Wednesday, January 14, 2015

After the Holiday

We had a terrific two weeks with Polly home  foe a longer visit than I wrote in a previous post, she did a fine job decorating the Christmas shrub. She and John cooked the Christmas dinner, and she continued to turn out tasty meals during her stay. I am not an enthusiastic meal preparer. The Joy of Cooking is not part of my makeup. I cook because one must eat. Polly, on the other hand, can put a meal together from nothing. Several times during her stay she would wander out to the kitchen, explore the refrigerator and the cupboard and surprise us with a delicious curry, roasted herbed vegetables, soup, or quiche, all while whistling a merry  tune or two. She's like one of those TV chefs who are challenged with making a feast with three ingredients. It was a lovely treat, and it was a treat to have her here, good food or not.
The award season is upon us. So far I have seen most of the promising films, all of them very good, but very grim and gloomy. I am trying to figure out why the Golden Globes people categorized "Birdman" as a comedy, unless they consider angst funny. Michael Keaton was superb, but comedy it was not. Another top film, "Foxcatcher" is unrelentingly grim, but Steve Carell is brilliant and either he or Keaton should win the Oscar. However, the Globe award went to Eddie Redmayne for doing Stephen  Hawking. This is what I call the "My Left Foot Sympathy" award. It goes back a long way, with Jane Wyman (better known as Ronald Reagan's first wife) winning by playing a deaf-mute rape victim requiring her more-or- lass to emulate silent film actors. Then there was Daniel Day Lewis, then Tom Hanks' dreadful Forrest Gump ( A real "What were they thinking?"  choice.)' and now Eddie, who did an excellent job of slumping in a wheel chair. Of course, I cannot deny that he also brought to life Hawking as a brilliant and human person. "The Imagination Game" was disappointing to me, mainly for that kind of overdone soundtrack that tells you how to feel. The crowning insult was when the hero cracks the code and there's this damn swelling chord ( only absent a choir) that makes it seem like the Second Coming. PBS did the same story years ago with Derek Jacobi that was quite good and much more moving without any soundtrack to underline every emotion. You can see it on YouTube.
I haven't seen "Big Eyes" or "Into the Woods" yet, and missed out on "Boyhood" completely. The most fun movie was Wes Anderson's "Budapest Hotel," which was the most clever of all and I'm glad that it won a Globe award as the best comedy, because it was a comedy and hilarious.
I was thinking of the general grimness of this year's crop compared to last year's  F-word laced but
funny top films. Why such downers this year? After seeing several, I found two movies on Netflix that were good antidotes for the depressing flicks of this year: " Moonstruck," and "Shall We Dance?" Cheered me up no end.

This is the view from my front window today. Winter is in full swing. It was one degree when
I got up this morning. However, the sun shines, the sky is blue, and so are people's noses.

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