Thelma

Recently I attended the Opening Night festivities of the Seattle International Film Festival, along with some 2,000 of my closest friends.

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As you may already know, I am a big fan of Film Festivals and in particular independent films.  Over the years I have been to the Toronto, Woods Hole, Tribeca, Palm Springs, Borrego Springs, and Seattle Film Festivals.

Seattle’s 2024 Film Festival opening night celebrating its 50th anniversary took place at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle.  Along with the usual welcomes, thanks to the sponsors and introduction of key Festival staff, was the showing of one film to kick off the 11-day festival, which showed some 261 films.

 

The one film that the festival organizers chose to highlight on opening night was a movie named Thelma.

What a kick!  If you get a chance, make an effort to see this movie that is scheduled to be released in the United States on June 21, 2024.

When was the last time you saw a movie, whose star is 94 years old!  Yes, you heard that correctly.  94 years old!

Fasten your seat belts for June Squibb.   She is the star of this delightful film, and she is a handful.   She has spirit, guts, determination, a sense of right and wrong, her faculties, a sense of humor, and gumption.   At the same time, she has the wisdom that comes with experience and aging.

While it was sad to see an elderly grandmother get scammed out of $10,000, it was wonderful to see 5’1” Squibb get upset, not accept what happened, and be determined to find a way to get the money back.  Revenge has never been sweeter.

 

The combination drama, thriller and comedy not only keeps you on the edge of your seat but also has you smiling and laughing out loud much of the time.

June Squibb has had a long career in film, television and theater.  She has received 49 nominations and 7 awards over the years.  She is probably best known for her role in Nebraska (2013) for which she was nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Supporting Actress.  She is the third oldest woman to ever be nominated for that award, only to be surpassed by Judi Dench (Belfast) and Gloria Stuart (Titanic).

Where I remember her is when she played Jack Nicholson’s wife in About Schmidt, the 2002 comedy-drama, which featured his character development once he purchased an RV and begins to travel.  This movie has always been one of my favorites.

For those of you that know me well, you know that I have an RV (i.e., motorcoach) and am still in the process of developing my character.

To me one of the remarkable and moving themes in Thelma was the relationship between Thelma (June Squibb) and her longtime friend Ben, played by Richard Roundtree, as the two set out on a treacherous quest across Los Angeles to reclaim what was taken from her.  Sadly, this was Richard Roundtree’s final on-screen performance.  He passed just 6 months ago from prostrate and breast cancer.

One of the great things about film festivals is that often you are able to see and hear from the director and lead actors and actresses after the movie is shown.  Thelma was no exception.  During the Q&A after the film, I could tell that June Squibb is a special, warm, with emotional depth, caring and fun person to be around.  I got an up-front view of her since I was sitting in the front row of the 2,000-seat theater.

Finally, I want to share with you some research that I have done on the name “Thelma.”

The name has always been a favorite of mine ever since the release of the 1950s film “Thelma & Louise,” which starred Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in the lead roles.

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Thelma, the female given name, is of Greek origin. In Greek, it is derived from the word “θέλημα” (thelēma), which means “will” or “desire.”  In addition to being a name, “Thelma” may also be used metaphorically to refer to willpower or desire, reflecting its Greek origins.

And that is what June Squibb’s character of Thelma is all about – willpower and desire.

Enjoy the film, Thelma.

 

5 thoughts on “Thelma”

  1. Sounds great. Neil put Park City’s UT’s Sundance Film Festival on your list. We spent a week in Park City where one of our and your former ORI Owner neighbors (the Buresh’s) live. If you’d like their contact info call me. A delightful couple that you’d really enjoy. You might already know them
    If you are serendipitous, and I know you are, you too may enjoy the Gimli Film Fest. We arrived by MH in Gimli a few years back just to spend a couple of days visiting 0ur son who was there towing glider cadets (similar to your Civil air Patrol). The film festival happened to be on so we stayed a week and really enjoyed it. Not as high brow as Palm Springs or Park City but a neat quaint thing to do in Manitoba..
    You mention Woods Hole, Cape Cod. Having motorhomed and spending some time in Provincetown, seeing the “activity” there on Cape Cod, Woods Hole is just so descriptive!

  2. Thanks for sharing Neil. Would love to see this. Sounds like a role model for my coming years. Am also a lover of film festivals. Later this year…Toronto Film fest.

  3. From your review, it’s now on my list! I, too, remember “Thelma and Louise” fondly!

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