I know that I was far behind the rest of the world in seeing The Queen, but I’m honestly glad it took that long, because it meant I got to see it with my aunt when I was visiting family in Spokane two weeks ago. We both thought it was fabulous, witty and moving. Something random that I particularly liked about it was the set design, specifically the contrast between the living quarters of the Royal Family and the lived-in home of the Blairs. The toys on the kitchen floor, a silly detail to notice, I know, but so great! Also, now I would really like to see The Deal, but it doesn’t appear to be available. Woe.
Half Nelson arrived from Netflix the day it was supposed to be released, which is rockin’ service so far as I’m concerned. It is possibly true that it got bumped up my queue thanks to Ryan Gosling’s Oscar nod, but it is definitely true that it was worth the watching anyway. Shareeka Epps in particular is fantastic, and I rather wish I’d been able to see it in the theater because I would have been able to focus better on the natural quietness of it.
Finally, Venus! Which broke my heart, just a bit. Maurice’s line about not knowing anything about himself hit me in a place still bruised by “No one could love me — I talk too much” delivered by Hector in The History Boys. Wonderful performance by O’Toole, brave and clever and fragile, in a story all the more moving for its prickliness. Gorgeously lit and framed, too, the many shots of Maurice tucked into a tiny corner of the screen, the elderly and the past all boxed up. And! It’s written by Hanif Kureishi, who wrote My Beautiful Laundrette! (Which was directed by Stephen Frears, which brings this entry full circle.)