Thursday, 1 January 2015

It's that tedious woman again

I solemnly promise that this is the last time you will have a report on any TV I have been watching this year,

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.


  1. Happy New Year, Ray!

    "The Help" is one of my all time favorite movies, too. I laughed. I cried. I resolved to attack my own prejudices. I applauded. (And I can never look at another chocolate pie without a smirk).

    Now I'm looking forward to seeing "Unbroken". The book was riveting.

    Wishing you great joy, much fun & many blessing in the days to come.


  2. Thankyou Kathleen and a very happy new year to you too.
    The chocolate pie was the ultimate revenge wasn't it.
    It's the kind of film that stays with you for a long time.

  3. Just catching up on blog posts Ray, I'm glad you have been resting. The help was the only film I wanted to see and I forgot to record it! I read the book a while back and thought it excellent xxxxx

  4. The film is really very good indeed Jane. I'm sure it will be around in the system somewhere soon.
    Thanks for catching up, I was feeling a bit neglected :-)

  5. Thanks for the recommendations, Ray. I didn't watch any TV over the festive season as neither family indulges, but these are two I will look out for.

  6. Well worth it I promise you Perpetua.