February 21st, 2011

get critical

Poem for Monday, Maple Sugar Fest, Dorian Gray

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While Daniel was at robotics, we took Adam to Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park for the annual maple sugar festival...or, to be more precise, we took Paul there, since he was determined to get free pancakes and maple syrup and we knew we couldn't get to Mount Vernon early enough to get THEIR free hoecakes and syrup. Adam felt a bit tricked when he realized we weren't only there so he could photograph geese and flowers, though he was a good sport about it, even though he picked on me all day because I called him a "failer" at one point which he cited as ample proof of my failure. The maple sugar festival was quite crowded with kids watching the sap being boiled and pancakes being made inside the log cabin, but the greenhouses weren't crowded at all and the trails either -- there were more geese than people.

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We came home to watch 60 Minutes because I wanted to see Lionel Logue's grandson, who was fabulous -- he had Logue's diaries and said he was struck that the King and his grandfather were obviously good friends and pointing out that Logue had edited Churchill's speech for the King to get rid of some of the more hard-to-pronounce words for a stammerer, and Colin Firth said he found the "you still stammered on the 'W's" bit while he was reading Logue's diaries in bed, and in general I am just so happy to see a major news venue treating The King's Speech like the absolutely wonderful film it is instead of "Oh, this just isn't as young and hip as James Franco cutting off his arm or The Social Network," which just makes me seethe. Also, Colin Firth explaining that he did Mamma Mia because you can't dangle spandex and a bit of mascara in front of him without him dying for them because he's such a drag queen is my favorite quote of 2011. (Also, I haven't particularly followed Scott Brown's voting record and I'm sure he's done things that would enrage me, but I found him very impressive.)

We took a break from Colin Firth to watch The Simpsons for the Ricky Gervais-Russell Brand angle, but it was the Toy Story and Wallace and Gromit parodies that make this week's episode an instant absolute classic. Then we watched Dorian Gray, which it's probably a good thing I haven't read in decades or the screenplay would have made me screech even more than it did...I really liked Ben Barnes' performance, which I wasn't sure I would, having only seen him in the Narnia films and Easy Virtue which makes a delightful contrast in father-son dynamics to this one, and Colin really, really needs to play the devil more often because he does it better than Jack Nicholson or Gabriel Byrne and nearly on par with Viggo Mortensen. I laughed a lot that in the commentary, Emilia Fox and everyone else was talking about how homoerotic Henry's feelings for Dorian were while Colin was insisting, oh, no, it's very destructive, he just did not want to go there. Come on, Colin, where was your inner drag queen? I also loved when they asked the actors whether Oscar Wilde would like cinematic adaptations of his work, and Colin said oh, definitely, and Fiona Shaw said no, he'd hate it, and Maryam D'Abo said yes, he'd love it...must have been a fun set!