Friday, January 19, 2007

MOVIES: The Queen, Volver, Little Children, Notes on a Scandal

Today, on my [Fri]day off, I slept in. The only thing planned was lunch in Orlando with my guy. I had considered heading over early to hit one of the parks beforehand (a bit of a craving for some Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion) but in the end, the need for sleep won out. My guy and I went to Chili's and had another nice lunch together. I enjoy hearing about his latest pursuits and about the people in his life.

After lunch, he had to go back to work, and I headed to see The Queen at the AMC Pleasure Island. I then headed to the teahouse and helped out a little bit before the showing of Volver at the Enzian.

I just wanted to stop in at the teahouse and see everyone -- Nigel and Danny were there, but I mostly caught up with Cori. Pom had left for home early... maybe I'll see her next time.

Afterwards, I headed back to Melbourne, talked with both my sisters, and stopped by Wal-mart before getting home -- I had bought the Nelly Furtado "Loose" CD, a by-the-cup water heater, and a tall lamp, all for the office.

Tomorrow's an early race in Titusville, then home to upload the photos and also to mow the lawn, take a shower, maybe put in an order for some digital pictures at Wal-Mart (for the photo albums I'm putting together of the Vancouver trip -- yes, still..), then off to work. And if I get enough done, then I'll treat myself to a showing of either Pan's Labyrinth, Children of Men, or Curse of the Golden Flower.

Anyways, here are some [very] brief comments of the four movies from this weekend (The Queen and Volver) and last weekend (Little Children and Notes on a Scandal). But first of all, just noticed that the four movies each has a lead actress that is very likely to garner an Oscar nod (the predicted fifth is Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada, and I've already seen that movie); so I've pretty much got this category covered. :)

The Queen (3.5 of 5)

Helen Mirren should definitely grab the Oscar for her potrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, and I hope that Michael Sheen grabs a nod for playing Tony Blair. Strong performances, but I have to admit that I did fall asleep for ??? during the middle of it. The subject matter of how the queen handled the death of Diana was very heavy, and as my older sister pointed out, the movie didn't have a soundtrack. The fact that the projector at the theatre was bouncing the image up and down quite a bit didn't help me fight slumber. Still, I saw enough to say that the performances were very good and be able to cross the movie off my list. Good, but perhaps not my cup of tea.

Volver (4 of 5)

Very good foreign-styled film -- it wasn't an American movie in a foreign language. Being by Pedro Almodovar, Volver was very character-driven, and again, all the performances were very good, especially Penelope Cruz. I watched this at a sold out Enzian showing and ordered more food than I really should've... large popcorn, chocolate-chip cookies, and an espresso... all foods that are pretty bad for my stomach, but I figured that since I was there stag, I had no one to possibly hurt ("hurt"). I really need to be less frivilous with my money. Oh well. I was about to "not go" to see it... and go back to Melbourne early... but I remember that my guy said that I should go, and then we'll talk about it next week. I'm glad that I went. Good film that will easily get a foreign-language nod. I have to wait until after Pan's Labyrinth though before I make a prediction for that award.

Little Children (4.5 of 5) [last weekend]

I went to go see this at the Enzian with my guy. We shared an order of pita and hummus, then I had a hot dog with some awesome homemade string french fries, while he had a salad. Oh, the movie... again, really good performances. Kate Winslet and Jackie Earle Haley deserve Oscsar nods, and Patrick Wilson was very nice as the "Prom King" (CD). The tone of the narration was interesting, and the smalltown feel of the film had a somewhat familiar resemblance to Todd Field's last movie In The Bedroom (one of my favorite films). The scenes at the neighborhood park were the best: "Want to freak them out?..."

Notes on a Scandal (3.5 of 5) [last weekend]

Judi Dench as a delusional black-mailing lesbian spinster... nice. Definite nod there. And Cate Blanchett should also pic up a nod for the substantial-ness of her role, though she really should NOT win, because Jennifer Hudson was totally awesome in Dreamgirls... plus Cate's already won the Oscar that she was "owed" (sorry, I had to put in my pre-awards rant). Anyways, the movie was good, but this film along with Little Children made for a heavy weekend as far as movie-watching went. Nice company to do that with though. Afterwards, my guy and I had a great great meal at the nearby Japanese restaurant (strawberry saki and mango tango sushi). Loved the food-oriented weekend.

Okay, that's about it. It's midnight, and I still need to shower and gather for tomorrow morning's 6:15am wakeup call. I'm just going to run easy tomorrow and try to get some good pictures to post. G'night. :)

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