THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL
1992, Buena Vista Pictures, 85 min, Dir: Brian Henson

“God bless us, every one!” This delightful retelling of the Charles Dickens classic stars Michael Caine as Scrooge, Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit plus all your other felt favorites, here transported to Victorian England. Filled with laughter, heartwarming characters and wonderful songs, this is among the best of the Muppets’ big screen adventures, and one that both adults and children will love.


SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS
1998, Fox Searchlight, 91 min, Dir: Tamara Jenkins

Growing up on the outskirts of Beverly Hills, Vivian (Natasha Lyonne) dreams of a life in which her car salesman father (Alan Arkin) can finally afford a home and retire and she and her brothers can fit in at their prestigious high school. Those dreams seemingly become reality when Vivian’s wealthy uncle Mickie (Carl Reiner) promises them a luxury apartment. The only catch is that Vivian must keep an eye on his daughter (Marisa Tomei), who’s struggling to kick an addiction and finish nursing school - a task that is sure to push the young 14-year-old to her limit. Funny, observant and filled with memorable performances, this remarkable feature debut from writer-director Tamara Jenkins is richly deserving of its cult status.


CROOKLYN
1994, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: Spike Lee

Starring Alfre Woodard and Delroy Lindo and featuring a standout performance from Zelda Harris as the film’s 9-year-old narrator, CROOKLYN is a beautifully textured look at growing up right and wrong in black America. The emotional flip side to the more explosive DO THE RIGHT THING, the film (co-written with sister Joie and brother Cinque) is Lee’s most heartfelt (and surprisingly sentimental) film: a semiautobiographical portrait of the Carmichael family in Brooklyn in the early 1970s.


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