Saturday, October 30, 2010


Gentle Readers,

I decided to discuss movies again today because I don't know when your monsters are going out and if they're old enough to go out alone or if you can con some friend into taking all the kids, you might get a movie night.

When I was growing up during Medieval times, our city declared a trick-or-treat night. This night was not necessarily Halloween. It was usually on a weekend, preferably Saturday night. Then the kids had a nice sugar buzz for church the following morning.

Where I live now, the kids seem to trick-or-treat on the actual Halloween, which is fine. It just take me a while to become accustomed to a custom.

First, the decidedly unfrabjieu movie (by the way, frabjieu is the French spelling of frabjous and sometimes I go with the French because I'm pretentious and proud of it). The movie winning this award is Phoebe In Wonderland. Sorry little Elle Fanning, it's nothing against you, I'm sure you're a lovely child and I'm very glad you're not as bug-eyed as your older sister, I just don't care for this movie.

Felicity Huffman has the most awful black hair in this movie. I don't know if she dyed it or if it's a wig, but it looks simply unfrabjieu. When her daughter Phoebe is picked on in school, at first Mom (weird black-haired Felicity) fights for her daughter's right to stand up for herself. She complains that children should not be labeled and medicated. But then it all kind of falls apart when Phoebe is labeled and, I suppose, medicated.

Patricia Clarkson, who is so lovely in every movie she's in (love The Station Agent and Lars and The Real Girl), plays the theater teacher who brings out the best in Phoebe and other children, but she disappears when she's fired.

I wanted a happier ending. I wanted the parents to fight to get the good teacher back. I wanted Mom to stand up for Phoebe and demand that the kids who pick on her daughter get in trouble instead of Phoebe being punished.

Decidedly unfrabjieu.

Now frabjieu: Greenfingers, starring Clive Owen and Helen Mirren and based on the true story of an open prison in England where everyone must have a job. Gardening becomes one of the tasks when a prisoner shows a talent for it.

The gradual transformation of this self-isolating prisoner who seems doomed to be a prisoner forever in his own mind to a man who sees he can have a future in life is very nice and uplifting without being sickeningly sweet. Helen Mirren is lovely as always, and Clive Owen is very good as the prisoner, who appropriately does not show a great deal of emotion.

Happy Movie Watching Ghouls!

Infinities of love,


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