Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I’ve been uninspired lately. I have seen a few movies but not many. I went to the theater to see Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh’s new film. I have loved his films in the past. He is the master of heart wrenching (see Secrets & Lies, High Hopes, All or Nothing). But this movie was a disappointment. He had a great character but no story. I kept waiting for a conflict but if there was one it was little, it was dealt with quickly, and we were back to having nothing but a character to keep us going. So I decided to watch Vera Drake, his well-received last film. Vera is a nice lady who helps young girls who get into trouble by giving them illegal abortions (circa 1950 Britain). That’s the story, that’s the movie. She gets caught, tried and jailed. End of story. This is a watch-and-see-what-happens film. No big conflict, no big social commentary. Just watch and see what happens to Vera. Mike Leigh can create some wonderful characters but I hope that he’ll go back to telling stories. Stories are much more affecting than an interesting character with no story to tell.

Then I watched a movie on TV—Go Now, a 1995 British drama. (It’s not available in the UHLS system). It was directed by Michael Winterbottom and was about the relationship between a soccer player diagnosed with MS and his girlfriend. It was pretty good. The best thing about the movie was the theme song though—“Go Now” by the Moody Blues. I hadn’t heard the song in ages so had to get a CD with it right away. I’m enjoying it now.

Then on Thanksgiving I had my family sit down together to watch Still Crazy, an old favorite of mine. I laughed all the way through it but my family, who much prefer films like Dude, where’s my car or any of the Saturday morning Samurai movies (did you even know there are Saturday morning samurai movies?), were not so amused. Nevertheless, I still highly recommend Still Crazy, particularly if you are a person with good taste like me (nose up in air). It’s about a 70’s rock group that decides to get back together 20 years later. Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing for me, maybe it’s that I love the British actors in it (Steven Rea, Billy Connolly and Bill Nighy), but whatever it is, I think its loads of fun.

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