I just realized, it’s like mid July and I never got around to posting about the stuff I read or watched in June. Well I don’t think I did. Partially it’s cos I didn’t read many books or watch many movies, but anyhows, here it is. (I can hear the cheers now! OOOOH YESSS!!!)
- The Magdalene Sisters was a movie based on a documentary about the Magdalene Asylums that the Catholic Church ran in Ireland throughout most of the 19th and 20th centuries (I think). The actual movie focused on some time in the 1960s I think. Basically, females who lost their virginity or who were suspected of possibly being the type of loose girls who might lose their virginity before marriage were sent to one of the Magdalene Asylums where they were worked like crazy. It was like a prison work gang situation. The movie focused on four girls, Rose and Chrispina who had babies out of wedlock, Margaret who was raped, and Bernadette who was deemed too pretty and flirtatious, and their day to day situations and the the way they reacted to it — some tried to follow the rules as well as possible (and it was never enough), and some tried to fight back, some got brainwashed, etc. It was really powerful and frightening how the nuns and priests abused their positions — the potential for abuse seemed to have brought together immoral sadistic types. And it created immoral sadistic types too, out of the girls who were sent to the Asylums and then decided that they had found their calling and became nuns. I didn’t feel like the movie was anti-Catholic so much as it was an indictment of the attitudes of the time and the ignorance — many of the girls were sent to the Asylums by their families. Well on the other hand, the Catholic Church was a very important part of Ireland in the 60s and they were clearly propagating the ignorance and the cruelty. Maybe it was an indictment of cruelty undertaken under religion. Regardless, it was a good movie, very watchable.
- I had somewhat ambivalent feelings about We Don’t Live Here Anymore. On one hand, it wasn’t about anything, or going anywhere. I mean, you are watching two marriages unravel in different ways. They fight, and commit adultery, and accuse each other of cruelty, and it’s all awful and all true. Or it’s all quiet indifference, more adultery, and silent hurt, also awful. And they’re committing adultery with each other and hiding it sort of sometimes even though they are friends who actually like each other too. And they all have children. It’s very mixed up and messy. Still despite all that, it’s like you could almost understand them trying to hold on to something and failing and then settling or reaching for something else. Well it’s hard to describe, but I enjoyed the movie. Not summer blockbuster fun though, if that’s what you’re looking for. Actually neither is Magdalene Sisters. :p
- We watched An Inconvenient Truth in June also. I wrote about it already, so I’ll just say that if you haven’t seen it yet, please please go watch it. Really amazing scary stuff.
- Lastly, we watched Something’s Gotta Give which was our light fun movie of the month. Which it totally was, light fun that is. I thought it was really funny! My biggest complaint about the movie was the ending, which was just too pat and perfect. Like the screenwriter or director was looking to finish things up ASAP. The performances were great, and it had so many laugh out loud moments that I still say it was worth watching.
- I borrowed Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell (of Sex and the City fame) from Julie, who’d recommended the Shopaholic books, which were awesome, but I already mentioned them last month. (And by borrowed, I mean I saw it in her car and started leafing through it so she asked me if I wanted to borrow it, which there’s really only one possible answer, isn’t there? :) ) Anyhows, I digress. This book wasn’t anywhere close to being as much fun as the Shopaholic books (diff author, but also chick lit which is why I am comparing them), which I think anyone could like. Even people who don’t like chick lit could probably like them. Maybe having just finished those books colored my opinion of this one, but mostly, I think it was just a weaker effort. The writing wasn’t smooth and the story wasn’t as much fun. I do think that Bushnell was trying to address some more serious points (about gender roles and powerful women and etc) while staying with the chick lit genre, but it felt forced to me. Still it was a quick read and I had no trouble finishing it, so I guess that counts for something.
- Spin Doctor by Leslie Carroll was something I randomly picked up from the library to try one day. It wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t love it either. It’s the intertwined stories of seven women who live in the same apartment building. One of them is a psychologist who does pro bono work in the laundry room a few days a month, trying to help the other six with their problems, and doing a good job at it. The irony is, even though she’s trying to help everyone else, she’s got problems too. Her husband’s working on a new project that seems to be taking all his time, her high school senior daughter is unfocused and getting into trouble, and she’s really spread too thin it seems. But even as she’s helping everyone else, it turns out that everyone rallies around and helps her when thing’s start falling apart. It wasn’t great, it wasn’t awful, it was just blah. <shrug>
And that was it for the month. Not many, dunno why.