I often wondered if there’s a prayer suitable for setting off for a journey or adventure. As I am not English native speaker, I pray in my mother tongue, but people from all over the world travel for ages and it seems that our fears remain the same.
What you can find below is a compilation of a few prayers I found online. You can pray by saying one (or more) of them, or combine favorite parts of different prayers into your own, personal one, as I do. Everything is up to you 🙂
Simple prayers for a safe journey
(simple, straight from the heart, easy to remember – I like them most)
„In the name of God I go on this journey. May God the Father be with me, God the Son protect me, and God the Holy Ghost be by my side. Amen.„
„Lord, be our guide and our protector
on the journey we are about to take.
Watch over us.
Protect us from accidents.
Keep us free from harm to body and soul.
Lord, support us with Your grace when we are tired.
Help us be patient in any trouble which may come our way.
Keep us always mindful of Your presence and love.
Prayer addressed to guardian angel
„My holy angel guardian, ask the Lord to bless the journey which I undertake, that it may profit the health of my soul and body; that I may reach its end; and that, returning safe and sound, I may find all at home in good health. Do thou guard, guide, and preserve us. Amen.”
Roman Catholic Prayer+
„O Almighty and merciful God, who has commissioned your angels to guide and protect us, may they be our companions from our setting out until our return. Clothe us with their invisible protection; keep from us all danger of collision, of fire, of explosion, of falling; and finally,having preserved us from all evil, and especially from sin, guide us to our heavenly home. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
Orthodox Christian Prayer+
„Be mindful, O Lord, of those who travel by land, by sea, and by air; of the old and young, the sick, the suffering, the sorrowing, the afflicted, the captives, the needy and the poor; and upon them all send forth Thy mercies, for Thou art the Giver of all good things. Amen.”
„O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
Jewish Wayfarer’s Prayer
„May it be Your will, o Lord, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests.
Blessed are You, our Lord, Who hears prayer. Amen.”
Click on the photo and check out more of my favorite Irish blessings!
Irish blessings for those who travel
„May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
„May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.”
„May the Saints protect you
And bless you today
And may troubles ignore you
Each step of the way.”
„God be on your road every way you go.”
Prayers for someone else’s safe travel+
I’m praying for the safe travel of (…), please guide & protect her/him that she/he may reach her/his destination safe. I’m praying also for the pilot of the plane – give him the presence of mind that he may able to do his duty and responsibilities for their safety as they travel. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”
„May God in heaven protect you on the way to and may His angel accompany you.”
Travel with God,
If you like these prayers, why not to share it with your friends?
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We were never intended to travel through life on our own. We were created to be in relationship with one another and with God. Prayer is simply communication in the midst of this relationship by which we express our thoughts, desires, fears and hopes, and offer our thanks and our praise to God, but it becomes much more than that because God is intimately involved in the process.
As Charles Spurgeon described it, “True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.” By entering into these “transactions” (times of prayer), we are ushered into God’s presence in a deeper way. Through prayer, we can connect with God – by talking and listening.
Each week I have the privilege of offering a prayer during our church’s worship services. Many times these prayers reflect my own thoughts and struggles or those of our church family as well as the circumstances facing the world. These are the prayers you will find recorded here.
I do not offer these prayers as perfect or necessarily even good examples. In fact, the only parts I can truly recommend to you are the words we say in unison at the end of each prayer – the Lord’s Prayer, first prayed by Jesus and recorded in scripture. I am sharing these prayers on this site in hopes that you will find something in them that is meaningful to you, that you can relate to, that will comfort, inspire, uplift, challenge or even convict you. Above all else, it is my hope that God is glorified through them.
Thanks for sharing the journey with me!
Renew Your Mind: Transform Your Life
Looking for Positive Change?
A Scripture Prayer Tool for You!
Did you know?
You think between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts a day!
Experts estimate 80% of your thoughts are negative.
Every one of those thoughts is affecting the 100 billion cells in your brain – for better or worse.
• Positive thoughts for the better
(endorphins are released, your feel-good substance)
• Negative thoughts for the worse
(a series of chemical reactions that do you no favor)
Paul was way ahead of the research curve when he wrote:
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
…be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
How are you REALLY scoring with your thinking?
Do you reflect the joy of the Lord
…most of the time?
…or now and then?
That joy is part of your spiritual inheritance.
Don’t let it be stolen by negativity!
Monitor your own thinking for a day.
Be shocked at the negativity you entertain daily!
Folks who have honestly done this say,
“Yup, the experts are right – about 80% negative.
But, your scores can be improved!
• Brains can be rewired.
• Minds can be renewed.
• Rewire and renew yours!
Why is this important?
Because negative thinking:
• Slows your immune system
• Impairs your memory
• Restricts your learning
• Stresses your entire body
• Influences those around you
• Leads to more negative thinking: a downward spiral that can, in severe cases, be linked to depression and suicide
• Makes it difficult for you to experience the joy of the Lord
Even if only 30% of your thoughts are negative,
these negative thoughts still bring on the results listed above
…just in lesser intensity. Be pro-active against the downward spiral and
Leap forward with
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey
scripture prayer on CD
Click to Listen to mp3 sample
Order Now (secure server)
Faith-a gift that grows as you use it
Direction-wisdom for your journey
Favor-the blessing of God on you
Strength-more than you can imagine
Abundance-in every aspect of your life
Reduce your negative thoughts by replacing them with positive ones of faith. Radically alter the course of your own ship.
According to the Mayo Clinic an increased positive thinking and attitude will:
• Decrease your stress
• Increase your sense of well-being
• Improve your health
• Increase your resistance to catching colds
• Make for easier breathing in instances of obstructive lung diseases like emphysema
So, what is your payoff for positive thoughts?
STRENGTH and VITALITY!
Remember: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
Do yourself a great service:
• Raise your score on the positive/negative ratio.
• Renew you mind with the life-giving Word of God
• Accrue the benefits of a positive mind-set
• You can do it!
Experts indicate an increase in positive/negative ratio of your thinking will take some time. BUT, Prayer Affirmations for the Journey is an audio tool to help you navigate more quickly to the strength and vitality that is part of well-being.
“Products already exist for this purpose”, you say… but none like
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey!
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey weaves together
positive thinking with positive prayer and Scripture.
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey
Scripture prayer on CD
Click to Listen to mp3 sample
Order Now (secure server)
• Combine power prayer with affirmations.
• Exponentially increase the effectiveness of
your prayer time
your affirmation time
• Bring together the power of your mind with the power of the Spirit.
This CD carries a soothing script you can ponder and pray.
Its affirmations are not just any positive thought.
They are statements about you as
• a child of God
• an inheritor of Heaven
• one who is an overcomer.
They are statements about God:
• how He cares for every aspect of your life
• how He provides for and blesses you
• how He directs your steps and brings you favor
• how He works to build your faith.
Affirmations based on the life-filled Word of God
help to rewire your brain to think positively, consistent with how God thinks.
This process is known in the New Testament as “renewing of the mind” which brings about transformation.
(Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:22-24)
Are you ready for some transformation?
In Proverbs Solomon wrote that you are what you think.
• Changing your thoughts transforms your life!
• Brain research and brain imaging are proving such concepts correct.
So be confident in the God-infused power of these affirmations.
• The Word God has given us is spirit and life. (John:6:63)
• Be transformed with life in abundance! (John 10:10)
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey is not about subliminals:
• messages you’re not sure of
• messages you have no control over
With Prayer Affirmations for the Journey what you hear
is what you get!
And what you get is:
1. Researched and paraphrased Scriptures that build confidence and faith
2. Scripture affirmations based on these Scriptures to strengthen and inspire you.
3. Themes: faith, direction, favor, strength, and prospering:
One theme-based selection for each working day of the week: perfect for redeeming commuting time and mindless week-day chores.
4. Paraphrased Scriptures written in the present tense, written to make them more effective for you as affirmations.
5. State of the art recording with ambient music and nature sound background, consistent with accelerated learning techniques.
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey team:
over 25 years:
Retreat leader, trainer, speaker
Music and production by:
Joseph Julian Gonzalez
Award winning composer/musician of Simple Music Productions
Can negativity be completely eliminated?
• Life will always have some negativity.
• Jesus said that in this world there will be tribulation.
• He also said, “Cheer up because I have overcome this world.” (John 16:13, paraphrase)
• Jesus rose above the tribulation.
• We can also rise above tribulation by proclaiming and affirming the life He made possible for us.
WASTE NO MORE TIME! LIFE CAN BE BETTER!
Order Prayer Affirmations for the Journey and prepare for the dawning of a new and more positive day:
• Lower stress
• Increase confidence
• Support your immune system
• Improve your ability to learn and remember
• Enjoy an increased sense of well-being
• Be time-effective combining prayer with an attitude adjustment
• Think and respond like the overcomer you are designed to be
Let me take the risk on this!
If you use Prayer Affirmations for the Journey and find that it
• does not resonate with your spirit,
• does not fill a need to increase positive thinking,
simply return the CD with your invoice and receive a full refund.
NOTHING TO LOSE!
A NEW AND MORE REWARDING DAY TO GAIN!
Prayer Affirmations for the Journey
scripture prayer on CD
Click to Listen to mp3 sample
Order Now (secure server)
Don’t forget that by using Prayer Affirmations for the Journey, you will:
• improve the positive/negative ratio of your 8000 daily thoughts
• renew you mind with the life-giving Word of God – start thinking like God
• bring about a more relaxed state in your body
• support your immune system
• assist short-term memory
• and many other related results
Yours for a blessed and positive future,
Jeanie RPrivacy and Security Statements
As the subject of immigration continues to occupy the headlines, here, in alphabetical order, are brief reviews of 40 quality films dealing with the immigrant experience suggested by Catholic News Service.
The movies date back chronologically to Hollywood’s golden age but also are as recent as yesterday, while the types of films range from animated, child-friendly comedies to serious and thoughtful fare for adults.
The key to Catholic News Service classifications for the films listed below: A-I — general patronage; A-II — adults and adolescents; A-III — adults; L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling.
The Motion Picture Association of America ratings for the movies, where available: G — general audiences. All ages admitted; PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children; PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13; R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
“America, America” (1963)
Writer-director Elia Kazan’s earnest story of a Greek family in 1896 Turkey who send their eldest son (Stathis Giallelis) to work in Constantinople, but he’s determined to start a fresh life in America. Stylized violence, menacing situations and some implied sexual encounters (A-III, no rating).
“An American Tail” (1986)
A family of Jewish mice emigrate from Russia to America in 1885 seeking a new life free from Cossack cats but become separated during a storm at sea. Directed by Don Bluth. (A-I, G).
Quietly powerful film charting three interconnected stories, one of which concerns a Mexican governess (Adriana Barraza) and her nephew (Gael Garcia Bernal) who take her two young charges across the border to attend a wedding with tragic results. Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s somber and lengthy film imparts an admirable message about a shared global humanity. Partially subtitled. Some rough language and profanity, crude expressions, some violence including a killing, full female nudity, some discreet sexual elements, and alcohol and drug use (L, R).
“Beautiful People” (2000)
Moving drama about the troubled lives of four distinct British families who come to know the beauty in life when Bosnian immigrants unintentionally become part of their lives. Writer-director Jasmin Dizdar’s alluring film has some script flaws, but good performances help to overcome them. Some gory battlefield violence including an amputation, some recreational drug abuse and an instance of rough language (A-III, R).
“Bend It Like Beckham” (2003)
Spirited cross-cultural comedy in which an Anglo-Indian girl (Parminder Nagra) plays on an amateur girls’ soccer team and finds herself drawn to its young Irish coach (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Director Gurinder Chadha’s winning coming-of-age tale salutes themes of family, friendship, tolerance and teamwork. A discreet sexual situation and references, fleeting drunkenness, minimal profanity and a crass expression (A-II, PG-13).
“The Boat Is Full” (1981)
A desperate party of Jewish refugees arrives in Switzerland vainly seeking asylum from Nazi persecution. Written and directed by Markus Imhoof, the Swiss production is a convincing, often moving depiction of its characters’ plight (A-II, PG).
Dignified, meticulously understated story about a young Irishwoman (gracefully portrayed by Saoirse Ronan) who immigrates to America in the early 1950s with the help of a Roman Catholic priest (Jim Broadbent) and who falls in love with a plumber of Italian descent (Emory Cohen). Director John Crowley and screenwriter Nick Hornby neatly calibrate the pathos and humor; the result is elevated entertainment A non-explicit premarital encounter, several uses of rough language, some crude and crass language (A-II, PG-13).
“Dirty Pretty Things” (2003)
Soulful tale set in a small London hotel where a Nigerian overnight desk clerk (Chiwetel Ejiofor) discovers the manager (Sergei Lopez) is exploiting other illegal immigrants in a passports-for-kidneys black-market operation that threatens to engulf his virginal friend, a desperate Turkish immigrant (Audrey Tautou). Director Stephen Frears skillfully blends suspense with a twist of black comedy in a sleek, very human story. Theme of sexual exploitation, abortion reference, surgical gore, fleeting drug abuse, frequent rough language and minimal profanity (A-III, R).
“Eat a Bowl of Tea” (1989)
Wayne Wang’s beautifully shot, acted and directed wry comedy about family life in New York’s Chinatown circa 1949 focuses on the pressures on one newly married Chinese-American couple (Russell Wong and Cora Miao) to have children. Brief graphic violence, an adulterous liaison and some rough language laced with sexual innuendoes (A-III, PG-13).
“El Norte” (1984)
Fleeing from terrorists who kill their father and kidnap their mother, two Guatemalan teenagers head toward “El Norte,” meaning the United States, where they hope to begin a new life free from fear and exploitation. Director Gregory Nava has made a splendid film about human dignity with some good-natured humor keeping matters from getting too solemn. Partly subtitled. Several scenes of intense violence (A-III, R).
“The Emigrants” (1972)
Superb Swedish production starring Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow about a young couple who leave their native land in the early 19th century to find a new home in Minnesota. Directed by Jan Troell, the re-creation of the era is finely detailed and the acting is first rate (A-II, PG).
“Everything Is Illuminated” (2005)
Reflective road movie about a young Jewish-American (Elijah Wood) who travels to Ukraine where — guided by a colorful local (Eugene Hutz) and his crusty grandpa (Boris Leskin) — he searches for the woman who saved his own grandfather from the Nazis. Lyrically directed by Liev Schreiber. Suggested wartime violence, including discreet death images, a suicide, a brief scene of a boy looking at a pornographic magazine, an instance of rough language, as well as some crude expressions and profanity (A-III, PG-13).
“Fast Food Nation” (2006)
Director Richard Linklater’s skillful dramatization of Eric Schlosser’s nonfiction book (they co-wrote the script) is an absorbing albeit bleak multiple-plotted expose excoriating the fast food industry from the perspectives of a fictitious burger franchise’s marketing executive (Greg Kinnear), a young cashier (Ashley Johnson) and a Mexican immigrant couple (Catalina Sandino Moreno and Wilmer Valderrama). Partly subtitled. Rough and crude language, a couple of briefly intense, if nongraphic, sexual encounters, fleeting partial nudity, innuendo, some gruesome slaughterhouse shots and drug references (L, R).
“Gran Torino” (2008)
Improbable and gritty if ultimately humane redemption tale of a crusty Korean War vet (Clint Eastwood in peak form) who resents the encroachment of the Laotian Hmongs who have moved into his Detroit neighborhood, but becomes their reluctant hero after he saves a young teen (Bee Vang) from being pressured to join a marauding gang. Eastwood directs with his customary frontier worldview. Pervasive rough language, profanity and racial slurs, violence with bloodshed, and a morally tangled ending (L, R).
“Green Card” (1990)
Unexpected romance develops after two strangers marry on paper only so he (Gerard Depardieu) can remain in the United States and she (Andie MacDowell) can move into a marrieds-only apartment. Written and directed by Peter Weir. Mild sexual innuendo and minimal rough language (A-III, PG-13).
“Hester Street” (1975)
Lively tale of Jewish immigrant life on New York’s Lower East Side just before the turn of the 20th century tells of the conflict between a husband (Steven Keats) who wants to forget all traces of his origins and his wife (Carol Kane) who refuses to abandon the Russian Jewish traditions in which she was raised. Directed by Joan Micklin Silver, it’s a film to be seen as a piece of Americana but also to be savored for the many brilliant little scenes that comprise a pulsating mosaic (A-III, PG).
“I Remember Mama” (1948)
Engaging, warmhearted version of the John Van Druten play in which a daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes) recalls the nurturing influence of her mother (Irene Dunne) on her Norwegian-American brood in San Francisco circa 1910. Directed by George Stevens, the interplay of family life is richly depicted through good times and bad (A-I, no rating).
“In America” (2003)
Inspiring, largely autobiographical tale of grieving Irish parents (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton) who arrive impoverished in 1980s New York City with two little daughters (Sarah Bolger and Emma Bolger) whose friendship with a volatile African-American artist (Djimon Hounsou) helps the troubled family to survive. Director and co-writer Jim Sheridan elicits superb performances and beautifully conveys themes of loss, human dignity, love and redemption. A shadowy married sexual encounter with momentary nudity, fleeting violence and drug references, minimal profanity and an instance of rough language (A-III, PG-13).
“Journey of Hope” (1991)
The dream of a better life in Switzerland for a Turkish couple (Necmettin Cobanoglu and Nur Surer) and their little boy (Emin Sivas) is shattered when smugglers leave the three in the frozen Alps to find their own way across the border. Swiss director Xavier Koller’s Oscar-winning fact-based drama is a powerful, straightforward appeal to the emotions. Subtitles. A violent beating and scenes of intense menace (A-II, no rating).
“The Joy Luck Club” (1993)
A San Francisco bon voyage party becomes the occasion for four immigrant Chinese mothers (France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, Kieu Chinh, Tsai Chin) to reflect on their past lives and present prickly relationships with their Americanized daughters (Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, Ming-Na Wen). Wayne Wang directs the adaptation of Amy Tang’s novel with considerable sensitivity. Brief violence including a suicide, a restrained sexual encounter, much sexual innuendo and minimal rough language (A-III, R).
“The Kite Runner” (2007)
Superb adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-seller about an Afghan writer (Khalid Abdalla) now living in the U.S. who recalls how as a boy (Zekiria Ebrahimi), he failed to help and subsequently betrayed his best friend (Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada), and now finds he has a chance to atone for that misdeed. Director Marc Forster’s film is beautifully acted. Partially subtitled. A single profanity and use of the f-word, a brief rape scene with no nudity involving a small boy and a bully, two discreetly worded sexual references, illegitimacy theme, a violent beating and a woman’s stoning (A-III, PG-13).
“La Promesse” (1997)
Belgian drama in which a venal contractor (Olivier Gourmet) lets one of his illegal alien employees die rather than hospitalize him, resulting in his teenage son (Jeremie Renier) attempting to help the dead man’s wife and infant without turning in his dad to the authorities. Directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the movie probes the good and dark sides of its characters while creating a powerful portrait of desperate immigrants and those who callously exploit them. Subtitles. Brief violence and a few instances of rough language (A-II, no rating).
Eager to make a fortune in post-communist Albania, an Italian con man (Enrico Lo Verso) sets up a phony scheme involving a confused old man (Carmelo Di Mazzarelli) who spent 50 years as a political prisoner, then becomes ashamed of exploiting his simple love and trust. Director Gianni Amelio’s moving human drama strikes a universal chord. Subtitles. Occasional rough language (A-II, no rating).
“The Mambo Kings” (1992)
A failed romance haunts two Cuban brothers (Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas) who arrive in New York in 1952 with dreams of becoming a leading mambo band. Directed by Arne Glimcher, the period movie exudes a Latin beat in capturing the emotional conflicts of the close but radically different siblings. Momentary violence, brief bedroom shots with flashes of nudity and an instance of rough language (A-III, R).
“Maria Full of Grace” (2004)
Arresting drama about a young woman from rural Colombia (Catalina Sandino Moreno) who becomes a drug “mule” in order to support her family. Employing a style of stark realism, writer-director Joshua Marston grafts human drama onto what could have been a conventional crime-thriller premise, resulting in an emotionally affecting film. Subtitles. Recurring drug content, some disturbing images as well as rough and crude language (A-III, R).
“Million Dollar Arm” (2014)
Based on real events, this breezy baseball-themed conversion story finds a down-on-his-luck sports agent (Jon Hamm) traveling to India to mount a reality show on which cricket bowlers compete against each other as pitchers. But when the two young winners (Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal) return with him to the States to train for a major-league tryout, the business-obsessed bachelor finds himself called upon to protect and mentor them. Strong humane values permeate director Craig Gillespie’s film. Nonmarital situations, an implied premarital encounter, a smattering of sexual humor, some crass language (A-III, PG).
“Mississippi Masala” (1992)
Upbeat interracial love story involving a young woman (Sarita Choudhury) with family roots in India and an enterprising African-American (Denzel Washington) whose romance is opposed by the families and friends of both. Only a sluggish pace detracts from director Mira Nair’s warm-hearted exploration of racial taboos and family values. Very brief bedroom scene with a flash of nudity, momentary violence and minimal rough language (A-III, R).
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (2002)
Amusing comedy about a young woman (Nia Vardalos) whose Greek parents (Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan) flip out when she falls for and plans to marry a non-Greek man (John Corbett). Director Joel Zwick’s good-natured film gently pokes fun at absurd familial situations, yet reveals the rewards in accepting and loving one’s family, warts and all. Fleeting bedroom scene and a few instances of crass language (A-II, PG).
“My Family-Mi Familia” (1995)
Director Gregory Nava’s ambitious, sprawling Mexican-American family saga, set in Los Angeles from the 1920s to the 1980s, follows the parents and their six children (including Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos and Esai Morales) as they endure separations, tragic deaths and brushes with the law. Some violence, fleeting bedroom scenes, brief nudity and recurring rough language (A-III, R).
“The Namesake” (2007)
Superb, beautifully acted over-the-years saga about Indian newlyweds (Tabu and Irrfan Khan) who emigrate to New York to start their life, and the joys and vicissitudes which follow, including the son (Kal Penn) who grows away from them. Director Mira Nair’s adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s acclaimed novel holds your interest right up to its two-hankie conclusion. Partially subtitled. A few crude words, brief teenage drug use, brief sexual encounters — a couple without nudity, one a premarital situation with rear nudity — adultery, fleeting images of dead and injured after a train wreck (A-III, PG-13).
“The Paper Wedding” (1991)
An unplanned romance develops when a Canadian immigration official suspects that a Montreal schoolteacher (Genevieve Bujold) has married a dishwasher (Manuel Aranguiz) in order to save him from political persecution back in Chile. Director Michel Brault’s unpretentious movie is a slight but rather sweet love story that gradually brings out the best in its varied characters. Subtitles. An extramarital affair and flash of nudity (A-III, no rating).
“Pelle the Conqueror” (1988)
A Dickensian adaptation of a Danish novel which tracks a turn-of-the-century elderly widower (Max von Sydow) and his young son (Pelle Hvenegaard) from their arrival on Danish shores in search of a better life to their many hardships as stablehands on a farm. Directed by Bille August, this is long and grim, but imbued with a strong feel for the life-sustaining love of a father for his child. Brief, graphic images imply the results of incest, infanticide and castration, some vulgar language suggesting sexual impropriety and some violence. English subtitles (A-III, no rating).
Puerto Rican widower (Alan Arkin), struggling to give his sons something of a decent life amidst the slums of New York City, finds that he can’t make it — even with his three jobs. Director Arthur Hiller skirts sentimental melodrama and Arkin’s comic lightness keeps viewers engaged in a potentially tragic story, the point of which is that there are no fantasy solutions to the hard realities of poverty. Some brutal aspects of slum life (A-II, G).
“Real Women Have Curves” (2002)
Credible coming-of-age story set in East Los Angeles where a heavyset 18-year-old Latina (America Ferrera) who is constantly criticized by her mother (Lupe Ontiveros) is torn between accepting a distant university scholarship or helping her older sister (Ingrid Oliu) keep her struggling sewing factory afloat. Director Patricia Cardoso captures the hardscrabble lives of a close-knit Mexican-American family. Some subtitles. An off-screen sexual encounter and an instance of rough language (A-III, PG-13).
“Sophie’s Choice” (1982)
Screen version of William Styron’s novel about a Polish Auschwitz survivor (Meryl Streep) who has found refuge in a 1947 Brooklyn boarding house with her lover (Kevin Kline), a volatile American Jew. A young, inexperienced Southern writer (Peter MacNichol) gets caught up in their lives, their lies and their secrets. Director Alan J. Pakula’s harrowing film is overlong but Streep’s performance conveys the anguish of survivor guilt and the frailty of the human psyche. Suicide, some brief nudity and rough language (A-III, R).
“Stand and Deliver” (1988)
Quietly affecting movie about an extraordinary real-life math teacher (Edward James Olmos) in an East Los Angeles high school who transforms a rowdy class of Hispanics into calculus whiz kids. Inspiring story, fine acting by the leads and deft direction by Ramon Menendez. Some profanity in a realistic context (A-II, PG).
“Tortilla Soup” (2001)
Pleasing comedy about a Mexican-American widower (Hector Elizondo) and his three grown daughters (Jacqueline Obradors, Elizabeth Pena, Tamara Mello) who experience unexpected romances and discover their true passions while their chef father cooks elaborate gourmet meals for them each Sunday. Director Maria Ripoll’s spicy story about family, food and romance entices the taste buds while tugging on the heartstrings. A sexual encounter and a few sexual references with brief profanity and crass language (A-III, PG-13).
“Under the Same Moon” (“La Misma Luna”) (2008)
Touching story of a 9-year-old Mexican boy (Adrian Alonso) who, following the death of his grandmother and temporary guardian (Angelina Pelaez), pays two American siblings (America Ferrera and Jesse Garcia) to smuggle him across the border so that he can reunite with his mother (Kate del Castillo), working in the United States illegally to improve his future. Director Patricia Riggen’s restrained feature debut movingly dramatizes a real-life plight affecting millions of children, with all three leads turning in luminous performances. In Spanish. Subtitles. Occasional crude, crass and profane language, a sexual reference (A-III, PG-13).
“West Side Story” (1961)
Rousing Broadway musical, with choreography by Jerome Robbins and music by Leonard Bernstein, is a contemporary, inner-city adaptation of the classic Romeo and Juliet theme, with Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood playing the star-crossed lovers set apart ethnically and by their opposing street-gang backgrounds. Directed by Robert Wise, the picture captures the grit of life in the city’s lower depths, with glimmers of hope and elements of tragedy in a delicate balance (A-III, no rating).