Wednesday, March 7, 2007

More vestiges of a snowy weekend...

While not snowmobiling and snowshoeing and snowwatching and snowcursing, I did manage to sneak in a few movies. A couple good ones, a great one, and one I liked even though I (somewhat snobbishly) thought I was too old for it.

First things first - let me explain about me and Dame Judi Dench. I LOVE DJD! For a 73-year-old lady, she is lookin' damn good. And she's a fantastic actress, unfortunately probably best known as the spy-maven "M" in all the James Bond movies. Her performance (still considered by many - including myself - to be her signature) as Lady Macbeth in the BBC's 1979 production of Macbeth was unbelieveable; "OUT, OUT DAMN SPOT!" has never been the same. I credit that performance with a lot of my interest in literature, especially my love of Shakespeare. But I digress. She happened to star in two of this past weekend's showings, Mrs. Henderson Presents (for which she was nominated for an Oscar in 2005) and Ladies in Lavender, in which she costars with Dame Maggie Smith (Prof. Minvera McGonagall of Harry Potter fame), her real-life best friend and equally as esteemed colleague.

Liked both movies, but neither one was top quality. Mrs. Henderson was a little on the boring side, apart from her stellar performance - about an eccentric wealthy British widow from the 1940s who opens a theatre (that happens to employ nude performers). True story. Kinda funny at most times, and she plays the part to the hilt. The Lavender movie is a quiet, sad, kind of heartbreaking movie about regrets, and letting go. DJD and DMS are GREAT together in this movie - their interactions are so REAL.

The movie I loved was one I picked up pretty much as an afterthought. It stars two actors for whom I have never had much time: Gwyneth Paltrow, whom I've never really liked in anything, and Jake Gyllenhaal (of Jack "I wish I knew how to quit you!" Twist in Brokeback Mountain fame). But together, in this movie Proof ( they both turn in really great performances. At several times during this movie, I actually wanted to reach out and hug Gwyneth Paltrow's character! Anyway, great story (based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play) that keeps you guessing until the end, and even after, plus the always welcomed joy of getting to watch Anthony Hopkins (in a supporting role as Gwyn's crazy mathematician father). Kind of like A Beautiful Mind with more romance and a girl as the lead.

The movie that surprised me was The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, with an ensemble cast of pretty unknown (at least until this movie came out) young actresses. It REALLY reminded me of Now & Then (Demi Moore, Rosie, Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson), just updated 15 years. I expected it to be one of these foofy little tween movies like Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, but it was actually pretty good. And Amber Tamblyn (whose father I fell in love with a gazillion years ago as Gideon, the littlest Pontipee brother in the 1954 movie version of Seven Bride for Seven Brothers) shows why her "Joan of Arcadia" series was tops for the three seasons it was on - the whole thing hinged on her.

Alright, enough amateur movie reviewing. I have a house to clean, a toilet to scrub, and a dog who's toenail need trimming! Ahh, this really is the good life! :)

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