Sunday, March 2, 2008

Books and Movies

There is something I love almost as much as Nordstrom, almost as much as Dairy Queen Blizzards, almost as much as holidays and vacations, almost as much as hard belly laughs, and good cries. I love books and movies. Especially books that have been adapted for film. Jaren and I used to hit the movies once a week. We loved going to a Saturday matinee followed by dinner and ice cream at fun place. Those days are gone. ;) When we get out to dinner and a movie it is a huge treat. Friday, Jaren treated me to a night out with my girlfriends. We went to a nice long dinner at this place. Where the menu is as long as an epic poem, but every choice is delicious. Then we headed to see this film. (I tried to embed the url but it wasn't working for some reason. Sorry.)

I read this book three years ago. It got me through a hard time: the first six weeks of Gunnar's life and the nursing perils of a new mother. To get through the pain of nursing, I only allowed myself to read this book while I was feeding my son. It magically took away to the barbaric yet fascinating and intriguing time of Henry the 8th and his court. I love this novel; I recommend it to everyone who asks for a good read.


Friday I got together with some of my favorite girls to see the film. Two of my girlfriends had read the book within days of seeing the film; they were a bit disappointed. I wonder if I would have liked the film as much if I had just re-read the book. I know the director took so many poetic liberties, that much of the original text was altered, that characters disappeared in the film that had more significance in the novel, that a lot of the story was edited to fit the hour and 55 minutes of reel time, but I still really liked this movie. As I watched I kept commenting in my head how corrupt family relations were in the 16th century. The Boleyn family plots to gain favor with the King by using their children which in turn ruins their family bonds, innocence and love for family, each other, and life. The film played out a little bit like an Elizabethean soap opera, and I think a lot of the historical details were deleted or twisted. The obvious being Henry played by Eric Bana, although a beautiful king to view, I don't believe that was the true image of Henry the 8th.

I thought the film stylistically was beautiful. It wasn't quite as colorful as I thought it would be, but there was a very interesting color switch and details with Henry when he is being "bewitched" by Anne. All the color that used to surround him changed to black, including his clothing which also reflects his demeanor. It was a pretty genius choice.


There is a beheading in the film. Come on, I am not giving up anything you didn't already know from history. This scene was pretty gnarly, but only because it was filmed so well. (And because someone is losing her head.) The shot of the beheading is an over-head high angle, it's meant to make us feel uncomfortable with what we are seeing. Beheading, over-head high angle. Smart. It worked.

I loved the book, enjoyed the film, and would parade around the house in all of Scarlett's and Natalie's costumes.


ktb said...

I saw this movie this weekend too. I loved it - I thought Natalie Portman was great. It also reminded me of our days in London.

Lisa said...

Methinks 16th century art good times. Historical major inaccuracies not so much good times, but recognized as fantasy, good times again! By the way, did I mention lately how talented you are as well as just a good hearted person.

Rebecca said...

Upon your recommendation from our fun talk, I an reading the book right now! I'm totally hooked, I love it, but I am so disgusted at the 16th century family values, or lack thereof, and the utter hopelessness of women. Sheesh, it's such a great read though. I can't wait to see it. I have so much more to comment on, but I'll have to go for now. Love you Kam! Thanks for the recommendation. It's way better than Twilight! (wink wink)

Jennifer P. said...

I remember staying up from 1-4 AM a few years back watching a special on PBS called "The Wives of Henry the 8th". Very intriguing! Don't know that I could talk my husband into seeing this one with me--he's not a big "bonnet movie" fan, but I might have a girlfriend or two interested! The costumes look amazing--and you have a sharp eye for cinematic story telling! I will for sure agree that the man is far too attractive to be Henry the 8th. I've seen portraits of that giant sloth-like king :)! I've also seen portraits of Ann and, though stylish, she was no Natalie Portman! All I can think of when I see period movies is how no one bathed often, how greasy their hair must have been, how much armpit hair there was, and especially how oral hygiene was not top of the list :0!!! Kind of ruins the romantic mood, huh :)?!

Hope you have a great week to follow your great weekend!

me said...

I read the book not to long after you did - I thought it was pretty good. I will for sure see this movie. Hey what is your other web site address? My son is kindly kicking me off the computer - he killed two huge spiders for me, so he deserves it. Love you lady!!

shannon said...

So glad you had such a fab time. So sorry I missed it! Hope to see you soon. Miss you.

Olivia said...

but the question is: if natalie and scarlett had to throw down and wrestle, who'd win? ok... but... what if scarlett's boobs were disqualified from the match to give natalie an more even shot, then who'd win?