So aside from stressing about needing to pack all my possessions into boxes (teeth gnashing) and carry them down two flights of stairs (weeping) with or without the aid of burly men, I have been to the movies and I liked them very much.
So onwards to Film Review wherein I'm not even going to try and be as eloquent as verlaine and hoshuteki and all those of that ilk who are good at Scrabble.
Yesterday I went to see The White Countess and I have to say I am glad, actually glad that Ralph Fiennes made Maid in Manhattan because all his other performances feel like I've been wrung inside out and frankly my nervous system could use a break.
The White Countess opens slowly, and the first half ranges from languorous to boring (depending on your personal enthusiasm for period scene setting). We are introduced to the players one by one – the blind ex-diplomat Todd Jackson, the Japanese Agent Matsuda, the exiled Russian Countess fallen on very hard times and working in bars to support the family who are ashamed of her.
The second half on the other hand was absolutely gripping as we see the portrait of a city in crisis (Shanghai pre Japanese invasion) as all of the worlds begin to unravel and by the end I was ready to start chucking things at the movie screen just to relieve the tension. Both the leads pull off lush, subtle, stunning performances and it’s well worth seeing if you don’t mind the beginning’s slowness.
The other movie I’ve seen recently is Transamerica and I think I can’t praise it highly enough. It’s bleak and it’s dark but it is very funny and beautifully acted throughout. Felicity Huffman is incredible as the man on the way to being a woman, and Zeger is captivating as her hooker/drug dealer/adorable puppy son.
That film is wonderful for its ability to deal with the dark and the painful in a hilarious and understated way and I give it a hol heap of stars.