Sunday, November 11, 2012

And the Oscar Goes To----


I love movies.  I have always loved movies.  My family loved movies.  As I child, I spent many hours at one of our neighborhood theaters -- the Olmos -- watching movies with either my parents or my cousin, JLSHall.  There were many Saturday evenings that we walked to El Rancho Mexican Restaurant, across the street from the theater, had dinner and then went to the movies.  It was all so exciting but what was even more exciting was having my mom pick me up from school and, instead of going home, we went to the movie where they had been for the afternoon and were finishing up the film.  I saw "Porgy and Bess" one of those particular times.  I have to say that all of my dates with my husband were to movies with the occasional exception of a school dance.  So, without a doubt, movies have been a huge part of my life.

It is rare that I actually go to a movie theater these days.  They are too expensive and, quite honestly, I have never liked crowds so I prefer to watch my movies via Netflix or cable stations.  I do enjoy on-demand viewing as well and that is how I saw a movie reviewed  by my friend Gill at That British Woman.  

The movie, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", was one that I had been wanting to see anyway but after Gill had reviewed it she  asked her American followers what they thought about the all- British cast and whether we appreciated the typical British humor and I felt compelled to watch the movie and let her know my opinions.  Actually, it was a great excuse to watch something besides sports!

I enjoyed the movie completely but then it was a showcase for many of my favorite actors.  I love Judi Dench and Bill Nighy.  I loved Celie Imrie in that comedy she used to play in -- can't remember the title -- and she was just as enjoyable in this film.  Maggie Smith -- what can I say -- she is in a class of actresses that I fear is never to be repeated -- well, except for possibly Meryl Streep.  

The humor didn't escape me but then I have watched enough  British television and movies in my life -- not to mention talking with my son-in-law -- that I have a good working knowledge of the language differences, the dry sense of humor, the sarcastic nuances.  

It was a great movie and I will watch it again which brings me to the subject of "watching it again".  Joy and I used to watch movies, in a theater, over and over.  Sometimes we would sit through them twice, sometimes we would make it another Saturday outing but I can't remember the number of times we viewed "West Side Story" or "The Longest Day".  My favorites were the musicals and my poor husband had to endure "Funny Girl" about three times -- and now I have it on DVD and he retreats.

Recently I have been  watching a lot of movies and, when I get "down" or nostalgic or don't feel well,
 I tend to revisit the movies of my youth.  The changing seasons make me a bit sentimental so, it comes as no surprise to me that my recent viewings were older choices. 

The Hubs and I enjoyed watching "Spencer's Mountain"  (1963) with Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara.  It was based on the writings of Earl Hamner and was the movie that the television series "The Waltons" was based on.  However, it was more modern day than the television series and I have to say I much preferred "The Homecoming: A Christmas Story" (1971) with Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas.  It took place in the depression era, as the television series did, and I just preferred it.  "The Homecoming" is in  my queue of Christmas movies that I watch each year.

Another movie that we watched was a favorite when I was a young teenager -- "The World of Suzie Wong" with William Holden and Nancy Kwan.  It is the story of a beautiful Chinese prostitute working in Hong Kong.  Her path crosses that of William Holden, an relationship ensues, a tragedy occurs and there is still a happy ending as only could be found in a 1963 movie.  One might ask why I, as a thirteen year old, was watching a movie about a prostitute -- well, trust me -- it was completely benign and not at all unsuitable for a 13 year old -- by today's standards, it was absolutely Disney.  I have seen this movie any number of times and it is still a tear jerker for me and I enjoy it every time I see it.

I really enjoy watching vintage movies -- especially when the weather changes.  The only thing better than curling up to watch an old movie is curling up with a good book! I will talk about that next time.