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The best Thanksgiving movies to watch during the holidays



Let’s face it, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving isn’t the turkey. It’s TV. After dinner has been devoured in a fraction of the time it took to cook, the drunkards head to the couch to distract themselves from a third slice of pie by discussing what to watch. Take some of their pressure off by offering these five streaming suggestions. From comedy to cartoon, from tears to bloodbath, here is a film for all desires.

Stream it on Kanopy, Roku Channel, or Pluto TV.

Believe it or not, Jodie Foster’s relatable dramatic comedy about a family bickering, sobbing, and seriously wondering why they bother to share a table is steeped in science fiction. The screenplay is by “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” screenwriter WD Richter, and when Foster read it, she was struck by the artificiality of being “asked to take a vow of love to people you don’t know. not really and who does not really understand you. Holly Hunter stars as a single mother who comes home to a home seething with tension. Her aunt (Geraldine Chaplin) has dementia, her mother (Anne Bancroft) cries in the pantry, and her brother (Robert Downey Jr.) throws zingers to hijack her big secret. For the Thanksgiving scene, the centerpiece of the film, Foster walked through 64 roast turkeys whose carcasses were thrown on their knees or on the ground, then slumped onto the cutting pan so that Charles Durning’s paterfamilias could continue. to pretend everything was fine. Every joke deserves to be commemorated in embroidery. A personal favorite: “You are a pain in my ass, you have bad hair, but I love you very much. “

There’s no better movie about food, family, and empathy than the two-generation Wayne Wang epic that reconciles their differences around sesame dumplings and stuffed crab. Four women of Chinese descent living in San Francisco regularly gather around the mahjong table to chat about their adult daughters who they fear have chosen themselves for the wrong career or the wrong man. Americanized girls are well aware of these concerns, but they don’t know the whole story. Their mothers made painful choices before crossing the Pacific, enduring trauma the girls risk repeating if they can’t share their secrets (along with several bowls of noodles and a bottle of champagne). Novelist Amy Tan has reworked her bestseller in this screenplay, a collaboration with Ronald Bass, the screenwriter of “Rain Man”. The film is also a reminder to forgive guests who are not yet familiar with their host’s unspoken customs and taboos, such as the mother forgiving her daughter’s fiancé for pouring soy sauce on her signature dish.

Rent it on Vudu, Google Play or YouTube.

If the game isn’t going well, look back at this forgotten 1971 football gem that set a record for the most-watched made-for-TV movie of all time and became the rare film to pass from an ABC movie. from the week to a major theatrical release. Billy Dee Williams and James Caan play the real Chicago Bears running backs Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Their friendship was forged on the grill, tested by the pressures of becoming the NFL’s first interracial roommates and beatified after Piccolo was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The film is based, in part, on Sayers’ 1970 autobiography, “I Am Third”. Sayers, who died last year at age 77 of complications from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, continues to hold the league record for most TDs in a game. But for most of his life, he was best known for that Emmy-winning crowd pleaser that exemplifies the meaning of Friendsgiving. It’s hard not to help but watch these two manly men choose to become brothers. Caan was also known to employ a bit of dark humor during production. He shared on the DVD commentary track that he said once on set, “Hold my cigarette and my can of Coke, I have to go die.”

Weird that a flesh-and-knife-centric feast hasn’t inspired a flood of slasher films beyond Eli Roth’s short parody trailer “Thanksgiving,” which is part of the 2007 double-feature. ” Grindhouse “. Consider an appetizer at Marcus Dunstan’s cheeky home invasion horror film where costumed Mayflower actors teach a modern family to appreciate their blessings. No more light bulbs and cell phones. With berry picking, fishing jokes, saltwater taffy, and, for rebellious teenage daughter Cody (Reign Edwards), an ancient witch torture device called the cucking stool that cult reenactments erect at- above the pool. “Gratitude is on the menu,” sings frontman Ethan (Peter Giles). So do a human head, a tureen of gushing blood, and several eerie slow-motion shots of hats and buckled shoes designed to leave viewers laughing into their pumpkin pie.

Stream it on Starz or Spectrum; or rent on Vudu, Google Play or YouTube.

The traditional Thanksgiving children’s game fell out of favor when Wednesday Addams vowed to scalp those pesky pilgrims in “Addams Family Values” (1993). No loss. That simplistic history lesson had already been beaten by Don Bluth’s “An American Tail”, the least sentimental cartoon to ever play with a singing mouse. Make them a family of mice – the Judeo-Russian Mousekewitzes – fleeing feline persecution from their homeland to 1880s New York, where they were promised mouse holes in every wall, bread crumbs on every floor and, above all, no cats. This, of course, is a lie. Young Fievel Mousekewitz is disappointed to discover that his new country is a predatory land of rat-owned sweatshops and cat-led gangs. Upon the film’s release, critics like Roger Ebert were surprised to see a children’s film with a “dark vision of a cold and heartless universe.” But sarcastic cockroaches aside, it’s a true take on the American Dream that idealistic newcomers like Fievel have struggled to achieve – yesterday and today – to make the Statue of Liberty live up to its standards. sales pitch.