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“Inside Llewyn Davis” – four thumbs down

Back in bed. Blog reader friend Carole warned me about this bug, “It comes back,” but I didn’t know what that meant. Now I do. Not as sick as last time, but definitely not well. Phooey. Don’t tell my son, who posted on FB, “My mother gave me Norwalk for Valentine’s Day.” (Norwalk, in Wiki, is succinctly called “winter vomiting virus.”) He was sicker than I, and then he had to go to work.

Went to see the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” yesterday, expecting after what I’d heard not to like it much, but wanting to see the evocation of the Sixties and to hear the folk music. I lasted three quarters of an hour before walking out. Hated it. The world is crawling with assholes – why waste artistic time inventing one? Why pay money to watch one? The film has had good reviews. I don’t get it. Are they trying to say that artists are selfish self-centred pigs? My favourite movie of all time, “Babette’s Feast,” was on TV a few nights ago and I watched it again, weeping as always during the meal as the feasters gradually open and glow with the marvel of the food and wine offered by the chef. A film about the power and magic, the dedication and generosity of soul of a great artist. Please do not waste your time and money on some schmuck.

As I banged out of the theatre, I thought, This is why I like going to movies alone. No whispered debate, no sitting in discomfort for another hour. That’s enough, I’m outta here. Yay.

Speaking of “Babette’s Feast,” the movie’s director Gabriel Axel recently died at 95. It took him many years to raise money for the film – this was before the era of the Foodie. When he took to the podium to accept the Best Foreign Film Oscar, he quoted a line from the film: “Because of this evening, I have learned, my dear, that in this beautiful world of ours, all things are possible.”

It is also the Pope’s favourite movie. Another mark in his favour.

There was another monstrous artist on display last night – I watched “Gypsy” on PBS, the musical story of Gypsy Rose Lee and her vile mother. We did a number from the show when I was at theatre school – I played Tessie Tessatura – “so much more demurer” – but I’d never seen the whole thing. But again – the character of Rose is so uni-dimensional, so unpleasant and driven and selfish, the musical becomes something of an ordeal. With Llewyn, people complain that the character doesn’t evolve or grow, or even change. Neither does Rose. And isn’t that what we want from stories? Isn’t that why we read and watch?

The film is almost worth it, though, for Natalie Wood’s fragile beauty. God, she was gorgeous.

So here I am back in bed, with a pile of newspapers, a cup of tea, and thou.

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2 Responses to ““Inside Llewyn Davis” – four thumbs down”

  1. If you went alone I wonder where you got the extra two thumbs. Maybe someone is missing theirs?
    I hope the bug goes as quickly as it arrived.

  2. beth says:

    An extra two thumbs for EMPHASIS. A METAPHORIC extra pair of hands. Sheeesh.

    Me too, Chris, thanks.

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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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