Wednesday, May 23, 2007

More Movies & A New Blob

Laura Linney is one of my favorite actresses. She was just about perfect in The Squid and The Whale and Love, Actually. Since I had never seen You Can Count on Me I added it to my Netflix queue and it finally made its way to the top last week. It is another tender hearted, independent film about a family - this time a single mother (Linney), her son (Rory Culkin), her brother (Mark Ruffalo) and her boss (Matthew Broderick). The film won the 2000 Sundance Grand Jury Prize and truly deserved it. The acting was consistently good, the story was full of truth and the first time director (Kenneth Lonergan) did a very good job. I tend to like independent films because they have to rely on good acting, a good script and good direction - the budgets are just too small to disguise flaws with fancy costumes, locations and special effects.

Sometimes, though, I make a poor pick and XX/XY was one. I chose it because Mark Ruffalo was the star and the plot seemed somewhat intriguing. Too bad his character was immature, shallow and annoying. That would have been forgivable if the movie had been at all good but it wasn't. Only two scenes were worth the time - in one, Ruffalo's character (a director) is recognized by someone who has seen his film. He asks for his money back. The other good scene was a very well acted monologue by Petra Wright who plays Ruffalo's live in girlfriend. For once the commenters at Netflix were right.

All four characters in Mike Nichols' 2004 film Closer were pretty repulsive, especially the ones played by Julia Roberts and Jude Law. Lying, betrayal and sexual misbehavior were the dominant themes of the movie which was based on a play by Patrick Marber. If you don't mind spending a couple of hours with people you have no respect for, this film by a deservedly respected director is definitely worth your time. Clive Owen & Natalie Portman also star & were both nominated for Academy Awards.

Wit, based on the play of the same name, was an HBO movie starring Emma Thompson and directed by Nichols. Thompson plays a literature professor who is diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. The film chronicles her aggressive treatment and decline. She has devoted her life to the study of John Donne, to the exclusion of most human relationships. She endures her ordeal alone with only the comfort of her primary nurse (Audra McDonald). The film was grueling, truthful, sometimes funny and very beautiful.

My new blob in progress is the Split Neck T Shirt from Knitting Pure & Simple. I am using some Elann Peruvian Highland Wool that has been in my stash since November 2004. It is going pretty quickly even though I am working again (whew!). I have even gotten a bit of knitting done while I wait for the next task at my current temp job. It sure beats staring into space or playing Solitaire.

All the parts of the Equestrian Blazer have been finished since last week but I haven't had time to block them. That should happen this weekend.

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Blogger benne said...

My youngest daughter and I watched "Wit" together a couple of years ago. It was stunning, very powerful.

I like the looks of your new blob. ;-} Anxious to see the Equestrian Blazer. That pattern grabbed me when I first saw it.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Joan said...

Love your blob. I got one of those too. Squid/Whale was amazing, all beautiful performances. Wit was nearly unwatcheable for me, Emma was so raw.
Have a good weekend!

6:49 PM  
Blogger junior_goddess said...

I think your blog is good. Congrats on a new JOB. Always helps.

11:30 AM  

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