> Chapter1-Take1: July 2016

Jason Bourne: You've seen it. But have you seen it in French?

Today I'm working what I like to call Slacker Sunday for all its' worth. For our video we have the Jason Bourne trailer in French, also geared to those of you checking in from Paulita Kincer's Dreaming of France. And, instead of writing my own review, I'm sharing a couple of the reviews I've read online.

Plus a MovieFone interview with Matt Damon's costar Alicia Vikander.

I haven't enjoyed any of the Bourne movies quite as much as I did the first one, 2002's The Bourne Identity with Franka Potente. The action was thrilling, shot in a way I hadn't seen before. I especially enjoyed the relationship angle between Matt Damon and Potente, and their chemistry. As a fan of Damon and also Alicia Vikander, I'm hoping there will be some of that in this latest Bourne. While the script by director Paul Greengrass and Christopher Rouse isn't based on a book, the characters remain pure Robert Ludlum.

The Hours starring Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore & Meryl Streep: #SaturdayMatinee

Some of you know I take an imaginary walk in London every Friday over on my other site, SimCarter.com. This week I visited Bloomsbury, so Virginia Woolf is very much on my mind. Which brings me to this week's Saturday Matinee, The Hours, based on the book of the same name by Michael Cunningham. 

The Hours tells the story of three women: Virginia Woolf, beginning to write Mrs. Dalloway as she recuperates in a London suburb with her husband in 1923; Clarissa Vaughan, beloved friend of an acclaimed poet dying from AIDS, who in modern-day New York is planning a party in his honor; and Laura Brown, in a 1949 Los Angeles suburb, who slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home. By the end of the novel, these three stories intertwine in remarkable ways, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace.

Cunningham's book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1999. The film, released in February of 2002, was nominated for nine Oscars, including a Best Actress nom for Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf. She won. While Kidman has been nominated for Moulin Rouge and Rabbit Hole, her performance in The Hours remains her only win.

She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day.

It may have something to do with her appearance; the usually gorgeous Kidman donned a beakish nose to play Virginia Woolf, downplaying her own good looks, allowing audiences and critics and Academy Award members to see her for what she is. A damn fine actress. 

Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore also star as Clarissa Vaughn and Laura Brown, respectively for which Moore received a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Streep was ignored (for a change.) 

I will buy the flowers myself.’’

The film was directed by Steven Daldry from a script by David Hare, both of whom were nominated for Oscars. The exquisite costumes are by Ann Roth, also nominated. The trio worked collaborated again on The Reader and again, all three were nominated. As acclaimed as The Hours was, Kidman's was the only Academy win. 

The Hours is available to stream on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu and Google Play for a few dollars. It has been available on Netflix streaming from time to time so check at the time of this reading.

Have you read the book? Seen the movie? 

Indignation by Philip Roth: My take on the book [review] #book2movies

I've been sharing images, pairing them with paragraphs from Philip Roth's small book, Indignation, all week long. A small book which carries quite a punch. 

Our young hero, Marcus Messner, starts off his tale moaning—or should I say 'kvetching' as his 'Jewishness' is part and parcel of the story—about his overprotective father, a Kosher butcher in Newark, New Jersey. Jewishness, sex, death: those are Philip Roth's usual themes, much in evidence here. While Marcus–or Markie as his dad calls him—has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with his father for his entire life and lovingly details working together with him at the store from flicking chickens to how to kosher a chicken to washing out the pails of fat, but now that Marcus is in college his father has become a complete worry-wort and can't bear not knowing where Marcus is and what he's doing. He's terrified Marcus will do something to get himself thrown out of school and put at the front of the line to be sent to Korea. Marcus, 'a nice boy' hell bent on studying, can't stand the suffocating atmosphere and transfers to a Christian college in Pennsylvania, out from underneath his father's watchful eye.  

The campus is rife with difficulties: mandatory weekly chapel attendance—problematic not because Marcus is an observant Jew but because he is an ardent atheist, roommate trouble, and a dean who decides the transfer student needs guidance which only leaves Marcus infuriated and full of indignation. Key among Marcus' problems is girl trouble. He meets a girl—I told you briefly about the mentally unstable Olivia Hutton in a prior post—a girl who gives out blow jobs the way preschool teachers give out gold stars. Inexperienced, shocked, Marcus is thrilled by everything about Olivia, utterly bewitched. Roth doesn't tell us a lot about the girl but what he does tell us is pointed. And troubling, at least for me, to hear the girl's sexual abandon equated with deep emotional troubles and mental illness. Sometimes I think Roth just loves writing about sex so much, he just can't help himself. If any of you younger women have read the book, I'd love to hear your take on Olivia's attitude about the subject. In the 1950's world in which the novel takes place many would have called her the town pump and sneered about her easiness and obvious lack of self-esteem; I wonder what a more modern reading makes of her.

There is a surprise in the book, which occurs about 25% of the way in, which I'll let you discover for yourself, a warning which does nothing to take away the abrupt punch at the end of the novel. Short but quite devastating, especially to this mother of a 23 year old. They say writers love writing about sex and death. Philip Roth does both here, beautifully. 

The movie comes out today, I'm going to get myself to a theater asap. Can't wait to see what director James Schamus—who also wrote the screenplay—makes of Roth's little book of Indignation.

Indignation stars Logan Lerman as Marcus Messner, Sarah Gadon as Olivia Hutton, Tracy Letts (the playwright and actor) as the dean of men and Danny Burstein as Marcus' father.

Lerman is set to make another book lovers movie appearance in the long in the works The Wife, based on the book by Meg Wolitzer. The movie has been coming for years but it look like things are actually finally moving. The cast includes Lerman, Jonathan Pryce as the Nobel Prize winning author and Glenn Close as the titular Wife. IMDB promises it's slated for 2017 but so far I haven't been confident enough to slot it in 

Indignation by the book: Meet Tracy Letts as Dean Caudwell #book2movies

Tracy Letts as Dean Hawes D. Caudwell,
Logan Lerman as Marcus Messner

Dear Mr. Messner,
  It has come to my attention that you have taken up residence in Neil Hall after having already briefly occupied two separate rooms in Jenkins. I am concerned about so many changes of residence on the part of a transfer student who has been at Winesburg as a sophomore for less than a semester. Will you please arrange with my secretary to come to my office sometime this week? A short meeting is in order, one that I'm sure will prove useful to both of us.
                                                               Yours sincerely,
                                            Hawes D. Caudwell
Dean of Men’’

p. 44, Indignation

When I entered his office from the anteroom, the dean came around from behind his desk to shake my hand. He was lean and broad-shouldered, with a lantern jaw, sparkling blue eyes, and a heavy crest of silver hair, a tall man probably in his late fifties who still moved with the agility of the young athletic star he'd been in three sports at Winesburg just before World War I. There were photos of championship Winesburg athletic teams on his walls, and a bronzed football was displayed on a stand back of his desk. The only books in the office were the volumes of the college's yearbook, the Owl's Nest, arranged in chronological order in a glass-enclosed case behind him.’’
p. 46, Indignation

I don't know that Tracy Letts (Homeland) is exactly who I pictured while reading this passage in Philip Roth's book—what exactly is a lantern jaw?—but now that I've seen these images of Letts as the Dean he seems perfect for the part.
What do you think of the casting?

Indignation by the book: Meet Sarah Gadon as Olivia Hutton

“There was a girl, if not yet in the picture, one that I had my eye on. She was a sophomore transfer student like me, pale and slender, with dark auburn hair and with what seemed to me an aloofly intimidating, self-confident manner. She was enrolled in my American history class and sometimes sat right next to me, but because I didn't want to run the risk of her telling me to leave her alone, I hadn't worked up the courage to nod hello, let alone speak to her. One night I saw her at the library. I was sitting at a desk up in the the stacks that overlooked the main reading room; she was at one of the long tables on the reading room floor, diligently taking notes out of a reference book. Two things captivated me. One was the part in her exquisite hair. Never before had I been so vulnerable to the part in someone's hair. The other was her left leg, which crossed over her right leg and rhythmically swaying up and down. her skirt fell midway down her calf, as was the style, but still, from where I was seated I could see beneath the table the unceasing movement of that leg. She must have remained there like that for two hours, steadily taking notes without a break, and all I did during that time was to look at the way that hair was parted in an even line and the way she never stopped moving her leg up and down. Not for the first time, I wondered what moving a leg like that felt like for a girl. She was absorbed in her homework, and I, with the mind of an eighteen-year-old boy, was absorbed in wanting to put my hand up her skirt. The strong desire to rush off to the bathroom was quelled by my fear that if I did so, I might get caught by a librarian or a teacher or even by an honorable student, be expelled from school, and wind up a rifleman in Korea.’’
p. 29, Indignation

While Sarah Gadon has blond, not dark auburn hair, and in this shot, her leg is thrown over the arm of the chair, not her own leg, to my mind, she embodies the most important quality I've seen in Olivia's character which is her apparent lack of sexual inhibition. The film is set in a very different time, one in which young women weren't as free sexually as they are in 2016. Olivia Hutton's sexuality is used by Roth as one indicator of her mental instability. I'm fascinated to see where Roth takes it in the novel which he wrote in 2008.
Equally fascinated to see where director takes it in the film!

Meet Logan Lerman as Marcus Messner and watch the Indignation trailer.

Indignation opens July 29th. I'm at page 56 of 120 pages. How about you?  

Indignation by the book: Meet Logan Lerman as Marcus Messner

Logan Lerman is Marcus Messner, the son of a Kosher butcher played by Danny Burstein. 
“It was my job not just to pluck the chickens but to eviscerate them. You slit the ass open and little bit and you stick your hand up and you grab the viscera and you pull them out. I hated that part. Nauseating and disgusting, but it had to be done. That’s what I learned from my father and what I loved learning from my him: that you do what you have to do.’’

“At the store, the customers would delight him and my mother by telling them what a pleasure it was to watch the little one to whom they used to bring cookies—back when his father used to let him play with some fat and cut it up like a “big butcher,” albeit using a knife with a dull blade—to watch him mature under their eyes into a well-mannered, well-spoken youngster who put their beef through the grinder to make chopped meat and who scattered and swept up the sawdust on the floor and who dutifully yanked the remaining feathers from the necks of the dead chickens hanging from hooks on the wall when his father called over to him, “Flick two chickens, Markie, will ya, for Mrs. So-and-So?’’ During the seven months before college he did more than give me the meat to grind and a few chickens to flick. He taught me how to take a rack of lamb and cut lamp chops out of it, how to slice each rib, and, when I got down to the bottom, how to take the chopper and chop off the rest of it” 
Indignation, page 8 

Indignation starring Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon opens July 29th. Have you read the book? At just 120 pages you still have time.

A Philip Roth Renaissance? Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon star in Indignation [trailer] #book2movies

Philip Roth is having a good year! I'm currently reading Roth's American Pastoral which is headed to theaters at the end of this year with Ewan McGregor both directing and starring, along with Dakota Fanning as his rebellious daughter and Jennifer Connelly as his former beauty contest winner wife. 

But first, due out on July 29th, Indignation based on Roth's novel of the same name, stars Logan Lerman and Sarah Gadon. Lerman in particular is getting raves for his performance. One of the blurbs in the trailer below calls it a star making performance; about time for the young Lerman who has been a successfully working actor in Hollywood since 2000. You've seen him in Jack & Bobby, The 3:10 to Yuma, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and last years Fury with Brad Pitt. 

Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer: Let's play the casting game.

Last week Paulita Kincer shared her dream cast for a screen adaptation of her novel Paris Runaway, her latest book set in France and a terrific beach read. You can check out my take on the book  if you like. Or visit the book's page on GoodReads etc.

I loved her suggestion of Julianne Moore for Sadie, the middle-aged, red-headed divorced mother of two young women, a college student and a high school senior, the so-called Paris Runaway who goes chasing after a French exchange student. 

And no one could fault her choice of Jean DuJardin as the sexy fifty-something divorced French father of the young man. Auguste and Sadie band together to find their kids.

The daughters, Madison Davenport from Criminal Minds as the older daughter Evangeline and Willow Shields from Hunger Games as Scarlet, the Paris Runaway are terrific.

That brings me to my only quibble. Paulita's choice of Ansel Elgort, the popular young actor who starred opposite Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars, to play Luc, the French student.

Eddie Redmayne Casts a Spell with New 'Fantastic Beasts' trailer

I'm just about to grab coffee #2 before I take my morning walk—before the heat kicks in here in LA—and get a busier than usual Sunday started. It's my big brother's birthday today, which prompted a little personal writing over on Sim Carter: Memoir+More, so I'll make this Slacker Sunday (Sunday Slacker?) quick so I can get to celebrating.

Eddie Redmayne put a spell on all 6500 fans crowding Hall H at ComicCon this Saturday. According to Variety, as part of the intro to the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer, Redmayne literally cast a Lumos Maxima spell on the crowd AND handed out magic wands to all. Director David Yates and fellow stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell were all there for the panel.

Watch the newest trailer and see if you don't find it fantastic. Unless you think it's beastly? Let me know in the comment section below. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
 opens on November 18th

My Fair Lady #SaturdayMatinee #book2movies

Yesterday, as part of the virtual walk in London I take every Friday on SimCarter.com, I shared the image (below) of Audrey Helpburn as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady

Thanks, I said to myself, reaching over to pat my own back, My Fair Lady is a great suggestion for this week's Saturday Matinee. Until I realize the classic film isn't available on the usual streaming services to watch on a Saturday afternoon. Not on Amazon, not iTunes, not GooglePlay. And of course it's not on Netflix because when is anything ever available on Netflix when you want it to be

But I can't bear to ignore it. It's My Fair Lady, the Best Picture of 1964! 

Adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion—did you know that Shaw himself wrote the screenplay adaptation of his play for the 1938 version of the movie?—the words and music for the musical version of are from musical great Alan Jay Lerner. How great? Gigi, An American in Paris, Brigadoon, Camelot. That great. Sort of surprising that while his was one of twelve Academy Award nominations the movie received, he didn't win an Oscar for his work. 

What Oscars did My Fair Lady take home? 

Dakota Fanning to star in The Bell Jar directed by Kirsten Dunst

Kirsten Dunst is making her feature film directorial debut with a movie based on Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Dakota Fanning will star as Esther Greenwood, the magazine intern who slowly devolves into mental illness. The tragedy of Plath's life of course, is that The Bell Jar is semi-autobiographical, documenting her summer at Mademoiselle as a guest editor while she was still a college student at Smith. The book was published in 1963, the same year Plath succeeded in killing herself in the London apartment she shared with her husband and two small children.

Siracusa: Delia Ephron's latest book getting its big screen moment in the sun

I loved Delia Ephron's The Lion is In so much I put it on my short list of books I wished were movies. I won't have to do that with her latest book, Siracusa, as the novel, released July 12th, was optioned by Working Title back in March. A director is already lined up; Alfonso Gomez-Rejon who recenlty helmed the adaptation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

The book takes place on the island of Sicily, on the Ionian Sea so the 'sun-drenched' locale seems set in stone. I love movies that show us the world, and Siracusa, full of Greek influence, sounds like a special place to see. All that's left is the casting. I can't wait to start reading! 

Here's the rundown on the book—already named one of New York Magazines top 100 beach reads.  

An electrifying novel about marriage and deceit from bestselling author Delia Ephron that follows two couples on vacation in Siracusa, a town on the coast of Sicily, where the secrets they have hidden from one another are exposed and relationships are unraveled. 
New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. 
With her inimitable psychological astute­ness and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming.
A new twitter acquaintance @BooksandTunes tweeted this quote from the book!
"There are some people who dump all their misery into marriage, make wedded bliss their neurotic nest, & the best version of them lives outside that ugly place."

Oh God! On a bad day, that's a lot of us. 

Have you read Siracusa yet? Who would you cast as the famous author Michael and his journalist wife Lizzie? 

Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in Never Go Back [trailer]

I am married to a man who will occasionally quote Jack Reacher from whatever Lee Child 'Jack Reacher' book he's reading at the time. Sometimes he'll even tell me the plot. Child—who is British—has written 21 books about the American Army vet who is 6'5" and 225 pounds and blonde.  

Tom Cruise is none of those things and while Reacher fans the world over were furious over Cruise's casting, Lee Child himself was completely onboard. He's onboard this time around too, with Never Go Back, the adaptation of his 13th Reacher novel. 

"Reacher has made his way from snowbound South Dakota to his destination in northeastern Virginia, near Washington, D.C.: the headquarters of his old unit, the 110th MP. The old stone building is the closest thing to a home he ever had. He’s there to meet—in person—the new commanding officer, Major Susan Turner, so far just a warm, intriguing voice on the phone. 
But it isn’t Turner behind the CO’s desk. And Reacher is hit with two pieces of shocking news, one with serious criminal consequences, and one too personal to contemplate. 
When threatened, you can run or fight. Reacher fights, aiming to find Turner and clear his name, barely a step ahead of the army, and the FBI, and the D.C. Metro police, and four unidentified thugs."

While readers of the book note that Reacher doesn't go to New Orleans in Child's novel as we'll see him do in the movie, the author's website goes to great pains to say that Child—"who has participated in efforts to support the NOLA economy"—gave his permission to include the great city of New Orleans in the film version of his book. 

Er, okay. Check out the trailer for Never Go Back costarring How I Met Your Mother's Cobie Smulders as the head of Reacher's former unit. 

Are you up for round two of Cruise as Jack Reacher? I confess I saw Cruise in Jack Reacher based on One Shot and while I had no preconceived notions of who Jack Reacher was, and how he should look, I thought the movie was thrilling.

Are you in?

Never Go Back comes out October 21st. 

On my podcast: Meeting Tom Cruise before he was TOM CRUISE

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie ... 5 things I loved about the #AbFabMovie

5 Things I Loved about the #AbFabMovie

So happy, sweetie-darlings, to have been asked to share my thoughts on Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. My sister, another fan of the AbFab television show, came along to the screening Monday night at the ArcLight Theater, home of the world-famous Cinerama Dome. Even though it's not a movie based on a book, I was planning on seeing the movie anyway. Throw in free tix, champagne and a stipend and I'm there! I'm sure Patsy & Edina would approve. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Most of the audience, like me, were there to have a good time. It's tough out there in the world right now and I was ready for some comic relief. Event host Dave Karger (Today, Access Hollywood, E! and TCM) thanked the audience for coming out as we could have stayed home and watched the Republican National Convention if we just wanted a laugh. And that got the party started.

What I Loved

One ... Characters we love 

Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (Jennifer Saunders) still share that crackling chemistry, that just-this-side of blitzed madness and self-deluded blindness that makes them crazy lovable. Edina's daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) remained almost unchanged from her television character with her stolid if judgmental, good sense in stark contrast to her self-obsessed mum.

Two ... The funny-sad state of women in the world

As an older woman, all too familiar in our youth obsessed culture with the sometimes desperate need to look skinnier, younger, sexier, I found myself busting up at the duo's antics. Seeing Jennifer Saunders—who wrote the screenplay—totter around on ridiculously trendy shoes as Edina, and watching Joanna Lumley's Patsy inject her own face with Botox or cows blood or whatever the hell it was, had me laughing in recognition. Not that I'm injecting my own face with anything, mind you, but man there are days I just look in the mirror and go who the hell is that woman? That is, when I can see in the mirror! I seem to grow a bit more blind with every year, so I can totally relate to Edina's make-up mishaps.

Three ... Glamour gone wild

The whole glitzy world of models and jet setters brought to life by a slew of celeb cameos: Jon Hamm, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton, Dame Edna, Perez Hilton, Jerry Hall, Joan Collins, Lulu, Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gautier, former spice girl—Baby Spice—Emma Bunton, super models Suki Waterhouse and Alexa Chung, and some other well known faces in the British Isles all played themselves. The key celeb playing herself is Kate Moss, accidentally pushed over the railing of a swishy affair into the Thames, by Edina.

Four ... Saffron's performance of At Seventeen

After Patsy & Edina snatch away Saffron's beautiful fifteen year old daughter, sensing Lola's youth will give them cover, Saffron stumbles into a club filled with transvestites, where Saffron is initially ignored. She wins over the audience with her rendition of Janis Ian's At Seventeen. It's ridiculous that she breaks into song presumably to get the crowd's attention but for those of us familiar with the song from the mid-1970's, it was a beautiful and timely message inserted into the comedic scenery, especially when you think about all the people in the LGBT community, formerly living in the dark, feeling lost and alone, now more and more able to come out into the light. 

Five ... The 'Some Like It Hot' Switcheroo

There is a element to the storyline so silly that you'll notice Patsy sporting a mustache in the trailer. A nice homage to Some Like it Hot and the final scene in that classic film when Jack Lemmon, masquerading as a female musician, admits to the wealthy Osgood Fielding the third that he can't marry him because he's not really a woman, he's a man.
"Well," Osgood says "nobody's perfect."

The movie may not be perfect either: Jane Horrock's Bubbles character with her outlandish costumes was a needless irritation, her role in the unraveling, unrealistic. While some of the comedy may have been stretched too thin for some in my audience, most of us laughed our arses off. 

Absolutely Fabulous: the movie opens Friday, July 22.
Written by Jennifer Saunders, directed by Mandie Fletcher—yay, a rare female director—starring Saunders and Joanna Lumley, the #AbFabMovie also stars Rebel Wilson, Chris Colfer and Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness as Saffron's daughter, Lola.

This post is made possible by support from Fox Searchlight Pictures. All opinions are my own.


The Girl on the Train. Emily Blunt is all shook up in latest trailer

"Because I'm afraid of myself."

Emily Blunt is torn in two in the latest trailer for The Girl on the Train. While I loved this book, I have friends who thought it was just a poorly written bit of fluff.  Sounds like the making of a good movie to me! It's clear the filmmakers have made some key changes to Paula Hawkin's original story. 

The film comes out October 7, and in addition to Emily Blunt stars Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Rebecca Ferguson and Haley Bennett.

Are you a fan?

Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer: The Author's Dream Cast

I'm so pleased to feature a rare Guest Post today. Last week I shared my take on my friend Paulita Kincer's book Paris Runaway and because the book struck me so cinematically I've asked the author to share who she'd cast the movie. I'm excited to share her wish list below.

This is Paulita Kincer's third book set in France. I first asked Paulita to share her cast wish list for The Summer of France in 2012, and in 2014 I posted my take on I See London, I See France as well as Paulita's dream cast in My Book the Movie . She is also the author of Trail Mix, all of which are available online at Amazon & Barnes and Noble.

Paris Runaway: The Movie

Since Sim dreams of books that are made into movies, she’s allowing me to choose my dream cast for Paris Runaway.
I don’t have much experience with moviemaking, so when I picture a movie being made of my novel Paris Runaway, I imagine film sets teaming with crew members and crowding the cobblestone streets of Paris or spreading out along the Vieux Port of Marseille as I watch my characters come to life.

The book focuses on Sadie, a single mother raising her two daughters without much help from her ex-husband Drake. Since her divorce, Sadie has put her life on hold, devoting herself to Scarlett, 17, who will be a senior in high school, and Evangeline, 19, who is spending her summer taking courses at Tulane. When Scarlett leaves to stay with her father, Sadie believes she has two weeks of free-time, but then she learns Scarlett never went to her father’s house. Instead, she took a flight across the ocean in pursuit of the French exchange student, Luc.

Fearing terrorist bombings and sex-slave traders, Sadie chases after Scarlett. In Paris, she teams up with Auguste, Luc’s father. The two clash at first, blaming each other for the teens’ escapades, but slowly, through acts of kindness, Auguste wins Sadie over.  The walls she built around herself begin to crumble, as she and Auguste try to track down their children.

One of the main physical characteristics about Sadie is her red hair, so the choice of Julianne Moore seemed obvious, with her ability to play beautiful but real women. My favorite movie by Julianne Moore is Far From Heaven, but movies like The Kids Are All Right show she can take on the mom role with grace and grit.

Sadie’s daughter Scarlett is a typical teen who believes she knows much more about life than her mother. She has golden red hair and won’t forgive her parents for naming her Scarlett. Willow Shields, the real-life daughter of Brooke Shields, has already proven her acting ability in movies like The Hunger Games. And she has just enough impudence to roll her eyes with abandon.

Auguste is Luc’s father and Sadie’s love interest. He’s a middle-aged, suave Frenchman, and the actor Jean Dujardin  starts my motor revving, so hopefully, everyone else will see the appeal too. He won the best actor Oscar for The Artist in 2012, and more recently had roles in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Monuments Men.

As Luc, the erstwhile French exchange student and son of Auguste, Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars can probably pull off an insouciant French teenager who bumbles his way into trouble.

Playing Sadie’s ex-husband, Drake, would be Bill Pullman, who usually plays a nice guy, but imagine how he might revel playing a real jerk.

Sadie’s older daughter Evangeline is in the U.S., attending college at Tulane in New Orleans. When Sadie crosses the ocean to pursue Scarlett, she is interrupted by calls from Evangeline who is having panic attacks. Madison Davenport looks like a loveable, sweet girl trying to become independent but still needing her mom. She has been in the television shows Criminal Minds and From Dusk Till Dawn.

A production of Paris Runaway – parents and teenagers rushing through Paris in car chases, hopping aboard trains headed south to the port of Marseille, running from Parisian hoodlums – could culminate in a beautiful star-packed movie. I’d love to see it, and I promise if it happens then I’ll take everyone along – at least on social media. 

We'd love to see it too, Paulita! Let us know when Hollywood calls.

Sharing Paulita's Dream Cast over at the weekly 

Absolutely Fabulous: the Movie is coming. And I could use a laugh

I'm pretty jazzed to have been asked to write about Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (even though it's not based on a book!) I'll be going to a pre-U.S. opening screening tomorrow and posting my take on the film the following day. I'm taking my sister Nancy—who always makes me laugh anyway—and I hear there's champagne. 

I don't know if you have to be an Ab Fab television show fan to like the film—or a woman of my age which is frighteningly close to Patsy and Edina's age—but I'm in!

For today's Sunday Slacker post, a little clippie featuring the foolish pair at their silliest. 

Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner #SaturdayMatinee

Summer and baseball go together like corn on the cob and butter, so it's only fitting that today's Saturday Matinee is one of our favorite baseball movies: Field of Dreams. [Which coincidentally mostly takes place in a cornfield.] 

That is, if Field of Dreams is about baseball at all. Based on the novel, Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella, the story uses baseball as a metaphor about America and the idea of rebirth. That there is always a second chance to start fresh. The publisher puts it this way in their description of Kinsella's book:

By plowing up a large section of his farmland, Ray Kinsella is both building and rebuilding, creating what has never been as well as re-creating in a sense what had come before. The land had been a place where past sins could be expunged and a new vision realized. It is exactly this sort of renewal that Kinsella's quixotic creation brings about. Most importantly, this is a story about renewal and redress of trauma and sins of the past. 
In the book Ray Kinsella actually enlists a fictionalized version of author J. D. Salinger to help him bring back and redeem scandalized baseball legend, Shoeless Joe Jackson. In the film, due to threats of a lawsuit from Salinger, the Salinger character is changed to Terence Mann, played by the velvety-voiced James Earl Jones. 

Kevin Costner—who also happens to star in my favorite all-time baseball movie, Bull Durham—stars as Ray Kinsella, the young man obsessed with building the baseball field. I haven't quite tracked down where author W.P. Kinsella and his character Ray Kinsella intersect. When I'm not writing this blog, I do a little writing of my own, mostly memoir, but I've tried writing fiction. A handful of short stories, about 60 pages of a novel. They're mostly rehashed versions of my own life but at least I've changed the names. I'm intrigued that Kinsella wrote this dreamy, magical thinking book but left the surname as his own. What does that mean, I wonder?

Field of Dreams was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Score by James Horner. Horner who died last summer (June 22, 2016) was a seven time Oscar nominee who won the Academy Award for Titanic.

In Roger Ebert's four star review, he called Field of Dreams
"grand and brave."
“Field of Dreams” will not appeal to grinches and grouches and realists. It is a delicate movie, a fragile construction of one goofy fantasy after another. But it has the courage to be about exactly what it promises. “If you build it, he will come.” And he does.
Field of Dreams also stars Amy Madigan with Ray Liotta, Timothy Busfield, and Burt Lancaster. Kinsella's little girl, Karin, was played by Gaby Hoffman who you can see all grown up on the popular cable tv series, Girls and Transparent.
Field of Dreams trailer

 Is it possible you've never seen Field of Dreams? You can screen it today on Amazon, YouTube, iTunes, GooglePlay and Vudu. Netflix? It's on again, off again so you'll have to check at the time of your reading this. 

Got your popcorn ready?

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