Tag Archives: Bill Nighy

Who dunnit?

Really?

Almost fifty years on, I didn’t remember either the plot or who the murderer was. For that reason, I quite enjoyed the latest BBC version of Ordeal by Innocence. I feel as long as you don’t expect much, these period Agatha Christie rewrites are fun enough. Just not very ‘real.’

It used to be that screen scripts weren’t very true to the book, but since when do you have to change who the killer is? If you have so much better an idea, why not write your own?

I did wonder whether Bill Nighy was going to be the usual nice guy or if they were going outside their comfort zone and have him bludgeon his wife to death. And son Jack seemed quite unpleasant to begin with.

Considering what the theme for some of the reasons behind this dysfunctional family’s problems were [supposed to be], I’m not surprised they felt the need to reshoot all the scenes where the original actor might have an unpalatable sexual past. Or not.

But I felt the changeover worked well. Yes, you could see how cold it was in January, when it should have been summer, but that was all. The car radio scenes were more inaccurate, but I suppose people are too young to know.

So, yes, I enjoyed it. Even Matthew Goode being a bit bad. He’s a disturbingly good kind of bad.

But the satisfying television ending rings a bit hollow, when you consider how it was meant to be.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

What can I say? Well, not the title of this film, obviously. I stumbled over the words for the first one, and add a second film and I’ll have to call it Marigold 2. But to get back to the saying; Marigold 2 is as fun and entertaining as Marigold 1 was. I worried in case the usual thing about a sequel not having the surprise element to offer, would mean it suffered.

But I reckon that a film that makes someone like me laugh out loud in the cinema, can’t be bad. (I’ve been informed that Daughter’s peers are not Marigold fans. They didn’t see No. 1 and don’t plan to see No. 2. That’s their loss.) Us oldies deserve more films featuring old people, even if we are delusional when we believe we are Richard Gere or Lillete Dubey.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Maggie Smith still gets most of the good lines, whether she’s in India or at Downton. Here we have two women aged 79, who start new jobs and enjoy them. One of them finds new love, and so do quite a few others, even when it takes them a while to realise where true love is to be found.

And inevitably there is sadness, although it is dealt with off screen. It’s as with nudity and sex; more powerful when not seen. Sooner or later we all have to check out, and far better we didn’t waste time dunking a teabag into lukewarm water before we do.

Sonny might be an impossible optimist, and he might get a lot of things wrong, but he also gets things right. After all, whose idea was any of this Marigold stuff?

And I’ll have a beautifully lit up courtyard like this, please.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Best Exotic Marigold film ever

Better late than never. We were afraid we’d be too late (although not in the meaning of being dead) for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I suppose it’s a sign of its popularity that it’s still hanging on in cinemas, and even ones near us.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I often find films amusing, but according to Daughter I’ve not laughed this much for a very long time. So thank you to Dev Patel for his inept hotel manager, and to Maggie Smith and Co for being such marvellous old people, and airing their prejudices and overcoming a few. (The thing is I am beginning to feel very close to needing an Exotic Marigold myself.)

In the early days someone described this film in not terribly flattering words, but conceded it would probably be popular with old people. I’m thinking it must have been along the lines of those (men) who reckoned Mamma Mia! the movie was a bit of a loser. Marigold (as I’ve been calling it for some time) is a tremendously wonderful film!

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Almost found myself wanting a hip replacement if I could have Maggie Smith’s lovely doctor. Not sure you’d be in a wheelchair for that amount of time afterwards, however. Being able to tell a call centre where they are going wrong strikes me as irresistible.

Wrinkly oldies are attractive. Almost dropping dead, or actually dying isn’t so nice, but better this way than through needless violence. Going abroad for your old age is not necessarily a good idea, but then staying put in the UK didn’t appear to be much better.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

As others have said before me, this is a film that is near perfect.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2

Snape

The wait was shorter than it seemed. We went for the first local screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 to get in before school ended for the day and especially to avoid the end of term.

The cinema had actually been screening the other Harry Potter films in the days leading up to The Day, which is good for people needing reminding, or even for the unlikely person who has never bothered but who has suddenly seen the light and wants to join in, however belatedly. I could have done with it myself as far as part 1 was concerned. Barely remembered how far we’d got or what had happened.

Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ollivander

It didn’t even feel too much as if we began in the middle, for a film that began in the middle. Dobby is dead and Harry is sad. And determined to get going with the remaining Horcruxes. More Polyjuice to get into Gringotts, and Hermione as a polite Bellatrix was a sight to see. Not so sure about Harry’s face-dive into Snapes’s memories, but it was necessary for the plot.

Neville

Harry and Ron and Hermione do a good enough job, but the winner of both book and film has to be Neville Longbottom. Who’d have thought he’d turn out so well? Maggie Smith as McGonagall is also a sight for sore eyes, along with her comfortable Scottish accent. I know I shouldn’t make too much of a relatively small part, but I’m just so grateful she survived. Maggie Smith, I mean. After the first film I had this sudden witchy premonition that someone wasn’t going to make it, and the faces that flashed before me were hers and Richard Harris’s.

It’s actually a major feat that they could make so many films with child actors and have them ‘all’ there at the end. I know one or two have fallen by the wayside, but other than that it’s worked well. Thought Crabbe had had a colour change, but he appears to have been written out.

Ginny and Mr Weasley

I was surprisingly touched by the deaths, which is more remarkable for them not really happening on screen. We see everyone dead afterwards. I’d almost go so far as to say that not enough is made of those deaths. Could be they want to skirt the issue in order not to upset young viewers, but you could easily miss quite how many dear ones perish.

But I suspect that’s not why the Retired Children’s Librarian had read in her paper that ‘people will be sad’. I think they meant ‘what will we all do now that Harry Potter is over?’ Yes, what will we do? This kind of thing is never coming back.

(Photos © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1

We were afraid it’d turn into one of those occasions when we just never get there; what with so many things conspiring against us and deciding they were more important than the new Harry Potter film. But hardy as we are, Daughter and I, we crawled out of bed for the early Sunday screening, three weeks into the HP season.

I don’t think we’ve ever been this late before.

The HP films have been an uneven lot, but I can safely say I liked this one. Unfinished though it was. If you didn’t know better, you’d think Voldemort had won. (He hasn’t, has he?)

Robbie Coltrane and Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc

People die. Not so many in part one, so more of the fun will have been saved for next time. I don’t care much for the snake. S’cuse me, Nagini. A little bit on the hungry side for my comfort.

Nice scenery, with plenty of Geology for the student next to me. Some silly romance stuff. A Mr Darcy moment (he’s still too young for us to lust after!).

If it weren’t for the fact that Hermione should be not pretty, I have to admit to having been won over by Emma Watson, and it’s not something I say lightly. Rupert Grint on the other hand…

I need a handbag like Hermione’s. And I love the tent, even if I couldn’t cram it into that handbag. That girl can really pack. Oh, it’s magic? Never mind, she can still pack, and she knows what will come in handy.

Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.

That tedious Polyjuice from book two certainly comes into its own here, disgusting though it is. Daughter enjoyed the film as a film, but had to go and point out quite how many changes they’ve done and how some things aren’t even in the book! Fancy that. Luckily I only read the book once, so I don’t recall every minutest detail, making me ever so tolerant.

I think I would like to re-read all seven books. So if Emma Watson could Polyjuice me some extra time over Christmas? Thank you.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 - © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.

Am still very fond of the Phelps twins, i.e. Fred and George, and that will end in tears. I know. Also find Evanna Lynch really successfully flaky as Luna. Slightly disconcerting to have the Queen Mother – aka Helena Bonham Carter – as the beautifully menacing Bellatrix.

I’m all for them having divided the last book into two films. It’d be mad not to have done so. But I would have liked to have access to both parts within a shorter period of time. We finished on a (sort of) cliffhanger of a different kind than what you get in proper series of books/films.

(This post co-published with Bookwitch.)

(Photos © Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc.)

Vincent

I looked at the painting on the wall. First thought was that is was ‘nice’. Second thought was that it looked rather like a van Gogh. Third thought went along the lines that it was a van Gogh.

Yes, I know it was unlikely, seeing as the wall was my wall in the room where I stayed while I did a year at the University of Sussex, many many years ago. I went closer to the painting. It had the textured surface of real oil. But it couldn’t be? Could it?

Didn’t feel it was quite proper to ask my host family, so discussed it with others on my course. They reckoned the way to find out was to steal it and see what happened. I didn’t, and settled for simply enjoying the view of the yellow field opposite my bed. Eventually the subject came up with my hosts, and I was assured it wasn’t real.

Vincent van Gogh - Doctor Who

I was reminded of this when I caught up with last week’s Doctor Who, featuring the lovely Vincent. Why he was Scottish I don’t know, but it was a fun episode. Relieved to see neither the Doctor nor Amy helped themselves to a genuine van Gogh while they were at it.