Monday, 29 September 2008

The Man Who Can't Be Moved

I love this song, even though its been out forever and over played by radio. Pretty lyrics, pretty tune, pretty singer.

Posted By: Cat

Monday, 22 September 2008

Films with Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling is but a young man, with the career that many of his peers would kill to have. I always love his movies, purely because of his brilliant performances.

The Notebook:  We all know that that seminal moment in a relationship is when you ‘notebook’ your boyfriend. It’s also a guarantee lay for any guy who agrees to watch it. It’s cheesy, it’s contrived, but its romance at its best. Ryan Gosling is believable as the strong but silent Noah and it made us all squee like teens when it appeared he and co-star Rachel McAdams were dating off screen.

United States of Leland: Gosling plays teen Leland who murders his damaged girlfriend’s mentally challenged brother. There seems to be no motive and young offenders teacher Don Cheadle tries to understand what led placid Leland to murder in cold blood while mining material for his latest book. Gosling completes the task of being sympathetic, but complex and introverted; making the audience root for Leland even though he’s done a despicable thing.

Half Nelson: Earning Gosling his first Oscar nomination, this role was a classic indie about a crack addicted teacher of underprivileged kids. Shareepa Epps is the student who sees his problem and tries to help and the two form a bond that borders on inappropriate. Gosling again plays a complex character who tries to do right even though his addiction suggests hypocrisy.

Lars and the Real Girl: My favourite Gosling movie, this is quirky and sweet. Lars lives in the garage while his brother and his pregnant wife beg him to move into the house left to them by their deceased father. Lars is lonely until Bianca comes into his life, fresh from a specialist internet site for ‘dolls who feel real’. The issue is that Lars believes Bianca is real and converses with her, while everyone else can see that she’s quite obviously a sophisticated sex toy. Continuing along his line of interesting choices, Gosling shines as the hermit who gradually sees his horizons expanded with the help of the towns acceptance of Bianca. 

Posted By: Cat

Friday, 12 September 2008

Love Letters of Great Men

I first heard of this book when it was featured on the Sex and The City movie. I thought, that sounds like a mighty interesting read. I went to my nearest bookshop and I asked behind the desk if they had the book. The guy directed me to a girl who had seen the movie. She directed me to the poetry department, who directed me to the internet, which informed me that the book didn't exist. I then had to tell all three people who had helped that I had been duped along with apparently hundreds of others who had searched for the book.

Imagine my surprise when this week, I finished at my job and was presented with some gifts, among them being, this book. Not only was it an awesome leaving present, but a great read. According to sources, the book was published due to the immense interest sparked when a book of the same name and content was referred to by Carrie Bradshaw in the aforementioned Sex and the City.

I'll start by saying that I am not a mushy pile of chick flick stereotype.  I've never gotten a love letter. I don't claim to like soppy, over the top gestures; but these guys knew how to sweet talk a lady. You won't find 'txt me l8r, fancy a shag?' in these pages. Instead, passages like this, from Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett on their wedding day:

...When my heart is full it may run over; but the real fullness stays within...Words can never tell perfectly dear you are to me - perfectly dear to my heart and soul. I look back and in every one point, every word and gesture, every letter, every silence - you have been entirely perfect to me....

The book is comprised of letters from great (or at least, famous) men in history to their loves. A brief biography of each writer either confirms their devotion, or explains that their passion was fleeting, there was tragedy..etc. One letter is from Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, and we all know how that turned out (spoiler alert: treason, incest, lost her head). Some of the letters are self centred, some quirky, and some heart wrenching. But all stir up a sense of the romance that we've lost in the age of text messaging and email. 

I'll leave you with this, used in the film and beautiful regardless; From Beethoven to his unnamed 'Immortal Beloved':

You - my Life - my All - Farewell. Oh, go on loving me - never doubt the faithfullest heart 
Of your beloved.

Ever thine,
Ever mine,
Ever ours.

Posted By: Cat

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Office

Britons don’t seem to have discovered The Office en-mass yet. Sure, we all know the ground breaking Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant original with goatee beard sporting, terrible dancer David Brent. But while we will flock to the cinema to see Steve Carrell’s movies, we seem hesitant to follow him to the small screen.

Perhaps we just don’t like it when someone does something we invented better than us (see: Cricket, Rugby and Football). Yes, I’m going out on a limb by saying that the American version of The Office is better than its predecessor. The writing is wittier, paying attention to the subtleties as well as the broader comedy moments. The ensemble cast allows for thorough back stories, quirks and great interaction.

Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott is a more sympathetic character than David Brent, but still a complete idiot. Jim and Pam are the heart of the show and the reason I love it so completely. Dwight...well there are no words for the genius of Rainn Wilson’s creation of Dwight Schrute. Who else on television can boast a family tree that merges Amish ancestors with Nazi war criminals?

I have introduced the people I love the most to The Office; my family, best friends, and boyfriends. They’ve all become converts. 'Thats what she said' is now an over-used phrase in our household.

The Office is out on dvd today, with season 5 starting later this month. Watch some, you'll see why its awesome.

Posted By: Cat