At the Dietrich by Hildy Morgan
Well, if this isn’t a week for those of us who live and breathe the movies! It’s such fun to have not only the new releases, but the art and indie films we are showing right beside them. I guess I should start out with opening night. (It’s always so hard for me to put everything in proper order, because sometimes I have so much to tell you – like now – and then it’s hard to keep my thoughts orderly.) But I will start with gala night.
Oh, the food!!!! Oh the wine and the beer!!! Oh the movies!!! Oh, how perfect!!!!! Really, the food was the best ever! (Although I have to say, I so missed Jennie Bartron – it was the first gala she’d missed – and I didn’t get to walk up the aisle and ask her how the food was. I hate this whole death and dying thing. If there is a life after this and someone is in charge, I intend to tell Her (heh heh) that this dying thing is too hard and I don’t approve!) And we thank our wonderful restaurants (Twigs, Seasons, Greenley’s) and the world’s finest caterers (Epicurean Delight) and, of course, Nimble Hill. How many small towns would have such wonderful places to provide food and drink of this caliber??? We are so blessed!
And now to the movies I’ve seen so far. Opening night, of course, was The Lunchbox (from India) and the American film August: Osage County. I give them both two thumbs way, way up! You must try to catch them if you can.
The Lunchbox is so sweet – such a gentle film, about two lonely people who find each other over a wrongly delivered lunchbox. The young woman is beautiful and gentle, her husband totally inattentive. In fact, it’s worse than that – her husband is having an affair. The man who gets the wrong lunch is older, on the verge of retiring, and is a very lonely widower. It is a gentle, quiet romance, well worth seeing, delightful in memory,
And then comes August: Osage County. OMG!!!! It is such a tour de force for both Meryll Streep and Julia Roberts, and it was incredible to see Julia Roberts hold her own with Streep. Add Margo Martindale and you have three of the most incredible women on film today. It’s harsh. They’re mean. You gasp at the things they say to each other.
Margo Martindale’s husband, played by the incredibly fine Chris Cooper, asks her why she and her sister, Streep, are so mean, say such awful things and she is crushed and you realize she doesn’t know she does. And you wonder how that could be. And then you begin to learn about their childhoods and it is so terrible, so numbing, that you understand that, like the rest of us, they’re just doing the best they can. It’s an incredible, funny (yes, really, really funny!), melancholy, film that you will think about for many months after. Try to see it. It’s worth your time.
I loved Liv and Ingmar, the story of the lifelong relationship between Liv Ullman and Ingmar Bergman, she the leading lady of so many of his movies, he the creative genius behind The Virgin Spring and so many other superb films. It’s not a normal love story, but what is? Some didn’t like it, they thought him abusive and tyrannical. He was. But when she wearied of his constant control, she simply left. They visited constantly and she still starred in his films. She was his Stradivarius, he said. He was her friend, she said. They were creative geniuses and it was a glimpse into uncommon lives. Try to see it.
Gloria is great fun, she is brave and bold and brassy and although life hasn’t worked out so terrifically for her yet, you think it probably will. In Secret is sad and beautifully done, Great Expectations is a faithful rendition of Dickens masterpiece. La Camionata is totally charming. Oh, no! I’ve run out of space. Don’t forget that next Friday at 1:00 we are having a discussion about all the festival films. You can tell us what you liked and what you didn’t. How fun is that????
See you at the Dietrich.