Wednesday 26 May 2021

It still feels a wonderful novelty to walk into a cinema - I like an afternoon screening before I do my supermarket shop - but there were only three of us in the cinema yesterday which seems a shame as this was such a lovely film about a Korean family in Arkansas, and the father's dream of swapping his joyless factory job as a chicken-sexer for his own small farm growing Korean vegetables. I'm resistant to cute kids in films but the cheeky little boy and his formidable granny (a well-deserved Oscar for best supporting actress) are a delight. Minari is water celery, a resilent herb that springs back undaunted.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Day 1 of freedom ...and by lunchtime I was getting fidgety because I hadn't got anything booked until today. How had I let that happen? The lure of the great indoors proved too much and I checked out the local cinema which to my delight was not only showing Nomadland but has also dropped its ticket prices considerably. That was a surprise! So I really have the hit the ground running and made it to the first screening on the first day! It must be almost a year since I was last in a cinema - and last summer there didn't seem to be many new releases - so I'm pleased to report that Nomadland proved to be a very worthy triple Oscar winner, that Frances McDormand is brilliant - well, she always is - and this is definitely worth saving until you can see it on a big screen. Most of the migrant workers in the film are real 'nomads' playing themselves. Swankie, Linda May, the 62-year-old widowed Fern played by McDormand - they're women much the same age as me - and most of you reading this - whose secure, middle-class lives have been recast into a 21st century update of The Grapes of the Wrath. They're Ma Joad with a cell-phone. There's a freedom and romance to being on the road, a sense of community when they run into each other for the beet harvest or a seasonal gig at the Amazon warehouse. But all I could think was how utterly weary they must be - how knees must ache - how cold it must be at night in a camper van - and how frightening when serious illness threatens - and what a complete and utter wimp I'd be in their shoes. First film of the year and I'll be surprised if anything tops it because it's definitely 5* from me.

Sunday 9 May 2021

Uncle Matthew hated Huns, foreigners, sewers, the EU if only it had existed - and I can't abide Lily James and simpering Emily Mortimer. Even so, I was looking forward to The Pursuit of Love - oh, what a crashing disappointment. To start with - the actress who plays Fanny is sooo much much prettier than Lily James that it hardly seems fair that she gets Alfred and tweeds instead of a duc. And the anachronistic music is simply annoying. I read the book when I was exactly the right age - old enough to travel to Paris, daft enough to believe in coups de foudre at the Gare du Nord. Alas, the only man who challenged my virtue was the ticket collector on the night train from Milan - and I whacked him with a rolled-up copy of Cosmo and that was that. Perhaps I'm simply too old; I do feel Mitforded-out - but I far preferred the last adaptation of Love in a Cold Climate although I nearly passed out when I realised it was 20 years ago. I mean, I even remember the one before with Judi Dench as Aunt Sadie. I binge-watched to the end and the last clunky scene when - in the words of Emily Mortimer rather than Mitford - Aunt Emily tritely expressed the hope that Linda's and Fanny's great-grand-daughters would have more choices in life than simply to be Bolters and Stickers. Whereupon I let out a Matthew-worthy harumph at such heavy-handed womansplaining. . The clothes are nice. It's 3* from me.

Friday 7 May 2021

The Arrival of Spring ... could there be a more a joyous title for an exhibition that's also the Arrival of Normal! I've booked and I can't wait!

Thursday 6 May 2021

Still 12 days to go before cinemas reopen - and I've got a list of films in mind. (I'm not bothered about a shortage of blockbusters but I do hope there's more to choose from than last summer.) Meanwhile, this is a delightful Ethiopian film about a homesick boy, who has inherited his dead mother's cooking skills, and his lamb. Still on for a couple of days here; I've been meaning to watch it for weeks and only remembered tonight.