vestra: (Default)
2010-01-05 12:01 am
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Stuff I Saw In December

Oh, Oscar season, how I love you. I went to tons of movies last month--so many to seeeeee!

Brothers was great. I haven't seen the Danish original, but now I really want to. I thought the performances were really strong, especially the child actress who played the older daughter. She's a force to be reckoned with.

Where The Wild Things Are was really sad and lovely and cool and interesting. Well done!

Fantastic Mr. Fox was omigod so cool. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Really cool stop motion animation, great voice acting. All around excellence.

I enjoyed The Young Victoria very much, especially Emily Blunt's performance--she is excellent. The film made me realize that all I know of Queen Victoria (not much!) is from her post-Albert sad times. I liked learning about her upbringing and the early days of her reign.

The Princess and the Frog is a fun, if fairly by-the-book, Disney princess movie. Props for finally having an African-American heroine, and I dug Randy Newman's jazzy score and the Creole firefly.

Nine, oh Nine. I have this problem with movie musicals if I know the stage show too well--I can't just watch it an appreciate it as a movie. I thought it was pretty good, but I was annoyed that they cut some of my favourite songs, and didn't especially like most of the new songs. Great performances, though, and it's fun and flashy. One other quibble--I wish directors of movie musicals would stop being so scared of making an actual *musical*. I want to see a musical where the people sing and dance in their actual scenes--not just up on stage or in someone's imagination. People sing in musicals-that's the whole point!

Up In The Air is just great. Fantastic. Funny, sad, quirky, awesome. George Clooney and Vera Farmiga have smoking hot chemisty. Anna Kendrick (a child stage actress--second-youngest Tony nominee ever, back when she was 12!) is so good. I loved this movie to bits. I should go see it again!

Broken Embraces was...odd. Maybe I was too tired? I have enjoyed other Almadovar films, but this one just was a big meh for me. Penelope Cruz was great, and the movie looked wonderful, but the plot didn't add up to much, and some of big reveals were really underwhelming. Unless I just didn't get it, which is entirely possible. Maybe I should see this one again, too, as all the reviews I've read have been glowing, and...I don't get it.

Among all the moviegoing, I also went to a musical! I was intrigued to see a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Alan Menken and Lynn Ahrens. The score was fun, but not super memorable. I can see it getting done by more groups, though--yay for seasonal musicals!
vestra: (Default)
2010-01-05 10:56 am

Stuff I Read In December

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands -Michael Chabon
I love Chabon's fiction, and this collection of essays about writing, reading, genre fiction, and nostalgia was excellent. I can't wait to read his new collection!

Miracle and other Christmas Stories -Connie Willis
Willis is one of my faves (she has a new book coming out in February--squeee!) but I'd never read this collection of stories--it seemed seasonally appropriate! As with many books of short stories, I like some more than others. A fun read, overall.

In The Land of Invented Languages -Arika Okrent
I loved this nerdy and awesome book. Esperanto, Klingon, and all sorts of weird and hilarious points in between. Some people invent languages for specific uses; some genuinely try to create a universal language that they think everyone will learn! Most of them (the latter, especially) are obsessive nuts. I found this book totally fascinating.

Olive Kitteridge -Elizabeth Strout
This won the Pulitzer last year--man, it was good. A gorgeously written collection of linked short stories about the inhabitants of a small town. Retired teacher Olive Kitteridge is featured in all of them, but often only as a bit player. So good.

Escape From Fire Island -James H English
What's this? Just a Choose Your Own Gay Adventure novel about escaping from zombie drag queens, that's all! And awesome and ridiculous Christmas gift from [livejournal.com profile] listersgirl--thanks, roomie!

A Prayer For Owen Meany -John Irving
I had an urge to re-read the Christmas pageant section, but then thought I was due to read the whole thing--it's been a few years, and it's one of my very favourites. I still laugh out loud at parts, and cry buckets at parts, even on my fifth-or-so reading.