Thursday, 11 March 2010

Better News

It appears that I was premature in my gloom and despondency. My Everest-bound neighbour was up to see me about the window-cleaner last night, and I showed her the cowl. Not having had any expectations about it, or even known it existed, she was delighted with it. Apparently she hates trying to keep scarves tied so she was thrilled to have something cosy that would stay in place on her neck and liked the idea of the snood too. So, there we are. I was being silly. Thank you for all the comforting comments. I will try not to be silly in the future.

I finally sat down and got to grips with Dapper. I had to rip a bit, but not as much as I feared and I've now finished the left front and set off on the right. I am scrupulously ticking off the instructions line-by-line on the photocopy this time. I still love the colour.

Alice in Wonderland was fun. It's the first 3-D film I've seen and I only flinched about four times when things leapt out at me. There were trailers for some very promising-looking films which are due later this year, Shrek 3 and Toy Story 3. Sequels of animated films seem to be more successful than sequels of em, human, films. I wonder why that is.

Some of Alice is more Disney - the Red Queen's Castle, and the horrible frightening bits and the silly futterwacking - but lots of it is Lewis Carroll and lots of it is Tim Burton. I was unimpressed beforehand when I saw that Alice is older, but TB says that Alice has been filmed umpteen times in the past and the concern has always been to 'get it right', so he felt he could afford to stray from the path pf pedantry a bit, which sounds reasonable. So it's set some years after the first, and features Alice's return to Wonderland.

Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen is too witty and clever to be a baddie, but I liked her very much. Pig here!

I wondered why the March Hare had a Scottish accent - I don't mind him having one but I was puzzled. And I'm fairly sure they'd tampered with Stephen Fry's voice (the Cheshire Cat) so that he didn't sound so much like Stephen and was more like a generic Englishman. Are they worried about Bible Belt parents who might disapprove of homosexual cats? Alan Rickman's Blue Caterpillar was splendid. Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter was touching and sweet, and did lead me to wonder a great deal about how the effects are created: his eyes were enlarged, but the expressions were all his and it was unmistakably Johnny. All very clever, and you can see here how some of it is done, although this is about Avatar, not Alice. I don't know that I'll be in a great hurry to see Alice again, but I would watch it on the telly at Christmas.

Also this week, I saw Bright Star which is wonderful. I will watch it again, long before Christmas. In theory I don't buy dvds, but I think I'll buy this one. Everything, the writing, direction, acting, all seamless. I had forgotten it was Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne and it never occurred to me it wasn't an English actress; not just the accent, but everthing including the historical feel - and we all know how pedantic I can be about that. I last saw Ben Whishaw being impressive in Criminal Justice as a possibly shifty 21st-century teenager, and here he was as impressive as a penniless 18th-cntury poet.

Everyone else was spot-on too. There's a Scottish accent that shifts into Irish sometimes, but I've been known to do that myself. It presents another bafflement about this year's Oscars, as to why this was only up for Best Costume. Did somebody at the Academy think there couldn't couldn't be two women up for Best Director in the same year? It certainly knocks Up in the Air clean out of the room. IMHO.

One of the nice things for a pedant like me is that the interiors weren't overdone; the characters lived in sparsely decorated spaces, not overdone gorgeousnesses. People who are claiming to be poor are shown in bare rooms, which can't always be said of films of Jane Austen novels.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see your good reports of Alice and Bright Star (which I failed to see in theater)-- now I shall pay for the 3D presentation of the first and watch the second at home.
-- Gretchen

Janet said...

Will try to get Bright Star. Thanks for the tip. That will spare me from some of my son's violent spooky choices, e.g. The Spirit.

Knitting Linguist said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Alice, so I'm glad to hear your good review. Avatar was my first 3-d movie ever, and I must admit that I was more impressed with what they did with it than I'd thought I'd be. Love that pig belly scene, especially as we say that our dog has a pig belly, and she is often available for me to rest mine own aching feet on. Good to know I'm not the only one (although I wonder about the company I'm apparently keeping...).

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