Friday, October 19, 2012

MOVIE MOVIE WEEKEND

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

We offer two movies for your consideration today. Both are available on DVD, were released in 2011, and are quite good.

The first is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

A group of British retirees decide to make their dollars go farther by relocating to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel For The Elderly and Beautiful in India.

Of course, the place turns out to be a dump.

But almost everyone pitches in to make living conditions better, and before you know it, the hotel improves, while some lives improve at the same time.

This movie is simply charming. The story is lovely, except that one aspect of the conclusion seems quite contrived out of desperation for a happy ending that doesn't cast blame or guilt on anyone.

Marigold boasts a stellar cast. My favorite characters are Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) and Evelyn Greenslade (Judi Dench).

Miss Donnelly arrives in India in a very unhappy position -- she needs surgery, she's prejudiced against Indians, and she's going to have her surgery in an Indian hospital. It's a prescription for misery. But Muriel Donnelly's life changes, and it begins with her acknowledgement of a servant who is an "untouchable."

And then we have Evelyn, who depended on her husband for everything, but he's left her by dying. She hardly knows what to do, but she becomes beautifully independent during the course of the film. Judi Dench brings both gravitas and an adorably impish grin to every role she plays.

I believe a few of you mentioned seeing this movie when it first arrived in theaters, and you liked it. You really liked it. And now The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

Our second offering is Water For Elephants.


Jacob (Robert Pattinson), a young veterinary student during The Great Depressions (no, not this one, the last one), is about to graduate from Cornell when tragedy strikes. He abandons the opportunity to earn his degree, loses his home, and suddenly decides to ride the rails. To his surprise, Jacob jumps on what turns out to be a circus train. At first, he shovels animal manure, but when August, the owner of the circus, learns that Jacob is a veterinarian who went to Cornell, August welcomes Jacob as the show's vet and as a social equal to August and his beautiful wife, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon).

Christoph Waltz, who won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for playing a Nazi in Inglorious Basterds, proves himself capable again at portraying evil; however, this performance is more multi-faceted than his Nazi in Basterds. August is so unpleasant, though, that I gasped more than once in shock and dismay at his cruelty. Although I think this movie is very good, you must be aware that it contains some violence. It is not for children.

Marlena is the victim of some of August's dastardly deeds. She performs in the circus, first as a trick rider on a horse, and then as the rider of Rosie the elephant, who wows the crowds. Reese Witherspoon is excellent in this role, and I don't think I've ever seen her look more lovely. I think she has a maturity now that adds to her talent and beauty.

If the thought of violence frightens you away from this movie, I understand, but be aware a happy ending awaits you.

Water For Elephants also earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.

I wish you a most pleasant weekend.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

24 comments:

  1. I cannot remember the last time I wastched a movie........

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  2. You don't need movies because you have real life. You always have so much going on.

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  3. I loved "Marigold Hotel". I don't want to watch "Water For Elephants" because I LOVED the book so much--I'm afraid it would spoil it for me!

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    1. If you loved the book, then I'll have to add it to my amazon wish list.

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  4. Mrs. Chatterbox and I have seen both of these movies and enjoyed them both, but the real knock out was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The stellar cast was magnificent and we absolutely adored it. In fact, this movie has played a role in our considering India for our next vacation...if we can summon the courage.

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    1. Based on the movie, I'd say that if you go to India you shouldn't venture far from a bathroom.

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  5. I loved best exotic marigold - mainly due to the characters who so totally carried the story. I have not seen the film of water for elephants but I did read the book. Not my favourite but then I'm no fan of circuses either. Have a great weekend, Janie!

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    1. I'm not a circus fan either, but I liked the love story in the movie. Really, it has more than one love story -- the love between two of the characters, and their love for Rosie the elephant.

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  6. Hi Janie .. I blogged about Exotic Marigold Hotel earlier this year and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - both fun movies .. I have a couple of others to report back on in the next few weeks.

    But Water for Elephants I haven't seen .. I'll remember that - thanks for the recommendation .. cheers Hilary

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    1. You're welcome and cheers to you, Hilary.

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  7. I enjoyed both movies, but would have to say I enjoyed The best exotic Marigold Hotel more. Thanks for the great review.

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  8. No so sure about Water for Elephants, but we did see The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Janie. Blessings and Bear hugs.

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    1. Blessings and doggie kisses to you, Rob-bear.

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  9. Thank you for these reviews and thank you also for your support with Samson.

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    1. Samson is a sweetheart and so are you.

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  10. Water for Elephants is on my list to see. I want to read the book, too.

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    1. I just put the book on my amazon wish list. Maybe I'll get it for Christmas.

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  11. DEar Janie, I saw the Marigold movie in the theater and it enchanted me. The second movie I choose not to see because I feared animal cruelty. Today my visiting Minnesota friend and I saw "Argo." Wow. What a film. I was on the edge of my seat throughout. I didn't know how it ended and so the suspense was almost unbearable. I give it five out of five stars. I'll be interested in your take on it. Peace.

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    1. The animal cruelty is very brief, but it upset me tremendously. I'll put "Argo" in my queue. I saw some ads for it and it looks good. Now it has your endorsement.

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  12. We love British movies. Love Actually is one of our faves.
    I read the book Water for Elephants and I loved that story.
    I'm guessing the movie is good too.

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    1. I adore Love, Actually. It's one of those movies that has the perfect combinations of humor and tenderness and poignancy.

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  13. Haven't seen the first one but it is in my Netflix queue (love both those actresses). Saw the second one and it was pretty good. I am in the process of watching the latest season of Mad Men from Netflix and get the last of it on Monday. Hope you're having a great weekend! :)

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.