Debriefing

I have always maintained that it is virtually impossible to enjoy yourself during the last few days of a holiday. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing – the working week is already careening toward you like Lindsay Lohan behind the wheel of a black Mercedes.

 

Lohan_400

 

As an end-of-holiday ritual, this is usually the point at which I berate myself for all the things I didn’t get around to doing: catching up with so-and-so, getting x amount of words written for my draft, actually using that fucking Pilates Power Gym that sits inexplicably in the middle of our lounge room, etc. But I was thinking, for the sake of this blog post, that I might dispense with the self-flagellation and just talk about the things I did do, which will make a nice change.

 

I did get to see some incredible works both cinematic and videogamic, and if I’d have updated this blog more regularly, I’d probably have written longer and more detailed reviews for each of them. But that ship has sailed, alas, so here is the heavily abridged version.

 

My Final Week of Freedom: Synopsis (Sober)

 

I saw two extremely noteworthy films this week. The first, What Maisie Knew, affected me far more than I’d expected, due in no small part to the performances of six-year-old Onata Aprile as Maisie and Julianne Moore as her mother, a self-centred and irresponsible ageing rocker. I can understand Moore’s mastery of her role – the woman has never given a bad performance – but Aprile is just amazing for her age. It was absolutely heart-wrenching to watch her ricocheted between two spiteful and narcissistic parents, either neglected or used as leverage in their court battle.

 

I was even more astonished to discover that the original novel was written in 1897; I can scarcely imagine how a book about divorce, shared custody and serial adultery would have been received at the time.

 

A rare flash of maternal concern between late-night stoner parties and screaming at her ex.

A rare flash of maternal concern between late-night stoner parties and screaming at her ex.

 

Alexander Skarsgård is in there too, of course, which I’m sure will give more than a few of you a sudden interest in arthouse cinema.

 

The other film I saw this week was The Best Offer, an Italian mystery starring Geoffrey Rush as a fêted auctioneer, art collector and antiques expert who becomes besotted with a reclusive heiress. The narrative itself is satisfying (if a little predictable), but the real quality of the movie is its gorgeous cinematography – every scene is filled with beautiful artworks and artifices, framed by stunning European cityscapes. It’s an elegant picture. That’s the best way to describe it.

 

My favourite scene: Virgil's secret room, with twenty foot walls covered in about half a billion dollars' worth of classical art.

My favourite scene: Virgil’s secret room, with twenty foot walls covered in about half a billion dollars’ worth of classical art.

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