This month I have been mostly reading and watching…

The first part of this year has involved a lot of reading and film watching! The desire for escapism is at its peak at the moment.

So here are my highlights…

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LIE WITH ME – Sabine Durrant.

Brilliant. Addictive. Clever and witty and sharp, like I was watching in real life. Not a word on the page wasted.

THE ESSEX SERPENT – Sarah Perry

I was given this to read. It wouldn’t have been my first choice because I’d have assumed it would take too long and I have very little time. But I was surprised by the pace and the quirks. You can actually whip through it and then go back and linger on the clever, beautiful bits. A bundle of unique characters all vividly still with you long after the book is finished.

20170213_122546THE NAKANO THRIFT SHOP – Hiromi Kawakami

I LOVED this! It was a present and I’ve never read any Japanese translated fiction before but I will now. I realised while reading this that there are some books you want to race through to the end and others that you just want to live inside. You go to bed half an hour early to be in the pages. This for me was that. I just adored being in the gentle, clever, sweet, interesting, intriguing world. A lovely book.

20170213_121258LA LA LAND

I’ve already written a whole piece about this. But I would say, it’s the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see twice. And the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see on my own! Shock horror. But the seal has been broken, I’m going to go solo way more often. It’s very mellow (once you’ve moved away from the people chatting over popcorn through all the emotional bits).

WESTWORLD (TV version)

This was a roller coaster for me. Brilliant at the beginning. Bit slow in the middle and a bit too focused on the violence. Excellent at the end.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Completely not what I expected! I sat down thinking it would be all Wes Anderson kooky and then suddenly everyone is running around half-naked killing deer. But it’s really good! And Viggo’s great.

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY

So nice to be back in Bridget’s world. Fall-off-the-sofa funny at times. Best choice at the end but worried that Bridget would still be lonely once credits rolled.

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And, in case you’re interested, in the Under 3s world I have enjoyed:

TOPSY AND TIM – massive nostalgia, so strong I can almost taste it.

TOR FREEMAN – Brilliant illustrator.

More SHIRLEY HUGHES – can’t get enough of Alfie and Lucy & Tom

TOY STORY 1, 2 & 3 – just get better every time you watch them (I may live to regret that statement).

 

 

Not a bad start to the year, as far as excellent escapism goes.

J x

Help! I’m addicted to La La Land…

Oh god, I bought the really expensive bag. (See previous post.)

It was a direct result of La La Land. I needed something to counter the freewheeling filmic comedown.

As a cinema experience La La Land was one unlike very few previously. I had no desire to make a witty whispered aside, glance around in moments of boredom to contemplate the audience, think about whether or not I needed the loo, wish I’d got popcorn. My face was glued to the screen, a mesmerised smile glued to my face. I never looked left to see if my partner was enjoying it. I barely acknowledged the people getting up to pee mid-showing. I was just slap bang there, in full technicolour, cinemascope, all-singing all-dancing, blissful enjoyment.

I’d forgotten the searing, heart-thumping exquisite delight I get from a musical. From Singin’ in the Rain to Grease 2. But from the opening set piece I was instantly reminded how much I love a spontaneous burst into song. Coupled with Gosling, added to which Emma Stone, it was two hours of heaven. As Variety so perfectly puts it, La La Land’s ‘most convincing pleasures are the moments when it lifts the audience into a state of old-movie exaltation, leading us to think, “What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again.”’

Happy, I was ecstatic. Since leaving the cinema – feeling dangerously like an accomplished singer and dancer  – I’ve wasted hours reading every review and every interview. I’m immersed. One of my friends is furious with the film and I can’t wait for our forthcoming debate. I’m pining for La La Land 2 which my husband scoffs will never happen (and I want it even more now just to prove him wrong). I can feel my fingers tug, for the first time ever, towards fan fiction just to satisfy the craving left by the credits rolling.

I know in reality I need to stop mooning about and get to work. To write something. But for now the new bag is doing sterling work plugging the La La Land gap.