Update re: myself… and movies to (definitely) check out

Hey all! 

I have been sick (yes, even after being pretty sick in October) since last Sunday!!!  Well, it wasn’t THAT bad last Sunday, but it quickly became worse… and worse… and worse.  I went to my local dr. on Wed p.m., and he said I have strep throat.   I got meds to take for 7 days, and am being v. careful re: rest, eating, and drinking (tea, water, o.j.).  I don’t have health insurance yet, so had to fork over $50 to doc!!!  Oh, also got flu shot (recommended if you work w/ kids).  Also, my mom (Happy B-day today!!!) said I should do some exercise and eat yogurt (since ppl on antibiotics need that).  My dad is moving (again) to Washington D.C. area today!  I heard he was a bit emotional b/c he has to live away from my mom and lil bro (yes, again)!     

Okay, on to the main topic of the day!  Recently, I’ve seen some AWESOME movies that y’all should check out (when you get time).  Last week, I saw Atonement over at Kaufman Astoria.  What can I say- it’s like being transported to another time/place (esp. in the last 30 mins. or so).  It’s terrific, but in an understated way!  I heard that the book is really about words (the importance of language) and imagination.  However, the movie was marketed more as a romance.  The director is young, but does NOT do anything too flashy w/ technique.  I REALLY enjoyed the jumps forward and backward in time (used to show the little girl’s perspective and then what REALLy happened).  On to the actors…

Well, many ppl know by now that James McAvoy is a FABULOUS actor (and at such a young age, too.)  His role perfectly suited him, his background, and natural abilities!  I thought is was a BIT weird that some people (mainly online) commented that he was NOT good-looking enough for them!  Okay, so he’s not the TRADITIONAL leading man, but his looks really suited his role, Robbie.  If you see him, even back in his TV days, you can tell there is a lot of commitment he gives to his characters.  Hmmm… how about Keira?

Keira Knightley is NOT as strong as James, or even Romola Garai (she’s the older Briony), but she has GROWN a lot over the yrs.  Sorry to Keira haters, but Cecilia is a good role for her- a young woman who is rich, reserved, sheltered, but v. strong on the inside (you’ll see the decision she makes after Robbie is put in jail).  Romola, looking very unglamorous, does a GREAT job in this film (as usual).  One of her co-stars from Amazing Grace plays a villain in the movie.

The little pre-teen girl in the movie did a TERRIFIC job!  The viewer was seeing a LOT of things through her eyes (later on through Romola’s and Vanessa Redgrave’s).  She had QUITE an imagination!  What I liked most about the movie was that SO many young actors (under 30) demonstarted that they could do serious work.  Also, there were no wild theatrics or action put in to distract from the 3 main characters struggles and hopes.  Honestly, that flash-bam stuff wouldn’t have fit in this film. 

I just saw (today) a little foreign (Russian) film- The Cuckoo.  It is from a FEW yrs. back and is also very character-driven.  The time is the tail end of WWII (1944) in a remote area of Finland.  There are 3 v. different ppl put in a situation where they need each other to survive: a young Finnish soldier, a middle-aged Russian capt., and a young widow.  The widow lives alone on a little farm (her hubby went off to war more than 4 yrs. back).  The woman saves BOTH their lives, and brings them to (eventually) live in peace.  They give her something v. precious (you’ll see at end of film- don’t wanna give it away!)  The odd thing- none of these characters speak the same language!  It is not needed b/c the issues in the film are universal.  Believe me, if you like smart, sweet, quirky films- you’ll LOVE this one! 

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