Worth Seeing: Skyfall & The Other Son

Skyfall.   You don’t find out what it refers to until about ¾ the way through the movie. I won’t be a spoiler, but it’s a place best left forgotten.

I’m not that much of a James Bond movie fan. I don’t care for gratuitous violence and have always found the films, while mildly entertaining, formulaic and too male-chauvinistic.

Though dubious, I go to each new one; it’s a fun date. The latest offering Skyfall, marking the 50th anniversary of James Bond movies, proved better than I expected. At some point during the 2 ½ hour movie, I said, “I like this one.”

Why? What makes it different?

True, there’s much that’s familiar: the theme song, the “Bond, James Bond” introduction,  and of course the shaken not stirred martini.  There’s a damsel in distress and a mild love interest, a colleague this time, and of course a bad guy who Bond has to take down. The film begins in Istanbul and quickly moves to China, then Macau, and London, where most of the action occurs. This time, the villain, played by Javier Barden, is a former MI6 agent, who seeks revenge against “M”, the agency’s head, played by Judi Dench.

I won’t give the entire plot away. What I liked, in addition to Daniel Craig eye-candy, was that it gave some of Bond’s own backstory, which I felt made him more interesting. Craig’s Bond is a more beaten up version of his predecessors, and for this one he’s nearly an action figure, able to survive un-human lengths of time underwater.

Ian Fleming’s books initiated me to James Bond and his exploits. I remember reading some of the novels in my pre-teens. I’m not sure how they ended up in our house as most of my parents’ books are non-fiction, usually history and politics. But I remember being that prepubescent girl and slurping up the sex scenes like a chocolate smoothie.

I liked the fusion of old-fashioned weaponry and uber-high-tech gadgets and loved seeing London, mostly depicted in the rain. 

A perfect Sunday afternoon escape.

Much more provocative, is The Other Son or Le fils de l’autre  a French film about two 18- year -old boys who were accidently switched at birth. One is raised as an Israeli Jew, the as a West Bank Palestinian. When the supposedly Jewish son registers for the army, he finds out his blood type doesn’t match his parents. What follows is a story of identity amid disparate cultures. It’s every parents’ nightmare, and a family love story not to be missed.

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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7 Responses to Worth Seeing: Skyfall & The Other Son

  1. Thanks for the review. I am a Bond fan. I have seen each of the films more than twice. That includes the one with Lazenby which I liked because it starred Diana Rigg. I plan to see it this weekend. Thanks for not giving away any plot. I am intrigued by “The Other Son.” I will plan to see that one too.

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  2. judy says:

    Thanks so much for the previews! Both on our list. And I do love foreign films.

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  3. I love the fact that you’ve chosen two such different movies. I know o’ll have to see Skyfall because I have so many men in the family, but now it sounds as though it won’t be quite so much of a chore. As for the French movie, I’ll be on the lookout for it. Glad you’re getting the chance to go to the movies after Sandy!

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  4. Huffygirl says:

    I liked Skyfall too. Loved the twist near the end. Another great movie this year is Argo. Except the entire time I was watching I kept thinkings “how did we wear these horrible clothes and glasses in the ’80’s?”

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