Thursday Movie Picks: Characters Making a New Start

Thursday Movie Picks is a weekly event hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Head over to her site and join in! This week’s theme is about characters making a new start. I’m not actually sure how to interpret this – should it be about movies where the character is already doing that part in the beginning, or how it ends is where the character makes a new start. I’m going with a beginning, middle, and end for this theme. Here are my picks for the week.

Paddington – The titular character makes his new start in London, when his aunt boarded him on a boat heading to London after a devastating event destroyed their home in the forest. He was taken in by the Browns who find him in the train station, and Paddington’s further adventures start from there.

Room – The new start takes place in the middle of the movie, when Ma and Jack gets reunited with her family, and adjustments had to be made. Life has moved on, and it was a difficult beginning for both of them. While both were trying to get used to the outside world, their reception of their new environment was different for both mother and child.

The Girl With All The Gifts – Like Room, two characters also make a new start, but with different results. In the final scene, we see Miss Justineau teach zombie children from the vicinity of the medical bunker that she’s kept in. She is the last non-zombie person alive, and it’s a sad reality for her because she’s kept in isolation for the rest of her life.  Her student, Melanie, is now free with other highly functional zombie children who are taught how to read and write every day. In a sense, they’re still doing what they both love (teaching and learning), but in an entirely different setting and circumstances. It’s hard to talk about this specifically without talking about the entire movie, but the ending does make sense for this theme if you’ve seen the film.


  1. oh Paddington! Both of those films are such treasures!

  2. I haven't seen Paddington but I love your last two picks. Room is a great choice for this theme.

  3. I've only seen Room which while very dark was involving though I don't understand how Brie Larson ended up with all the awards and Jacob Trembley came up more or less empty handed. He was amazing and for me the centerpiece of the film.

    I wasn't quite sure how a new start was supposed to be interpreted either so I did a mix of moving and reinvention for my three.

    My Fair Lady (1964)-Coarse cockney flower vendor Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) goes to Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) and his friend Col. Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White) after a chance meeting to teach her “how to talk genteel like” so she can get a job in a shop. On a bet with Pickering Higgins decides to remake Eliza and pass her off as royalty and she’s off to a fresh start! Harrison is inimitable and Audrey charming but you can’t help but yearn for Julie Andrews, who created the role on stage, and her bell like soprano. Sumptuous musical won Best Picture and is a treat for the eyes and ears.

    Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974)-Recently widowed Alice Hyatt (Ellen Burstyn) and her son Tommy leave their New Mexico town so that Alice can try her luck as a singer in California. In Arizona they find themselves short on funds and she takes a job in a small diner until they build up their resources again. But when she meets handsome rancher David (Kris Kristofferson) it looks like she might be making a new start of a different kind. Directed by Martin Scorsese this won Ellen Burstyn a Best Actress Oscar.

    Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)-Freshly divorced and in a purple funk from which she seems unable to extricate herself writer Frances Mayes (Diane Lane) is gifted by her newly pregnant friend Patti (Sandra Oh) with a tour of Italy that Patti can’t take. Passing through Tuscany Frances impulsively buys a somewhat distressed villa and sets about rebuilding her life with the help of the colorful locales and a new romance. Charming and well-acted with breathtaking vistas you’ll want to jump the next flight to Tuscany when it’s over.

  4. I haven't seen your third pick but I loved the other two. Room is such a great pick and I'm hating myself for not thinking about it.