Favorite actresses: fond memories

Some days, watching older movies can remind us what we enjoy about our favorite actresses.

And, no matter your favorites, broadcast and cable stations make it easy to rediscover films we have seen or try out new offerings we may have missed!

Take a look at what’s showing this weekend.

In Her Shoes (2005)

This episodic, if well-intentioned, drama about the relationship between two women and their grandmother may run too long and try to tell too many stories. But any film that brings the great Shirley MacLaine to the screen is worth the time. She creates a lovely presence as a wise woman who is too smart to push her wisdom on others. Instead she lets the people around her discover just how meaningful her guidance can be.

Friday, October 9, 8:30 p.m., Oxygn

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)

After disappointing fans with a series of heavy dramas, Julia Roberts returned to flashing her winning smile and delivering punch lines with precise timing to score a hit with this comedy about a driven woman who drives away the love of her life. That Roberts turns a fundamentally negative woman into an appealing comic heroine confirms her ability to capture a role’s humanity. And why she still casts a spell more than 25 years after first serving that pizza from Mystic.

Saturday, October 10, 12 noon, Lifetime

Dead Poets Society (1989)

When Robin Williams died, audiences recalled their favorite moments from the actor’s remarkable career. While he is best remembered for his outrageous sense of humor, he could be touching and real in quieter moments, as he brings to life in this Oscar nominee. As a teacher with unconventional methods and views, Williams soars as a man comfortable enough in his skin to help others discover their own. And he also makes us laugh now and then.

Saturday. October 10, 2 p.m., Flix

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

While he appeared on Broadway in the musicals Grease and Over Here and on television in Welcome Back, Kotter John Travolta became a star when he strutted down a New York street during this film’s opening sequence. As a passionate man who discovers his rhythm, Travolta delivers a stunning performance that still works all these years later. Whether or not he lived up to his potential is open for debate. But he gets all the moves just right.

Saturday, October 10, 4:30 p.m., Sundance

Casino (1995)

Today, Sharon Stone is known as a vivacious personality who can reach through the screen to connect with audiences. That she’s rarely considered a character actress may be as much about the roles she plays as the talents she brings. In this portrait of mob life in Las Vegas, Stone brings range and power to a woman who compromises her values to get what she wants. The actress “takes no prisoners” in a galvanic performance as a woman trapped in her own life.

Saturday, October 10, 8 p.m., IFC

The Help (2011)

Thanks to How to Get Away With Murder on television, Viola Davis now has an Emmy to go with her Tony and a weekly opportunity to remind us how commanding she can be. As if we would forget. A few years ago, many expected her to win an Oscar for this unforgettable treatment of a proud woman who refuses to consider herself second to anyone. Her eventual loss to Meryl Streep only means the part she is born to play may not have yet been written.

Sunday, October 11, 12:05 p.m., BET

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.

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