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Friday Film Fest: Cher

Rusty (Cher) and Gar (Sam Elliott) show concern for Rocky

Rusty (Cher) and Gar (Sam Elliott) show concern for Rocky

Mask- 1985

Loosely based on the life of Roy "Rocky" Dennis (December 4, 1961- October 4, 1978) this movie caused a lot of controversy when it came to the deletion of Cher not being recognized for an Academy Award nomination.

As the movie begins, Rocky (Eric Stoltz) and his mother Rusty (Cher) are getting ready to enroll him in a new school after moving to a new school district.

Escorted by members of the motorcycle gang that she hangs around with, the duo burst into the school and head straight to the principal's office (Ben Piazza). At first, he suggests that maybe Rocky would be more comfortable going to a special education school, but Rusty asks if they teach math and English there and after he says that they do, she says that what he needs to learn.

Following the enrollment, they head to a doctor's appointment where Rusty schools the doctor (Andrew Robinson) after he gives her his opinion and points out that he has terrible bedside manners.

With a few days before the start of school, they go to a party in the woods where Rocky reconnects with his friend Ben (Lawrence Monoson) and Rocky tells him about his plans for a ride throughout Europe. With Ben on board, the two start making plans and save as much money as they can.

At the party, Rocky watches as she buys drugs and gets high which is something that he's against and the arrival of Gar (Sam Elliott) one of Rusty's past boyfriends. Rocky is happy to see him since he was a father figure to him.

On the first day of school, he has trouble fitting in and uses his humor to win over his homeroom class and teacher (Marsha Warfield). By the end of the day, he's friends with popular students Eric and Lisa (Craig King and Alexandra Powers) and eventually his classmates begin to accept him.

As the school year comes to an end, he takes a hard look at Eric and Lisa's relationship and realizes that he'll never have a relationship. After telling Rusty this, she goes doesn't know what to tell him and goes out to buy drugs and she gets a prostitute (Kelly Minter) to come home with her.

She wakes Rocky up and after going to bed, Rocky and Lorrie spend the night talking about her and life in general. The next morning Rusty is jealous of the fact that Lorrie is still there, and she fits in good with both Rocky and Gar.

Rusty agrees to try to get sober but after a visit with her parents (Estelle Getty and Richard Dysart) she finds comfort in her drugs, which makes Rocky angry. He decides to go to camp and volunteer with blind students for two weeks.

While there, he meets Diana (Laura Dern) and falls in love with her.

On the last day of camp, she introduces him to her parents and they're uncomfortable around him. When he tries to call her later, they keep making excuses as to why she isn't available and then one day after having an argument with Ben, he takes the money for their trip and heads to where she lives.

Diana tells him that he's lucky he caught her because she's going to a much better school for the blind and she's leaving the next day. She also tells him that she never did get any messages from her parents.

While Rocky has problems with high school, Rusty has been doing better at trying to stay sober and one night when her friends are over, he has a severe headache and tells her that he's going to go to bed. Before going into his room, he and Rusty look at one another and both seem to know that he's tired and is ready to give up.

In his room, he takes out the stickpins from a map and goes to sleep.

Rusty checks up on him before turning in and he seems fine as he mumbles to her and the next morning, she receives a call from the school. She tells them that he's at school and then before going into his room she knows that he's passed away.

If you decide to watch this movie, Cher has always been critical about the Academy snub and felt that this was her best performance, and she should have been acknowledged by her peers.

While she does give a great performance, I think that the Academy gave her the win for Moonstruck just to pacify her.

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However, prior to this movie, she had been nominated for Silkwood in the Best Supporting Actress category (which I think she should have won) and she should have received a nod for Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, which she should have also won, and I had hoped to use that movie to start this little Film Fest with, but I couldn't find it!

Court appointed attorney Kathleen Riley tries to communicate with deaf suspect Carl Wayne Anderson (Liam Neeson)

Court appointed attorney Kathleen Riley tries to communicate with deaf suspect Carl Wayne Anderson (Liam Neeson)

Suspect- 1987

As Cher was beefing up her acting resume, I would often see the times this movie would be playing on cable, and I think I had recorded it but never did get around to watching it. I also think that this was one of my movies that was stolen from a so-called friend.

Anyway, I was going to feature this in the Dennis Quaid Friday Film Fest, but then I remember that Cher was also in this, so I decided to include it here. I'm sure many people have forgotten that she once played a public defender.

With this being the first time watching this movie, I once again could have kicked myself since it turned out to be a pretty good little thriller. The more I had gotten into the movie, I did figure out who the real murderer was though.

Kathleen Riley is assigned to defend Carl Wayne Anderson (Liam Neeson) a deaf, homeless Vietnam veteran who's accused of the murder of Elizabeth Quinn (Katie O'Hare) a file clerk at the Justice Department. Her murder follows the unexplained suicide of Justice Lowell (Thomas Barbour).

Upon her first meeting with him, he attacks, and she doesn't want the case, but then goes to his hospital room. It's here that she finds out that he's deaf and dumb.

With his fingerprints in and on Elizabeth's car, he tells Kathleen that he found out that her car was unlocked in a parking lot and that he only wanted to get warm. The parking lot attendant (Michael Beach) said that he tossed Carl out of the parking lot twice the night of the murder.

Agribusiness lobbyist Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid) unsuccessfully tries to get out of jury duty and is seated following Kathleen's questioning. He doesn't want to be on the jury since he's been trying to get a vote from Congresswoman Grace Cominsky (E. Katherine Kerr) and he sleeps with her in order to get the vote that he needs.

As Carl's trial goes on, Eddie begins to do his own investigating and feeds his information to Kathleen. She's told him on many occasions that she can't use it since she risks being disbarred, but the judge presiding over the trial (John Mahoney) catches the two of them together twice and he won't allow Kathleen to postpone the trial while she tries to dig deeper into the case.

The prosecution, led by Charlie Stella (Joe Mantegna) thinks that they have an open and shut case against Carl and whenever Kathleen tries to bring in evidence, Charlie manages to shut her down.

Kathleen hires a private investigator to find the mysterious Michael (Paul D'Amato) and once he's found on the streets of Washington D.C., serves him a summons to appear in court (which of course he doesn't show up). Without her knowledge, Eddie takes it upon himself to find out more information relating to Michael.

When Eddie goes rogue in the parking lot, he questions the lot attendant and looking out at the river, he goes to a homeless woman (Prudence Barry) and sees that she has a cuff link. She gives it to him in exchange for his shoes and socks, along with what information she knows.

Kathleen is tricked out of her office one night after receiving mysterious calls and Eddie gives her the cuff link. He tells her that only a few people had received them and one of them was Deputy Attorney General Paul Gray (Philip Bosco). The two start to delve into Gray's past.

With Judge Helms suspecting jury tampering, he sequesters them and Eddie manages to slip out of the hotel by creating a diversion with the hope of getting to Kathleen.

While Kathleen does some investigating of her own, she's attacked and right here is where I'll end the movie, in case you haven't seen it.

After being dumped on New Year's Eve, Rachel Flax isn't looking forward to 1964

After being dumped on New Year's Eve, Rachel Flax isn't looking forward to 1964

Mermaids- 1990

Charlotte Flax (Winona Ryder) is one stupid girl when you think about it. I mean, who wouldn't want Mrs. Flax as a mother? She's free spirited and always looks to reinvent herself.

Much to Charlotte's dismay.

It's late summer 1963 when Mrs. Flax breaks up with her boss in Oklahoma (William Paul Steele) she lets her finger pick a new location and they wind up in a small town in Massachusetts. Charlotte is used to picking up and moving suddenly, but her younger sister Kate (Christina Ricci) always looks at it as an adventure.

Mrs. Flax gets a job as a secretary at a small law office and on her unauthorized lunch break, she takes the girls shopping to get new shoes for school. Charlotte is quite comfortable in her boots that her memory of a father gave her, while Kate is looking for something in red.

At Lou Landsky's shoe store, Lou (Bob Hoskins) is helping their neighbor Mother Superior (Jan Miner) and a young nun (Tamasin Scarlet Johnson) with their foot needs and Charlotte silently prays that Mrs. Flax won't embarrass her. But, being Mrs. Flax, she says the wrong thing (at least in Charlotte's view) and is embarrassed.

On the first day of school, Charlotte is the first to be picked up by bus driver Joe (Michael Schoeffling) and while she won't admit it, she's secretly fallen in love with him. When she finds out more about him on the way home from school (which of course she's the last of the bus) her love grows deeper. Inadvertently, she asks him out on a date, even though he's nine years older.

At the parent-teacher night at school, Charlotte's friend Mary (Betsy Townsend) points out her parents to Charlotte and says that she wants to be just like Mrs. Flax when she gets older. Charlotte tells her that she's already like Mrs. Flax, which brings a smile to Mary's face.

While they settle into the small-town life, Lou grows very fond of the family and takes the girls under his wing. He adores them with all of his heart and when Mrs. Flax has to drop off some papers in Boston for her boss, he and the girls paint the spare bedroom as if it were underwater. When Mrs. Flax gets to his house later that night, they have dinner around the table with the girls chattering about their day and Mrs. Flax is flummoxed by what's happening. Lou tells her that this is what a family does during dinner.

At a costume New Year's Eve party, Lou tells Mrs. Flax how he feels and that they should take their relationship to the next level. He proposes to her (she declines) and then he suggests they move in together (she declines). After the stroke of midnight, she asks if he's going to come home with her (he declines).

When she leaves the party, which is probably within the first hour of the new year, her car won't start and Joe gives her a ride home. Due to her mermaid costume, he helps her out of his truck and she gives him a kiss, which Charlotte sees. She goes ballistic and storms into the house.

One night when Mrs. Flax isn't home, Kate is busy cleaning her rocks and Charlotte decides to act like Mrs. Flax. She puts on her make-up and clothes and dips into the wine, as does Kate.

Charlotte decides to take Kate for a walk up to the convent and while there, she goes up to the belltower and finds Joe.

As Charlotte loses her virginity, Kate slips on top of a makeshift waterfall and plunges into the pond below. She's weighed down since she's been collecting rocks. The nuns hear her cry and rescue her as Charlotte races toward them.

Mrs. Flax doesn't want anything to do with Charlotte and after finding out that Kate will be fine, she tells Charlotte to pack up since they're going to be moving again. Charlotte defies her and during an argument, she tells her what she doesn't want to admit too.

Having agreed to staying in one spot for a year, Mrs. Flax still plays hard to get with Lou, and life looks good for the Flax family.

This has always been one of those movies that has always made me feel good because it's so good and everything about it is perfect. No matter what kind of day you're having after watching this, life is a piece of cake.

Now this is a movie that Cher should have been nominated for Best Actress.

You can't fault her performance, because after all, she's Cher.

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