• Viknesh Silvalingam

5 movies to watch this Thanksgiving (plus 1 bonus)


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“It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a little emotional scarring.” — Timothy Burke (1*)

Thanksgiving, which is this year celebrated on Thursday, November 25, 2021(2*), is truly an American holiday. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists' Pilgrims(3*) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people(4*). It is also a known fact that it didn't end well for the Wampanoag people and other Native American tribes.


Maybe that is the reason why there aren't many films set on Thanksgiving day compared to Christmas, it doesn't have the message of peace, hope, generosity, and love that stems from a typical Christmas movie. However, Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday, which celebrates friends and family, coming together to spend time and give gratitude. And after a good meal, nothing beats watching a decent movie. Below are 5 Thanksgiving-friendly movies that are streaming on all major platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, IMDB Pro, and Tubi TV.


The Ice Storm

Synopsis:

During the 1973 Thanksgiving weekend, the Hoods are - relationship-wise, skidding out-of-control, isolated from each other; Benjamin reels from drink-to-drink, His wife, Elena's losing patience with Ben's incessant lies. Home for the holidays, their son, Paul, heads into Manhattan, in search of a rich girl from his prep school. Wendy, the teenage daughter, roams the neighborhood, exploring the liquor and lingerie of her friends' parents, looking for something - anything - new. Then, an ice storm hits, and their problems seem inconsequential, and nothing will ever be the same.—Emory Herbertson


Streaming on: Amazon Prime


Chef


Synopsis:

Carl Casper is an acclaimed chef with a family life that seems as decaying as his artistic freedom. Those frustrations boil over into a raucous viral-videoed public confrontation against a restaurant critic who panned his cooking of food that his boss ordered him to make against his instincts. Now with his career ruined, Carl's ex-wife offers an unorthodox solution in Miami: refit an old food truck to offer quality cooking on his own terms. Now with his young son, Percy, and old colleague, Martin, helping, Carl takes a working trip across America with that truck to rediscover his gastronomic passion. With Percy's tech-savvy and Martin's enthusiasm, Carl finds that he is creating a traveling sensation on the way home. In doing so, Carl discovers he is serving up more than simply food, but also a deeper connection with his life and his family that is truly delicious in its own way.—Kenneth Chisholm


Streaming on: Amazon Prime, Netflix

The Blind Side

Based on the true story of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy who take in a homeless teenage African-American, Michael Oher. Michael has no idea who his father is and his mother is a drug addict. Michael has had little formal education and few skills to help him learn. Leigh Anne soon takes charge, however, as is her nature, ensuring that the young man has every opportunity to succeed. When he expresses an interest in football, she goes all out to help him, including giving the coach a few ideas on how best to use Michael's skills. They not only provide him with a loving home, but hire a tutor to help him improve his grades to the point where he would qualify for an NCAA Division I athletic scholarship. Michael Oher was the first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2009 NFL draft.—garykmcd


Streaming on: Amazon Prime, HBO Max


Deidra & Laney Rob a Train

A story of two teenage girls Deidra and Laney, who start robbing trains to make ends meet after their mom goes to jail. Armed simply with a few tools, a teddy bear, and a lot of nerve, the girls succeed on a grand scale, closing in on a sum they hope will literally bail them, and their mom, out. Unfortunately, a train "cop," is soon on their trail, and, at the same time, Rachel gets inadvertently caught up in the Miss Teen Idaho competition, which almost puts her over the edge. It's a simmering cauldron of stories that all somehow come to a boil before the climactic ending.


Streaming on: Netflix


Pieces of April


In a very poor zone of New York, April Burns and her boyfriend, Bobby, are preparing to receive April's family for Thanksgiving dinner. While Bobby tries to borrow a suit for himself, April realizes that her stove is broken. She tries desperately to find a neighbor that can let her cook the turkey since she does not want to fail (again) with her family. Meanwhile, in a suburb of Pennsylvania, her dysfunctional family is preparing to travel to New York. While driving, the relationship between the Burns and their black-sheep April is disclosed through the conversations between her family members.—Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Streaming: Amazon Prime


Bonus!

Cold Pressed


I had to plug this in, Cold Pressed a movie directed by yours truly, not technically a holiday movie but with a food system as a backdrop, it fits right in!


Synopsis:

An unscrupulous olive oil trader, George Leggierie, has it all, a thriving restaurant business, a nationwide distribution deal for his olive oil label, and a beautiful wife. However, his world comes spiraling out of control when a mysterious man shows up at his doorstep one night with an offer he simply could not refuse.


Streaming on: Tubi TV, Amazon Prime


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May you enjoy a grand feast and the loving company of your family, whilst watching a movie.


Happy Thanksgiving!




Author’s Notes/References

  1. https://friends.fandom.com/wiki/Timothy_Burke

  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Thanksgiving-Day

  3. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pilgrim-Fathers

  4. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Wampanoag


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