Going to the movies is quite rare with me most of the time. I’d rather read the book, and it has to be something special to get me to pay full price and spend all that time to watch it. However, recently, a good friend has introduced me to Half-Price Tuesdays, and that (along with a spate of good movies) has pulled me back onto the Movie Groove.
So what have I been seeing? Well, not blockbusters, I’ll tell you that. I am pretty picky about not getting a predictable story line, and with a lot of Hollywood writers, they love predictable. I know it’s going to be a flat story if I can forecast what will happen in the first 20 minutes – not because I am so great and perceptive, but only because the narrative is going to be so banal.
So – there have been some movies that have made the cut recently and they’ve been really good. As a change from books, I thought I’d do a movie post…
So, first up: Amour (French drama with subtitles, 2012). This was a moving and pretty serious movie about what happens to an elderly married couple when one of them has a serious medical event. Their lives are tested in ways that would test anyone, and although it’s not an easy movie to watch, it’s a good one. Another interesting factoid: there is absolutely no sound track to this – no background music at all, not even for the credits. Probably not the best idea for the cinema management to put it next door to another movie theater with loads of explosions and bass, but still – enjoyed the movie.
Second up, The Queen of Versailles (documentary, 2012). This was a really interesting documentary which followed a family who started out incredibly wealthy, had more money than they knew what to do with (husband was in real estate/time-share), and then Wall Street crash hit. They had been in the process of building the biggest house in America, 90,000 square feet with something like 30 bathrooms. Why? Because they could. And then the crash. It was fascinating to watch the husband suddenly become more humble about things. He was insufferable before and then BAM. Not enough money (although they don’t sell their current huge mansion to cover costs). They downsize their staff and this shows their true colors – slobs (since used to someone cleaning up after them) and poor dog owners as dogs poop all over the house which no one picks up. Bleugh. The reference to Versailles is that their new house under construction was influenced and based on Versailles in France. I tried not to have Schadenfreude but it was hard. This also reminds that the new version of The Great Gatsby will be coming out soon. Looking forward to seeing that as it actually looks better than the book (for once). Not a huge fan of Fitzgerald, as misguided as that may be.
Third up, Quartet (English drama, 2012). This has some heavy hitters in it (Dame Maggie Smith for one) and revolved around a retirement home for former professional musicians. This was not as good as I had hoped for, but that might have been as I am not such a huge fan of opera (which is what this movie revolved around). Good character studies and lovely scenery though and I was impressed with Billy Connolly who has come a long way from being a shock comedian back in the day.
So – we’ll see how much more movie madness comes along. I’m not sure what’s out and who knows what’s coming out, so a little research is in order, methinks. It’s fun right now.