Archive for March, 2009

Rachel Getting Married
25 March, 2009

Anne Hathaway provides an Oscar-worthy performance in Rachel Getting Married but I found the film ultimately unsatisfying.

Hathaway plays Kym, a sister on leave from (or fresh out of) rehab attending her sister’s wedding. Over the course of a couple of days, drama ensues. Much of the drama revolves around a heart-breaking event for which everyone, including Kym, blames her. Hathaway’s performance is exemplary: she portrays a selfish, not-very-likable addict sympathetically.

Jonathan Demme and Declan Quinn went with handheld cameras and very natural lighting, lending a very naturalistic tone to the film. Unfortunately, the naturalism extended so far as to include a lot of background noise in the audio; I had a very difficult time understanding a lot of the dialog. Despite being a long movie, either Demme’s direction or Jenny Lumet‘s script left off without any resolution. While I recognize that in real life family members can come to blows without any subsequent resolution, in a film that dramatic tension must be resolved. Alas, in Rachel Getting Married it was not.

Hathaway’s performance is the reason to watch Rachel Getting Married. But fast-forward through any scene with music that is not the score.


Hats Off
24 March, 2009

Recently my great-uncle by my maternal grandmother shuffled off the mortal coil. I didn’t see him much, only at family picnics in my youth and not for some time since. The youngest of the children, he was very special to my grandma.

He was an accomplished artist even though, to my knowledge, he was never formally trained. As I heard it he picked up a paint brush, began painting, and the rest is history. Unlike many artists, he generated an income from his art: I have seen original paintings command five figures. Whilst vacationing in Hawaii, my mother ran across some of his work for sale and had to convince them that she really was his niece.

He also possessed a great sense of humor. One year his Christmas card was a black-and-white drawing of Santa sitting on a log and barbecuing his dinner over a campfire. It took me a second or two to notice a subtle detail by the edge of the log: a red nose.

To fulfill a mandatory requirement in college, I took an introduction to art class. The teacher was a cliché, e.g., her biggest piece of art was a papier mâché book that looked like hands and contained her journal about her inches-long fingernails. In the first day of class she asked if any of us had relatives who were artists. I proudly raised my hand. “My uncle is a painter.” “What does he paint?” “Clowns.” “Oh, he’s just an illustrator.” He was more of an artist than her, even without the fact that people pay good money out of their own pocket for his work.

Requiescat in pace, Bob.

Only…have…seconds… Must…be…precise…
10 March, 2009

This morning I was listening to Aisha Tyler on the Adam Carolla Podcast. Twice she said “aphorism” with a long ‘a’. I had always pronounced it with the short ‘a’ and became concerned that I had been mispronouncing it for years.

I couldn’t stand it.

So I interrupted my workout to dash into the house and check with Dictionary. I was right on this one. (She got me on “halcyon”, though.)

I’m such a word nerd.