It's a small picture by Stephen Frears, one of my favorite directors of all time, up there with Billy Wilder and Hitchcock.
Based on a story by Colette, most famous for penning "Gigi", and set in 1920's France, it is about a beautiful, aging Courtesan named Lea, and her young lover, Cherie. Cherie is the son of another, retired Courtesan and is familiar with her "lifestyle". After 6 years with the boy, Cherie's mother decides she wants him to get married and bear her grandchildren. Lea, a proud professional, cannot admit to Cherie that she has fallen in love with him, and Cherie is too immature to recognize the telltale signs. Once seperated, the two lose their minds with loneliness, even though Cherie has a young wife, and Lea takes on a new, young lover in the south of France.

The story was delightfully poignant and sad, but the movie as a whole was just gooooooorgeous. The costumes were to die for, the sets were...oh, the sets were painfully beautiful. Lush and extravagant...exactly how one pictures 1920's France amongst the elite. There was a party of eccentrics hosted by Cherie's mother. That was probably my favorite scene. A 60+ courtesan with her 15 year old boy lover (I know, SO twisted, I LOVED it), a transvestite that nobody bothered to say a thing about...she was just one of the girls, and a much older courtesan who looked to have walked straight off the set of some ancient silent film. Every detail was perfect, stylish, and purposeful. These women never technically worked a day in their lives and lived a lifestyle of sheer luxury because of some looser than most morals. You gotta wonder, who's the foolish ones?
The acting was glorious. Pfeiffer was a strange mix of strength and vulnerability...steel magnolia comes to mind. Kathy Bates was jolly and seemed nearly immune to heartbreak, though Cherie did his best to bring her down. Cherie was interesting; a boy nobody could love except Lea. He was a little mean, cold, sardonic and snobby...but charming and submissive to Lea. If it's your type of thing, I highly recommend it. The film is like a piece of jewelry...small, shimmering, and should be cherished as such.


Well, I saw it, over the weekend, with my mom. We filed into the theatre with 5 other 50+ year olds, and as we sat and waited for the movie to start, old lady after old lady filed into the theatre, people who clearly NEVER venture into a movie theatre anymore because there's just no damn thing to see anymore. I leaned over to my mother and whispered (because she has a sense of humor about such things) "It's like we're in a nursing home". Not to say this movie is "uncool" but with hip and happening movies worth seeing out, like Ponyo and District 9 out, I was just ever so slightly displeased to be sitting for THIS particular showing. Nevertheless, I clung to the ever charming, ever talented, and ever cool Meryl Streep as my excuse for suffering the inclusion in "this" particular audience.

And I was rewarded for my avoidence of prideful, vainful folly. The movie wasn't particularly funny outside the Julia Childs storyline, but it was mildly charming. I did find myself wishing a different director with a more artistic eye were at the helm. Nora Ephron deals with emotions and personality, and not so much with the visual cues. And this movie BEGGED for more creative camera work. Delightful spinning pans of bakeries and fish markets, bread shops and various other food just didn't really exist. Sure, they went to these places because the story demanded it, but there was no revelling in the sheer fairytale delight of it all. This too wouldn't have been such a problem if it hadn't so clearly enraptured and delighted both main characters in the movie. They loved food because of the visceral experience of it, but the movie kind of looked at these dishes sideways, like it was on a diet or something. Am I being fussy? Yeah. But the movie did a good job of delivering the point, that is, food is a passion in some people and the love of culinary art brings joy to them. The MOVIE itself, frame for frame seemed to shrug it's shoulders a bit about food. That just kind of bothers me. Film the food cooking, film the process, get a ton of close ups of forks sinking into the doughy depths of some decadant treat. I'm not saying the movie didn't show ANY "eating" shots, but it still lacked. I just think it was too concerned with trivial relationship matters, when the point was..."The joy of food". Perhaps they were going to another point, and if that's the case, they failed, because it was all about cooking. NOT a subject I would say I'm particularly interested in.

All that said, Streep was a revelation. She filled the screen with such tender joy and strength of character. It was inspiring. Sometimes I see a movie that puts me in such a good mood that I actually consider changing my sour, angsty, moody and depressed general disposition and just lighten the hell up. Hairspray comes to mind. (for another post :D) This one, the Julia Childs part of the movie, at least, put me in that kind of mood. However, Mrs. Childs had a wealthy and ridiculously loving husband, so, I imagine it's easy to find the joie de vivre when you're living in freaking Paris with the man of your dreams. Still, you get the sense that she had the same strength of character and joy BEFORE her dreams came true. And if Julia Childs can find love, why not me?

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight. Well, you knew this was coming. Believe it or not, this is not my favorite Batman movie. That honor belongs with Batman Returns, because of Catwoman. That is the ONLY reason this is not my favorite Batman movie.

When I heard Heath Ledger was set to play the Joker, I thought Nolan was off his rocker. It's one thing to be creative with your casting, but COME ON, Heath was WAY too young to play The Joker. Furthermore, I didn't much care for the Joker as a character. He bored me. Then Brokeback Mountain came out, and I thought maybe there's more to this Ledger character than I thought. (Yes, btw, I knew Heath was playing the Joker before Brokeback Mountain came out). When I saw the first poster, a year before The Dark Knight was set to premiere, I got goosebumps and drool formulated. It was the poster that had "Why so serious" written in blood with a very blurry, and very creepy Joker character behind it.

this one.

That was when my anticipation began. Heath Ledger was going to be amazing, Christian Bale was back (Cowboy from Newsies!!!...must save that for another post), and my beloved, Gary Oldman was involved. And BATMAN, my all time favorite superhero. This movie was designed with Molly Adrianson in mind, I tell you.

So I had that going on in my head when I read that Heath Ledger had passed away. I do believe I took that news much harder than I should have, and still do. Heath was the most exciting, most promising young talent in hollywood. The next DeNiro, the next Brando...and then some. Heath had the potential to change things, you know? He meant something to me in a historical way. I didn't know him personally, didn't really care to, but there was some minor hero worship going on in me. I didn't just like him, I RESPECTED him, and that's not something I do for actors. They're amusing and entertaining, but for the most part, I don't respect them. Heath earned my respect with Brokeback and The Joker.

Anyway, back to the movie...I saw the midnight show and it was one of the greatest nights of my life, because I have a really boring life. Ledger was electric, the photography was stun.ning., the emotional rollercoaster regarding Liutenant Gordan, that truck doing a 180 vertical spin...HOLY COW! I just felt saturated with genius entertainment and was loving every second of it. Also, I cannot end this post without talking about Aaron Eckhart, just because I suspect he's the most under-rated cast member. He's charming and handsome in his way, but his voice is so powerful, when he flipped on a dime and yelled, I felt it. I actually felt bad, like I was the one who pissed him off, his voice just tore through me. I don't feel like I can write a review about this movie without mentioning that, because it's one of the top 3 reasons I love this movie.


Last night I watched Once, again. It's my second time seeing the movie, as it's just not one of those movies you watch over and over again, especially if you're just not that into the music. Once won the academy for best song in 2007, I believe...though don't quote me on that, I do zero research. One of my favorite magazines, Entertainment Weekly, is in love with this movie, listing it among the top 25 musicals of all time. I dunno. I mean, it doesn't really play like a musical, exactly. It's creative and low-key, realistic and a nice love story. But for me, I just don't leave that movie with a good feeling. I know what I'm supposed to feel and I could fake it, but honestly, it does very little for me.

It's a story about an irish street performer who meets a czech girl who admires his music. I suppose we're meant to understand that they fall in love, slowly, through a series of meetings and pseudo-dates. But he's still hung up on his ex and she's still married, though seperated. She helps him get a demo recorded and *Spoiler Alert* they part ways after that. He goes off to London to re-connect with his ex and start his recording career, and she re-unites with her husband. As a goodbye gift, he buys her a piano, though I'm not sure how he made that happen, I was drifting off by then.

Yes, it's a heart-warming, bittersweet tale, but it's not mine. It's theirs, and for some reason, that just makes me shrug my shoulders about it. Maybe I've just never really fallen for someone like that. It's important to note that these two actors fell in love in real life while filming this movie. Normally that's not news, I mean, look at Brangelina...but these are just two relatively normal people so I suppose you might say it's more genuine.
The style of the film is SO indie. There's no tricks, very little money involved, no great set design. It's basically a camera man and actors and someone saying "action". At least, that's how it comes off, like a student film. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it's just not a glossy big studio film. It's more organic than that. As a great film lover, I tend to prefer the gloss of the studio productions. It's an immaturity I'm not prepared to appologize for. If you do intend to check this movie out, though, be prepared to really pay attention and pick out the subtle nuances.
The music is, of course, brilliant. Now, it's not my taste...I like it, but it doesn't really strike a chord in my soul, but I suspect I'm in the minority there. It's a very sophisticated sound, and it's what the movies about, really. The music is what brought these two people together. All in all, its not my FAVORITE film, but it's well worth seeing, and maybe I just need to grow up a bit to understand it better.

About Me

My name is Emily Adrianson, I am 26 years old (until August 28), and I am a graphic designer and fledgling web designer. I am still learning and navigating my way around xhtml, css, javascript and actionscript. I am also a devoted illustrator, and that right there's the dream. To draw all day and NOT sit in @#$&!-#$#%$@#% TRAFFIC. (I have major issues with it, if you can't tell.)

I started this blog because I was driven to do so. I am a huge movie buff (some might say 'geek'...i would not object) and have a healthy appreciation for a large variety of film genres. This doesn't mean I'm strictly all about good movies. Certainly, I think it's important not to let the brain get too heavily involved in the film-going experience. It's meant to be a visceral, emotional response, and to analyze it cerebrally is an insult to the art form. It'd be like criticizing a book because you don't care for the font they used to type it. "Oh, my, yes, I had a terrible time reading that particular book because of all those damndable serifs, I mean REALLY...How does one expect one to make out a word with all those excessive tabs all over each letter..." Judging a film based on common sense is sometimes...sometimes...unfair. David Lynch makes no damn sense at all, but his films are haunting, expressive and tap into that part of the mind nobody dares go.

Anyway...I am also a mediocre musician/jazz singer, I have a bachelor's in English Lit and that's been enormously useful...ahm...and I'm sure you'll get to know more about me as you explore this page. Thanks for visiting, and please come back!

Where the Wild Things Are

I have not yet seen it. Obviously. That doesn't matter. I've seen the trailer, and perhaps I get a little over-emotional when I see quality graphic design, but that damn trailer moves me to tears. I may be the only one who cries because it's so good, but I'm not alone in holding high opinions of this not yet released movie. What makes it so good, you may ask? Well there are a few listable reasons which I will bring up, but the broad stroke of it's magic. The way everything works together is a magical cord that plugs into the human experience and when you feel that connection, it's...well...magical. This trailer has the keen ability to plug right into my heart. Okay, I promised reasons.
1. Earth-The film is so natural. You can feel the crisp leaves, the soft breeze, the fur on the monster's back, the mother's hug...everything heightens the senses of the imagination to make the experience of viewing the film that much more authentic. Yes, other movies have that, but so much gets lost to cgi fakery and shiny, unfamiliar wonders. This film has unfamiliar things rooted in what is VERY familiar to anyone who was ever a child.
2. THAT AUDIO!! If you pay attention, it starts out with a cool little guitar ditty that fits a modern, indie feel with childlike, but not TOO childlike, amusement. As it continues and gets more dramatic and exciting, the music does too. The swell of the instruments is just awesome. But that's par for course. Across the Universe had a great trailer audio as well. But then WTWTA took it a step farther and brought that trailer back from the edge of the cliff back to the modern indie music we heard before but faster, more delightful and exciting. And it does all this without missing a beat! The way the video matches the audio is just...pfff, WOW.
3. It's so now. It's got the hand-drawn graphic design elements that are so in vogue now, and it's got that indie music. It's a trailer that can appeal to even the most jaded of hipsters as well as the most naive child.
In short, I cannot WAIT for October to roll around and finally see the fruits of such spectacular labor.

Velvet Goldmine

I'll be honest, my first time seeing this movie, I was simultaneously bored, confused, suspicious and dreading "what would come next". It seemed a movie that always threatened to turn horribly ugly.

Since then, it has become one of my favorite flicks and has served to shape my worldview and reveal to me beauties I had never before in make-up, for instance. It has a fabulous cast, the stunning Toni Colette, Euan McGregor (full monty, thank you very much!), Eddie Izzard, and a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who proved to be everything Brian Slade was, charming, haunting, mysterious, and moody.
The movie revolves around the Glittermania of the early to mid 70s in England, a movie inspired by but not about David Bowie and Iggy Pop. It addresses a sexual revolution, one that permitted homosexuality and bisexuality and rather poo-pooed straight sexuality. Androgyny was explored to great length, and how Brian Slade/Maxwell Demon affected the lives of his fans raised into rigidly "normal" households. It also gets into Oscar Wilde and the mythology of his fame and legacy, and how Wilde seems to be a connecting thread between himself and the Space Oddity of the 1970's Glitter scene. A Dandy that passed along his special powers to the future of Dandys (Dandies?). And if you were to go on, you'd see how that thread continued into the 80s with The Smiths and Bryan Ferry and so on into the future. The line never dies, it just moves from one thing to the next with interludes of darkness. The actual plot is your typical Rockstar rise and fall, nothing particularly extraordinary or worth re-telling. This film is all about the philosophy of Ziggy Stardust and his Ilk.

Also worth noting, it has a KILLER soundtrack. If you ever have the oppurtunity to listen to that album, I highly recommend you do so. For some of you out there, it may change your life.

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