Monday, February 27, 2006

My library card

So, Peter and I have (finally) discovered the marvels of our Public Library system and I have a library card for the first time since about 8th grade. We can borrow DVDs! We can reserve them online and be on waiting lists and get email alerts when they're ready to be picked up! They aren't delivered to our mailbox, but hey, they're FREE!! So, it's all very exciting, and though we can only have an online reserve list of 5 films at a time, we're slowing emptying our Netflix list.

This weekend I watched two films that I really enjoyed. Neither was what I expected, so the surprise factor was fun.

Yup... Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. I had never seen this film and so many people declare it to be their favorite (well, no one I actually know personally, but...), so I felt that before I could make judgements about people actually liking Barbra Streisand, I had to see it for myself. I expected a gushy romance movie, and that is so NOT what it is! It's about politics, about will, about the Bill of Rights and McCarthyism, war vs. peace, men vs. women, and whether love can survive passionate differences of opinions and priorities. It was quite a fascinating movie and very interesting after having loved GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK just a few months ago. The actual love story is a slow build and not at all mushy, but the character development is deep and believeable. Both characters are wonderfully flawed and they don't have a perfect ending. Yes, I did cry at the end, but it wasn't my regular "sappy movie" cry (because I'll cry at anything sappy), it was a very true feeling of pain and sadness because it was recognizable and it was real. Kudos to Redford and yes to Streisand too, for wonderfully layered performances. The other (annoying surprise) is that THAT DAMN SONG is played in the opening credits already! But, honestly, it works, and I didn't hate it so much by the end.

I rented (oops, I mean borrowed!) this movie because it's German and I had heard great things about it. I feel an obligation as well as a personal interest to see good German films and support not only their work, but also my own need to immerse myself in the language and culture a little bit whenever I can. I loved this movie! It's now on my "I want to own this" list because it really touched me and I did love ignoring the subtitles and enjoying the German language even when I couldn't understand every word. The title actress is wonderful and magnetic and I really related to her character. She's a bit set in her ways and becomes completely unglued when her life gets shaken up on her. Cooking seems to be her best (and sometimes only) way of communicating with other people... she's awkward and unfortable in normal social situations. The storyline isn't what I'd call an award-winning screenplay, but it's a lovely story with characters you grow to care for. The little girl, Lina, is a great distraction and you just find yourself rooting for her to get whatever she wants. And the food is rich and somehow passionate... as if it were it's own character. A lovely film.

1 comment:

  1. Catherine3:49 PM

    I've loved "The Way We Were" for years (not my 'favorite' but I do love it)!! I never realized you hadn't seen it. I'm glad you liked it!!!