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For The Fools Who Dream

Feb

27

Posted by on Feb 27, 2017 | 4 comments

La La Land Musical

Mondays are my favorite because they feel like a new year, except every week.

 

I know, I know, statistically heart attacks most often occur on Mondays, but I’m not giving in to a statistic. I love a fresh start. It’s why I prefer sunrise to sunset.

By this particular Monday morning, you probably already know there was a mistake of  Steve-Harvey-Miss-Universe proportion at the 2017 Oscars–La La Land was mistakenly awarded Best Picture due to Price Waterhouse giving Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway the wrong category envelope. The rightful winner was Moonlight; the obsidian counter to celestial La La Land.

(For the record I haven’t seen Moonlight, but I’m a fan of Maharshala Ali, winner of Best Supporting Actor for his role as a drug dealer who becomes a father figure to a kid who’s a punching bag for bullies and the son of a drug addict.)

Anyway…

The music in La La Land is at least half the reason I love the movie and want to watch it again and again. It strikes a chord that reverberates through my heart, begs tears to fall, and swirls inside my head long after play has ended. The music and lyrics are haunting and beautiful, and that opening number? Spectacular.

I wish there was a video available of Emma Stone singing her audition at the movie’s end, The Fools Who Dream; since I can’t, click play and follow the lyrics below.

My aunt used to live in Paris.
I remember, she used to come home and tell us these stories about being abroad and
I remember she told us that she jumped into the river once, barefoot.

She smiled…

Leapt, without looking
And tumbled into the Seine
The water was freezing
She spent a month sneezing
But said she would do it again

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She captured a feeling
Sky with no ceiling
The sunset inside a frame

She lived in her liquor
And died with a flicker
I’ll always remember the flame

Here’s to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that ache
Here’s to the mess we make

She told me:
“A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see
Who knows where it will lead us?
And that’s why they need us”

So bring on the rebels
The ripples from pebbles
The painters, and poets, and plays

And here’s to the fools who dream
Crazy as they may seem
Here’s to the hearts that break
Here’s to the mess we make

I trace it all back to then
Her, and the snow, and the Seine
Smiling through it
She said she’d do it again.

 

Here’s to the ones who dream…. 🙂

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Top ten reasons you should see “We Bought a Zoo”

Dec

26

Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 | 9 comments

We-bought-a-zoo-movie-poster-2
Alone on Christmas day this year, our family decided to catch an afternoon movie; I might've been the only one moved to tears
5 times
 
don't judge me
but everyone walked away praising this movie that exceeded already-high expectation.

Here's why:

 

10.  It's truly family friendly. 

For those with a need to know, I recall two occurrences of "adult" words; one, an honest portrayal of father-son conflict and woundedness (appropriate to the scene), the other an almost shocking utterance by seven-year-old Rosie, said by her in ignorance to make a point, when a few other choices would have worked just as well.  (ADDED:  A commentor shared one of her friend's opinions who had said "the cursing was out of control."  While I don't agree with that harsh of a characterization (and I have older children), language IS one of the reasons the film earned a PG rating; please consult Bob Hoose's review for a word-by-word count of "Crude/Profane Language.")

9.  Rosie Mee. 

It's the first time I've been introduced to Maggie Elizabeth Jones, and we can only hope she has the foundation and family support to remain sane; it would be a crying shame if she morphs into a Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus.  Maggie's a stinkin' adorable, little finger-wrapping, scene-stealing charmer.  Her sparkle and shine could illumine Manhattan.  She's perfection as Rosie.

8.  Well told story.

The first time I saw the trailer for We Bought a Zoo, I thought it was comedy; it's not.  A family needs to heal.  A father needs to learn how to hear his son and build their relationship.  A boy meets girl.  Zookeepers love their job and want to keep it.  Teamwork.  Camaraderie.  Conflict.  Bad guys.  Good guys.  Director Cameron Crowe invited me into a story I cared about.

7.  Great cast.

All the characters mattered to me.  I liked 'em.  They played their roles well without resorting to cliche (mostly).  Scarlett Johannson toned down the heat for her role as Chief Zookeeper, and I loved Angus Macfadyen (a spirits drinking, large-living Scottish zookeeper), J.B. Smoove (an endearing realtor), Colin Ford, (a broken-hearted, artistic and misunderstood teen), Kym Whitley (a Home Depot cashier with a timely word of encouragement).  Even brother Thomas Haden Church evolved believably from dissenter to supporter. 

6.  Matt Damon.

How can anyone not be a fan?  From his award-winning debut writing and acting in Good Will Hunting, to Saving Private Ryan, the Oceans trilogy, the Bourne series and the disturbing The Talented Mr. Ripley, he's money at the box office.  But his success isn't rooted in a pretty face, he has the ability to become The Father (or The Spy or The Soldier), not an actor playing the role.  In Zoo, I feel Benjamin Mee's pain, I understand his challenges and I believe his tears are real. 

5.  The Animals

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!  From my earliest Wonderful World of Walt Disney movies on TV Sunday nights when I was a child, I loved features with animals.  The wilder, the better.  Here, each one will tell their own story…and I could almost smell that bear's bad breath and feel his nasty spit!

4.  No sex or nudity.

I guess this goes along with family friendly, but can I just state for the record how thankful I am no one got naked, no one even implied naked, and no kisses reached the tonsils. 

3.  Kids were KIDS

In keeping with the above, I am SO glad director Cameron Crowe went with a hug when most directors would have gone with First Kiss when this scene rolled around.  That was refreshingly unexpected but greatly appreciated. 

2.  Great quotes

"I like the animals…but I love the humans.
~ Duncan Mee

"You don't want me. I'm filled with Scotch, bitterness and impure thoughts!"
~ Peter MacCready in confronting a lip-smacking lion

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."
~ Benjamine Mee (I bet this sentiment becomes one many will come to live by :).)

1.  The last scene.

I can't recall the last two words of a movie being more perfect.  I can't remember a scene demonstrating love and family healing better than this.  Poignant, heart-stirring, redemptive and satisfying, it was a wonderful conclusion to this engaging story. 

We-Bought-A-Zoo-Tiger-Poster
Your turn:  Have you seen the movie?  Share your thoughts!  I'd love to hear any movie recommendations you have to offer.

 

Buy the book that inspired the movie!

 

Linked at Oh Amanda's Top Ten Tuesday, too.


Toptentuesday

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Black and white and red all over

Aug

11

Posted by on Aug 11, 2011 | 23 comments

Thehelp_film_081011-thumb-640xauto-3847 Oh, my.

I loved the book The Help, not because it was the best-written novel I've ever read, but because I can identify with the story in part, because this is the era in which I grew up.  I thought (romanticized??) that Abileen's and Minny's perspective gave me a glimpse into the other side of the relationship we had with Callie growing up–  

The maid who worked for my grandmother, then after her death, our family, and then eventually for my brother, until Callie's own death.  

We loved her and she sat on the family pew at my and my sister's wedding.

I liked the movie well enough, but I stumbled across a post by Kola Boof that opened my eyes to how black/African women might view the movie.

So I tweeted my musing.

From there, Kola Boof retweeted my link, and a volatile (from her end) conversation ensued (storify.com here.  Originally I embedded the exchange below; I've since decided I'd rather keep the vitriol off my blog….)

There's just too much to try to dissect the whole thing–I was stunned–but mostly it makes me wish I could find my way into a respectful conversation with a group of black women ranging from 45-85.  

And on both sides the adage 

seek to understand before you seek to be understood

marks boundary.

Don't feel sorry for me; I invited the conversation (although without meaning to).  I thought Boof's post, although angry, was challenge to conventional white thinking.  No need to come to my defense in any way, either; I didn't even take what she said personally, I'm just flabbergasted at the lack of civility.  

If any African American women read this post, could you politely share your thoughts good, bad or ugly?  

 

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