May 13th, 2005

little review

Poem for Friday

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Had a fairly quiet day, other than the usual Thursday carpool chaos. Organized some web page stuff, caught up on some correspondence and phone calls, still haven't managed to make a dermatologist appointment even though that's been on my things to do list since February and how does that happen exactly? I'm not exactly sure where the morning went. Older son had a field trip today with his chorus to perform at an elementary school near his middle school, and tomorrow has a field trip for an environmental cleanup somewhere along the Anacostia River -- we were told to dress them in old clothes and shoes -- while younger son brought home his poetry book that each student in the class wrote -- I must remember to scan and post one of his illustrated poems. The pollen is bothering me more this week than before; there's a layer of yellow powder on the car windows every time I get into the car, even if I cleaned it off a couple of hours earlier. The azaleas are still beautiful but I won't mind when the pollen count drops.

In the evening, because apaulled expressed curiosity, we watched The Winter Guest. (He couldn't quite figure out why it caught my attention at first, because I've never been a huge Emma Thompson fan and he didn't pay attention to the directing credits. *g*) It's a beautifully done movie, something I think you have to be in the mood for -- very slow and quiet particularly at the beginning, with absolutely gorgeous, fairly minimalistic cinematography (it's set in Scotland in winter, and there's a lot of layering of whites -- snow on ice, fog over the frozen sea, even an off-white comforter on white bedsheets in a white room, and black and white photos play a big role since Thompson's character is a photographer). Thompson's mother Phyllida Law plays her mother in the film, and the two of them are exceptional together; it must be rather difficult to play a fractious relationship with an actual family member. While she and her mother are walking through the town sniping at each other, her son is being pursued very aggressively by a girl, and meanwhile two boys playing hooky are trying to figure out what in hell their lives are about and two old ladies who go to funerals for fun are doing the same thing.

The plots aren't exactly parallel and in the case of the old ladies they don't even converge -- the only point of contact involves spying on them through a telescope -- so all the connections are very subtle and the overall effect is too. There's never a hint of melodrama and the performances are all very restrained, even during the one erotic scene where there are all kinds of other complications getting in the way. I'm definitely going to have to watch it a few more times, because the accents on the kids are so strong that it's sometimes hard to catch what they're saying and I was more focused on the acting than how the camera work (which was quite complicated -- long tracking shots) was working with the story. Oh...and there are kittens. In other words The Winter Guest did nothing to alleviate my Alan Rickman crush.

Collapse ) I thought I might be going to see Kingdom of Heaven again with perkypaduan but in classic Friday the 13th style, neither multiplex has an early show, even though it's Friday, much to our chagrin, and I wouldn't be home in time to get my kids. Woe! And of course I must spend the evening reviewing Enterprise, for the last time. I have only just discovered that Mirando Otto is in War of the Worlds so even though I'd thought the double whammy of Cruise and Fanning might make me want to miss that, I am now torn -- though I think I will wait for some reviews by people I trust. This upcoming weekend is the last for Hebrew school for the semester and younger son has a soccer game in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, and we might get haircuts for the boys afterward, so Saturday will probably be relatively uneventful.

Another from the Lake District right outside the town of Grasmere: the sun competing with clouds on a hillside.