Despite the rain, or maybe because of it, Cait & I went to the movies. We've been discussing it since school came out just because there were so many good movies released over the Christmas period this year but one way or another we have been too busy ~ & in all the heat everyone has been reluctant to travel. The rain meant it was damp but considerably cooler.
We indulged as Cait is back at work next week & saw two.
The first one was The Book Thief, which neither of us have read & which I knew nothing about. It was Cait's pick. I really loathe narration in movies! It is pretentious & unnecessary. The whole idea of film is you can use less words to tell your story. I wasn't impressed as it didn't take many brains to work out who the narrator was supposed to be ~ & that really is pretentious! That being said I actually really liked the rest of the movie & if I could have cut out all Death's bits I would have. Unnecessary to the story! Sorry, I hate when someone's artistic clumsiness mars an otherwise excellent work.
I loved the way the war is seen from the children's viewpoint ~ & that it was not just about the Jews, though Cait & I noted neither the gypsies nor the gays got a mention though the communists did. Can one know too much history?
I also enjoyed the complexity of the characters & how a harsh exterior hid mushy insides! I think it also showed how difficult most people found it to stand up for what was right, the fear generated by the regime, & I was super impressed, because someone had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to do their homework, by the German children's choir singing, in German, the songs supportive of Nazism. They sounded terrific & it really drove home Hitler's indoctrination of the young. He knew he would never totally win over the older generation but they would die out. The young he could control if he could control their thinking. And as all homeschoolers know, Hitler is responsible for banning homeschooling in Germany & the Germans are still paying for that thinking to this day.
The cinematography was lovely. I am not bothered by foreign language, not even one I don't speak, & I don't speak German ~ & there's quite a bit. I loved the way the characters developed relationships with each other & how they deepened during the course of the film, & how your perceptions of people changed as they did. Lovely. True to life.
No bad language. No gratuitous sex.
Overall not a bad movie but the one I really wanted to see was Saving Mr Banks.
What the movie did describe really well, portrayed marvelously by Emma Thomson, is what a difficult woman she was, so very self~involved, so very hurt she could not afford to allow anyone at all into her inner sanctum; tortured by a past she could neither control nor change, & the deep & abiding love she had for her father despite a childhood marred by alcoholism & mental instability.
Tom Hanks plays a marvelous Walt Disney ~ & I have always hated nearly everything about the Walt Disney empire: animation, Disneyland, the cuter than cute, the happy happy, musicals ~ I have a pretty endless list. Just the same, not only was the man a genius, he was a personable & engaging genius & Hanks does a brilliant job of portraying that.
I can remember thinking, when I first saw the movie Mary Poppins, that Mary wasn't much like she is portrayed in Travers' books. I suspect P.L. Travers felt the same way because an industry notorious for making a sequel when the original has been so hugely succesful was never able to get Travers to agree to another movie ~ though the woman was so impossibly difficult to work with I can't imagine anyone even wanting to try. Disney did, but she stuck to her guns.
Shot entirely in Southern California the Australian scenes are pretty realistic ~ though I have never been to Allora, so don't know if it really looks like that. Certainly it was along way from anywhere then as it is now.
Again a really clean movie: no violence, no sex, no bad language, just really excellent story telling! So glad to see good, clean movies are making a comeback. Almost revolutionary.
Still on our list are Philomena & The Hobbit. I just love Judi Dench. And she's a Quaker. Which has nothing to do with anything but you know...The Hobbit I am far more conflicted about. I do want to see it but I was really cross with the first movie, so am hoping this one is much, much better & of course now I'm seeing Holmes & Watson every time I look at the dragon & Bilbo! Talk about weird.