Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Carol" and "The Danish Girl"

A day of pure self-indulgence - it was very mild but dark and gloomy, and I'm suffering from my usual January insomnia. It hits every year, I guess having to do with the lack of light, maybe thinking about the past year and the one to come - who knows? It means hours in the night, flipping from side to side. So I'm not much good till it passes. Luckily this morning, I had a haircut booked with my beloved Ingrid, like having coffee with a best friend who just happens to be cutting your hair really well as you chat and doesn't mind your bleary bloodshot eyes.

And then I decided to make a big push to get caught up with my movies, and rode my bike to the Varsity, where for free, thanks to the accumulated points on my Scene card, I saw Carol at 1.10 and then snuck into The Danish Girl at 3.10. I haven't done that before - I like to savour a good movie after I leave - but I'm so far behind in my films, the day called for emergency measures. And what excellent movies, both, beautifully shot and stunningly acted. What actors these mortals be! Rooney Mara, Alicia Vikander and the incredible Cate Blanchett and Eddie Redmayne - these people were born to be on camera, so natural are they as they work, so talented and so beautiful, all of them. I spent a gloomy afternoon in the movie theatre watching four gorgeous women make eyes at each other, only one of them was Eddie Redmayne.

Both highly recommended, but if I had to choose, I'd pick Carol - grittier, more powerful. And I was in New York in the Fifties myself, I was born there in 1950 and we visited often, so I wondered which of those atmospheric scenes I'd actually experienced though too young, of course, to remember. Both films about gender identity, the agony of swimming against the social current. The Danish Girl, wonderful as it is, feels like a crusader movie, pointing out and teaching with a bit too much weeping on the pretty sets, whereas Carol is a human story about love, which happens to be between two women at a time when that was not permitted.

I will carry them both with me - but I'd be surprised if either of them haunt me the way Room still haunts me. One of the things I think about at 4.30 a.m. is Room, the details, the unforgettable story. It will live in me for a long time. How lucky we are to have such phenomenal artistry on view a few blocks away, for just a few dollars. I LOVE GOOD MOVIES!

And now cooking and cleaning to Randy Bachman's music.

Here's an inspiring story for writers: Dr. Seuss' First Book Was Rejected By 27 Publishers. On His Way Home To Burn It, His Life Changed Forever

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