April 29, 2015

Candice Bergen's Fine Romance...

I have been a fan of Emmy winner Candice Bergen since her iconic Murphy Brown days, and loved her first autobiography Knock Wood in the 80s, so was all geared up for her new one, A Fine Romance.

This book did not disappoint - I read it cover to cover (okay, screen to screen) in a day on our recent vacation. A Fine Romance, like its author, is smart and funny and brutally honest, and can be dishy and insider-y without being mean or trashy.

A Fine Romance starts with Bergen in her 30s, when she met and married the much older French director Louis Malle, up to the present day, through her unusual international marriage, films like Gandhi, the high profile Murphy Brown years, the birth of her only child, Malle's death, her remarriage, plastic surgery, life in Hollywood, aging, and more, with total candour and great wit.

The book is smart and honest and funny, and despite her WASP queen looks, Hollywood and Swiss boarding school upbringing, money and fame, Bergen comes across like a real live person with typical guilt, embarrassment, loves, hopes, and disappointments.

Bergen, who made headlines recently for admitting she's gained weight because she loves to eat, describes with humour her perpetual surprise at the indignities aging slings at us. She writes of being stranded atop a bike after a spinning class when she couldn't figure out how to unlock from the pedals; of her post-age-60 hair, "which seems to be somebody else's hair: I think Golda Meir's"; and about her mouth "which has grown so thin it cannot be found by the naked eye."

This big will be on lots of year-end "best" lists... catch it before then!

April 26, 2015

Alfred The Havanese Furball Turns 8...

Our fur baby Alfred is actually a senior citizen in doggie years... 
Happy 8th birthday to the cutest dog ever with his many nicknames: Alfie, the little dude, Ewok, Have-Many-Needs the Havanese, furball, Alfredo, eggplant, Alfie-poop!

Alfred is celebrating with a nap. 

And likely some peanut butter...

April 7, 2015

Great Netflix Find: LILTING...

I was excited to find Lilting as a new addition on Netflix Canada last week, and this little indie British film was a great find.

I had heard of Lilting last year when it came out, largely because it stars Ben Whishaw, the out actor who has a supporting role as Q in the Daniel Craig James Bond movies.

This is a cross-cultural bilingual drama about love and loss and family and coming out and homophobia across generations and cultures.

In Lilting, Whishaw is Richard, a young gay man in London whose long-time boyfriend Kai dies suddenly. Kai, who was Chinese, had never introduced Richard to his family, who he had never really come out to. Overwhelmed by loneliness and grief, Richard reaches out to Kai's mother Junn who speaks no English and did not know or at least did not acknowledge that her son was gay.

Richard hires a translator and bulldozes his way into Junn's life. Their respective griefs and slowly negotiating some kind of rapport are touching and heartbreaking.

While not always really plausible -- such as when Richard wants Junn to move in with him --this is a simple quiet elegant movie, always touching and sometimes witty and even sexy. 

This flick more than works due to Whishaw's tender and powerful performance as a man hit so hard by grief he becomes angry and fragile... look for Lilting.