Monday, 25 February 2013


Well what else is the day after the Academy Awards FOR if it's not for people to say to their friends "I TOLD you that Film X (or Y) was going to win (or lose)... That's the fun of paying attention to this odd, peculiar branding ceremony and I am not above partaking in the ritual myself, to say (listen up, now) that "I TOLD you that AMOUR, directed by Michel Haneke and starring Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trinignant was one of the best, most intelligent and moving films I've ever seen."

YAY! It won the best foreign film Oscar, as well it might have done, such a tender and sharp look at aging and illness and death, topics we most often choose to avoid or clothe in disguising masks.

I used to love watching this event even back in the day of black & white television coming in snowy from Buffalo WBEN, and I still cherish memories of stars accepting their statuettes and giving long, impassioned speeches (nowadays timing is such that everyone has to rush and is only allowed the slightest hysterical edge to their brief thank-yous). I don't actually watch it any more but tend to pick up the highlights the next day on the BBC online. (This is due to increased cynicism and decreased interest in American films.)

But of course I was thrilled  that (given its birth from Canadian writer Yann Martel's novel) LIFE OF PI did so well, and I have it on my list now of 'must sees", as it is still playing  here. Today my English friend Sue invited me to go with her over to Nimes to see LES MISERABLES that was showing early afternoon. Matinees always strike me as deeply wicked (daytime is for work, night is for movies), but I was in one of those what-the-hell moods, so off we went. Nimes is a beautiful city, so it's a pleasure to walk the streets just going to the cinema itself.

Where I live is but 45 minutes from Nimes, and so it's an easy trip in to concerts or films or shopping... Perhaps in another post I'll do a little paean of praise to this old city... Funny, how one begins to take for granted that it's NORMAL to walk by a Roman temple to Augustus on the way to the cinema -- and to see a film starring English actors performing in a musical about Victor Hugo's Paris.

And the music was grand, and we had a lovely weepy time, as had been predicted. And then we went for tea and "a little something" (in my case, a gorgeous macaroon) in a bakery-teashop called VILLARET that is quite famous for its breads and totally divine cakes and pies (gateaux et tartes). It seemed like the perfect decadent ending to a perfectly decadent day.

Ah, isn't it sad (or isn't it funny)... at this age, decadence becomed an afternoon at the cinema followed by tea!