I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are—sounds like it’s getting pretty wild all over—but up here in MN it’s well below goose-egg today. We don’t ask for sympathy. “Cold enough for ya?” we ask each other in lieu of a simpler greeting, and we agree that it’s not as cold as it was back in the 90’s and we’ve gotten kinda spoiled lately. Then we rent a couple of DVDs and make our favorite hot dish. I do have one outdoor commitment this weekend—selling cookies with one Brownie and one Girl Scout—but otherwise it’s a good time to cocoon.
So here are the last best movies we’ve watched here in the down-filled Eagle’s nest. Multiple thumbs up for both.
Beasts of the Southern Wild has it all. Great story, terrific score (take the link and hear some music) and wonderful performances. Quvenzhané Wallis—whose name means “fairy” in Swahili—lied about her age when she auditioned for the role of Hushpuppy. Okay, let’s say fibbed. Apparently the minimum age was 6, and she was only 5. She’s the youngest person ever to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress. Best Actress! She’s amazing.
Born on the Bayou, Hushpuppy tells an amazing story about living with her father in a close-knit community of outsiders who make their home in “the bathtub.” It is Hushpuppy’s unvarnished viewpoint that makes this story at once magical and authentic. She shows us her world exactly the way she sees it, but within her narrative she offers images of the outside world—other places, other times—that are both fantastic and truthful. I watched this movie with my granddaughters, who understood living partly in a physical world and in fantasy because they still do. For me, there was the memory of being in a child’s head. As a writer I still tap into that head, but I do it through memory. This movie recreates the experience through an amazingly authentic point of view. It’s both heartbreaking and uplifting. All three of us shed tears. All three of us cheered. When the movie was over, the 10-year-old had to call her dad just to hear his voice.
Have you seen Beasts of the Southern Wild? What did you think? Would you show it to your 10-year-old? Why or why not?
The Words stars Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid and Jeremy Irons. It’s the story of a man who’s dying to publish a novel—some of us can certainly identify—but his work is mediocre. When he discovers an unpublished manuscript in an old briefcase, he takes some steps that lead him down the most precarious path a writer can take; he lets another writers words get into his head. This is not an evil man, folks. This is one of those one-thing-leads-to-another situations, but there are surprises along the way. Connections are made, and stories come to light, and you’re rewarded with things to think about. Good stuff.
What have you seen lately? Given I’m not a football fan, what should I add to my indoor plans?
A good book you say? I agree. Check out the column on your right for suggestions. Best indoor sport on the planet, is reading. Hot romance on a cold winter’s night, guaranteed to hit the spot.