5 Movies to Watch This Year

I am not a film critic. I am one who appreciates a well-told story on film. The actors are almost always secondary to a good story for me. And, I rarely read the book before seeing the film. I don’t compare the printed word to the visual storytelling. I prefer to experience each separately.

It was a long, cold winter. We watched more movies than usual.

These five films have left the strongest impact on me, so far, in 2019.

Some were block busters. Others, not. Yet each is worth viewing.

I will not ruin it for you by revealing the plot or storyline. Instead, click on the links below for a preview of each film.

The Hate U Give

I’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, D.C. and Charleston, South Carolina before re-locating back to the Midwest.

The storyline, actions, and consequences here are believable and relatable to me.

Even if you’ve never lived in such a culture, the message in this movie is strong. It’s a movie I will remember. “What one puts out in the world, one gets back.”

Acronym: T.H.U.G.-The Hate U Give.

What They Had

We discovered this movie on Amazon Prime.

Anyone with aging parents will relate to the familial struggles and angst in this story. It centers on memory loss and deep love. One can get distracted by the drama in the children’s lives. Focus on the parents.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Queen was the first concert I ever attended. It was September 16, 1980 at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/queen/1980/hilton-coliseum-ames-ia-4bdc9ffe.html

I was slightly overwhelmed and equally impressed by the crowd, the music, the theatrical performances and the stage lighting that night.

Flicking of a Bic lighter to show approval was new to me.

Of course, I’d heard the music before but never seen it performed live.

Even if you’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Queen concert, this movie is worth watching.

Though you may not agree with Freddy Mercury’s lifestyle, one cannot diminish his immense talent and impact on the music industry.

The movie received the 2019 Golden Globe Best Motion Picture award.

The Wife

Women of a certain age will completely understand this movie.

I’ve been paid quite well for many years to ghost write for political and corporate leaders. I get this movie. “Keep your mouth shut while others recite your words.”

Revealing more will ruin the plot for you.

Glenn Close, the lead actress, won multiple awards for her role in the film.

Beautiful Boy

If addiction has ever been in your life or in the life of someone you love, this movie will make a lasting impression on you. It highlights repeated recovery, relapse and survival. Income and status do not shield anyone from addiction.

Steve Carell, most widely known for comedic work, does an outstanding job in this dramatic role.

One can watch this movie on Amazon Prime.

What Film’s Been Most Impactful for You?

The 1988 Comedy-Drama, “Beaches,” starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey is one I’ll always remember. Theirs was a real and loyal friendship despite class differences, betrayal and illness. It set an example for me, at an early age, on how to initiate and build life-long friendships.

We even used a featured soundtrack from this movie, “Wind Beneath My Wings” as a spotlight dance at our 1992 wedding.


List the 1 movie that’s made the biggest impact on your life.

CLOSED: One random winner will be drawn.

©Copyright. May 2019. Linda Leier Thomason
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Linda Leier Thomason writes freelance business and travel stories, along with feature articles. Her work experiences include a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business.
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“Murder Ballad” Kills It-A Review

dsc_3926The musical, Murder Ballad, running through November 20, 2016 in the  Howard Drew Theatre at the  Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) tells a tale of an affair gone bad. Unlike most love triangle stories, the adulterer here is a young mother and wife named Sara. Played by award-winning actress Leanne Hill Carlson, Sara escapes the doldrums of everyday married life and reconnects with former boyfriend Tom, played by Thomas Gjere. Their acrobatic use of bar counters and pool tables lends a creative steaminess to the love affair. Sara’s devoted husband, Michael, played by John E. Jones, loves her, despite her flaws and her obvious distaste of the drudgery of life- “Who will I be from 9-3?”

The story is narrated by the incredibly talented and humorous Mackenzie Dehmer who captivates the audience with her voice as well as her movements throughout the bar. The four-piece orchestra, seen on set, accentuates the drama but sometimes overpowers the voices.

A special highlight of this production is the functioning bar. An hour before start, guests are welcome to go on stage to order a drink, sit on a bar stool, play pool at the table, drop a quarter in the pinball machine or sit back and watch TV above the bar. Guests may even sit on the 12 bar seats at no additional cost during the performance.

Guest Reaction

Lyn and Natalie before showtime.
Lyn and Natalie before showtime.

Lyn Leach did. The stage is comfortable to him as an avid theater patron and actor. He’s starred in 8 productions and is the past president of the Lincoln Community Playhouse. He and his wife, Natalie, are OCP season subscribers who see about 50 shows a year, including recently seeing “Hamilton” in New York City.

Lyn admits, before attending the play, he knew nothing more about it than it was a musical, set in a bar and involved a murder. He enjoyed the wonderful voices most. “The purity of the harmonies and the notes they hit were impressive.”

“It was a fantastic show.  I loved the character development. I believed and understood each of them. And, I really liked the way the narrator worked the room and some of the comical places she ended up, which added life to her.”

Murder Ballad does contain situations of infidelity, adult language and mild violence. Lyn believes it’s especially appealing for a young, progressive audience. “I really love that OCP is making every effort to broaden its patron base by including more edgy and progressive plays. Their interesting and entertaining productions are at a level of quality far above the typical community theatre.”

Lyn sums up Murder Ballad this way. “It’s a musical that will take you on a journey of deception, sensuality, love, heartbreak, and above all, passion. It is one of the best overall productions in years at the Omaha Community Playhouse. As an audience member, you will feel like you are directly involved in the story. The music is phenomenal, the voices supreme, and the acting is outstanding. Get a ticket and experience the exhilarating journey yourself.”

Get a Ticket

Do this by calling the OCP Box Office at (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.com or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $42 for adults and $25 for students. Tickets for groups of 12 or more are $30 for adults and $20 for students.

A limited number of Twilight Tickets are available at half price after noon the day of the performance at the Box Office. Cash or check only. These are subject to availability.

Sponsored by:  Le Voltaire Restaurant/Le Petit Paris, The Berry & Rye, David and Anne Rismiller, Whitmore Charitable Trust and CW15 (media sponsor)

Location:  Howard Drew Theatre | Omaha Community Playhouse 6915 Cass Street | Omaha, NE 68132


©Copyright. October 2016. Linda Leier Thomason

All Rights Reserved.