Friday, October 15, 2010

The Secret in their Eyes

It seems funny to me that again I read a book and see a movie which has the same theme. Yesterday I went to see the movie The Secret In Their Eyes. This is an Argentina/Spain collaboration set in Argentina and therefore was in subtitles. To think I would sit through a subtitled movie for over two hours and think nothing of it contributes to the magnificence of this movie. Within the first few frames I had the thought "this is an ART movie". In other words not the usual movie we are subjected to.  The cast, Ricardo Darin, Soledad Villamil and Guillermo Francella did an absolutely wonderful job of displaying this story of unrequited love, coupled with a murder mystery and everything else thrown in. Shot in present day, plus their memories back 25 years, the story holds you enthralled wondering what is coming next. It slowly builds the characters, but somehow you don't mind because the photography, the editing, the direction is all working towards some dramatic conclusions. My friend Jeanne and I just sat after it was finished while the credits (in  Spanish) rolled by. Yes another magnificent movie, where one is left wondering the conundrum of life.
Now to the book which is completed this morning. The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton. Again working in two times, a 99 year old remembering her years at Riverton House where she entered service when she was 14 and all that happened in between. Again unrequited love,  mystery and intrigue set in a Victorian, yet also modern time, as she jumps between the time periods, filling in the gaps of what happened to the main characters, but the subcharacters all play a huge part of the story. Well worth the read.
So two magnificent pieces of art. One in movie form, one in written form. Both speaking how opportunities not taken or misread lead to other events. The book is easy to get, its Kate Morton's latest. The movie, look for it, I'm sure it will come in DVD form soon, and it is worth the just over two hours, after all you don't see a full frontal male in full bloom too often these days.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Last night I went to see Secretariat and loved every moment of it. It was a wonderful film, filled not only about a great horse but the photography and the sense of well-being portrayed was great. The editing was wonderful as you were kept up with the adventure of Secretariat and his owner. I think this is one movie I will definitely have to see again, if only to see the wonderful horse races. My friend Suzanne was telling me she got to visit him at his home and pat him. Of course this was after his racing days and he spent his time as a stud. The underlying theme of this movie, listen to what you know is correct for you and go for your end result you want no matter what to me gave this movie even more depth. Also, at a time when women were supposed to be in the home, here was a woman who believed in her horse and her childhood home to keep it going, even though for three years she travelled back and forth between Denver and Virginia. Oh yes, lots of secondary stories of belief, loyalty and support.  If you have a chance, go see the movie. My friend who came with me was not as interested in horse racing as me (coming from racing New Zealand, where I grew up listening and going to horse races) she was surprised as to how much she enjoyed it.  4 1/2 out of 5.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Our Town

Last night I ventured out with the wind whistling away, like a storm was going to come, but it didn't, or if it did it was when I was asleep. Asleep I wasn't during the movie Our Town. Ben Affleck has always been a favorite of mine, even when Hollywood seem to be dissing him. He was smart, took a break from movies, got his personal life sorted out and came back with some great acting and directing. In Our Town he does both, it most certainly had action, yet the acting from the main characters was really good. Last year's Oscar winner certainly did his role proud. His was the harder part to play, I thought, in order to convince us of his complicated character. I definitely got it, all the complexity of growing up in a certain neighbourhood, believing certain 'honor' is the way to do things. Ben himself was his excellent self and his directing skills are certainly as good as many.
The question is "did I enjoy this movie?" Well can't say I enjoyed it, with all the guns blazing and people dying, but the story was told well, the acting was good with the characters believable. On that level yes, and of course my usual complaint about editing seemed fine too.  All in all a well done movie. The question for me is it a 3 1/2 or 4 stars.  I think 3 1/2. Well worth seeing if you can take guns blazing, shootouts with a love story. But no happy ever after ending, but then that is what made it a good movie.  Still 3 1/2 stars out of 5.