Showing posts with label Anglophilia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anglophilia. Show all posts

8.19.2013

Oooooooh no you did not.

I got a call from the library recently, letting me know that there was a book on hold for me and I needed to come pick it up. The title was Finding Colin Firth.




Me: "Um, I think there may be a mistake. I didn't put that book on hold. It sounds awesome, but I've never heard of it."

Library staff: "Well, it has your name on it."

Me: "Really? Uh. Okay then!"

My guess is that one of the other librarians saw it and figured I would want it if I knew about it and so went ahead and put me on hold. This is why librarians rule.

And I did enjoy the book. It was a sweet read about three women whose lives converge one summer in a gorgeous seaside town in Maine where Colin Firth (of whom they are all big, big fans) may or may not be coming to film a part in a movie. Also one of the women bakes really good practically-magical pies, which I always enjoy.

HOWEVER.

When first we meet the pie-baking woman, she is at home baking while simultaneously watching the Colin Firth BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, and the Wet Shirt Scene keeps making her mess up her recipe. As it would. A few pages later, she gives all her attention to the cinematic moment she has been waiting for, where Colin Firth utters these immortal words:

"If, however, your feelings have changed, I will have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on."

SCREEEEEEEEEEEECH. (Or whatever sound the record needle makes in that one sound effect.)

Yeah. Anybody else know what's wrong here?

Colin Firth never SAID any of that blubbery stupid "I love, I love, I love you" mess. That was all 2005 Matthew Macfadyen to Keira Hipbones Poutyface McKnightley in the field just before the weird hand kissing nonsense. Jane Austen never wrote any of that, Andrew Davies never wrote that, and I refuse to believe that Emma Thompson had anything to do with it either during the uncredited re-write she did of the script.

It jolted me out of the story so completely that I had to stop reading and do this massive rant to GH, and then call my sister Jenny and tell her about it too. Just, wow. FAIL.

And now that I've told the Internet about it too, I'll let you all get back to your Mondays. Mine consists of toilet training. Go ahead and envy me. I've got carpet cleaners coming on Wednesday, so I figure now is the perfect time to get pee everywhere.





1.03.2008

Because who wants cheap when you can have free?

If you're looking for free stuff now that you're in Christmas debt and everything, Lifehacker has put together their 2007 Guide to Free Software and Web Applications. It is the Internet's way of holding you close while feeding you chocolate and showing you pictures of Hot British Boyfriends and telling you how much it loves you.

Pretty much the most beautiful words in the English language to me are "Open Source." (The other most beautiful words are "I'm waiting for you by the fountains at Pemberley.") Open Source basically means "Fabulous thing that someone created and which they decided to offer for free rather than finding a way to patent it and take all your money and your soul."

Or, if that's not actually the kind of mood you're in, it's the Internet's way of allowing you to flip off The Man.

Anyway, you should go check out the link. Here are the categories of stuff they've pulled together:

Application Launchers
Backup Utilities
BitTorrent
Bookmarks
Calendar
Desktop Search
Disk Space Visualizers
DVD Rippers
File Syncing
Image Editing
Image Viewers/Managers
Instant Messenger
Macro Makers
Media Players
Password Managers/Helpers
PDF Readers/Writers/Editors
Personal Finance/Money Managers
Start Pages
Telephony Managers/Helpers
Text Editors
To-do List Managers
Virus Killers and Malware Cleaners
Web Clippings
Wikis
Zip File Extractors

I don't know about you people, but that list kind of has me breathing heavily. Has anyone here discovered an Absolutely Fabulous Free Thing online that they'd like to share with the rest of us?

12.30.2007

Get ready to OD on Sumptuous Literary Adaptations

It all begins tonight. Changes are afoot at Masterpiece Theatre, including the recruitment of Gillian Anderson as a new host. Which makes sense now that she's basically British. Will be listening on Jan 13th to see if she and Madonna share the same mid-Atlantic accent. As will a whole lot of X-Philes, I'm sure.

Anyway, Scully will be hosting the "Masterpiece Classic" portion of the season, which will include the Jane Austen Season, a new adaptation of Room With A View, a Judi Dench & Co. miniseries, and some film starring Daniel Radcliffe's Eyebrow.

Tonight and next Sunday they're rebroadcasting last year's Best Jane Eyre Adaptation Ever, which I believe I have already mentioned and shown to my friends and urged you all to watch even if it means locking the other members of your household up in the cellar. Really. You deserve this.

But then, THEN on January 13th the Jane Austen Season starts with Persuasion. Remember about Persuasion? And how we've waited 9 months for it to be aired in the US? Because yeah. If you're a girl and are fortunate enough to have a supportive and drama-appreciating Significant Other who likes to watch SLAs with you, then you may want to tell him to skip this one. He might be offended when your bosom starts heaving and you launch yourself off the couch to go do filthy things to the TV screen. Do like my sister Jenny is doing--throw a Bosom-Heaving Persuasion Party with your like-minded friends. Be sure to wear coordinating Victoria Secret pajamas--they're all the rage.


12.14.2007

Fine, are you happy now?

After two weeks of trying to shake this cold, I give up. I give UP, do you hear??? I succumb. This is me, succumbing. I am leaving work and going home to sleep for the next 18 hours. And when I wake up I had better both sound and feel like a normal person and not like a staggering zombie with the voicebox of a German Shepherd.

In my absence, here is something to watch.



When I saw this I thought, "Hey, it's that guy from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz!" And "Hey, it's that guy who played the police inspector for 2 minutes in North and South!" "Hey, it's Lemsip! Good times!"

Yes, I need a life. But if it doesn't involve an encyclopedic knowledge of British actors and products then I don't want it because clearly that is no life at all.

11.05.2007

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

I nearly forgot! Today we commemorate the failed plot of 1605 to blow up Parliament. So if any of you have been hankering to burn something, tonight's a good night to do it. If anyone questions you you'll have a ready excuse. If, however, your target is a government building, you might want to keep in mind what happened to Guy (at least according to the good people at Madame Tussaud's).

I'm just saying.

9.20.2007

Man-candy Thursday

Sorry you had to wait so long for this post. And sorry that most of the male readership won't consider the wait worth it. But oh well. I have estrogen. Deal with it.

For those of my friends who have not discovered James McAvoy (pronounced MAC-uh-voy), it's time you get on that.

I first noticed him in Chronicles of Narnia, wherein I couldn't help taking more than a passing notice of Mr. Tumnus. Which worried me a little bit, and made me wonder if it's right to be attracted to a goat. Only come on! He was sweet and brave and cute and he believes in a Free Narnia, people!

And then he started cropping up in all kinds of places, it seemed. He played Paul Bettany's skeezy younger brother in Wimbledon, and was, for me, the hilarious bright spot in an otherwise forgettable movie. So yay, he's funny too! Then I saw him as Joe Macbeth in the BBC's Shakespeare Retold series. (Which, seriously? If you haven't tracked these down then you are no kind of Pretentious English Lit person, and frankly I'm disappointed in you. There's still time, though.) Anyway. Turns out he can do the drama and the tragedy, and that his natural Scottish accent is quite easy on the ears.


I went to see Becoming Jane with some girlfriends over the weekend. McAvoy plays Tom LeFroy, who was (according to this movie, anyway) the love of Jane Austen's life. And seriously? Even though I don't believe hardly anything the movie script says, and even though I didn't think Anne Hathaway was great as Jane, I was still totally crying at the end. I would cry for anyone who doesn't get to marry this guy.

Also? If I ever do watch Becoming Jane again, it will only be for him--specifically for the Ballroom Scene. Some of you ladies know what I'm talking about. It was the part where he suddenly appears and all the women on my row Gasped At the Hotness. You had to be there.

And now he's in the new adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement, which looks so good that I can't even stand it. Only I just know it's going to be tragic and everyone is probably going to die or be miserable. Haven't read the book yet, so don't spoil it for me! (I picked it up last year and started it, but I was unemployed and stuff and just really was not in the right frame of mind for tragedy. And I still might not be, considering that something as fluffy as Becoming Jane put me into a hormonal tailspin. The moment will come, though.)

Anyway. James McAvoy. Am adding him to my list of UK boyfriends. Life would be simpler for me, surely, if I could only fancy more American and Canadian actors. Because we probably would have more of a future together.

9.07.2007

Not that I'm cheap, mind you

But the fact that money has left my cold, brittle, dead hands to upgrade me from a free to a paid Flickr account means I love you people. And it means that I can now start putting all the England and food pictures I want up there. Huzzah!

Of course, doing this makes me miss England. A lot. So much that the only cure really is to go watch my new birthday copy of North and South some more. Of course, I name that as my cure for lots of things, including PMS, allergies, and corns.

BUT. Yesterday was good, because it was the first step in my Secret New Plan. I figure if I can't live in England, I can at least get all my English friends to come live near me. And one of them has! Neener! Last night was mine and Desmama's book group, with the newest member being the lovely Sian from Loughborough, who just moved to L**** with her new American husband. It was so great to see her and too weird to think that we would both end up here. The only problem was that as we chatted I could hear myself slipping back into whatever strange hybrid I spoke during that year. I just hope Spitfire didn't notice. We're kind of merciless about things like that in my family.

The other highlight of my evening was when Sian arrived at my apartment (she was first) and had to delicately inform me that the back of my skirt was sort of tucked into my underwear. Do not ask me how this happened--all I know is that I was wearing a lot of layers and had had to rush out of the bathroom earlier to answer the phone. I tried to play if off, though. "Why yes, this is how U.S. Americans, such as, greet friends after a long separation."

8.28.2007

This is me whimpering at my desk

And not in the good way. In the bad, bad, I am a wide-eyed woodland creature whose fluffy bunny foot is caught in a trap and I'm being held over a shark tank way.

A lady came in to ask a question about LDS authors, so I went to Deseret Book's website to see if I could find what she was looking for.

I saw this:


The London background intrigued me, so I clicked on the link and read the following description:

Anxiously Engaged: A Piccadilly Romance

First he found a fiancée, then he fell in love.

Carson Wells is a good-natured Returned Missionary from Montana who is engaged to a trendy girl from London. But before he is allowed to take Lucy to the temple, he must first find a husband for her sensible, older sister Jema. One by one Carson's attempts to find a worthy suitor for Jema become more than he bargained for as his feelings for Lucy begin to change. Anxiously Engaged is a bright romantic comedy where two culturally different people find love in an uncommon way.

There are so, so, so very many things wrong with this that I don't even know where to begin.

First of all, since when do we capitalize returned missionary?

Also, what is even up with the movie's premise? Who exactly sets those conditions? Who is it that decided some sassy English girl needs a Montana hick to find her a man? I just read that it's her grandfather who makes that a condition. Also, is said sassy English girl actually going along with this sexist bit of awfulness? I'm sorry, but I would kick my grandpapa's false teeth right out of his head. My brain is leaking out my ears at that one.

And the name Jema? Were they possibly thinking of Gemma, which is an actual English name? (Note: Just checked on IMDB and the character's name is Gemma, not Jema. Freaking Deseret Book.)

I don't know where this thing was released in theatres, but apparently some people have seen it. The family who commented on the IMDB page have seen it four separate times. Which means they must live in a cactus or something where there's absolutely nothing else to do.

Maybe I should track down a copy and watch it this weekend with my sisters. We haven't gone into a full on harpies-from-Macbeth rant in a while now. Might be funs.

PS. There's an official website with a trailer, which I haven't watched yet. Will be getting right on that.

7.28.2007

Warning: Contains Profanity

I like to think that I have a sophisticated sense of humor. But then I watch something like this and I realize that no, no I don't. Because all it takes is a song where Hugh Laurie sings the word "ass" a whole bunch in a Southern accent to leave me yelping and shrieking on the floor.

Although . . . if Hugh Laurie thinks it's funny too then maybe my taste is just fine. After all, he is British. And brilliant.

Also? He and I should probably just stop this "will they or won't they" dance we're in and just get married already.

Happy Weekend, y'all.

7.25.2007

British Man Candy, continued

A couple of weeks ago I watched Under the Greenwood Tree. You remember I'd been worried about this one since it was written by Thomas Hardy. I didn't want to watch some movie where the bodies of disenchanted, disenfranchised villagers get piled up under the greenwood tree. (Side note: during a Study Abroad we went to Thomas Hardy's house in the countryside and I wondered how anyone who lived in such a beautiful place could write such depressing things. But it turns out that he can do light romantic comedy as well, so that's something.)

The movie is relatively short at 90 minutes and it's more a sweet story about village life & intrigues than grand big passions. The pretty schoolteacher moves into town and three men fall for her. That's about as complicated as it gets. But there's lots of fun local flavor. Also, there's this one part where the hero is shirtless, which, like, never happens in these movies! So that was kind of awesome if only for the novelty of the thing.

Anyway, moving on.

Ever since watching North & South I've had a thing for Richard Armitage. So when I found out he's in the BBC's new series "Robin Hood" I ordered it for the library. And then took it home. Because that is what is called perks, madame. Anyway. Armitage plays the broody bad Guy of Gisborne. And ohhhhh, does he play him well.

It's just too bad that he isn't in a better show. It's pretty cheesy, and the actual Robin Hood kind of bugs me. A lot. He looks like he belongs in a boy band rather than in Sherwood Forest, and he's way too "Oh look how cute and cheeky and smirky I am with my 12-year old self!" You know it's bad when you wish that Robin could just die already so that the evil Guy can drag Marian off into the woods.

7.24.2007

It is time to speak of British Man Candy

HOW excited am I about the new Elizabeth: The Golden Age trailer? First off, it's rated PG-13 instead of R. Second and most importantly they've traded in mopey-pants Joseph Fiennes for Clive Owen. That is the kind of upgrade I can live with.

6.04.2007

Because I'm a giver

I got the following comment/request last week:

OK totally off subject. I haven't read your blog for a few weeks and found the "holding out for a hero" video very entertaining. But wait! I don't recognize some of those people! I thought I had seen most everything out there. So, please have mercy on me and help me compile a list of movies of that genre that haven't seen yet! Thanks! -a loyal but anonymous reader.

How can I refuse such a request?? I give the people what they want. Especially if what they want is my most favorite thing ever: Sumptuous Literary Adaptations. (See also: Regency Man Candy. Or Victorian Man Candy.)

Here are the movies featured in the Holding out for a Hero video as created by YouTube user (and my kind of girl) loony29.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) -- Brilliant, brilliant movie. Emma Thompson was nominated for Best Actress and won for Best Screenplay. She basically wrote the thing and got all her friends & neighbors to come be in it (Hugh Grant, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, etc.) Which, really, sounds like a fabulous idea to me. Remind me to do that. Kate Winslet snags her first of many Oscar nominations. Ang Lee directs. Hugh Grant minces around with a riding crop up his bum. Alan Rickman purrs that one line about the aaaair being fuuuullll of spices, which makes me pass out in my chair. Good times all around.

Mansfield Park (1999) -- The Austen purists hate this one. But it's hard to have much sympathy since the novel actually did need a bit of spicing up. I don't think it necessarily needed boobs, but oh well. Without a bit of artistic liberties, all you would really have is a movie where the heroine spends all her time going, "But that would be wrong!" What you get instead is a great movie w/some fabulous performances--especially Alessandro Nivola as Henry Crawford, who is supposed to be the bad guy but is so darn hot & appealing that lots of women wish Fanny had just gone ahead and picked him anyway. I'm not in that camp, but I understand that some women are.

Northanger Abbey (ITV 2007) This is the one that premiered on the telly in the UK this year and will be making its US debut on Masterpiece Theatre, along with the new Mansfield Park and Persuasion. You can watch it on YouTube now, though, if you can't wait til then. Which, let's be honest, I couldn't. The heroine is Catherine Moreland, who has a very active fantasy life from all the trashy gothic novels she reads. This movie includes one of the sweetest first kisses I've ever seen. It'll make you giggle it's just that precious.

Persuasion (ITV 2007) Okay, seriously? I have already talked about this movie, and if you people keep not watching it then we just can't be friends anymore. Really. It is absolutely wonderful. And I swear that Rupert Penry-Jones (Captain Wentworth) gets hotter and hotter every time I see him. Last time there was steam rising off my body. Go here now and start watching it.

Mansfield Park (ITV- 2007) Haven't seen this one yet and I understand it's the weak one of the three. Also the guys are hotter in the 1999 version. I'm just saying.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004) This was included in the video but I personally don't count it as a must-see. Even though Gerard Butler is smokin' hot and I have thought so ever since I caught him in a late-night Masterpiece Theatre airing of The Jury way back when.

Under the Greenwood Tree (2005) Thomas Hardy adaptation, haven't seen it yet. But I know now that I must. With all haste. Only it had better not turn out to be depressing like the rest of Hardy's stuff. Watch the heroine die under the Greenwood Tree.


Daniel Deronda (2002) I've only caught bits and pieces of this one but what I saw was great. Need to see the whole thing. Victorian costumes = good. Hugh Dancy = goooood.



Jane Eyre (2006) You may have already read my thoughts on this one, but to sum up: Best Jane Eyre Ever. All the other versions can just go home and cry. Ruth Wilson is perfect as Jane, and she even gets to pass out in one of my favorite spots in England. I can absolutely, absolutely get behind Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester. Yes, he may be too hot. But do you see me complaining? Do you? I respect the filmmaker's craft!!!


North and South (2004) Before you start thinking that I've lost my mind and developed a Patrick Swayze fetish, this is not the North and South that is the miniseries from the 1980s about the American Civil War. At all. It's about the North and South of England, so right there you know it's going to be better. I finally saw this one in the last month, and Oh. My. Gosh. You need to watch this. Richard Armitage plays John Thornton and is amazing. His character makes a bad first impression (which is a departure from the book, movie people) and I didn't know how they were ever going to get me to like him. They found a way--by the end I couldn't decide whether to cry happy tears or make out with the TV screen. Watch out for the "Look back. Look back at me." scene. I dare you to keep it together.

So. Those are the ones from the Hero video. Other notables in my book:

Pride and Prejudice (1995): Duh. This one is pretty much The Mothership.

Pride & Prejudice (2005): Great, even with Keira Hipbones Poutyface McKnightley in it. Especially great for when you need a P&P fix but don't have 5 hours for the "real" one.

Persuasion (1995) Classic and wonderful . . . sigh.

Bleak House (2005) Haven't seen it yet, but it's next on my list and I already know I'll love it.

The Emmas (1996) One stars Gwyneth Paltrow and the other Kate Beckinsale before she turned plastic. They're very different & pick up on different things from the book, which is why you should watch both.

Our Mutual Friend (1998) Very long, but very good.

Twelfth Night (1996) The movie that first made me love Toby Stephens. You'll see. Also I've been to his castle, which means we should probably just get married already.

Great Expectations (1999) Horatio is in this movie. That is all you need know.

The Horatio Hornblower films (1998, 2001, 2003). Horatio is in these, too.

The Forsyte Sage (2002) Horatio is in this but he dies. I don't want to talk about it. The whole movie is kind of tragic.

Wives and Daughters (1999) Haven't seen it yet but want to. The novel is by Elizabeth Gaskell, who also wrote North and South.

Happy Monday, everyone!

update: I forgot to add these to my "want to see" list:

The Way We Live Now (2001) starring Shirley Henderson, Matthew Macfadyen, Cillian Murphy, and Miranda Otto.

He Knew He Was Right
(2004) starring the very cool Bill Nighy

Middlemarch (1994) Rufus Sewell. That's all that needs to be said, really.

5.22.2007

Um, okay . . .

So yeah. Two days later YouTube deigns to post my video. Three times. Because that is how many times I tried to share the love with you all. Those weirdos.

5.21.2007

This is what you're up against, guys--sorry

Am so irritated with YouTube at the moment because it says it's posting this video to my blog but it is actually lying to me. Only why even bother lying when I'm absolutely going to find out??

Remind me never to date YouTube.

You do, however, owe it to yourself and to your Monday to go watch this video. If you're a Jane Austen fan (or even a Jane Austen hater) then you should get a kick out of it. I couldn't decide whether to swoon or laugh my head off, so I did a bit of both.

Happy Monday!

4.13.2007

Happy Friday

So my Brit friends will know all about this but for those who don't, I'm posting a Catherine Tate "Lauren" sketch. She's pretty much hysterical, but I beg you not to watch any of the "Nan" sketches because they're really foul. Seriously. Just don't. I would also like to mention that girls like Lauren exist and were on pretty much every bus I ever rode while I was there.

Happy Friday II

Here's a recent sketch she did with Tony Blair for Comic Relief. Enjoy!

4.09.2007

If I look like a zombie today

It's because I was up till 3:00am. Ever since Tusk mentioned ITV's Jane Austen Season in the UK I've been dying to see what they're up to. They've redone Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. (They're also showing the 1996 Emma starring Kate Beckinsale before all the plastic surgery and tanning--back when she was cute.) I cursed my fate as one who now dwells on the absolute wrong side of the pond.

But.

It turns out that there are wonderful people out there who have already put all three of them up on YouTube. I love you, wonderful people! After reading Tusk's review of Persuasion I couldn't resist checking it out. And once I did I couldn't stop.

First off, I love the story of Persuasion. And now that I'm an old maid of 27, like its heroine, I can identify with it a bit more than I could back when I was 18 and thought 27-yr-old single LDS women (if such things existed) were probably rounded up and shipped off to some failure farm in the desert.

Basic synopsis: Nineteen-year-old Anne is persuaded to call off her engagement to Captain Wentworth because he's this young sailor with no money and no future and it's the middle of a war. Eight years later, after no contact, they end up back in the same social circle. She's still single, knows she passed up her chance for happiness, and has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood looking after the selfish pack of freakshows that is her family. He's now rich, eligible, sought-after, and completely bitter towards poor sweet Anne. Did I mention that he's hot? Because he is. But of course he still loves her, and of course they eventually end up back together. And of course I totally cried at the end.

As an adaptation I don't think it quite holds up to the 1995 Ciaran Hinds version--lots of things get left out. But the music and scenery are lovely and the acting is great. The leads are younger, which better represents their ages in the book. I really liked Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot. I would never call her plain or aged-looking, but she has an expressive face that lets you know what Anne is going through.


As for Captain Wentworth, Oh. My. Gosh.

He
was the reason I was up till 3:00am with a heaving bosom. I don't even go for blond men, but I will make a big, big exception for my new friend Rupert Penry-Jones. At one point he and Anne stared at each other all close-up and I may have possibly shouted "Oh my gosh make out. Make out! Make out make out make out!!" because I just could not stand the tension and the hotness and my brain was about to explode. Seriously. I'll be watching that one over and over again just for him.

In the beginning Anne tells Lady Russell (the one who persuaded Anne to break off the engagement) that she would have been happy if she had gone ahead and married Capt. Wentworth all those years ago. Lady Russell tries to give Anne the "Hey, you're young and pretty and will definitely find someone one of these days" pep talk. But Anne just gives her this sad smile and says, "I'm twenty-seven years old." Bwah hah hahah! And Lady Russell is all, "Yeah, true point. You're screwed and I'm talking out my ear."

So now I think anytime people ask me if I'm dating anyone, I'll answer with a sad, brave smile and say, "I'm twenty-seven years old."

And that will be the end of the conversation.

3.27.2007

I blame you, England

Have been going through the video collection at the library and culling mercilessly. I am the perfect person for this job because although I hate throwing away my own things I quite love chucking other people's. While in the Western section I saw this, snorted like a Clydesdale, and fell on the floor laughing.


And then the pit of Hell opened its gaping maw to receive me.

3.16.2007

Names are funny

Not mine, obviously. Mine is tasteful and classic. Both my real name and my Internet name are. My one main rule when it comes to baby names is this: If they can't be taken seriously as a successful cutthroat lawyer with that name, it's out. This especially applies for girls. My other rule is that I can't tell any of you vultures which names I like because you'll steal them. (Example: I have wanted to name a son Aidan since 1993. Like that's gonna happen now. Jerks.)

It was fun to see the difference in names out in England. I met darling little boys named Thomas and Henry. I met girls named Sian (pronounced "Shawn"). I met people with 2 or 3 middle names. And I found out what the Brits think of some of our names. One lady was completely thrown by the name Amber and wanted to know if that was actually really a popular name in the States. Which, oh my, yes. I must've had at least one Amber in every class growing up.

One English friend started dating an American fellow named Randy. WR could not hear his name mentioned without collapsing into giggles. I will never think of that name the same way again. Also, hope that when WR is a hotshot lawyer he has to represent someone with that name. Because that'll be awesome.

Once I mentioned how much I'd liked the name Aidan to an English friend and if I remember correctly his response was, "Why would you want to go 'round giving your children Irish names?" Because it turns out that my friend was racist. This might have been the same friend who was racist against Scottish people and called Braveheart "Scottish propaganda." If so, you know who you are.

3.13.2007

Amazing Grace review

I went with Cicada over the weekend to support my boyfriend Ioan Gruffudd by watching his movie. I even watched The Fantastic 4 for him, I'll have you know. And I'll probably end up watching the second Fantastic Movie--but I'll be waiting til it comes out on DVD. I have my limits.

Highlights:
My boyfriend Ioan finally getting to be in a movie that's All About Him, Dangit.
Lovely England scenery.
Romola Garai's fabulous Titian hair.
This one time when a sick Ioan climbs out of bed wearing a puffy shirt and you almost see his bum.
Michael Gambon (aka Dumbledore) playing funny, crusty, floor-crossing MP.
Rufus Sewell (aka Seth Starkadder) playing a wild-eyed, fanatical good guy rather than a wild-eyed bad guy.
Lots of other fun actors to recognize and get excited over.
Ioan Gruffudd and Rufus Sewell being cute with babies, toddlers, and pets.
I was impressed by the story because I hadn't know much about the abolitionist movement in England. I mean, here in the US we had a war and then *bam,* one day slavery was abolished. Then it took us about 100 more years to get public opinion to change. In England they had to get public opinion on their side first and then find a way to get the law passed. It turns out that they totally cheat near the end and get a small, seemingly unrelated bill passed that ends up crippling the slave trade. Which is awesome.
It made me want to learn more about the real William Wilberforce, because he sounds pretty cool.
The part where Ioan sings "Amazing Grace" and shames the bad guys into silence with his goodness.

Lowlights:
That singing part was pretty heavy-handed, Ioan's gorgeous voice notwithstanding
A scenery-chewing Albert Finney dressed in some sort of hair shirt--he was good, don't get me wrong, but it was a bit much.
Ioan played a sick man for lots of the movie so they had to make him look not as pretty
I don't feel compelled to rush out and buy a copy or anything. The movie was good but wasn't particularly intense except for a few scenes.
The people sitting near me kept clapping. I hate it when people do that.

ps. I totally forgot the most important highlight of all! We walked from Cicada's apartment to the theatre, and she told me that every time she walks anywhere in her neighborhood she gets some kind of greeting or shout or honk from someone on the street. So that really made me nervous because what if I jinxed her perfect record??? Am happy to report that we received THREE (thank you very much) shows of appreciation during our walk. Because we're hot, that's why.

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