Martin Luther King Jr Day today. C and I visited his museum and tomb when we were in Atlanta, quite a few years ago now. The tomb is beautiful. I am reminded again that I keep meaning to get recordings of his speeches and listen to them.
We’re at the very tail end of the Trump Presidency, such as it was. What a disaster. High hopes for what happens after Wed noon, and very grateful that this past weekend wasn’t filled with violence in various capitals at various capitols. There, did I get that right? I’m taking Wed morning off for the inauguration – would have taken the whole day off, but meetings already scheduled, oh well.
C and I celebrated our 26th anniversary, measured from the first date, two days after the day we met. We were pretty much a done deal by the end of that first date, so… Anyway, he got me a gift certificate and I paid for dinner, which we ordered from our favorite local fancy restaurant. Not sure what we’ll do for Valentine’s Day – that’s the end of the string of monthly celebrations that starts with our wedding anniversary over Labor Day.
Some movie reviews, we’ve seen some good ones. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a movie-ization of a stage play, one of the August Wilson’s ten Pittsburgh cycle plays. It’s very good for what it was, wonderfully acted across the board. We really did lose a treasure in Chaswick Bozeman. I also was really impressed by the old man pianist – Glynn Turman has quite a list of credits, including creating the role of the kid in A Raisin in the Sun. However, with the caveat that I am in fact a white guy (or a “Ouÿte” guy, as a Twitter friend of mind cleverly coined), I’ve never really gotten into any of the Wilson plays I’ve seen, and found this one stagey and in a stylized mode that just is not my cup of tea. So, I didn’t adore it, but it’s very good.
We followed that with The Prom, a silly but fun adaptation of a recent Broadway show about some self-absorbed Broadway performers descending on flyover country to offer their unasked-for help to a young lesbian who’s being banned from attending the prom with her girlfriend. I thought the movie was entertaining and well-cast, although I was surprised that Nicole Kidman took what was a pretty nothing role. I’d heard that James Corden was stereotypically gay-performative almost to the point of offensive, but I didn’t have a problem with it, a nice surprise. I will say that The Prom’s song composition seems to rely on the same very small bag of compositional tricks that most recent Broadway musicals use – so it basically sounded like an evening of cliches. But it wasn’t bad, just not at all original. Worth the watch.
This weekend we started with Pixar’s latest, Soul, just lovely and a great contrast to Ma Rainey. Anyone with a passion, particularly one that doesn’t easily translate into a career, should see it. I’m not particularly a jazz fan, and often jokingly refer to the saxophone as ‘an instrument that any asshole can play – and a lot of them do”… but the lead alto playing they assign to Angela Bassett’s character is fan-fucking-tastic. I was so touched by this movie. They also got NYC completely correct. You could basically ID the subway stations from the entrance hallways.
Then last night, we chose an odd indy called I’m Your Woman, staring a very not-Mrs.-Maisel Rachel Brosnahan. Set in the 70’s, it starts slow and quite frustrating, because all the action is happening elsewhere and no one will tell her what the hell is going on, but it gets better and better. Great cast, too.
Back to Hinterland now, for the week, in between news shows. I need to grab some time to watch my new blue-ray of The Rise of Skywalker, too – don’t worry, I saw it in the theater already. (Did I mention we finished The Mandalorian too? That’s why C doesn’t want to see the Star Wars movie. Low tolerance)
More as it develops…