Monthly Archives: March 2011

Review: Goya’s Ghosts

Is it possible  to love and hate a movie at the same time? I think a proper summary of Goya’s Ghosts would be that I enjoyed the watching, but hated that I didn’t much care about any of the people in it.

That’s quite a statement, considering the heavyweight cast. Of course, Javier Bardem plays a great bad guy, but in this film, he sort of rides the fence. I mean, if you’re a baddie trying to do good, then let’s establish that. But it seemed to me that he couldn’t really make up his mind. Incongruity is fine, as long as it’s clearly defined, which it wasn’t here. If the director was going for nuance, I missed it. Head scratcher, and an apparent strikeout for the team of Saul Zaentz and Milos Forman, who produced and directed (respectively) tiny, unimportant films like, oh, Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

I am not a Natalie Portman fan, and the fact that she played a double role in this film (mother and daughter) meant that I got to enjoy her twice. No bueno. I could say that she brought some depth to her character, but she played a nice girl from a wealthy family, and she didn’t give me much to go on. I’m still checking into the significance of kissing a dwarf’s feet.  ?????

Loved Stellan Skarsgård as Francisco Goya, the Spanish painter. I must admit that I had no idea Goya was deaf. Shows my art history prowess this day. But his character was the only one who really shouted “Care about me.” Thumbs-up to Barnacle Bill.

Particularly sad was the appearance of Randy Quaid, pre-psychological meltdown. He played Carlos IV of Spain.

And then there’s the part I loved: the photography. Absolutely stunning, and instantly made the film worth watching. I almost forgot about some of the groan-inducing dialogue. I laughed out loud at Matt Brunson’s (Southeastern Film Critics Assn.) review, in which he said the storyline becomes “so silly, you half-expect Mel Brooks to show up reprising his ‘Inquisition’ musical number from History of the World Part I.”


Now maybe if they’d done that, the movie wouldn’t have slapped leather directly to DVD.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Goya’s Ghosts:



Some fantastic way to start the work week. Last time I looked at the clock before falling asleep? 12:58. Next thing I know, it’s four hours later and the alarm’s going off. Honestly, people. Need me some protein this morning to keep going.

Still, it was one of the best weekends ever. Had a wonderful show with some top-drawer people, partied (and ate waaaaay too much) with the family yesterday and got to spend some time with the Js. Now it’s back to the old routine (and the diet — no more getting chocolate wasted).

And just so you know, I’m talking to the doctor this week about how long he wants to do “alternative therapy” before suggesting I go to the next level. I know it’s my decision, and I will do this thing sooner over later, but I don’t want to rush. Again, thanks to all my concerned friends for their advice. It is great to have you, and the love of family, in troubled times.

But for now I prepare to face 50 twelve-year-olds, first thing today. They do keep me feeling young at heart, even though the rest of me feels like ninety. Heh.

Hope your weekend was grand. Here we go again…


That’s how the leg bones go this morning.

But hey, enough complaining. It was a great weekend; my eternal thanks go to the cast, crew, pit and parent and student workers involved in Dinner Theatre 2011. I am once again amazed at how it all comes together. They’re all stars. All-stars.

Now I’m off to the kitchen in preparation for 12 guests for dinner tonight. Baking a birthday cake, then cooking this afternoon with fellow grammie Jane. Fun! I just wish there was one more day in the weekend so I could spend more time playing with the new toy:


Thanks to all my fiends who commented on yesterday’s picture post. I am proud of all those kids, even though they make me want to stomp daisies sometimes. Know the feelin’? :-)

Nice Saturday

Why is that? Because I had one of the best Friday openings in years. It’s positively baffling. The same group of nineteen 15-18-year-olds who made me want to shoot myself a week ago (heck, two days ago) transformed into actors, singers and dancers who delighted two audiences last night. I told the kids last week that I was going to lobby to add my hair coloring expense to their school fees. I needn’t have bothered.

So if you’ll indulge me in some parent-like pride, I will unfurl the accordion picture holder and make you suffer through my family photos. All joking aside: these kids are exceptional.

Many thanks to the Norwalk Reflector for the great photos. Even more thanks to a fine cast and crew for wowing the crowd and making an old lady feel terrific. On to closing night…