As we savor the first days that feel like spring, movies offer opportunities to share experiences together. Here’s what broadcast and cable television stations will play this weekend.
The Help (2011)
Leave it to the great Viola Davis to take us on a tour of the Deep South to remind us how people should treat each other. This moving adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s book shares a great deal about the mistakes people can make when they let traditions define behavior.
Friday, May 6, 7 p.m., BET
The Paper (1994)
When Michael Keaton anchored this year’s Oscar-winning Spotlight, it was not his first movie about the world of journalism. Years ago, Ron Howard turned out this drama about the dramatic dealings at a daily newspaper. And, if the film doesn’t really work, Keaton is spot on.
Friday, May 6, 6 p.m., Flix
As we get close to the summer, the sounds of surf remind us what can happen when we visit the beach. This classic from director Steven Spielberg invented the tradition of the summer blockbuster movie. Seaside resorts and movie theaters have never been the same.
Friday, May 6, 5:15 p.m.; Saturday, May 7, 3:15 p.m., IFC
Mamma Mia (2008)
Yes, Meryl Streep can do anything, as she proves in this adaptation of the Broadway musical. While singing the songs of ABBA may not be the most demanding challenge of her career, Streep appears to be having the time of her life. Pierce Brosnan costars. And sings.
Saturday, May 7, 8 a.m., FreFM
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Jack Nicholson took home his third Oscar for playing a loveable eccentric in this improbable love story from director James L. Brooks. While Helen Hunt overplays her gig as a New York City waitress, Nicholson is pitch perfect as a man who tries to be miserable.
Saturday, May 7, 7:45 a.m., Sundance
It’s Complicated (2009)
As if starring in a musical this weekend isn’t enough, Meryl Streep also reminds us what an engaging comedienne she can be in this piece of fluff from director Nancy Meyers. Steve Martin is a delight as a man Streep could be interested if only her ex husband would disappear.
Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m., E
All About Eve (1950)
The great Bette Davis should have won her third Oscar for creating an ultimate portrayal of a Broadway diva in this classic from director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. But she lost to a Hollywood newcomer – the delightful Judy Holliday – who stole the show in Born Yesterday.
Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Mommie Dearest (1981)
One of Davis’ least favorite costars – Joan Crawford – gets skewered in this melodrama starring Faye Dunaway as the Hollywood icon. While Faye overacts at every opportunity, Diana Scarwid is touching as her daughter, Christina. This is a most unlikely movie for Mother’s Day!
Sunday, May 8, 12 noon and 3 p.m., IFC
Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)
Doris Day is winning as a New York City mother who adjusts to life in Westchester County in this adaptation of the book by Jean Kerr. Day captures our hearts as a woman who wants the best for her family. And she even sings a few lines of Que Sera Sera!
Sunday, May 8, 12 noon, Turner Classic Movies
Mildred Pierce (1945)
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than this Oscar-winning adaptation of James Cain’s movel. Joan Crawford hits all the right notes in this tale about an ambitious career woman who learns how professional success doesn’t always work at home. She is magnificent.
Sunday, May 8, 4 p.m., Turner Classic Movies
Enjoy the movies!