Monday, August 17, 2009
This weekend my mom and I went to the matinee and saw Julie & Julia. It's the first and one of the few movies I'll see in the theatre while I'm here (in the States). I love seeing movies in the theatre. Home entertainment systems will never compare.
From the trailers to the interviews, this movie looked like it was going to be great and, happily, it did not disapoint. Plus it was clean (one unexpected f-bomb) with no nudity just lots of amazing looking cuisine. Now would be the time to invent the smell-o-vision or perhaps the smell-o-screen, even better: the silver smell-o-screen. Anyway. Julie & Julia has a great message and, blissfully, the only cheese is on the food. Both the story of how Julia Child became America's best French chef and the story of how Julie Powell was inspired to cook and blog her way out of a rut are realistic and delightful. Plus who doesn't love Meryl Streep and Amy Adams?
The other movie we watched this weekend was Gran Torino (at home, of course). Clint Eastwood sure does know how to direct amazing biopics (is that the right word?) on America. He also knows how to make a thoroughly depressing tale and I have yet to be able to watch one of his films twice. Gran Torino, if you haven't heard, is the story of a growling (literally) elderly white man (played by Eastwood) who has contempt for everyone and everything, especially the influx of Hmong people who have moved into the neighborhood. One day, however, he rescues his teenage neighbor from being carted off by a gang and becomes a bit of a hero. As he gets to know the family next door, Eastwood's prejudices subside. The story is infinitely more redemptive than Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, but I hate gangs. I just hate them, and they feature prominently in the storyline. My heart definitely stopped beating at one point. This film was a reminder of the heartbreaking circumstances where so many live, often with little hope. Eastwood offers some here along with a good dose of honor. So...see Gran Torino, if you haven't already. It's one of his best.