Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oscar Worthy

I recently posted about having read The Reader by Bernhard Schlick. It's not a novel for the faint of heart, but I loved the raw, gritty nature of the story, and the way that life is portrayed as more complicated than the mundane things we consider day in and day out. Well, I noticed that it had circled round to show again here in our valley. I was SO excited, and since I knew I was alone in my desire to see this movie that centered some of its storyline around the Holocaust, I traipsed off to go see the matinee today. Honestly, it was amazing. Just as with the film, it IS NOT for the easily offended, with its sexual content and nudity, but I also have to say, that the sensuality is what creates some of the layers that built this very believable relationship. Complicated and messy on so many levels, I just though it was poignant, and thought-provoking--all the things I love about good art. I realize I've always been a bit of a "tragedy" lover, but have to really defend myself by saying that there just seems to be something so REAL about reading or watching tales about humanity...not human beings living, but real humanity. What I mean by that is all the raw, dirty, sometimes painful things that build our character and make us real human beings. Maybe I'm just too much of a humanities sort of person, and I've let all that artsy angst get to me, but this film and novel really struck a chord in me that has left me thinking about how powerful the reach of each and every human being really is. It's funny that I say that, because only one hour after getting out of the matinee for "The Reader," I got a phone call with some news that had me blubbering in my car and trying to pick up the pieces of my former self. It was so stupid, and I knew it, but my heart and tear ducts didn't know it. So...I let my reddened eyes and nose chill a little, and then walked into the mall to pick up some more Clinique products that I've run out of

(which I tried to switch away from by just using store know, to save money in these tough times...only to have my eyes break out in this horrible rash! Mom laughed and said, welcome to grandma's skin!)--LOVE Clinique. Anyway, I went up to the counter and had one of the girls at the counter tell me she recognized me from BYU. Now that doesn't seem like much, but at a moment when I felt a little "unrecognized" in life, someone from ten years ago said to me, "Hey, I see you." That sounds dumb, but it gave me the real-life punch that I needed to hammer home some of the big-wig ideas I'd been pondering about the film, before I got that phone call.

On a less artsy-fartsy note, I finished listening to Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. I've seen the movie "In Her Shoes," but can't recall ever reading one of Weiner's books. Since reading has become so hit and miss with me lately, it has been nice to at least listen to something as I drive back and forth from work.

The story centers around the narrative voices of a mother (almost 40) and her young 13 year old daughter who is preparing for her Bat Mitzvah. The mother had the daughter with an early relationship in her early 20s, ended up not with the father, and also ended up writing a romance novel about her experience. Enter her daughter some ten years later, who reads the romance novel and gathers that her mother didn't want her, that she'd been something of a nympho at one time, and that her real father didn't love her because of something her mother must have done. It's a very familiar mother vs. daughter, teenage Lifetime movie sort of story, and while I'm not always big on those, it kept me interested. Especially endearing about the story though was the relationship the mother had with her husband Peter, who seemed like and angel come from heaven; a man who had not been threatened away by his wife's constant pushing him away nor by her body issues. In short, I fell in love with her husband and now desperately want to find my Peter!!! :) Overall, it's a good story, with a narrative that bounces back and forth from the mother speaking to the daughter speaking, highlighting the innocent things we do that actually cause pain for our loved ones or cause us to misunderstand one another. I enjoyed listening to it, so I guess that means I give it a thumbs up on the entertainment scale of things!

Well, it's almost 7:30 at night, but since I ate half a sleeve of Biscoff cookies (YUMMM--MMMYYY) this afternoon, I better head to the gym! Until I've something new to report on...happy end of January!

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