Holiday Movies: Dark Waters, Little Women, & Judy

Our holidays were filled with fun family gatherings, lots of eating, and lots of movie watching.

Dark Waters, the true story about the lawyer that exposed DuPont’s dumping of toxic chemicals in West Virginia waters, made me paranoid about my cookware. I know I’m not alone in thinking I have to replace a few old non-stick frying pans. Scary and sobering and a reminder how important science  is and how government regulations and oversight must continue to protect consumers.

Renee Zellweger convincingly plays (and sings) Judy Garland in Judy, a biopic about the star’s last concerts in London. While it’s well known about how she was mistreated as a child star with starvation diets and pills to keep her young looking, what’s extremely sad is seeing how this affected her entire life. Despite being beloved in London, Garland is separated from her children, adding to her depression and substance dependency.

See Knives Out, a fun who-done-it caper packed with stars.

Then there’s Little Women. At first I resisted this one, as I’m still unsure about having classics rewritten and reinterpreted. I also loved the 1994 movie starring Winona Ryder and Christian Bale. But the film has received so much publicity; it seemed every time I turned on the radio or television I heard an interview with Greta Gerwig, the director. It was a rainy afternoon and the movie was showing nearby, so we went. My husband was one of three men in the theater.

The film starts nearly at the end of the story and jumps around chronologically. It took a little getting used to. The setting is pure New England and the pond ice-skating made us both miss our own childhoods before climate change made that activity practically obsolete. My only complaint is the casting of Timothee Chalamet as Laurie. He’s young and very skinny and doesn’t seem too into the part. My husband didn’t understand my grumbling and I explained that every girl of any age that sees Little Women wants to fall in love with Laurie and this actor didn’t do it for me.

This adaptation makes the others seem a bit saccharine and sentimental. Life in the 1860’s   wasn’t so terrific, especially for women. Jo perseveres and becomes the writer we all dream about and it remains a lovely family story. I wrote about the longevity of Little Women here: https://cyclingrandma.wordpress.com/2018/10/11/happy-birthday-frankenstein-little-women/

Also worth seeing: Marriage Story, Maiden, and The Nightingale.

Any suggestions for others? I’m also looking for some good book ideas as nothing has grabbed hold for a while.

Happy New Year!

 

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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2 Responses to Holiday Movies: Dark Waters, Little Women, & Judy

  1. nancy polster says:

    We saw Dark waters too. Very disturbing but definitely worth seeing. The person who played the attorney for DuPont is our good friend. Going to see Little Women I Think this weekend. I heard Judy Garland is depressing

    Sent from my iPhone

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    Like

  2. Huffygirl says:

    Try “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett.

    Liked by 1 person

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