Sunday, 22 April 2012

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen & other films

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Watching this enjoyable mild comedy won’t make your pulses race but it’s a pleasant way to spend an evening.  Am a fan of both Ewan McGregor and Kristin Scott Thomas and they’re both excellent in this scenic movie.  A few extra plot twists have been added to the novel by Paul Torday but not too much to its detriment.  The desert/wadi scenes are shot in Morocco, not in the Yemen itself, but we saw an optimistic advert from their Tourist Bureau beforehand.

The Last Station (dvd) features Tolstoy’s dying years.  Rather a long-winded and inevitably gloomy film, but educational.  Helen Mirren, elegant in long gowns, Christopher Plummer and James McAvoy star.

More or less coped with The Guard, an Irish detective movie dvd.  Passable, but bad language a bit wearying.

The Help (new on dvd) was a good movie, particularly well cast, I thought. Inevitably they had to omit some of the details in the book (e.g. there wasn’t much about Skeeter’s romance) and I'm glad I read it first.  Maybe the film also toned down some of the scariest racial tensions where you were seriously frightened that Skeeter and the maids would be attacked.
And is that what happened in the end, the cosy scene with Skeeter’s mother?  Must find my copy and re read.

I’m afraid I didn’t finish watching Nightwatching.  Too diffuse for me.

Much enjoyed the classic 84 Charing Cross Road, the 1986 film of a more or less true story. In 1949 Helene Hanff, an impoverished American writer, can't find the out-of-print books she wants in America so she writes to Marx & Co, antiquarian book dealers in Charing Cross Road, London. A charming and increasingly warm correspondence springs up over the years between Helene and the bookseller, so that eventually she even begins to send all the staff Christmas parcels.  Here's a Telegraph piece about it.  Anne Bancroft (the former Mrs Robinson) and a suitably repressed Anthony Hopkins star.
A young Judy Dench plays his wife. Nothing much happens but it is a lovely film.

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