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On Friday, Partner and I went to see Love and Friendship, a Jane Austen adaptation starring Kate Beckinsale. We really liked it. Here, watch the trailer.

Some Austen Background [for those who like that sort of thing] )

Film Review in Pluses and Minuses )

Bottom line: If you like your Austen sharp and biting and funny and unlike the rom-com treacly mainstream misrepresentations of her works (don't get me started on the Keira Knightly Pride and Prejudice), you'll want to see this.
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Yep, Ron and Neville give us the complete plot for a post-DH story. Read about it here. Ron as the new Argus Filch. . .it could happen.

In other news. . .well, actually, there isn't much other news. Just work and paper-grading and puttering around rather unproductively but peacefully on the weekends.

I did get to see the movie Trumbo, about Dalton Trumbo, probably the best-known of the Hollywood Ten, a group of screenwriters blacklisted during the Cold War.

Review of 'Trumbo' )
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A week or so ago, Partner and I went to see the film Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Even though I was very pleased to see a screen version of Patricia Highsmith's groundbreaking lesbian novel The Price of Salt (1952), I approached the movie with some trepidation despite its generally rave reviews.

Why? Well, on the whole, mainstream films do not do well by LGBTQ issues. Brokeback Mountain, anyone? (where same-sex relationships are constructed as solely sexual and all actual queerness is totally erased so that straight audiences can be reassured that the whole world is, in fact, just like them.) Notes on a Scandal, where lesbians are dangerous predators who stalk and destroy straight women. The Kids Are All Right, which, as some of you might remember, I ranted about here on LJ.

So as I say, I was a bit skeptical. What did I think after I saw it? Read on.

My Conclusions [no real spoilers] )
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I played hooky from school this afternoon to go see a bargain matinee of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. In some ways, a review is superfluous, since there is no way I'm not going to enjoy a film with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, and Penelope Wilton. On the other hand, I could hardly maintain my reputation as a criticizing, critical critic if I didn't offer some, well, criticism. So here is a review made up of plusses and minuses. Mild spoilers only.

Plusses )

Minuses )

Bottom Line: I have to yield to the pun forced upon me by the title: Second Best is second-best. But with that cast and a story in which a) the older characters are the stars, and b) the focus of the plot is not on hospitals, illness, infirmity, or dementia, second-best is more than good enough.

Pay attention, Hollywood: we like films where not everyone is 25 and buff!


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