I have been on a movie spree for past few weeks and have watched nearly all that are watchable and are being shown in Manhattan. I watched Florence Foster Jenkins on Monday in a theater on Yorkville. Meryl Streep is a treat to watch but on Monday morning I came to know of a past case in which she had blocked the road for renovating her million dollar villa causing problem to general public. Shouldn’t law be same foe everyone? Why wasn’t she arrested for the same?
Anyway, the movie is based on a real life character that walked the earth during mid 18th and mid 19th century noted for her gaudy star studded costumes and high pitch/low pitch singing. I enjoyed and laughed throughout the movie and who wouldn’t. Meryl Streep is one of the best actress and a nervous Simon Helberg has done justice to role of Mr. McMoon – the pianist. Hugh Grant’s role as a partner supportive of no matter what is adorable. Although Florence Foster was ridiculed many times for her singing but her ‘concerts’ were not karaoke – Japanese word for empty orchestra. If I were born in that era and I had enough money to afford concerts then I definitely would have gone to see her. She did what she wanted to do and enjoyed it thoroughly. One memorable quote from the movie “People can say I cannot sing but they won’t say I didn’t sing.”. When the movie finished I was looking at faces of people and found at least 7-8 who were crying during the final scenes. Such is a human spirit that we live in a world that adores perfection while Florence Foster Jenkins was able to fill the Carnegie hall despite her not so perfect singing.
I watched little men directed by Ira Sachs at IFC few days ago. The movie has mixed reviews but I liked it. People view every aspect of the movie with such critical eye that movie reviews seem to be FBI investigations to me. I watched the movie on first day itself and read the reviews later and was surprised to read that there is an inkling of sexual desires between the boys. Why on earth would you say that? Because both wanted to be artists? To me they were just kids who enjoyed each others company and were whirling around in the storm of differences between their families. The movie reminded me that how easy it is when you are young to make friends with anyone and nearly impossible to do so when you are grown up. Of course there are exceptions to this thought. When you are a kid you don’t have any emotional baggage or a background that you want to hide while you are grown up you would be mindful of what to share and what not. In short, you are politically correct with people about your own life, your wins, losses and I think this politically correctness wipes the possibilities of befriending new people at deeper level.
I liked the music, acting of young guys. Paulina Garcia of Gloria fame did justice with her role and handled nicely the evolution of the character throughout the 85 minutes. I didn’t know that there is a concept of teen disco in Manhattan.
Last evening while I was sitting and working at cafe Jax on 84th street, a woman came and sat 2 seats left of me. I gave her a glimpse and tend to my work and on second look I saw that she was reading Catcher in the rye. I have few fond memories of the book and I did overuse the word ‘phony’ for months after I read the book. Everything was phony 🙂 That’s how a young mind works. I tore a piece of paper from my notebook, wrote something on it, got up and placed the note in front of her table. She read it and she and I had a hearty but silent laugh. I had written “I like it when somebody gets exciting about something. It’s nice!! – Holden Caulfield”. After couple of hours we came out of the cafe at nearly same time and talked at length about thousands of things – books, art, painters, museums (MET, neue, Guggenheim, MoMa etc), dinosaurs, food, restaurants, pastries and work.
Happens in Manhattan!