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Enlarging the family circle

Best 2004 movies offer various views

"The problem with the world," Mother Teresa once said, "is that we draw the circle of our family too small." What would it mean and how would we act if people recognized that we are all one big family? Some of the best movies of 2004 offer perspectives on this question.

Finding Neverland is the story of J.M. Barrie, who writes for the theater in London during the early 20th century. He is unhappily married, mainly because his wife doesn't understand his playful spirit and wild imagination. One day in a London park, he meets Sylvia Lewelyn Davies, a widow, and her four young sons. They prove to be very interested in the alternate world he creates filled with cowboys, American Indians, pirates and daring rescues from danger. Soon he is imagining scenes and characters for a play based on their adventures, Peter Pan. When this extended "family" later faces a time of trial, he shows them that grief and loss, while real, don't have the last word.

In The Terminal, Viktor Navorski travels to New York when a coup occurs in his Eastern European country. At the airport he is told that his visa to enter the United States, issued by the former government, is no longer valid and all return flights were canceled. Technically a "man without a country," Navorski is told to stay in the international transit lounge until further notice.

(Article goes on to highlight Hotel Rwanda and The Motorcycle Diaries.)


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