Last night, George and I saw Inception. It’s a triumph to get him to the movie theaters these days – he usually says, “Let’s wait until it comes out on video” which means we’ll probably never see it.
But, we did go see Inception. George, who had only heard David Edelstein’s negative review on NPR, had very low expectations of the movie. I was more optimistic (even though I’m one of the few people, it seems, who does not swoon over Leonardo di Caprio). It is my kind of movie – visual, compelling, fast-paced. True, there wasn’t a lot new here. True, some of the dialog was clunky. I don’t think it is the best movie OF ALL TIME. But still… it was fun, it was interesting, and it was complex enough not to be boring or pointless. Some of the dream sequences were so fascinating, particularly when Dom (di Caprio) and Ariadne (Ellen Page) share a dream for the first time. I think the movie is worth seeing simply for the visual landscape.
I believe a fairer, more accurate, review by Lisa Schwartzbaum, appeared in Entertainment Weekly – it certainly reflects my reaction: despite the flaws, “I can’t wait to go back.”
I expect Clint Eastwood’s films to be difficult and dark. With Gran Torino, my expectations were met. I was surprised, though, by how funny the movie was, both in its dialog and its commentary on the character of Walt (maybe Mr. Kowalski, but definitely not Wally).
In future semesters, I may show the scene when Walt first visits Sue and Thao’s house during a celebratory feast to illustrate cultural norms and cross-cultural differences.
The movie is continuing to simmer in my mind – I wonder how Walt’s own family could be so detached and unaware of Walt’s strengths. Also, what allowed Walt to be touched by Thao and Sue when he clearly built so many barriers?
One note that did not ring true to me was the way-too-obvious cross symbolism. Despite that, I cried and cried at the end. Unlike the end of Million Dollar Baby, I also felt hopeful, too.
George is out of town this weekend…good timing, because I have been very sick all weekend. It might be the antibiotics I am taking or a bug, but I haven’t felt very sociable. I have felt well enough, however, to:
- watch Michael Clayton
- watch Gone, Baby, Gone
- read Obedience by Will Lavender
- make a full Persian chain mail bracelet with colored aluminum rings.
George will be home tomorrow, and it will be nice to have him back!