Thank you for the festive hat, Olga, what a wonder (bra) you are.
Happy holidays, and before you ask how mine are going, don't ask.
I hate the holidays, my sister hates the holidays, my mother really, truly hates the holidays, and most of my cousins hate the holidays as did their mothers before them.
Grandma Farino battled sink squid while slinging pasta and antipasto for cigar chomping, poker playing, moonshine making Italians with little thought of sitting down anytime between Thanksgiving and January 2nd. I doubt she got to nibble so much as a tentacle, let alone sneak in a much needed bottle of Metaxa. Although there was that week we lost her to the wine cellar, but I digress, this being a post about
Christmas Movie Releases On The Cheap
1) Buying a $5.00 ticket before noon is an excellent way to embark a full day of movie watching.
2) Writing down show and running times is as important as planning the correct snack to movie ratio. These days you can use the glow of your cell phone to double check running times instead of grabbing the mag light off your bike and that cheap light up watch you took from your parent's junk drawer.
3) If you bring a child, they must be able to sit through multiple movies and have a high tolerance for sugar and Icees. It helps if they wear baggy clothes with many pockets.
Andy, aka Guido (left), could never sit through a single movie, Disney be damned (not literally, don't want to inflict the wrath of The Mouse).
Christopher (right), who ate nothing but Italian bread and Skippy's until he was 19, was a more suitable candy mule. Joey fared well with waves of people in motion, which may be why he joined the navy.
Buy multi functional Christmas cookie decorations. Forget the fondant, buy Dots, Snow Caps, and Red Hots. In other words, use movie candy to decorate your holiday cookies, they look and taste great, and will survive the end of days.
Using snack sized plastic bags, I was able to stuff this and more into a purse no bigger than a poodle's head. Plastic soda bottles can be refilled with water or a friend's never ending big gulp, and are better than cans (which can spill or leak into your coat pocket).
Both of the main features I saw (Doubt, Benjamin Button) and the *bridge movie (Slumdog Millionaire) may be the best out there. They're the only ones (besides Gran Torino in limited release until January 9) I wanted to see. Any one of them are solid movie going choices, but for brevity's sake (yeah, too late) I'll take a look at my favorite.
There's a ready made audience of lapsed Catholics for the thought provoking Doubt, and of course it stars Meryl the Peril Streep (The River Wild). I would bear her children...somehow, if possible.
And every time I see Philip Semour Hoffman (Twister) I'm impressed. Just watched Charlie Wilson's War (also starring Amy Adams). Impressed.
Love Amy Adams (Night at the Museum 2), and always want to hear her sing and be poignant, but she only has one exceptional moment here—one of striking clarity, but in comparison to the two leads, incidental.
John Patrick Shanley (Congo, Joe Versus The Volcano) wrote the 2005 Pulitzer winning play on which the movie was based. Shanley directed and wrote the movie's screenplay (he also wrote Moonstruck)—good for you John Patrick Shanley.
The movie explores the possibility of clergical advances toward an isolated altar boy, and questions Streep's unshakable certainty, one's place in the world, and the politics of the Catholic church.
Is it me or is Streep channeling Olympia Dukakis. Oh, she's not dead?
It's the acting which stands out and although Adams and more so Viola Davis are fine, the scenes between the iron willed Streep and the soul baring Hoffman are the heart of the film. That I do not doubt.
See it and bring snacks.
*A movie which bridges starting and and ending times between movies you plan to see in their entirety