Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fly Away

Fly Away is the story of a single mom. Jeanne, struggling to raise Mandy, her sixteen year old severely autistic daughter, by herself.  I chronicals her relationship with her daughter, struggles with her ex-husband., lack of social life, and floundering carreer.

I'm going to be up front here.  This film is not going to win any awards.  Some of the acting  is wooden, particularly the love interest. And there is enough pie in the sky thinking to fill a very large house, particularly at the end.

But there are also some very wonderful things here too.  The director, Janet Grillo, apparent has a child with disabilites so she capture the relationship well.  Grillo captures those terrible lows that are balanced out by beautiful highs.  Those highs being and "I love you" or a moment of social awareness that would have meant nothing with a child not the autistic spectrum. 

The second thing that will take your breath away about this film is the performance of the young lady who plays Mandy. Her name is Ashley Rickards.  I stopped the film to look her up because I wanted to know if she was really autistic. 

In the end this is really a film about a coming of age both for mom and daughter and it raises all kinds of questions about humanity and our responsibility to care for the weaker members of our society.

Worth Watching.  Available on Netflix Instant Viewing.

On another note, several of you, my loyal followers, have told me that you missed my blog and you have wondered where I have been.  In answer to that I will give you the photo record of my entire viewing catalog for months on end.  As to my review...................I love them is a super dorky kind of way.  Like I wouldn't mind owning action figure or going to a convention kind of dorkdom.  Think less of my if you must.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Cause It Made Me Laugh

Hey folks.  I have been re-watching Star Trek the Next Generation and loving it all over again. So that is my recommend for the month.

And just so you know what a silly little fan girl I am I am posting this picture cause it made me laugh.  I found it cause I wanted a picture of Picard with a Santa hat for an avatar.   Alas none of those could be found but this little gem did pop up.  Be sure to check out Worf in the back.

Oh, and if any of you have mad skills and could make me a Picard with a Santa hat, I would love you forever.  Bonus love is Dr. Crusher is in the picture too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank

Masterpiece Classic: The Diary of Anne Frank

Oh my heart, my heart.  I think perhaps it might burst from sadness.  I first read the book when I was thirteen?  Fourteen?  Anyway, Anne's age at the time of her writing.  Now, I have kids that age.  And upon viewing this I discovered that Anne's real name is the same as my daughters.  It was gut wrenching and riveting the first time and it is now.  Only different.   This is  a touchstone that I revisit every decade or so to discover how much and how little I have changed.

I just can't review this one except to say that it may very well be the definitive version.  There was at least one thing about it that I didn't love and maybe I will come back and talk about it later but I just can' t do it now.  I am too moved to say a bad word.

Here is a picture of the real Anne that we know from her book.  And here is one of her most famous quotes.

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.  I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery and death. July 15, 1944"

I am editing to add this.  It is a thought I just had concerning this topic.  I think that a life that shies away from sadness can know no joy. Suffering, pain, all of it are essential to knowing beauty. The terrible sadness of reading Anne Frank (or in the case watching it) reminds me of who I am and who I could easily become if I allow evil to reign. It makes me a stronger, better person. Anne reminds me of who I want to be.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

This is still not that kind of blog but just wanted to update my friends who follow me.  Yes, we are in the suspected path of Irene.  I have not posted because we have been getting ready.  Hopefully all will be fine and all of my prep will be for naught.  If you are the praying sort, lots of us could use it right now.  I'll keep you updated when I can.

I am watching the new BBC Sherlock Holmes.  It is worth watching if you are so inclined.  I have been also watching Mad Men.  I have a love hate relationship with that one.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zombies - Guest Post at Not A Supermom

Nota and I have been good friend for about a decade now!  When I was six months pregnant and I fell and broke my ankle, Nota came and cleaned my toilets.  So no matter what she my try to say to the contrary, she is a super friend.  

Anyhoo, she asked me to write an entry for her and you can find posted there now.   It is appropriately titled Attack of the Laundry Zombies.

Be sure to check back here because in the next day or  two, Nota should be making her own guest appearance. Happy reading.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This is not that kind of blog but it totally freaked me out.  Stuff falling off shelves.  I felt the ground actually rolling.  My friend abckidsmom lives at the epicenter.  Hope everyone is okay!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Skin.................It's Not What You Think


I watched this a couple days ago and came right here to post my review.  I added the picture and the tags.  I found some pictures of the really Sandy and read this interesting article.  Then, just as I was starting,  I was stuck.  Too many thoughts in my head put them down in single file, letter by letter.  Too many questions. 

Skin is the based on a real life tale of Sandy Laing.  Sandy was born in South Africa in the early 1960s to parents who were part of the political party responsible for Apartheid.  As far as her parents knew, they had no African ancestors, yet their daughter was born with black attributes.  He parents loved her, and raised her as a white girl, and even fought legally to have her remain classified as white.  They remained steadfast against accusations of accused immorality on the part of Mrs. Laing and claimed her 100% as their own.  They were also completely blind to the difficulties faced by their daughter for the way she looked.  You can't help both loving her parents and wanting to knock their heads against the wall.

What To Know Before Watching

1) If you are anything like me, you will be curious about what the real family looks like.  I have posted the movie family (above) and the real family (below) so that you won't have to pause for a Google. The casting of they younger Sandy is particularly good.

2)While they did clean up the story a bit, it appears that they did it at least in part, for the sake of brevity.   This movie is real life enough that it doesn't all fit into a nice little package.  The ending is good but not perfect. 

3) To the right is a more recent picture of Sandy and her mother.  Her mother has since passed away.

4) The actress who plays the older Sandy is Sophie Okonedo.  I reviewed another of her works, The Secret Life of Bees, here.  I really liked her in Bees but I have mixed feeling about her work in Skin.  At times I found it brilliant and at other times stilted.  Though she is appears to be a young woman, it seemed to me that she was more comfortable playing Sandy as on older woman.  I found that both odd and intriguing. 

5) The most interesting thing about this film is what it has to say about race.  It reminded me of  a Nova article I read a couple years ago discussing the existence, or lack thereof, race. But even in light of all this theory, it is where ideas meet the lives of real people that things get interesting.  And messy.

6) Here is what Common Sense Media has to say about the kiddos.  It says 15 but would let my mature13 year old watch it.

Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing

Four Stars- I really liked it.