Star-gazing this weekend: Favorites on film

Who is your favorite actor or actress?

This weekend, broadcast and cable television stations go star gazing with an impressive collection of films where the stars shine.

Take a look.

Romancing the Stone (1984)

Kathleen Turner was a little-known actress from the theater with few films to her credit when she scored a huge hit as a mousey romance writer who discovers her inner adventurer in this entertaining ripoff of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Despite the familiar screenplay, she and Michael Douglas have great fun in roles so thinly developed that they can do whatever comes to mind. And they deliver a lot of fun on screen.

Friday, August 28, 3 p.m., FX

Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts was the star of the moment when she won an Oscar for her quirky portrayal of a loud-mouth woman who becomes the voice for people tragically treated by a big corporation. Well directed by Steven Soderbergh, and supported by the effective use of costumes and makeup, Roberts makes her larger-than-life personality fill the dimensions of an exaggerated character. It’s a perfect marriage of actress and role.

Friday, August 28, 4 p.m., AMC

Autumn Sonata (1978)

Ingrid Bergman was a three-time Oscar winner at the end of career when she capped her screen work with a brilliant and daring portrayal of a driven mother in this drama from director Ingmar Bergman. Working in her native Swedish for the first time in many years, Bergman reminds us why she is an actress we savor as she pierces the surface of a woman the world loves to love and her daughter fears to know.

Friday, August 28, 6:15 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

Casablanca (1943)

Ingrid Bergamn was a newcomer in Hollywood with only a few English-language films familiar to audiences when she was cast as a woman of mystery in this classic melodrama that was named the year’s Best Picture. This remarkable love story makes it clear why Bergman became a star for the ages as she effortlessly conveys the layers that any person would bring to a complex situation of intrigue, danger and romance.

Friday, August 28, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

James Stewart was an Oscar winner – and fresh from the striking Hitchcock dramas Rear Window and Vertigo  when he played the dramatic role of his career as a small town lawyer called to defend a mysterious man accused of murder. Years later, it’s impossible to imagine how the Academy picked Charlton Heston’s cardboard portrayal of Ben Hur over Stewart’s layered portrayal. But the Oscars don’t always make sense.

Saturday, August 29, 12 noon, Turner Classic Movies

The Hustler (1961)

Paul Newman was an actor to be reckoned with when he teamed with director Robert Rossen to play a fast-talking pool player in this drama about the dark dimensions of any town we could call home. While Newman later won an Oscar for recreating this role of Fast Eddie in The Color of Money it’s this portrayal – of a cynical loner who refuses to look for the possibilities – that defines the persona Newman delivered on screen for the rest of his career.

Saturday, August 29, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies

Sharing movies can be as easy as turning on the television or going online.

And, when you watch as a family, take the time to chat about what you’re seeing. That makes it even more fun.