Why This Thanksgiving Will Be Special for Me

The Queen and Stranger Than Fiction

I am SO behind in my movie viewing this fall. And the list keeps getting longer. I'm not sure why I've gotten so behind, but the reasons must include the schedule, being out of town, being sick, spending time with Michael (oddly, we are two movie lovers, but have not been to a movie together), and the great quality of television this fall.

This weekend I did make it to two movies that weren't at the top of my list, but I really enjoyed both.

The Queen

Even while watching it, I knew I wanted to see it again. I felt I needed to see it quietly at home so I could catch the nuances and the details. My sense is that there is an important ethical and political discusion going on that is much richer than just the story itself.

Michael Sheen as Tony Blair is so good that you sometimes forget that it is an actor and not footage of Blair himself.

And Helen Mirren is exquisite as Elizabeth. It's my guess that her magnificent acting career will finally receive an Oscar this year with this performance. It is very deserving, though I still think Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada has given the best performance of the year.

4 1/2 film reels
4 popcorn kernels

Stranger Than Fiction

I went to see this yesterday because it was the only show that fit my time schedule. Though I don't like Will Ferrell, I had heard great things about this movie.

All true. It is brilliant, I think. The film is not quite what I expected, being far more intelligent and literary. I really enjoyed the writing of the scenes between Dustin Hoffman and Will Ferrell.

Though in the end, this is something of a romantic comedy that ends up more formulaic than you would have suspected halfway through the film, it is something like Amelie which had a quirky perspective on the conventional formulae. I do wish the character of the watch had been a little more developed, however.

My favourite thing about the film was the art direction and set decoration which so acutely set the mood of each character, like a Wagnerian motif.

This may be the best picture I've seen this year.

4 1/2 film reels
5 popcorn kernels


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