How The Movie “Boyhood” Is My World And Possibly Yours Too

If you haven’t seen the movie, Boyhood, jump off the couch, grab the car keys or head to your local bus station and go. Now. This is a movie you don’t want to miss. Trust me. It is possibly the best movie I have ever seen and yes, the most realistic one as well. You may see your own life pass before your eyes, especially if you are a mom and have kids. It is everything you have felt, understated. No, it isn’t a tear-jerker, a comedy or a romance. It’s pure genius.

 

It is sad just because it has been a week since I have seen the movie and I am still thinking about it and relating it to my life. It’s a film about growing up so I cried because my children are not children anymore. They are both adults, wonderful adults, yet my daughter left her pink doll at home, the one she used to sleep with but now sleeps in a room at her sorority house and my son it seems, he just graduated high school will be graduating from college in May.

It’s about time passing so quickly that you almost can’t believe it has really happened and yes, I cried because I miss my dad. I had a really great dad, not those horrible step-fathers in the movie. My dad, died twelve years ago and my memories are fading and sometimes I can’t even remember what his voice sounds like anymore yet the pain, once in a while, seems brand new and raw.

Grieving is a long and hard process and just when you think you are past the worst of it,   out of no where, it knocks you out again at unexpected times. Times you can’t prepare yourself for, just like the ocean washing out sand castles at the beach that the sweet children built so lovingly. It attacks you from behind, it blindsides you.

I am the mother in the film, (though luckily I have a great husband)  but it scares me to see her alone. Her kids go off to college and she is left, not knowing what on earth she is going to do with her life. I am not glorifying her role as a mother, believe me, she makes incredibly poor choices but in the end, her children have left her and she sits in the kitchen, crying and alone.

Her son, her boy, whom we have seen grow up, physically and emotionally, heads off to college and while the ending is a little too perfect, we want it to be for him. We want a happy ending for all our children but we also want it for ourselves and that’s not the way real life works.

There is a part of us who wants our kids to miss us, to turn back for a brief second, to be their four-year old selves who “loved us best” just one more time. That is only for us and certainly not what they need or want and its pure fiction not reality. As they dash out the door with a grin and a wave we know that we have done a wonderful job parenting our grown up children.

All we want is for our children to be happy, we love them unconditionally but it does hurt every time they leave us. The movie is so magnificent  because we know that everything in this movie is so darn true. We love our children more than they will ever know, but from their eagerly awaited first step we also know, that at every turn, they are leaving us, as they should.

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Popcorn, Previews And Fruit Cocktail

English: Unpopped corn kernels, prepared for p...

English: Unpopped corn kernels, prepared for popping. – Studio photo of Popcorn. Taken in 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For years I was the type of person that would not start eating her popcorn until the movie started, the official movie. I would wait out the commercials, the “Exit” sign warnings, the “Please Do Not Disturb Your Neighbors” and “No Smoking” announcements. I didn’t even start eating my popcorn during the previews which to me, are almost as good as the movie itself. I had rules, my own strict, self-imposed rules.

Until last night where I saw the movie “Gloria” and as soon as we sat down and immediately I began munching on the popcorn and sipping Diet Coke. Hey, look at me! I surprised myself and then thought, “what on earth have I been waiting for all these years?”

Delayed gratification is fine when you are young and you want to save the best for last. The way I used to eat “fruit cocktail” or “fruit cockentail” as one of my kids used to call it was representative of my style. I would eat the most banal fruits first, picking out the pears and eating them first. Then I would sequester the peaches and eat them after that. Next to last would always be the plump, juicy grapes, it was a close tie for first and second but really who could not have the fake cherries as their number one favorite. I mean really, I was a kid.

I think if I would have it now (and don’t put it past me) I would take a spoonful of everything right up front, maybe sequester a few grapes for the end. The squishiness in my mouth is utterly delightful. But, the cherries? No big deal anymore. They don’t elicit the same excitement as they used to do when I was little. In fact, they have no taste.

Maybe growing up and getting older you realize you don’t have to wait to the end to enjoy the best things last. Why wait? I’ve always been surprised when my daughter used to read a book’s ending before starting it. This to me was unheard of but you know what? I kind of understand it now.

I don’t think I could ever do it, it’s just not my style but I understand her now, apparently she was a better teacher than I was. She always wanted to see her birthday cake as soon as it came in the door unlike her brother who wanted to wait until the last second, when I would come in with the candles lit. I admit it, I am more like he is.

I’m learning from my two kids, more and more. I love it.

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I Just Want To Laugh, Really

English: Screenshot of Julie Andrews from the ...

English: Screenshot of Julie Andrews from the trailer for the film Mary Poppins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know you’re smiling, I’m tickling you under your chin, come on, you know you love this movie too. Am I right? Just look at the picture of Mary Poppins, I can tell you are melting. I know every word and song from the original movie “Mary Poppins” and I’m 56 years old. Hopefully you remember it with great fondness like I do or maybe your parents showed it to you, (or dear God, your grandparents.) It is an absolutely FANTASTIC movie and, in my opinion, one of the best made films I have ever seen. It was filmed in the early sixties and I still watch it from time to time. I felt so hum-drum today that I wanted to laugh, I miss laughing.

After looking on Youtube  and finding foul-mouthed comedians, which did not amuse me, I gave up. I gave up until I remembered Mary Poppins and the scene with the laughing man on the ceiling. Sure enough, Youtube (thank you) found it for me. Whenever that man laughed so hard, he flew up in the air. To this day, when I even think about that scene I smile. That glorious feeling when your belly whoops in laughter that comes so fast you can’t take a breath and it actually hurts. Where tears roll down your face and your nose gets kind of snotty, in a good way because no one else is around you. Even writing this is making me smile and believe me, that’s better than nothing. The last time I laughed heartily, I think, was on the phone with one of my kids. I don’t remember what it was about, I just remember the luscious feeling of having laughed so hard. Hey, I’m old and getting old is no fun so you need to forgive a gal. Did I just write “Gal?” I couldn’t sound older even if I tried. Do my children even know that word? I sound old, like a granny in a rocking chair with her white hair tied up in a bun. Whatever. Who cares?

I want to knee-slap, guffaw and double over with laughter. It’s such a serious world, a tremendously serious and dangerous world that I don’t know how to have fun anymore. An old movie? Old reruns of classic TV? You know you are getting older when you watch comedians and when they just curse, word after word, you don’t find them funny just vulgar. Get over it, honey, you need a new schtick, this one is too old and unbecoming. (You know who you are) and you know (Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Ellen Degeneres) we love you, because you are very funny and seem to be nice people as well. We need that.

The answer? Since I haven’t come up with anything original, I’ll have to pop (pun intended) in the DVD I have of Mary Poppins and watch the movie now. Who can resist? I know I can’t. Watch the clip, join me for a couple of minutes, I hope you laugh.

Plinky Prompt: Favorite Movie Adaptation From Book

  • Film Adaptations
  • Don’t Like To Do It But…….
    Well Worn Copy of ‘The Help’ I generally never see movies after I read the book because I am ALWAYS disappointed….I like to imagine the characters in my mind and when I see the movie it ruins my imagination. However, the one movie that did the book justice was “The Help.”The book “The Help was lovingly written by Kathryn Stockett and it was an amazing book. I was hesitant to see the movie but I did and I thought it was as wonderful, true to the story and beautifully done. Whoever did the casting for the movie should have received an award.( I hope they did) I loved it.
    Other than that, (unless anyone has any recommendations) I’ll stick to the book and save the money!

The Tree Of Life – Movie (Pop Cop)

"Tree of Life"

Image by Will-travel via Flickr

What does Jurassic Park, LSD and The Discovery Channel have in common?  They’re pretty much all in the movie called The Tree Of Life. I know, some people are oohing and ahhing over this film like it’s the second coming of The Sound of Music but frankly, it is not. It’s one weird ass long film and even though the effete intellectual snobs are calling it magnificent, I must disagree. A little. I have to say that part of it is magnificent in a visceral way.

Yes, the images and photography are fabulous but there are so many of them one after another, you get lost. And after about an hour I was looking at my watch which is NEVER a good sign. The movie opens with chanting in the background or angels singing or music you might hear in church. Don’t get me wrong, it’s melodic and beautiful and with it come quick images of molecules and lava, sperm and egg, church windows and creation of life images. They are amazing to look at and even though the movie is really long, part of me wanted to watch it in slow motion to savor each image but that would have taken the entire day and night.

Images of brothers, butterflies, baseball and bubble baths abound. The story takes place in the 1950’s in the Midwest where Brad Pitt stars as the stern, mean father. Jessica Chastain  is the nurturing mother and of all characters, I would have liked to see her character developed. I never did see Jessica Chastain before this movie but I’m impressed. Where has she been all our lives? With her beautiful red hair and her ivory skin she is amazing. I think now that this movie is out she has catapulted into stardom. One might say that there is no more character development for a mom in the 50’s but you want to know more about her other than that she is the fun parent, dancing, whirling and nurturing her children. She will go far, if she hasn’t gone far already.

Was I supposed to know that the big dinosaur beating down on the little dinosaur was supposed to portray the father beating down emotionally (physically too?) on his son(s). Was I to infer that the people on the beach (or wherever they were) in the end was meaningful and significant in a clear-cut kind of way? Heck no.Where exactly were they? The beach, heaven, Honolulu? It’s one (pretty) question mark after the other with very little dialogue and not much character development.

Yes, it’s pretty. It’s beautiful to watch ( for the most part.) Not always easy to understand. Pretty does not a magnificent film make. I’ve heard stories of people leaving the movie theaters during the movie and demanding their money back and I’ve heard of people who think this is the best movie ever made, that it was brilliant in every way. I would put it right in the middle.

In my audience, an artsy theater with plush red seats, no one said anything. When the lights were back on people looked at each other with question marks on their faces. The last person out of the theater was a middle-aged couple;  the woman turned to her husband and asked “what did you think?” He said “good!” She turned back to him, laughed, and said “You really didn’t understand a thing, did you?” He guffawed and admitted he did not; luckily she did not either.

That sums up the film in so many ways. It’s beautiful, confusing, long, magnificent, boring and asks but does not answer questions about the creation of life or death. It creates questions that are never answered. Too many things about the family are left out. A line from the movie was: “the way of nature, the way of grace, you have to choose.”If you understand that, great. If you don’t, join the club.

Worrying, Lamb Souvlaki And Pollyanna

Pollyanna (1960 film)

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve had way too many changes in my life in a short period of time and I feel unsettled. Anxiety attacks have crept up on me like the sting of bees approaching quickly, out of nowhere.  I feel anxious, on and off, and I am not too proud to admit it. A lot of people have feelings of anxiety, that’s why there’s medication and breathing, writing and music, and today, cleaning and keeping busy. Usually there are friends to talk to but my dear friend is in England having a great vacation and others don’t really make the effort or are just too busy with their own lives. My worry and I are together, we’re holding hands.

My mom has been sick and I am worried about her; her anxiety is fueling mine. My mother who was always seemed so strong and energetic seems  more vulnerable now, she’s had a horrible year and she’s scared, we both are. I’m “meeting worry half -way” as my old friend, ex-nun, lesbian and former boss used to say. That’s not doing anyone any good. I am scared for my mom and for me,  I think she is too.  My sister is usually the Pollyanna type in the family so I just wrote her and asked how she felt, maybe she can comfort me. I know she is not a worrier, and even though she is extremely positive about these sorts of medical situations I’m not sure it will rub off on me though I hope it does.

I have a wonderful husband, two great kids, a lovable, sweet dog; I have a home to live in and food on the table. So, why am I so unhappy? Better yet, why am I feeling so anxious lately?  I know I am worried about my mom but things have also been changing quickly.  My son graduated High School and is at his second home in Connecticut being a Counselor at his old sleep away camp. I’m told he’s very happy, we haven’t heard from him. I wonder if it will be the same way when he starts college in September but I am not ready to go there mentally yet.

When did fun flee from my life, like people racing out of the water at the mere hint of a shark sighting? What is happening? Last night was different and I was thrilled.  My husband and I went to an old, small, family -owned Greek restaurant, I ate Avgolemono soup (Greek chicken, rice and lemon soup) and pita bread, he ate lamb souvlaki, big, fat, french fries and a salad. Afterwards, we saw the new Woody Allen movie and ran into friends. Throughout the movie I did not worry, I was entertained and charmed by Midnight In Paris. Welcome back, Woody Allen.

Xanax is a prescription medicine that just takes the edge off of being worried, it doesn’t fix things, it smooths the sharp edges like green and blue sea glass. My feet ache, I think I have a broken bone in my left foot, it is hard to walk up stairs, it is hard to walk, it is hard to breathe. There is no way I can hobble around in the city, as planned, I will postpone it until after the X-ray next week and the results of my mother’s tests. More importantly,  I will  “talk” to my deceased father, sending messages and prayers into the dark sky like shiny, silver helium balloons. I hope you are right Pollyanna, I really, truly do.

Nope, I Still Haven't Seen It

Cover of "Last Tango in Paris"

Cover of Last Tango in Paris

My husband and I just talked about a movie that was a classic and neither of us have ever seen it. It’s called “Last Tango In Paris.” I don’t plan to see it “for myself (?)? but we do plan on seeing it together sometime. It’s so expensive to go to the movies that we haven’t been to one in a long time. However, we do have Netflix and have found that really helpful. It’s nice to watch a movie in our home where we can pause to get a snack and not miss anything or just take a break if the movie is too long. This is a movie I haven’t seen, it’s even nicer that my husband hasn’t seen it either. It will be our movie date.

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My Favorite Museum

NYC - MoMA: Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'...

Image by wallyg via Flickr

NYC

 

My favorite museum, since I was a teenager, was the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. While other kids in High School would cut school if they had free time, and hang out with friends and smoke cigarettes, I would hop on the subway either by myself or with my friend Elizabeth and that’s where we would go. The museum was a wonderful place full of sensory overload, modern art, photography exhibits, even film. “MOMA” as it is called had a sculpture garden where, in the nice weather, you could read outside, eat ice cream and dream if you wanted to, your face being warmed by the sun. I knew a lot of the paintings by heart and where they were placed. It was always comforting to go there. I also used to go with my sister where she would inevitably charm the guard we had known for years and he would let us slip in for free, something I was too shy to do on my own. There are few places that I can go to and feel like I was “home” yet feel excited to reunite with my favorite paintings. In the small gift shop (before it was redone) I nestled with the postcards and books and always bought a few postcards as a reminder of the time I spent there. Even now, if I had a choice, I would head to MOMA, but I would practically have to take out a bank loan since the admission prices now are so high. I still plan to go again, hopefully this year, because in reality, happiness and art and feeling alive, is priceless.

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My Favorite Childhood Movie

“If You Want This Choice Position ……..”

Mary Poppins is my favorite childhood movie. It’s still one of my favorite movies. The fact that I know every line in it, every song, just makes it all the more delicious. The movie was magical and endearing with the exception of two characters for me. I never liked the old woman in “Feed the Birds” she scared me when I was very young. But soon, I came to relax and respect her. She was trying to protect her birds.(“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag…..”) I also didn’t like the very old man in the bank either, ( didn’t he die?) I was terrified of his yelling, his mean face, and pointed finger. Jane and Michael Banks however, were adorable (“I put that in too!”) and of course Burt with his magic drawings and chimney dances, the penguin dancers, the very special tea. Those beautiful horses were ever so pretty and the man who laughs so much, that he is carried to he top of the ceiling always made me laugh too! I grin just remembering the scene. If I saw the movie again I know I would be laughing with glee. I remember the first time I saw the movie, Mary Poppins, I felt sad when she left. After watching the movie over and over again I understood she had to leave and the Banks’ parents were now a family, and thus, they would be okay. Need an escape from reality at any age? Mary Poppins is the movie for you and definitely for me. Hello, Netflix??

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