Moonrise, Mistakes & March of the Penguins!
Ever since I took my boy to see March of the Penguins, in 2005, he’s been “scarred” not to mention very skeptical of me when I say,
We’re going to the movies!
March of the Penguins, produced in part by the National Geographic Society is a French documentary film that depicts the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. It follows penguins of breeding age as they leave their natural habitat to participate in a courtship that will hopefully end in the hatching of an egg.
I was excited! My son was seven. My daughter had recently turned five. The three of us went to a matinee showing. Ten minutes after the movie began and both kids realized this was not a cartoon and there were no actors and no speaking parts, other than the soothing voice of Morgan Freeman’s narration, something extraordinary and completely unexpected happened.
She fell into a deep sleep and he began to cry.
It was one of those parenting moments that creeps up inside your head and blind-sides you, hitting you at the exact moment of no return.
What, was I thinking? And what was it again that made me think the 7-year old wearing the Spiderman suit would be interested in a documentary about penguins?
As I looked around the crowded theater, it struck me that not only was I the youngest adult (by about forty years)at this movie but there were no other children in the theater. Not one. Now, my daughter was sleeping and my son, with tear-filled eyes, was frantically
begging mouthing the words:
I don’t like this! Please, I want to go home! Can we leave?
No, I thought in a panic! We can’t leave. Don’t you understand I’m caught between two generations and paralyzed here? Waking a nearly comatose toddler would be like calling in a storm, a very loud and disruptive, disastrous storm! It wouldn’t be fair to all these, well, elderly people that came to see the movie. I couldn’t carry her out either. At five, she was now too heavy for me.
We had to wait it out.
I spent the next 70-minutes dodging my son’s anger and avoiding his pleading glares, hoping my girl would awaken any minute, gently, quietly, happily, so we could sneak out without incident. She didn’t and he’s never forgiven me.
How could I have been so wrong? I thought for sure, he would love this movie.
He hated it.
This week I announced, “We’re going to the movies!”, the three of us, again, with my mom. He of course was skeptical and rightfully, so. Although, while he hadn’t heard of the movie, Moonrise Kingdom, in this case, it was the theater I was certain he would have a problem with and not-so-much the movie.
With a stellar cast of stars he actually knows and likes, including Bill Murray and Bruce Willis, it had to be good.
The Downing Film Center is a very cool, very small, non-profit theater in Newburgh, NY that shows about 50 independent and/or international films a year. The theater boasts 58 thickly, cushioned seats, most of which recline, all of which come with a pillow. It’s like being in a large living room. Even nicer, the tickets and snacks are affordable! With one showing a day during most week days and two showings of a single movie during the weekends, it’s advised you come at least 30-minutes early to get a real comfy chair. Seating, is first come, first served. Heading the warning, we arrived early and chose mid-center.
As the theater began to fill however, I couldn’t help but notice that the patrons were reminiscent of that day so many years ago. Apparently, so did my son.
Mom, this is “March of the Penguins” all over again!
He said with fear and anxiety in his eyes.
Once again, I found myself to be the youngest adult in the crowd, only this time it was by about thirty years and mine thankfully, were NOT the only children in the audience. There were two other kids there!
It turns out however, I was wrong — again.
It wasn’t the theater that the boy didn’t care for, in fact he later admitted,
It was cool.
No, it wasn’t the theater, it was the movie — again.
Come on mom. Boy, girl first crush = total chick flick!
Oh, well. He’s thirteen. At least he came! Besides, the girl stayed awake the whole time, this time. She loved the theater and the film and so did my mom and I!
Two thumbs up for Moonrise Kingdom — smartly written, humorous, off-beat and highly recommended. Go see it!
Have you seen any good movies lately?
Photo Credit #1 March of the Penguins
Photo Credit #2-5 ©2012 Karen Szczuka Teich & Takingtheworldonwithasmile.com
Photo Credit #6 Moonrise Kingdom