Friday, January 11, 2008


Not a whole lot going on right now. I finally watched Alfonso Cuaron's lovely 1998 adaptation of "Great Expectations" the other night. It's a shame not to have seen it on the big screen. I've adored Cuaron since seeing "A Little Princess" forever ago, and I thought "Children of Men" was a masterpiece. His "GE" is certainly flawed, but my beefs were mostly with the script: it focuses more on the love story than on the Pip character's coming of age, which is really what the story is about. It has some lovely performances from Chris Cooper as the Joe character (actually, he gets to keep the name Joe) and Anne Bancroft as the Miss Havisham character. Bancroft is so radiantly lovely, she puts gawky little Gwyneth Paltrow to shame. I actually missed the big money-shot effect of little Pip and Estella transforming into adult Ethan Hawke & Gwyneth as they dance, because my eyes were just glued to Bancroft swaying at the edge of the frame. She's a vision. From her crumbling mansion to the Florida marshes to the garrets of New York, this is a gorgeous movie.

Just finished reading Bill Bryson's memoir, "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid." I had a vague memory of reading bad reviews of this, so I didn't seek it out although I have enjoyed all his other books (particularly the useful "Guide to Troublesome Words"). My parents gave it to me for Christmas, though, and it turns out to be just ducky. His anecdotes about growing up in Iowa in the 1950s are told with the perfect blend of affection and dry detachment; every word is note-perfect. It's very enjoyable.

Art Boy and I might watch "Ratatouille" tonight, so the buckets of blood will have to wait a bit. Sorry.


BC said...

I saw that movie in the theater four times because of Gwyneth Paltrow.

ACE said...

I think you are the only other person, besides myself, who loves this movie, too. It's just so BEAUTIFUL. So is Ethan Hawke.

BTW, totally loved Ratatouille. So brilliant.

AE said...

Gwyneth Paltrow is sort of like Keira Knightley to me -- I just don't get it. They're both very pretty and both project zero personality. Although I loved "Royal Tenenbaums."

"Ratatouille" was great. Very cute. And voices by Will Arnett and Janeane Garofalo, which was fab.