Wintry mix. That pretty much sums it all up right now -- the weather forecast (it continues to be a mess outside), the comfort food I've been making, the movies I've been watching, the knitting projects I've got going -- it's all a bit of a wintry mix. Ha! It was hard getting back to work yesterday after five relaxing days off -- a wintry mix of feelings.
My relaxation included an unscheduled and unplanned movie marathon. Somehow, I watched six movies on Friday and Saturday and, as I think about listing them, I can't remember exactly when or how I fit them all in -- I must have been something of a movie-watching, knitting slug!! One was seen at a theater, one on TV, and the rest were on DVD. They were all very different -- which is good, I guess -- and really not a stinker in the bunch.
On Friday afternoon, in an effort to get my Netflix queue moving again, I finally watched Harold and Maude, a movie that languished here for far too long. I can't believe that I've never seen it before -- released in 1971, with a great Cat Stevens soundtrack (I love Cat Stevens!), and starring the adorable Ruth Gordon! How did I miss it? I've seen it now and, ignoring the 1970s styling and production, it's a great quirky story, told with wonderful humor. (Coming soon -- maybe today -- to my mailbox, Mostly Martha, on Ann's recommendation.)
I think it was Friday evening when Maddy & Katie came to announce that the next showing of Atonement was in 10 minutes. Would I like to go? Huh? Spontaneity? I haven't done that in a while! We dashed around the house, dashed outside with the dog, and dashed off to the theater, arriving just in time for previews! I loved this story -- the twists and turns. It was darker than I was expecting, but I don't really know what I expected as I haven't read the book. I think I'd like to someday.
At some point, maybe on Saturday afternoon, I watched Grand Hotel on TV. I think I saw at least most of this movie once before, but it was long ago. Truthfully, I'll watch just about anything with Lionel Barrymore -- I love his voice. John Barrymore also starred and I couldn't help but smile every time he appeared in profile -- which was plenty -- always on the "good side"! Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo... can't go wrong with names like that!
Katie & I watched 3:10 to Yuma, which I liked a lot. I like a good western once in a while; I like Russell Crowe and especially Christian Bale; I liked the story and the way it was told. It made me remember, once again, that I still need to watch Unforgiven. Add it to the queue!
We Are Marshall primed us for Sunday's football game. Heartwrenching, of course, but also heartwarming. I liked it, but thought it was choppy -- it was a good movie, but it could have been a better movie. We were introduced to the coach's family so quickly in the beginning that when his wife turned up in the bleachers much later in the movie, it took me a minute to think about who she was and why she was there, then I remembered that he had a wife and kids! I'm not even sure we got a good look at her earlier.
Rounding out the movie mix was Away From Her. Sad and melancholy, it was amazing nonetheless. Julie Christie has been a favorite since, wide-eyed at 11, I watched her on the big screen in Doctor Zhivago -- up against Rod Steiger, oh, and Omar. Mom, fresh from a class in Russian history, took me to see it and whispered historical facts into my ear during the entire movie -- which didn't diminish its impression on me in any way. Away From Her... Julie Christie is only three years younger than my mother and her character in this movie -- her beauty and style -- so resembles my mother... it was almost eery, given the subject and context and Mom's recent milestone birthday and in thinking of my grandmother, lost. Heartbreaking... the movie... Alzheimer's.
This photo would seem to fit in nicely with the ABC-Along theme this year, and yet doesn't really have a place. It's a photo of the logo on the ABC mangle that resided for years in the aforementioned grandmother's kitchen, but that I only saw her operate once (it's not a very kid-friendly machine). My mother is an "ironer" of highest order and it's only fitting that the mangle now resides with her (I haven't seen her operate it yet).