There is place for growth in leisured paradise: Review of "Letters to Juliet"
It is unbecoming of a lady to marry her steward, and so the pseudo-Italian fiancee, who is expert and fussy-obsessed with all the variant particulars concerning his “estate” -- his newly opened restaurant -- is to be discarded for a gentleman who’s only obligation is to show himself good-looking, vital, and inherently decent and well-mannered -- a proper lord.This is one of the things you understand while watching “Letters to Juliet,” yet another film which must be objected to lest we become unable to see reality.
Our lady, Sophie, has gone to Brown, what has apparently become THE finishing school for ladies in our times, being not so ardent-seeming that it might coarsen you with too professional a sense of purpose, yet still as established and esteemed as any of the more prominent ivyies.If you’ve gone to Brown, you may be the sort who is just not pushy enough to have already scored a career as a major writer at the New Yorker by the time she’s twenty-two, not brutally driven enough to have portfolioed herself into the most obvious upmost echelons, like Harvard or Princeton, but who’s relaxed possession of larger qualities, whose preference for discreteness, anonymity, quiet grace, makes you EXACTLY what lords of commercial society need as near to them as possible to suggest their own timelessness and quality -- certain by divine right, to survive and continue to prosper, if the time's primary henceforth call is for people to define themselves as either sacrifice or to-be-satisfied.
She’s gone where Lady Di might have gone to if she was an American, and her future husband has gone to Oxford -- where all boyish princes who would be Kings must go.If he’d gone to Cambridge, it would have again made him REALLY seem invested in doing something for the country by craft or trade-- which would have lowered and coarsened him -- when it is his loftiness -- his sheer existence -- which most keeps the regression-prone countryside from devolving into dispersions of the-really-quite-insane, gnarly, garish multitudes.Yes, of course, he’s supposed to be a lawyer devoted to helping the weak, which is supposed to sound like the lord turning away from expectation and risking being forgotten about but which by this time we all REALLY know means he’s perfectly orthodox -- perfectly “certain,” and safe, given our newly updated standards concerning how lords are to define themselves.
It isn’t a good thing when being as alive as a sunflower but not a wit more interesting, can’t make you -- an ostensibly ambitious human being -- the subject of some ridicule.And yet this might now just be where we are -- in that too many who can at some level see that these leisured, liberal humanists / gentry, who ostensibly have the time, quietness, and tutored capacity to range greatly and uninterruptedly while in this world, are just beautiful script, lines curling up, down, and on through a plot already known and before them, content to take pleasure in the variances of sensation they can see ahead and know are coming, but still very much to be taken pleasure in, because vividness exists primarily in the rush of what is before you not in the nagging memory of what you once knew, because they are in-mind to give up the reigns to someone else themselves, and want no evidence anywhere extant that makes them feel small, feel guilty, for doing so.
Claire --the grandmother -- could be a problem.Which is why all her genuine gravitas issummoned but drawn to essential vacancy -- her love of her life, who she once loved and never --ostensibly rightly -- learned to lose interest in, is SO MUCH perfect acquisition, perfect object, well-groomed and already, beautifully-told story, that she serves as unmistakable proof in the pudding, as General Colin Powell to George Bush, that what is not actually here in the film, IS actually there, if only you had the capacity to find it.
Photo still: "Letters to Juliet." www.celebritywonder.com
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.
The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …