The films in this list make you want to grab a packet of heirloom seeds, dig holes and rip out weeds. Spend the night watching one of these films featuring gardens, farm families, or farm country.
Green Card – Gerard Depardieu plays an out-of-work French composer who enters into an arranged marriage with an American horticulturist, played by Andie MacDowell. Why, so she can have the apartment/indoor garden of her dreams. It’s a sweet, sweet flick from the early 90s.
Saving Grace – Brenda Blethyn is one of my favorite actresses and her performance in this comedy is one of the reasons she’s HIGH on the list. Blethyn plays a recent widow whose philandering husband left her broke…that is until her gardener, Matthew (played by Craig Ferguson), convinces Grace to grow marijuana in her greenhouse.
The Secret Garden – Based on the novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett, it is nothing short of an absolute treasure. An orphaned girl from a wealthy family is sent to live in her uncle’s country manor where she befriends the staff, meets her cousin, and discovers a long neglected walled in garden. A beautiful film for the whole family.
Field of Dreams – First of all there is the cast – Kevin Costner as Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella who hears voices in his cornfield, James Earl Jones (a reclusive Sixties author with a passion for baseball), and Ray Liotta (the late “Shoeless Joe” Jackson of the scandalized 1919 Chicago White Sox). From the first whisper of “If you build it, he will come” Kinsella and the millions of people who’ve seen this film (many most likely repeatedly) are taken in. Also a great film for the family.
The River – Mel Gibson and his wife Sissy Spacek play poor Tennessee farmers Tom and Mae Garvey, who are battling mother nature (the river), the bank, and a land developer. I’m hesitant to recommend reading a film review prior to seeing a film, but in this case I’ll make an exception with what I feel is a very honest portrayal of the film by NYT reviewer Vincent Canby – granted it does include some spoilers.
Places in the Heart – I love this film, I feel passionately about this film. Sally Field as newly widowed Edna Spaulding (she won an Oscar for her performance) and John Malkovich as Mr. Will her blind boarder are incredible. The story takes place in the 1930s in a small rural town in Texas. After her husband dies suddenly, Edna turns her rural home into a cotton farm. The film is about the ordinary (save for a couple climatic scenes), friendship, morality, and hard work. Beautifully shot, edited….do yourself a favor and see this film.
More films to check out…the made for TV movie mini series Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web, Out of Africa (warning, will bring on serious wanderlust), Witness (Harrison Ford at his handsomest – well aside from Working Girl!!) , Footloose (the original one!! – takes place in a small rural community), and most Jane Austen films as they take primarily place on a great estate or in farm country.