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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira:

June 21, 2010 at 11:23 AM

“All of Me,” and reading for the movies

Well, immediately after telling all of you to get out and see some movies, I barely left my house this weekend thanks to a strange little flu bug that resolved itself quite nicely by Monday morning. (Why do 48-hour bugs always hit on Fridays, and never on Mondays?) Anyway, my movie-watching this weekend consisted solely of a ritual re-watching of “All of Me,” that 1984 comedy that never fails to cheer me up — particularly the irresistibly joyous end credits, with Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin doing a deliriously silly dance in a mirror. (Tried to link to the scene for you, but no luck; you’ll just have to rent it if you haven’t seen it. Or, if you have, just hum the song.)
But I mostly spent the weekend reading — movie homework, so to speak. Finally caught up with “Eat Pray Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir that will be on screen this August starring Julia Roberts. (Roberts is on the cover of the new paperback edition, eating gelato and looking vaguely confused, which is no way to eat gelato.) Hmm. Not sure how this will translate to the screen, as it’s all about Gilbert’s voice and charming, slightly scattery persona. It’s the story of Gilbert’s post-divorce spiritual journey, and though she travels to exotic locales in order to find herself, most of the action takes place in her head — a notoriously difficult place to bring cameras. I’m guessing the movie will be more of a conventional romantic comedy/drama, with Javier Bardem as her love interest (who only appears toward the end of the book, but will likely have a bigger role in the movie), and that, like “Under the Tuscan Sun” (which wandered wildly from the book and featured a weird subplot involving a snake that haunts me to this day), it will be more about pretty travel pictures than anything else. But that’s just a guess, and I hope I’m surprised by it.
Also read “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro, which is the basis for a movie coming out this fall (I linked to the trailer last week). (Brief digression: Don’t you love, when buying used books, the way that sometimes a souvenir of a previous owner drops out? My copy of the book, bought at my neighborhood bookstore on Friday, was previously owned by someone named Matthew who bought two Brooks Brothers dress shirts at the outlet store in Tulalip in November of 2008. I like to think of him, whoever he is, reading the book while nattily dressed in his new shirt, smoothing his cuffs, which I suspect Ishiguro — a most elegant prose stylist — would appreciate.) Gorgeous, haunting book, the sort that always shimmers in the distance, no matter how close you try to get to it — it kept making me think of how moonlight, sparkling on the water, disappears if you try to grab it. It’s a creepy, science-fictiony story about three former students at a mysterious British boarding school, and I think just might translate beautifully to the movies — simply because I can’t see how it could be easily done. Happens all the time: I think a book, like “The Hours” or “Atonement” or “Perfume,” to just name three that popped into my head, can’t possibly be translated properly to the screen, and then the movie comes out and it’s gorgeous. You never know. Keeps this job interesting.



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