How to Make an American Quilt

Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Taking the summer to consider an engagement proposal from live-in boyfriend Dermot Mulroney, Berkley graduate student Winona Ryder stays with her eccentric grandmother and great aunt and learns about life, feminism and love from members of their quilting bee whom she uses as muses for her master’s thesis. Gorgeous, unique and never preachy—the film is nearly miraculous as a work of feminism for embodying many different attitudes and beliefs and sharing wonderful tales as the women take turns explaining their personal square they’re sewing for Ryder’s wedding quilt which has been given the theme of “Where Love Resides.” Some of these stories will stay with you long after the film is over and the characters feel like kindred spirits, confidantes, and wise women who’ve become nearly soldiers in the wars of the heart, emerging from the front lines without bitterness, eager to explain the things they’ve seen in order to inspire the next generation of lovers and perhaps learn more about themselves in the process. Men shouldn’t feel threatened by this unabashedly female bonding film—men are equals as they should be and we never fail to grasp their point of view in the goings on. Like Ryder in the film, viewers will be grateful they decided to listen. Plus, does anybody deliver a truism quite like Maya Angelou?!