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Monday, January 16, 2012

It goes without saying that the main advantage of being without Amelie for a couple of days was the opportunity it gave us to rid the flat of fungus, wash the fruit juice from the furniture, and take the piss out of the carpets. But in addition to catching up on the housework, our child-free weekend meant that I was able to get out of the flat for a few hours yesterday afternoon and spend some time with another woman. And what a woman. Frankly she made Lisa look like Mrs Mouse in a burkha.

We actually went to see The Iron Lady...

The Darkest Hour 3D!That's not her on the left. That's the film I would have chosen to see. Sadly, however, despite being a sci-fi blockbuster full of aliens, explosions and all-action adventure, Lisa was put off by the fact that it has an average rating of 11% on Rotten Tomatoes and has been universally panned by the critics. So we rejected the 3D in favour of something more one-dimensional.

We were actually torn between Thatcher and 'Shame'. Not only do they sound pretty similar, but they're written by the same person, so it probably didn't make much difference. In the end, Maggie won over the sex addicts, and we opted for a blue movie of a more Conservative kind.

The last film we went to see was 'The King's Speech' on our honeymoon last March, so we're keeping up our average of one cinema visit every year since Amelie was born. I might be tempted to break that record in 2012 though, because one of the trailers we saw yesterday was for a film adaptation of 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close', a 2005 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's a well known fact that I haven't read a book since 1996, but I do spend a lot of time buying rubbish in charity shops, and I actually picked that up on audiobook for £1 about six months ago, and listened to it on my way to and from work. The New York Press called it 'Extremely Cloying and Incredibly False', but personally I thought it was excellent. So I'm looking forward to seeing that ruined on film.

As for 'The Iron Lady', I must admit I was disappointed. The film-makers appeared to have rejected the notion of either a political biopic or a personal portrait, and instead gone down the confused pensioner route. It was basically ninety minutes of Meryl Streep sitting around in a bedroom. Lisa felt that the point of it all was to show that even the most powerful of people eventually become helpless old codgers, but personally I felt she gave the makers too much credit. I just don't think they knew what they wanted to do, so they ended up doing nothing.

The result was a very frustrating film. Every time it touched on a major issue like the Falklands War or the miners' strike, it sparked instantly into life, only to die moments later by leaving the interesting subject matter completely unexplored, and returning to Maggie in her dressing gown. It barely scratched the surface of her career, and gave no insight into her private life. I really wasn't sure what the point of it all was. And as for the last scene with the teacup, I felt like throwing one at the screen.

That said, I thought Meryl Streep was very good, and it contained one set of lines worth quoting:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

It's just a shame they weren't written by Margaret Thatcher or the author of the film.


Phil's Mum said...

Well, that's a shame.  That was one film I thought I might like to see.  Sounds as if I'd better go and see 'Shame' instead.