Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Beautiful Things 08/31/11: Down to the Bone, Corner Market and Dinner, Stare at Goats

1.  This morning I read Anthony Lane's review of Vera Farmiga's new film, "Higher Ground" (she stars and directs). In it, Lane listed the different contemporary women (Streep, Weaver, Foster, Moore, Blanchett) in contemporary movies who would have made the George Cukor cut for casting in his mid-20th century movies.  Lane finished completed his list with Vera Farmiga and I couldn't place her, largely, I suppose, because I haven't seen "Up in the Air".  Then, later in the day, I got myself situated to watch Debra ("Winter's Bone") Granik's first movie, "Down to the Bone" and, unknown to me, the working-class, cocaine-addicted, struggling mother/wife/grocery store checker at the center of the movie was Vera Farmiga.  I won't forget her.  The movie (like "Winter's Bone") is bleak, gray, and unsettling.  Whatever hope one might see in Irene's story is unsentimental, hard-earned, incremental, tiny, and, in its own way, profound.  Vera Farmiga's performance is stunning:  she creates an Irene who is tough, weak, tender, cold, smart, stupid, lost, broken, courageous, cowardly, loving, trusting, deceitful, brazen, wary, honest, well, in short, complex and complicated.  The story, the movie's photographic qualities, Vera Farmiga's performance, and the movie's exploration of the intersection between drugs, work, family, longing, sex, friendship, and whatever rehab/recovery is or means will stay with me.

2.  I wanted to buy some produce from a local market today and discovered The Corner Market at the corner of River Road and Thomason Lane.  The produce comes from Sweet Leaf Farm.  I enjoyed shopping at The Corner Market.  Later in the afternoon, and after a stop at the remodeled and newly spacious Kiva Market, I fried a single slice of bacon, sweet onion, red bell pepper, zucchini, blanched green beans, and spinach/feta chicken sausage together and it as delicious.

3. I didn't make it all the way through the movie yet, but after watching "Runaway Jury", "Winter's Bone", "Down the Bone", and "Rana's Wedding" over the past week, I decided I'd try something and little bit lighter and so far, after about forty minutes or so, I'm getting a kick out of "Men Who Stare at Goats".   I sure enjoy George Clooney and, of course, Jeff Bridges.

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