locations - here are some of them (with a screen shot from the movie, and my own shot of the same location):

If you can't find the DVD of 'Da' someone has put the whole movie (in instalments) on YouTube - it's well worth watching for a real feel-good movie.


  1. Da is a great little film. I remember choosing the video for a night in when I lived in a shared house as a student. Everyone was very sceptical about this film they'd never heard of. They never doubted by taste in movies again.


  2. I love your list of movies! You have some great ones on it and a lot of my favorites. Great minds think alike. :D


  3. I've never been a fan or sheen but I love Hugh Jackman. I enjoyed Austrailia, too.

  4. Martin Sheen is a brilliant actor. I have not seen 'Da' but how cool that you visited and had your photo taken at some of the same places where the movie was filmed. Now that is cool. If I have time this weekend--perhaps I will try to watch 'Da'.

    Cheers, Jenn.

  5. Haven't seen Da or Australia so have to catch up. But I do agree about Colin Firth!

  6. Fascinating! I agree with some of your movie choices, especially Australia. I loved the photos in the movie, and then you in that location. That is wonderful...thanks for the treat.

  7. I'm going to have to track Da down now. Love these shots of you in the same location scenes from the movie.

  8. Mood - great to see you here! So glad you agree with me about 'Da'.

    Kathy - good to know we share the same tastes in movies!

    Susan - not sure I can forgive you for not liking Martin Sheen (only joking) but agree with your about Hugh Jackman.

    Jenn - do let me know what you think about 'Da' if you manage to watch it.

    Rosemary - I know already that we agree about Colin Firth, but Hugh Jackman is also rather delicious in Australia!

    Celia and Karen - glad you liked the photos, it was fun finding the locations. Some were easy to find (like the small harbour), others were more difficult (only found the steps after showing the screen shot at the yourist info centre in Dalkey!)

  9. I liked him in American President. I haven't seen some of these others you mentioned.

  10. Thansk for visiting, Sylvia. I loved Martin's character in American President, but it was strange watching it again after becoming engrossed in 'The West Wing' and seeing him as Chief of Staff in AP, and not President!

  11. I've never seen that one.