Archives

Some more films

The Father

Very good. I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone, but especially those dealing with – and being frustrated with – their declining elderly family members. It doesn’t much matter if it is Alzheimer’s or something else. It’s very good at making you look at it from the perspective of the old and frail. It lets a person try on the shoes many might not naturally be inclined to try on because the gap between health and old-age-related illnesses is quite big. This film makes one feel how it ultimately doesn’t matter. Fear and anxiety are always there, it doesn’t matter that reality differs and memory is poor. It’s not a totally gloomy film. It’s deeply sad, but there’s a lot of love in there from the daughter to the father. For me, there was even some lightness. At the start I thought Anthony was just a loveable eccentric man. I also loved the sunlit apartment. It gave me comforting vibes.

Million Dollar Baby

Also very good. Stayed with me a while. I like these stories about different kinds of love, not just the romantic kind. I didn’t expect it to end the way it did, of course. I was expecting typical sports film tropes but as such it is definitely more interesting, albeit much less cuddly. Very good supporting characters too.

Cinderella Man

That’s a cuddly sports film. In the sense that it ends happily and the hero triumphs. Boxing, poverty and hardship aren’t so cuddly.

The Insider

This one has a good Gladiatoresque soundtrack, which doesn’t seem to fit the film. It’s a relatively modern-day sacrifice and justice film, but quite realistic in characterisation. There’s people trying to fight the system (tobacco firms) as it continually shows itself to be more powerful than them, they are afraid, they are weak and they lose much by it. Let’s say: they aren’t heroed up. At least the chemist isn’t.

 

Chatter

What do I write about when complicated topics are off the table?

Maybe the films I’ve recently seen.

1. 84 Charing Cross Road – I liked it, but not very much.  I didn’t understand how and why a connection developed between these two penfriends. I was told and shown it did, but I wasn’t convinced by the words exchanged between them. Their allegedly shared sense of humour surprised me because one never really sees it. I mostly liked it for the sweet concept. It made me want to take up letter-writing again. Not for romance-purposes with a British bookseller, but rather for the charm that can be put into letters and received in return. The delightfulness of the entire process. It’s like slow-cooking on a wood stove compared to instant food. And the beauty of lasting friendship and goodwill are the best things in the world methinks.

2. How to Marry a Millionnaire – that was alright too, but not all that engaging. I only really liked Marilyn’s character’s hatred of wearing glasses because chuckle, I’m the same.

3. LA Confidential – not my usual type of movie, but I don’t pick my films for respectable reasons these days and did enjoy it quite a lot. A little too fast-paced sometimes. Liked the song in it, too (Kay Starr’s Wheel of Fortune). Potentially would rewatch it.

4. 3:10 to Yuma – nice old-style modern Western. Of course I liked it. A lot of people had difficulty with the ending, but to me it felt perfectly natural.

5. State of Play – this is very far from my usual cups of tea, and since I watched it at four o’clock in the morning, I got distracted sometimes and did other things but it was still reasonably engaging and watchable, all things considered.

 

Jean Valjean

Les Miserables is my second favourite book at the moment. And I had my first experience as a fan of a book seeing something I dearly love being put on screen and that something failing completely to measure up. I’ve watched countless adaptations of classics, usually enjoying both the books and the TV/movie versions. I even liked the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice, so come on, I’m not picky! But this. This failed me. I think it missed something vital to Hugo’s art of storytelling and altered my beloved Jean Valjean.

I’m talking of the BBC miniseries. The obvious distractors of illogical casting choices aside I didn’t feel the story. The book makes you feel the story, it’s all about dragging you through the sewers of misery, but the TV series…. The emotion isn’t there.  Jean Valjean isn’t the magnificient figure he is in the book. For example, I couldn’t feel his doubt and torment in the court scene, while in the book it was one of the most intense chapters.

They’ve also made him worse than he was, which misses the main point of Hugo’s story. It is also strange to me that Fantine is the centre of the poster. To sell the story better you need a pretty girl, but come on. Les Miserables is the story of Jean Valjean and all others are supporting characters.

In conclusion, disappointed. I hope they make a new one. The musical I’m not going to watch because I don’t like musicals, having too much an autist’s brain for them.

Small rant over.