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.
I hope your kid is going to be all right! I spend whole week being sick, it sucks :/ Bardem was grea tin Biutiful indeed, I didn't love the film but his performance was really amazing.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I hope you're feeling better now, Margaret.Delete
It seems that many people didn't like Biutiful that much -- I may be in the minority in loving it. :-) But everyone seems to agree on Bardem's excellent performance.
I hope the virus is out of your house asap. Great wrapup post, I enjoyed Almost Famous.ReplyDelete
Thanks! My husband, my son, and I are still sick, but the little one is one the mend. My older daughter hasn't caught it yet. Maybe she'll get lucky. :-)Delete
I enjoyed Almost Famous, too. Even with the serious parts is was such a fun movie and a nice tribute to early 70s rock & roll.
"I am a Golden God!"
Aw. I hope your girl feels better soon! I know what you mean about having a talker. My eight-year-old is the same way. I know you feel bad that she is feeling so poorly, but you have to admit the silence is pretty nice for a while. For a while any and then the worry starts again. Hopefully, you can avoid the plague/virus too!ReplyDelete
Yes, I was kind of enjoying the silence. And feeling guilty about it. :-)Delete
That's how I can tell my son is genuinely sick, when he stops talking!ReplyDelete
Wishing you a wonderful reading week
Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
Boo to bugs, hope everyone is feeling better soon. So glad you enjoyed The Secret Keeper, I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series, it's Elizabeth 1st.ReplyDelete
Kick the bugs out and have a great week :)
Thanks, Sheree. I should get the first book in the series, the one about Anne Boleyn.Delete
Aww I hope you all feel better soon. :(ReplyDelete
I just watched MIB 3 this weekend - I loved it! So fun. Josh Brolin did an amazing Tommy Lee Jones.
The Secret Keeper sounds really good, I will have to add that to my list. Have a great, and healthier, week!
Thanks! I agree that Josh Brolin did a great job with MIB 3. And if you read The Secret Keeper, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.Delete
I liked the new Fright Night - silly horror movies are so much fun sometimes!ReplyDelete
Yes they are! :)Delete
Hope you and your family get well soon.ReplyDelete
Yes! You watched Biutiful! Bardem was fantastic, wasn't he? He totally deserved that Oscar nomination. I really need to rewatch the film though.
Thanks, Josh. And yes, Bardem earned that Oscar nomination in spades. I did love the movie, but I won't be watching it again anytime soon. It was a rough ride. :-)Delete
Sounds like you had a great week! Hope you have one this week too!ReplyDelete
Hope your little one is feeling better soon...and that the rest of you stay healthy!ReplyDelete
There's so much bookish (and movie) goodness up there I don't even know where to start. Daniel Isn't Talking sounds like something I would really like.
Have a great week!
Thanks, Jennifer! :-) Daniel Isn't Talking is a really good read if you enjoy novels about motherhood.Delete
Really interesting book choices!ReplyDelete
Have a lovely week :-)
I didn't really like Fright Night...thought the original was far better but there were some good performances in the new one.ReplyDelete
Great to see the high rating for Almost Famous - terrific film and arguably Cameron Crowe's best.
I thought the remake of Fright Night was just as good as the original. But since it's many so many years since I saw the first movie, I might not be in a position to fairly judge. :-)Delete
I'm glad you like Almost Famous, too. I've only seen a few of Cameron Crowe's other films, but based on those, I'd agree that this is the best. Say Anything was a cute film -- I saw it in college -- but it didn't rock my world. I enjoyed Elizabethtown for the music but was otherwise underwhelmed. And I am one of a handful of people in the universe who didn't like Jerry Maguire at all. :-D
Thanks so much for the link! Really glad you liked Biutiful, which I consider one of the most underrated films of recent memory. That one rocked me.ReplyDelete
This virus seems to be going around. And you know a kid is really sick when they don't talk. My son is the same way … and I feel guilty but I sometimes enjoy the quiet.ReplyDelete
Exactly! :-) The real shocker was when my teenaged son got too sick to play video games. I NEVER thought I'd see that happen. This is the kid who wants to be buried with his XBox 360. :-PDelete
Hope you guys feel better soon :) Loved Almost Famous, though it was so long! I've not seen the others (I think in the case of Men In Black that's surely to my shame) but I'm noting quite a few of them down.ReplyDelete
Thanks for visiting and commenting, Charlie. :-)Delete
That's sounds tough having an 8-year-old child that never stops talking, I guess you get used to it after a while!ReplyDelete
Looks like Biutiful is worth seeking out, thanks for the review, and yes, Javier Bardem is one of the best actors working today.
You would definitely think so, but strangely enough, I never seem to get used to it. :-) I definitely recommend Biutiful, though it's gotten mixed reviews and, frankly, it's a pretty dark, depressing film.Delete
Glad you liked Almost Famous. It's my favourite movie of all time :DReplyDelete