Not Just a Pretty Face

It’s not the power of the curse – it’s the power you give the curse.

Born with a pig snout for a nose due to her rich family’s curse Penelope, played by Christina Ricci,  must find one man to marry her from the world of high society blue blood to make that curse go away forever. Forced to hide away from the outside world by her mother while a matchmaker searches for a suitable blue blooded man Penelope’s initial interaction is an interview with each guy through a one sided mirror, but Penelope soon pushes the boundaries forced upon her and starts to reveal herself even after it frightens most suitors away. When down and out blue blood Max Campion, played by James McAvoy, gets paid to woo Penelope out of isolation they both bring out the best in one another. When she finally reveals herself to him will he be the one to break the curse forever? Produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon, Penelope, helps us discover that we have the greatest power of all.

After being horribly burned beyond recognition in a car accident the narrator goes through the endless pain and depression of his wounds. Dark and tragic the only light is a schizophrenic sculptor from the psych ward named Marianne Engel, who tells him that they have known each other for hundreds of years. In order to prove this to him she begins to tell him the story of their love along with other love stories to weave a tapestry of comfort and calm. Soon he finds himself in Marianne Engel’s care and the narrator begins to grow with Marianne Engle by his side, but at the same time his addiction to morphine becomes even greater and her manic state begins to overwhelm her time carving out the final gargoyles she must finish before their time together runs out. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson tells the story of a love that transcends time and physical appearance.

Lars and the Real Girl is charming tale of love with no bounds. After his father’s death Lars, played by Ryan Gosling, moves into the garage turned apartment on his father’s property with the house occupied by his brother Gus, played by Paul Schneider, and pregnant sister-in-law Karin, played by Emily Mortimer. Isolation is what Lars prefers and he only ventures out to go to work and attend Sunday service. Karin starts to worry about Lars’ isolation and tries in vain to get Lars to interact. When a large box arrives for Lars revealing a life sized doll Karin’s worries are no longer exaggerated. Lars is convinced that this doll is a real person named Bianca, a Brazilian missionary that is wheelchair bound! Karin and Gus seek the help of the town doctor and psychologist Dagmar, played by Patricia Clarkson. She urges Karin and Gus that the best way to help Lars is to treat Bianca as if she were a real person and soon the whole town beings to do the same. With parties and meetings with Bianca Lars is caught up in a whirlwind of activity that forces him to not only interact, but to decide how he wants his life to be.

The Men of the BBC

“I’m not hung up about Darcy. I do not sit at home with the pause button on Colin Firth in clingy pants, okay? I love the love story. I love Elizabeth. I love the manners and language and the courtesy. It’s become part of who I am and what I want. I’m saying that I have standards.” — Amanda, Lost in Austen

The men of the BBC make me melt. Maybe it’s their propriety or the way women are seen through their eyes that I find myself missing in my everyday life. The exchanging of glances across a crowded room and a light hand reaching out to touch the other’s for an instant can even been seen as too much. In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine a time when any man or woman would hold back.

Elliot Cowan got my attention in Lost in Austen. Amanda, a lover of all things Austen, finds herself swapping her present day life in London with Elizabeth Bennett’s estate of Longbourn. Clumsily walking through Pride and Prejudice society, she must find her way back home without destroying the best love story ever told. With her modern day language and clothing it’s very hard for attention not to be made to her, but the longer she stays the more the characters of Pride and Prejudice become a part of her — and she a part of them. The biggest question she must face: Can she go back to her real life when her heart has already been given away to the leading man? Continue reading “The Men of the BBC”

An Unfinished Life

We all start out so damn sure, thinking we’ve got the world on a string.

If we ever stopped to think about the infinite number of ways

we could be undone,

     we’d never leave our bedrooms.

 

I’ve had a plethora of women in my life expecting children. Some married, some not, some engaged, some first time mothers, and some expecting their second child. Being an only child I am completely enthralled with these little bundles entering my life. It gives me the opportunity to be an auntie to these little ones and an even better friend.

But sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. Some babies don’t get their first steps and some siblings don’t get that brother they’ve been patiently waiting for. Some relationships are tested, while others completely fall apart. Sometimes distances are too far to cross when a friend’s life is quietly unraveling.

During some of these trying times I’ve been running across material in the library that has soothed me and pushed me to examine my life, to hold tighter, and to let go.

Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes, shows us a more unpleasant revolroadside of marriage. Set in 1955 we meet April and Frank Wheeler, played by Kate Winslet and Leonardo Dicaprio, a seemingly perfect young couple filled with all the hopes and dreams that start out, but then quietly and silently vanish.  Based on the novel by Richard Yates we see both characters give in and give up in order to live in their suburban confines, while having little satisfaction at home and work. When April suggests moving to Paris it reignites their hopes, but with skepticism silently stewing in Frank April attempts to make sure their dream comes true no matter how high the cost. Continue reading “An Unfinished Life”

J-O-B

Because you had a bad day

You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie

You work at a smile and you go for a ride…

With job classes being offered at a plethora of Seattle Public Library branches and an increase in usage by patrons that have been laid-off, let go, or fired, sometimes you need a break from the resume writing and the job searching. Being a Lord or Lady of Leisure requires some down time to chill out from freaking out. Here are a couple entertaining movies in our collection that bring a bit of comedy to ease and on the upside it’s free!fired

After getting fired from a Woody Allen play, actress Annabelle Gurwitch turns to those around her. From family, friends and acquaintances both in and out of Hollywood, getting fired is something everyone seems to have experienced. Both in documentary and written form, Fired! gives you humor and an in-depth look at an all too familiar situation effecting those all across America.

elizabethtownIn the movie Elizabethtown, Drew Baylor, played by Orlando Bloom, has just gone through what some might call an epic fail. With an exercise bike, a giant kitchen knife, and duct tape he begins his next goal. But when his sister calls to tell him their father is dead, he even fails at killing himself. Now it’s off to Elizabethtown to put his father to rest and hope that the in-laws don’t foil his mother’s plans of cremation. On a red-eye flight from Oregon to Kentucky he will experience a different sense of turbulence in the intrepid flight attendant Claire, played by Kirsten Dunst, and his family waiting to change his idea of who his father was.outsourced

When Todd Anderson’s job gets outsourced to India, he is sent to train his own replacements and teach them how to sound American. Outsourced takes us from the rain-filled tech savvy city of Seattle to a bustling and bewildering India. Todd finds that by rejecting the life India has to offer all he does is lose, but when Asha starts to show him the magic of all that’s around him he starts to fall in love in more ways than one.

If you want to get to know a real life Lady of Leisure, check-out Keri Robinson’s blog: Ladies and Lords of Leisure. I find her hilarity a much needed fixation even for those of us without a pink slip.

Get Lost (Part 6)

                                                (Sixth in a series)

I’ve been to Hollywood…         

                 I’ve been to redwood…

                      I crossed the ocean for a heart  of  gold…

 

I’ve been in my mind,

                  its such a fine line…

 

That keeps me searching

                          for a heart of gold…

Third stop Vallecito and Redding: 2 days, 2 nights

The next couple days consisted of adventures! We headed from Napa in the early morning to Vallecito, California near the Motherlode to see the Moaning Cavern, which is the largest cave chamber in California. It was partly cloudy, but we had enough sun to try out gold panning and went inside to crack our geodes. We decided to do the walking tour of the cave rather than rappel down 165 feet by rope into the main chamber of Moaning Cavern. The walking tour was no easy feat though it consisted of a spiral staircase of 234 steps! The cave maintained a temperature of 61 degrees and we found going down much easier than going up.  We were able to see so many amazing rock formations, such as, cave bacon and stack of plates.

draperiesshastaAfter visiting the Moaning Cavern we headed straight up to Redding for the night and looked forward to a day of seeing Mount Shasta’s waterfalls. Sadly, when we woke up the rain completely took over our trip. We grabbed a couple pamphlets from the Motel 6’s lobby and discovered Lake Shasta Caverns!  It was decided we would go there instead and so off we went. The drive was a breeze it was the trip to the caverns we were unprepared for; a long walk down to the McCloud Arm of Lake Shasta, a catamaran across to the other side of the lake, a walk up to a small bus, and then bus up the winding and steep roads to Continue reading “Get Lost (Part 6)”