Snapshots - #39: Coco, Pitch Perfect 3, Star Wars: Episodes VII and VIII

Coco (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Miguel, a young aspiring singer, is afraid to defy his family's forsaking of music. On the Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday to celebrate the dead, Miguel is, unwillingly, granted night passage to the Land of the Dead, where he meets his ancestors and gets valuable life lessons.

This Disney/Pixar production has great animation and music, is colorful, fun, has endearing characters (both living and dead). Coco also has meaningful lessons about the value of traditions, the importance of family, loyalty, and honoring one's ancestors, all in a very entertaining package. Don't let the fact that it is an animated movie deter you from enjoying this gem. Coco is a great story to ponder for kids and adults alike.

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017), (♦♦♦♦): The members of the a cappella singing sensation ‘The Bellas’ have graduated from college and are realizing that they suck big time at real life. They miss the singing, the mischief, and the camaraderie. The father of on…

Kolya (Kolja), Czech (♦♦♦♦)

Fifty-five year old Franta Louka plays the cello at funerals to make ends meet. A gravedigger friend tells Louka of a Russian lady who is willing to pay a large sum of money to marry off her young niece so she can obtain Czech papers. The wedding takes place, but the bride illegally migrates to West Germany without telling Louka, leaving her five year-old son behind. The child, Kolya, ends up being cared by Louka, a lifelong bachelor with no experience in how to care for a child. The story takes place against the backdrop of socialist Czechoslovakia right before the fall of communism.

This movie is not meant to be funny; the humor is very subtle but it makes you laugh out loud nonetheless. The child is so cute, and his plight so believable that it’s hard not to feel sorry for him. I found so funny that Kolya learned how to draw coffins, because that’s what he got to see all the time while Louka worked, and the child started drawing other things as soon as he was exposed to different experiences. This film won a Golden Globe and an Academy Award to the Best Foreign Language Film in 1997. Well deserved, I say!