Thursday, December 01, 2011

"Varied Viewings...."

Some viewing last week:
First I saw "The Help", film of much lauded novel by Kathryn Stockett. I wondered what to expect....thought it might be sugary, even sloppy....but my friend and I discovered this moving and important story imported to film superbly.
I'm sure everyone knows it:....." The Help" is set in the 60's South.... when the world spun with change...even in L'pool where I was a student....
AND in " The Help" we see remarkable women.....Aibileen, Minny, Skeeter, Hilly...vastly different women...vivid unforgettable characters...we feel the bonds between them ( and the non-bonds, eg. ludicrous Hilly!!)...their loyalties, secret writings that dare to challenge and yearn to be told.........and we see the essential recognition that times should change...that everyone deserves hope and love, respect and the human right to exist as truly themselves.

On Thursday, M/Chester Opera House for the ultimate traditional Christmas ballet: " The Nutcracker" by Northern Ballet.
Gorgeous ( music, setting, costumes) scoffing a box of the best Belgian chocolates....BUT with just the delights and not the sickliness(!)....
Sometime I shall treat my tiny granddaughters....not to the chocs ( though tempting!) but to the joys of Clara, Frederick, the nutcracking soldier, Uncle Drosselmyer, the Mouse King and his whiskery mates, the agile turban-ed wide-breeched Cossacks.... and of course delicious Miss Sugar Plum Fairy herself ...

And so to last Saturday. Theatr Clwyd on a comfortable Saturday afternoon. Us, safe/warm in this small intimate friendly cinema.
BUT then there was KEVIN (The " We Need To Talk About Kevin" Kevin) AND Words almost fail.
I found Shriver's 2003 book traumatic, horrifying, beautifully written. Hideous. Totally gripping...evil amidst normal homely situations.......And this film was its equal. Tilda Swinton, a triumphant portrayal. Kevin the elder, beautiful in his loose flowing white shirts, his poise, mesmeric eyes..but so utterly cruel, crazy, a teenager taking horror to extremes...

Some folk, having read the book, won't go to see it. It threatens our norm, hurls us over horizons we could never imagine. It chilled so badly, because it made the unbelievable distinctly believable.
Like Shriver's novel, Lynne Ramsay's film was shattering. But I wouldn't have missed it.