This past week I’ve kept good on my New Year’s resolution to watch more movies. I might’ve overdone it, as I can’t say that I stopped to reflect and analyze each selection. What I can say with good authority is that later today homework will be pulled from knapsacks, snack served, then my beans will be forced into bathing suits in this 30 degree weather, for indoor swim lessons, where I will stand, overdressed and sticky, wearing workout clothing that hasn’t been worked out, dreading the end of the lesson, where I will need to thrust them into showers, instructing them not to touch anything, “This is a public stall. Touch nothing, not even yourself!” Abigail will wail over knots in her hair, and as my mother did with me, I will tell she must suffer for beauty (then I’ll contradict myself and tell her she’s gorgeous just as she is, not to give into any of it, you being you is what’s beautiful… except when your hair is a wreck). They’ll say they’re starving, then they’ll come home, where I’ll warm their dinner and watch them poke it, insisting they’re full.
Amour (2012) subtitles: An uneasy film, heavy, a Sunday when it’s cold, in with the paper, a kettle on the stove kind of movie, where you’re in the mood to think about your own mortality. This film made me thankful for the conversation I once had with Phil about our health. I told him simply that if I ever was in a state where I didn’t know who he was, he was free to carry on with another woman, so long as I was taken care of properly. This lead to our agreement that if he ever had a stroke, and I was in a position to coach him with vocal exercises, together trying to say the word, “balls” that I was entitled to play with someone else’s.
The Sessions (2012): Where ball play is encouraged… A man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity contacts a professional sex surrogate with the help of his priest. Now that, dear reader, is one hell of a logline! How do you not rush out to see this? Add to that that the film is inspired by real events, based off the 1990 article, “On Seeing a Sex Surrogate.” The film is a bit uncomfortable, the way sex so often is, but it’s also deeply felt, quiet, funny, and very kind. Oddly the film is patient, yet it keeps you on edge, needing to know what happens next. I highly recommend this, despite the immediate discomfort (that will mostly disappear) some will feel in watching a main character who rarely leaves a gurney.
A Royal Affair (2012) subtitles: The young crazy King in this historical drama reminded me of the wise and matured boys from my neighborhood, the ones who called me “Moose.” In particular, it was the Nancy laugh, almost a hee-haw bray, of King Christian VII of Denmark that awakened my memory of the mountain bike nerds of my youth. Periodically throughout the film, Phil was subject to hearing me TALK AT THE SCREEN. “Oh, dear.” “Oh, no.” “This ain’t good.” Bike handle gripping.
Flight (2012): Generally speaking, when I watch films about addictions, particularly drugs or alcohol, promiscuous sex even, I’ll go a night or two without. In solidarity, maybe. It’s not to test myself; thankfully I’m only addicted to sugar and mild forms of self-deprecation. But I’m usually turned off, remembering some hungover event involving bed spins, particularly if it’s a very dark film like KIDS (1995)… that movie is so disturbing. If you haven’t seen it, do. Synopsis: An amoral, HIV-positive skateboarder sets out to deflower as many virgins as possible while a local girl who contracted his disease tries to save his next target from her same fate or Leaving Las Vegas (1995), with Nic Cage and Elisabeth Shue, where Ben Sanderson, an alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his drinking, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.. No one is going to drink after that. But the film Flight (2012) kinda made me want to drink from some mini bottles. I didn’t get enough hangover feedback from this film. Not enough weighed on me. And the ending, I’m convinced, was penned by the same writer who wrote that schoolhouse episode about a group of students taking part in a parenting class where their first assignment is to ‘parent’ an egg. Yes, it was an after school special.
The Grass Is Greener (1961): Cray Grant is a British nobleman whose sedate marriage to Deborah Kerr is threatened by his flirtation with Jean Simmons and hers with visiting American millionaire Robert Mitchum. Lots of great innuendo here, and a modern, or perhaps archaic, position on infidelity. Does love mean forgiving indiscretions, do the children factor into our romantic choices? Brings up a lot of questions in a very light, fur coat and reservations world.
Born To Be Bad (1934): Cary Grant, as the first “Undercover Boss,” is the wealthy president of a dairy corporation, driving one of the trucks—intimate with all aspects of the business. When he accidentally hits a young boy on roller skates, the boy’s mother, played by Loretta Young, tries to falsify the injuries and extort money. The judge sees through the scam and sends her son to a home for boys. Grant and his wife adopt the boy, so he can see his mother more often, but complications—I’ll say!—ensue. When the words THE END appeared, I heard myself say, “That was the pits.”
Salmon Fishing In The Yemen: While I posted and remarked on this film already, I do want to add that I find the movie overrated, attributing the press and accolades mostly to a very dry, mostly bland comedic season, particularly of the romantic variety. We need a Nancy Meyers film is what we need…
THE INTERN (2014?): Tina “Fey will play the founder of an e-business with a fashion focus. As her company begins to thrive, she’s told that her company is importing seniors to be interns as a community outreach effort, and she’s getting one. While her first question is whether they are seniors in high school or college, she learns to her horror that she’s getting a real senior, as in senior citizen. The title character, an over-70 widower who is bored with retirement from a middle management career, initially seems like a fossil to his working mother boss, but grows more indispensable. While the boss and internship develop a platonic bond, Meyers tells me that to her this is a love story about the friendship they develop. She has an actor in mind for the title role, but wouldn’t say until he’s locked.” From Deadline.
This coming week, I intend to watch:
Farewell, My Queen (2012): A look at the relationship between Marie Antoinette and one of her readers during the first days of the French Revolution.
Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012): A divorcing couple tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people.
On The Road (2012): Based off Jack Kerouac’s book, young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
I did want to note the films here, in case I look back, searching for proof of follow-through. I don’t have time to comment on each one, mostly because I’m not making the time or taking the energy to do so. It’ll feel like work, not play, so nope. Instead, I’ll go par-cook tonight’s grits and apples, to be served with chops. Then, I’ll head to Home Depot to pick up another vacuum cleaner because that is, at least part of, my life now. Launder bedding. With Phil going in for surgery this Thursday, I’d like the house as much in order as possible, for the sheets to be fresh, his bedside table polished. My mother-in-law is sleeping over for at least the next two nights, so I’d like to play the role of competent home-maker (that word bothers me on many levels) and semi-gracious host.
Tomorrow I head to Manhattan for a photo shoot. More on that tomorrow, or tomorrow night. Today I need to groom and try on outfits for said photo shoot, something I’ll put off until last minute because lately I’ve been eating Cheese Doodles and Black & White Oreo cookies in bed, which might explain my sex is almost always uncomfortable comment.