My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Woody scores

Saw a good movie yesterday night – “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” Woody Allen’s latest.  It’s good to see him return to the kind of warm, thoughtful comedy-with-depth he made his own with “Annie Hall.” And also to see him stepping off the screen – the neurotic Woody part here is played by the actress Rebecca Hall, who is much lovelier to watch agonise and fret. Whether he meant it so or not, the film is a celebration of the mature lover: the two young women are gorgeous but utterly dull in comparison with Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, luscious and irresistible both as actor personalities on the screen and in the crazy characters they play.  

I loved the contrast between the stuffy, conventional Americans, discussing their decorators and the cost of Oriental carpets, with the flamboyant free-living mesmerising Spaniards.  I’d see the movie again just to check out Bardem’s kitchen with the dishes stacked haphazardly on open shelves; the restaurants where Spanish artists and intellectuals argue and drink. 
The picture of marriage that emerges is not pretty – there’s not a happy couple in the film.   Men are cuckolds and women are profoundly discontented.  And yet, as he so often does, Woody touches something very deep.  What woman has not had the fantasy that she’ll be sitting minding her own business, when a fascinating, creative, handsome mensch appears, says he thinks she’s beautiful and asks her to fly away with him?  And, for better or worse, changes her forever? 
Bring it on, Javier. 



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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