This has, happily, been an uneventful week. Except that the hubby brought a virus home from work, and it's been making the rounds. My 8-year-old is sick today. This child doesn't stop talking ... 24 and 7. She doesn't stop talking when she does schoolwork. She doesn't stop talking when she eats. Sometimes she doesn't even stop talking when she sleeps. But she's spent the day camped out on the couch, not saying a word. :-(
So here we go:
Some Things I Love About Movies (and Literature & Television) -- A-Z Blogathon -- A is for Anime, B is for Bat-Crap Crazy Characters, C is for Cinematic Realism ...
Author Interview: Elizabeth Nelson (Curiosity Killed the Kat)
10 Morally Ambiguous Characters - Part 1
Movies I've Seen:
Almost Famous (4/5 stars) -- Cute coming-of-age film and a fun romp. I loved all the 70s-era rock 'n roll.
Biutiful (5/5 stars) -- I was surprised at how much I loved this film. I've seen reviewers accuse it of being emotionally exploitative, and others have complained that the movie packs in too many "issues" and storylines. But for me, the emotional impact was genuinely earned. The multiple intertwined stories and characters -- including the sometimes odd, creepy spiritual overtones -- created richness. And they were thematically tied together by experiences of poverty, desperation, guilt, grief, and faltering steps toward redemption. For me, this was elevated from a remarkable movie to a rare favorite by Javier Bardem's performance. Holy shit! He was amazing.
Men In Black 3 (3.5/5 stars) -- To quote Tallahassee in Zombieland, "just good fun for the whole family."
Archipelago (3.5/5 stars)
The Deep Blue Sea (4/5 stars)
Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) (5/5 stars)
Books I've Read:
The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr by Sandra Byrd
I had the good luck to win this book, last summer, in a random drawing at The Eclectic Reader. I've always had a weakness for Tudor England. Pageantry. Political Intrigue. Beheadings. The Plague. Good times. :-)
A solid, thoroughly researched historical novel and a great read.
Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach (4/5 stars)
For a novel dealing with serious subjects, this was a surprisingly fun read. I appreciated this novel of motherhood, marriage, and autism. And speaking as the parent of a kid on the autism spectrum, many of the protagonist's experiences and reactions were dead on. And yes, dealing with developmental pediatricians and other autism "experts" really does suck that much. Trust me on this.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (4/5 stars)
A lyrical and unique novel about adolescent tragedy and trying to really know someone through memories.
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux as told through John G. Neihardt by Ernest Marshall
The Trouble with Islam: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith by Irshad Manji by Ernest Marshall
Curiosity Killed the Kat by Elizabeth Nelson
A Few Posts I've Enjoyed:
For fellow Whovians, Nikhat did a gorgeous post on the Amy/Rory era on Doctor Who
Amir wrote an excellent post titled In Defense of Flawed Filmmaking
I'm a bit late on this one, but Nikhat and Alex wrote about Favorite Character Introductions -- very cool!
And on the subject of memorable character introductions -- since I just saw this film,and it's fresh on my mind -- I should mention Marambra, played by Maricel Álvarez, in Biutiful. My introduction to her character will be hard to forget. She's manically cavorting around, splashing red wine in her wake, wearing nothing but a g-string. Her overt sexuality isn't ... well ... sexy -- it's the kind that makes you want to avert your eyes because it's just sad. She's flamboyantly manic, abrasive, in-your-face crazy, and painfully damaged and needy.