Friday, November 14, 2014

Books: The Good Girl, 2014 A Novel by Mary Kubica

Publishers Weekly needs to apologize for false advertising! The jacket quotes a review from them claiming that the book "will encourage comparisons with Gone Girl...." What a nonsense and a lie!
The book is a weak attempt at fiction writing by a housewife well-read in romance novels. The story could be transplanted in a fantasy "medieval" setting and could well be told as, for example, the story of a princess abducted by a Highlands shepherd who eventually fall in love. It is totally phony, banal, and boring. Too many pages dedicated to describing physical details don't make a "psychological" novel. Literally describing looking, touching, walking, sitting, glancing, driving, etc. and doing all kinds of things a physical presence in the world comprises, is not the "detail" that fiction is made of. It fills pages. The author should go back to her other hobbies like "gardening, photography and taking care of animals in the local shelter" or find another way to make her kids proud of her, different from the fact that "mommy wrote a book."

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

TV Film: Olive Kitteridge (2014), directed by Lisa Cholodenko

"Olive Kitteridge" is probably the best film I have seen in a year now. It is based on Elizabeth Strout's book which won its author a Pulitzer prize for literature. This is one of the rare cases where everything - literary
material, script, acting, directing, music - is in such perfect sync and of such high quality - that the mere pleasure of watching is added on top of experiencing and understanding the drama of the characters. The sentiment is just the right amount and the wittiness - just the right degree.
And even though Frances McDormand's acting has some excess of curtness and a programmatic element in it, it balances well with the melancholic coolness of Bill Murray and the soft presence of Richard Jenkins. Lisa Cholodenko demonstrates once again a superb taste in choice of material and actors and a deep understanding of the human condition. Thie film is just excellent. Nothing is overstated and nobody is spared yet a gentle forgiveness and despair dominate the ending - a mix that is true to life and lacking in fake "uplifting" messages. It's a matter of "can you handle the truth" to really enjoy it...

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