Two not-to-be-missed movies

I think you know this about me already. I'm a movie freak. I'll go anytime anywhere. Besides the interesting things and wonderful acting I see on the screen, I like the diversion - one of the things that helped save me after our son, Paul, died. So with a date with friends on Saturday night and a completely open day on Sunday I had two opportunities to go the movies this weekend. And I felt we really lucked out. Saturday night we saw Official Secrets and on Sunday we saw The Goldfinch. I highly recommend both. Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top-secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. It stars Keira Knightley, who plays the whistle-blower Katharine Gun; Ralph Fiennes, her attorney, and Matthew Goode, a sympathetic reporter. All were terrific. If you don't know the story you'll find a real … [Read more...]

A month of culture

After seeing the movie A Bigger Splash yesterday, I felt the need to discuss some of the cultural events I've been to lately. Though reading is a huge part of my writing life, so are opera, theater, museum exhibits, and films. I think authors can gain perspective and insights from watching as well as reading. The events we watch show us life, which may be harder to discern from reading a book. A Bigger Splash, starring Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes, is a treat for the senses besides being a complicated love story. Fiennes, who barely stops talking, is a bundle of energy and movement throughout, while Swinton captures our attention by hardly uttering a word. The remote Italian island of Pantelleria where it is set is spectacular. Unfortunately, that's all I'll tell you except that the food looks so beautiful and delicious, you'll walk away very hungry. I don't want to spoil it for you in hopes you'll see it yourselves. Disgraced, a Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, d … [Read more...]

End of year movie binge

When I was a little girl my parents took me downtown Chicago to see movies that had a stage show as an opening act. I remember seeing Nat King Cole and Frankie Laine (not my favorite), but I found the movies the most exciting. Sometimes I'd go with my older brother, and I never minded that I had to watch his cowboy and war movie choices. As I got older I went with my friends and got to pick what I wanted to see recommendations right out of the stacks of movie magazines I read from cover to cover. So I was a well-trained movie freak and that hasn't changed at all. In fact, movies became one of my biggest diversions after my son died in 1999 - something I wrote a lot about in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On. I could sit in the theater and forget about all the pain in my heart. I always love to go at this time of the year when the new movies come out to compete for all the up and coming awards: Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild, Academy Awards you name … [Read more...]

Go to the movies

As Oprah said tonight on the Oscar award show, if you need an escape from the hard stuff that's going on in your life, go to the movies. I call my escapes diversions. My long list of diversions have helped me through my hard times, as I describe in my memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On http://www.LuckyPress.com/madelinesharples.html. Going to the movies is one of my favorites. I could go every night. I almost don't care what the movie is about. It's an escape from the reality of my life. For a short time I can sit in a darkened theater and experience another's life. People used to tell me to avoid certain movies that are about the death of a child seems like a slew of those came out right after Paul died or maybe I was just more aware of them then but, I didn't listen. I still don't mind going to movies with that kind of subject matter. That means I can see how others suffer through it and learn from them. So be it a happy or sad movie, go. And congratulations to "The King's … [Read more...]