Thursday, 1 January 2015
It's that tedious woman again
That said, I have to add to my previous list "The Help" and this evening "Quartet".
These are two of the best films I have seen in about 20 years.
The first, for anyone who doesn't know, is the story of a white American journalist who took the brave and unusual path of trying to bring to the attention of a deeply prejudiced and habitually racist white South, the fact that the black domestic staff they employed were people with lives and needs, gifts and talents, intellects and problems, such as their own.
Superbly acted and faithful to the terrible truths of those times (1960's), the story is full of uncomfortable truths about the American apartheid system in some of the Southern States and the lack of recognition of that system by the bulk of the American population.
For those of us who remember "bussing" and the Ku Klux Klan, Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, the film is a memory jog and a recognition that though life is better than it was for the non-whites in the USA, there is a long way to go still.
The second film, "Quartet" is supremely well acted and for me, as an ancient ex-singer mainly of opera, very true to life in its depiction of crumbling bodies, tottering mentalities and voices which barely resemble a shadow of their former glory.
The entire cast is a jewel casket of top performers, amongst whom Maggie Smith and Tom Courtney shine with all the fire they possessed 40 years ago.
Full of humour, pathos and lovely music it was a joy to watch and I wish I had gone to the cinema to see it when it first was released.
Not having set foot in a cinema for over forty years I funked it at the time knowing that sooner or later it would be shown on TV.
It was worth waiting for.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 11:27:00 pm