Saturday, December 09, 2006

the Queen and I

Note to self: When buying soda in a movie theater from a distracted employee, insert straw for a taste test before climbing two flights of stairs to your movie, settling into your chair, and watching the previews and opening credits. The surprise of sugary Coke vs. the anticipated Diet Coke is jarring, although not enough to jar you from your seat and miss any of the movie.

There's not much to say about "The Queen" because of course, as you've heard, it's very good, and Helen Mirren is wonderful. I've been a big fan of hers since catching "Prime Suspect" on PBS. (I own most of the series on DVD, and look for the remaining episodes whenever I am in a DVD store - which reminds me, I need to add the missing ones to my Amazon wish list before my friends and family finish holiday shopping.) She is really good in this role, albeit this is an opinion of someone who has only a fleeting sense of what the queen really looks like. I liked the actor playing Tony Blair a lot, too, and the story is presented in the only way I can tolerate historical/biographical/"based on a true story" dramas: a confined timeframe, a focused theme, in depth character study. Sometimes it feels like you're watching Helen Mirren's Oscar submission, but the material is interesting enough to make it feel worth two hours.

I took off work yesterday to get some holiday shopping done, and boy did I. On Thursday I was given a performance award that included a $250 cash award; in one hour in Target I managed to spend $263. I made the mistake of grabbing a big shopping cart when I went in; one of those handheld baskets would have kept my spending in check, plus ensured that I could actually carry everything I purchased. I mean, I managed, but I had to take subway to bus to minimize walking.

But really I got some great stuff. Lots of toys for the kids in the family, DVDs and books, kitchen stuff, gift boxes, a few shirts. Nothing over $25, most under $15, which does add up when you've accumulated enough. I'm seriously close to finishing my shopping - just a handful of other things. I'm also knitting some gifts, which just takes time.

It was bitter cold yesterday, with low temperatures and strong winds, but I find it more inspiring to do my holiday shopping that way. Snow flurries would have been even better! Yeah, I know, I'm crazy.


Blogger Pynchon said...

Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair, also played him in a pretty good Channel 4 drama called "The Deal". It was all about the rivalry between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (our Chancellor) and the deal they hammered out for Brown to step aside allowing Blair to win the Labour leadership election.

If you get the chance to watch it, you should.

On a shallow note, Michael Sheen also used to be married to Kate Beckinsale.

I think Helen Mirren must be the favourite to win the Oscar next year.

6:35 PM  

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