Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Midweek, lazily (plus "Miss Pettigrew" and "Snow Angels")

I'm working from home again today. No real reason, other than I like being in my apartment. That's a real (and wonderful) change for me, and one that just crept up on me. I mean, I wanted to be happy here, and I knew I was getting a nicer place, but to just simply have that feeling of "I don't want to leave" is really, really, rewarding.

Rain pitterpats on my air conditioners.

So much is happening at work, and yet I feel somewhat removed from it - not really on the sidelines, or above it, but distracted. Like the turmoil that is now will clearly disappear and there will be a fresh turmoil tomorrow, so why get too agitated over it? I think this is what people are referring to when they tell me I have a very calm demeanor in the office. They don't know that it's just because I'm old and no longer can be bothered to work up much energy over things that I can't control - and that are only going to pass any way.

Two movies last weekend! It's as if I'm back in the saddle again, freed from the constant obsession with all things move-related, and faced with a fresh crop of post-Oscar films. I saw "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" and "Snow Angels," two very different movies. "Miss Pettigrew" is, of course, a farcical comedy starring Amy Adams and Frances McDormand in pre-WWII London (just barely so, as repeated flashes of headlines question when the country will go to war, and air raid drills and skies filling with fighter planes pepper the otherwise frothiness of the film's mood.) (You know, it's 6 1/2 years since our own NYC skies were crossed with military jets, and still seeing them on the screen brought back those memories, again. Although I can't remember the names of the planes - and I knew then, back then, even me - I can remember the stark difference in the sounds they made as they passed above vs the every day hum of news helicopters.)

Now that was a tangent.

So, yeah, you have Amy Adams as a young wannabe star, a series of unsuitable suitors, a comical mix-up that results in McDormand's Miss Pettigrew becoming her "social secretary," if just for a day. A day in which, since this is a comedy, you can be sure that everyone's ills will be solved, and at least two happy couples will greet the closing credits. On the way there will be much gold and ivory and silk and muted colors, Amy Adams with her princessy upturned nose (and, no, I never saw "Enchanted," although I really wanted to, that is up until the moment during the Academy Awards telecast when I realized it is - shudder - a musical.) (But Adams sings in "Miss Pettigrew" and she isn't really bad, so...)

Tangent two. I can't even talk about the film too long without getting distracted. Guess that says it all - nothing objectionable or painful, but nothing that stays with you. A light meal, good quality, nothing you're going to want to get the recipe for.

"Snow Angels" is a drama about an estranged couple in a small wintery town, and some of the people whose lives intersect with theirs. We catch Kate Beckinsale's and Sam Rockwell's characters ("Annie" and "Glen") midstory, after they've separated and are in different stages in trying to rebuild their lives. They have a four year old daughter and not much else going for them, either as a couple, or on their own. The story is also told from the viewpoint of one of Annie's co-workers (for whom she used to babysit), a boy named Arthur who is played by the actor who was Jack's biological son on "Will & Grace." (Yes, that's where you saw him before.) A lot happens in this film, from betrayal to loss to forgiveness to revenge, and somehow it all hangs together in a completely believable yet tragically avoidable way. Beckinsale manages to pull off that gorgeous-woman-stuck-in-a-dull-life thing that Jennifer Aniston did in "The Good Girl" and I bought it. Amy Sedaris (!!!) is her friend and co-worker, and also nicely navigates humor and sadness. Even the characters who can claim somewhat of a "happy ending" do not get off scot free - this is a movie in which everyone is touched by tragedy and loss, only some bearing up better than others.

Ah, the heat pours on in my radiators. I need to get moving - even a work-at-home day requires an early start at the gym.


Blogger Jerry said...

You don't like musicals?

For the record I thought that "Enchanted" was marvellous and that Amy Adams was really brilliant at this years Oscars.

3:55 PM  

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