Disney’s Winnie the Pooh is one of the most altogether pleasing family films in some while. For very young children, its straightforward narrative is bright and friendly without the adult sensibility of Rango, the violence of Kung Fu Panda 2 or the potentially overwhelming scariness of Toy Story 3. For parents, it is a diverting reminder of things they enjoyed as children. For Disney aficionados, it is an affectionate revitalization of the style initiated in the 60s and 70s Pooh cartoons. For anyone, the whole film is simply smashing.


Today is the United States of America's 235th Independence Day. Celebrations of our nation's birth will not only see fireworks and cookouts, but also patriotic movies. AMC will host a Rocky marathon while Turner Classic Movies will show features like 1776 (1972) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). Personally, I like to watch something that is distinctly American without overtly saying, “Golly, we’re wonderful!” I might pick something that celebrates rustic Americana, like Disney's So Dear to My Heart (1948), or something encapsulating our optimism and happiness, like Singin' in the Rain (1952) or The Wizard of Oz (1939). This year, however, I watched a movie with a decidedly unflattering view on America: Robert Altman's Nashville (1975).