Monday, 22 March 2010

Freaky film and an absorbing ghost story

It's a pity the new Alice had some frightening chases and scary creatures otherwise it would be suitable for younger children.  Helena Bonham Carter is wonderfully wicked as the Red Queen, young Gwyenth-lookalike Maria Wasikowska (Australian with convincing Brit accent) was good as Alice and I loved Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat.  There seemed too much of Mad Hatter Johnny Depp and not enough of all the clever computer generated animals.
Somehow or other it turned into Lord of the Rings, and not as funny as we hoped. I wouldn't go out of your way to see it.

Recent reading: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters was atmospheric and gripping, but not quite as frightening as I expected.  Set in 1947, it's a gloomy story of a decaying mansion in the middle of Warwickshire, a family and indeed a whole class in decline, narrated by a solemn young doctor whose mother used to be a nursemaid at the house. I have my views but I wasn't sure who dunnit, who instigated the polstergeist, if there was one, but almost everybody came to a bad end.   This is the first Sarah Waters I've brought myself to read for a while because I found Fingersmith too violent.  As Gok said in the TV Book Club, there are no lesbians or sex scenes in this novel.  It's very well written, of course, with wonderful descriptions of the Miss-Havisham house, and I'm still thinking about it. An interesting interview here at A Work in Progress.  Sarah Waters said she wanted to write about class as much as a haunted house.

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