March 13, 2010

Satisfaction Saturday - a movie review or two

In this week, I've had more than a little satisfaction in movies. As I continue the recovery after my fractured shoulder surgery I find myself with the perfect set up for movie viewing. I have to sit (or lie) in my bed six times a day for an hour and a half with a prescribed, rented, high tech, ice machine. Here are two really good recovery movies.

First, a completely satisfying and highly recommendable portrait of Dr. Robert Kearns, the true inventor of the intermittent wiper blade: Flash of Genius. I loved the long walk on this movie from Dr. Kearn's "ah ha!" of an idea to create the "blinking eye" wiper, to his final presentation of the facts in Federal Patent Court. I enjoy Greg Kinnear as an actor, and this might be my vision of his finest portrayal. Kinnear is only slightly endearing in this case, but so fully dedicated and willing to be this man who fought the cheating-because-they can giants of Detroit. Watching with my 13 year old son gave me the pleasure of talking with him about what we might give up when we dedicate ourselves to the service of an ideal. In Flash of Genius, Dr. Kearns may have lost some, but we all gain, when one of us is willing to go the distance for what truly ethical and right, regardless of the recovery. 


The second film took me completely by surprise. Rachel Getting Married, is the view of the wedding week with the central character, Kym (who is in recovery) and her working-oh-so-hard-to-function-in-spite-of family. I knew almost nothing about the movie, except that it's up for an academy award, Jonathan Demme directed, and Anne Hathaway stars without lipstick. It's not the easiest movie to watch. The way it's shot I felt at times like I wanted to sit further and further away, like I was getting too close to the family and the drama. But I wanted more and more. Debra Winger plays Kym and Rachel's rather removed mother in a performance I found painfully dichotomous. I hated her distant yet proximate relationship to her daughters. (Really hated) And at the same time, I wanted to see more of her and understand how she managed to live so cut off from truth. Bill Irwin, as dad, is a marvelous portrait of dad, constantly rewinding the unraveling edges.


There is this brilliant moment when Demme has Kym's character very literally drive into a Y/why (?), that provokes such understanding of her character and desperation to be clear and cleared, that it took a while for me to release the deep breath I was holding for her. 


Living through the wedding with Kym, while she struggles to hang on to her 9 months of clean, is worth every minute of difficulty you might find as you seek the redemption the whole family requires.

If you want a review of a movie for kids check this: You'll Laugh, You'll Cry

Check out Journey to a Simple Happy Life for a e-course giveaway. Very cool!

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