My favorite movies are ones that take me on a journey not just show a quick snapshot of ones life. “Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School” is an enjoyable journey that gently curves through the anguish of loss, elation of hope and reality of fate.

A unique aspect of the movie, made in 2005, is the intertwining of a short film that was shot in 1990. One of the actors from the film also appears in the movie, but in a very different role. Sensational performances by John Goodman, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Donny Wahlberg, Adam Arkin, and cameo roles by Danny DeVito, Camryn Manheim, and Kate Mulligan add to the enjoyment.

Another rewarding movie that we recently saw was “Ladies in Lavender.” It features the grand dames of British acting, Judy Dench and Maggie Smith and is set in an adorable Cornish village in the 1930’s. Watching the movie, it was hard not to long for a simpler life of afternoon tea, tending flower gardens, wandering along the seashore, knitting or reading in the evenings while listening to the “wireless.”