Sorry for the spotty posting this week — Owen-the-dog had ACL surgery on Wednesday. He’s fine. Home on the couch next to me, but in considerable pain and will have to be on-leash or in a crate for the next few weeks.
And my Dad had surgery in the Czech Republic, where he lives. He’s had an odd cyst behind his ear for decades, and the doctors decided that it was time to take it out. It was in a dodgy spot with a lot of nerves, and he was nervous he’d wind up drooling for the rest of his life — but apparently he came through it okay. My stepmother and I heard from his current wife this morning, so that was a relief.
And work has been a little crazy — so, blogging has fallen by the wayside. And it’s winter — no garden news, not much food news. I think it’s a meatloaf weekend … meatloaf, ice packs for the dog’s hurt leg, and a pile of Oscar movie screeners I got from a screenwriter friend.
Here’s what I’ve seen so far:
- No Country for Old Men: I thought this was going to be too gory, but it was beautiful in that strange, bleak, gorgeous Cormac McCarthy way. Great performances.
- Away From Her: Julie Christie is luminous and Gordon Pinset is marvelous as the husband who loves her enough to let her go.
- Juno: Once you get past the unbearably twee first 20 minutes, it’s a movie that actually surprised me a little. I liked it.
- Diving Bell and the Butterfly: This was the surprise of the bunch. I didn’t think I’d like this one. I mean, a paralyzed man dictating a book by blinking? I have a pet theory about translation of books to film — great books often make crappy movies because great books rely on beautiful sentences and that doesn’t translate to film. Julian Schnabel, perhaps because he’s a visual artist to begin with, uses the visual language of film to build metaphors in an way that’s analogous to the way a writer uses gorgeous sentences. It is a surprising and deeply moving film.
- Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: This one fails for all the reasons that Diving Bell succeeds. It’s too long, the voice-over tries to carry Ron Hansen’s astonishing sentences (this is a book that I copied pages of sentences from when I read it years ago, it’s a book I adore), and while there is some lovely visual imagery, it does not serve the narrative, but causes it to drag. Casey Affleck, however, does turn in a marvelous performance.
- The Savages: This is a terrific small movie with lovely performances by Laura Linney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It made me miss my brother so deeply, made me sad for what is to come. The performances are so true, and sweet — it’s a wonderful movie.
- La Vie en Rose: I’m a big fan of the bio-pic, and I thought Marion Cotillard did a terrific job channelling Edith Piaf. It was French, moved quickly, had great songs, and just enough Gallic histrionics for an entertaining evening.
And with all this movie-watching, I’m nearly done with the sweater I started three years ago. I might even get to start another one! I’ve been wanting to knit something from Becky Weed’s gorgeous wool she’s milling over at 13 Mile Ranch — I’m thinking I might need a sweet little sweater out of that natural ivory-colored wool. Sigh.