Category Archives: Art

My career as a film critic, continued:

A very good evening to you all.

Following my last outing as a film critic (Meet Me in St Louis and The Unknown Girl), which met with (almost) universal acclaim (well, one person said they liked it), I have decided to continue this potential new career with a review of ‘Jackie’, which I saw this afternoon. I can sum the film up in one word: pointless. Unfortunately, everyone else who came along thought it was very good.
It was a little bit like ‘Titanic’ in a way – you knew what the ending was, although in this case it was the beginning, when JFK gets shot. It also reminded me of Les Misérables, another film I didn’t enjoy – just when I thought it was going to end, another scene would pop up, usually with John Hurt as a priest who could come up with more meaningless platitudes about the existence of God than I ever thought possible. Unfortunately, I can’t remember his exact words, but some of them had something to do with there being ‘no answer’ – I felt like shouting, ‘The answer is 42!’ (When Russell Crowe threw himself into the Seine in Les Mis, my friend and I were the only ones who said – maybe a little too loudly – ‘Thank God for that!’, while everyone else gasped.)

In fact, I think the script may have been written by someone who had just watched ‘Frozen’ and ‘Forrest Gump’ back to back, with a few quotes from ‘Camelot’ thrown in for good measure. Try saying this out loud with a straight face: “Don’t let it be forgotten that for one brief shining moment, there was a Camelot. There won’t be another Camelot, not another Camelot.” Natalie Portman managed this admirably, but I think she may have had Botox injections beforehand.

The film has been described as a ‘searing…portrait’ of Jackie Kennedy – to me, it was more like an undercooked watercolour of a rather boring woman who didn’t really have a great deal of personality, but who liked wearing pink and red.

My advice? Watch ‘Camelot’ or ‘Pointless’.

Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed!

forest face

Dismayed and distraught

Good evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! I have to inform you that I am Dismayed, Distraught, Disturbed and Distressed! Unexpected things have occurred and they have made me realise that, perhaps, my life is sometimes closer to the ‘ordinary’ than I might have believed – indeed, closer than you, my dear followers, might yourselves have believed. Yes, the LSG is ALMOST human! But what has caused this toppling of the idol, I hear you ask. How has she developed clay feet? (I hear your voices all the time, my devotees, asking me to explain the deeper mysteries of life such as ‘Where can I get a good pint?’, ‘How much should I pay for a pint of milk?’, ‘Is a beach body worth the effort, especially if you’re only going to Skegness or Barry Island?’)
Imagine the first scene:
I am in a quirky little gift shop (the gifts are quirky, rather than the shop), perusing quirky items and wondering if a friend would appreciate a quirky frog

Quirky ornament

Quirky ornament

ornament for her garden (I decided to buy her a birthday meal instead in the end). A shop assistant, who hadn’t seen me come in, was in a corner of the shop arranging a display of tasteful, miniature wrought iron tea light holders and had her back to me as I pondered the merits of various sizes of frogs (I used to do that all the time when I worked in France). Suddenly, she turned round and screamed when she saw me! I screamed in return, thinking she’d spotted a mad axeman behind me (see a previous blog), but it was simply that she didn’t know I was behind her. I was DISTRAUGHT! The LSG has never had such an effect before!
So, what else has DISTRESSED me this week? Well, I have learned that I CANNOT TRUST WHAT I SEE ON THE NEWS and it is all down to a relative (let’s call him my nephew, for the sake of argument) who is determined to educate me and broaden my horizons, not realising that my horizons (and other parts of me) are already broad enough – after all, I am the LSG!

walking in the rain with umbrella

weather forecast

All these years, I had thought that the nice weather map at the end of the BBC News was a neatly drawn wall display at which the weather wallahs pointed to indicate where it would rain (usually Wales, Ireland, Scotland and most of England except for a small spot above wherever Kate and Wills may be staying). But NO! It is a computer-generated image – they are actually pointing at a blank, blue wall! Oh, the DISMAY, dear devotees! The DESPAIR!

But worse was to come! Apparently, much of the background of the main outside news reports could also be projected in the same way! All this time, I have flinched as I thought John Simpson or Jeremy Bowen were about to be blown up as they reported from some war-torn outpost when, in fact, they may actually be standing indoors, flak vests on, cup of tea to the side, in front of a blue wall onto which some computer geek is projecting scenes from ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Saving Private Ryan’! And that nice Nicholas Witchell could easily be standing inside a nice, warm studio rather than in the pouring rain outside Buckingham Palace waiting to tell us what the Queen had for tea!
Oh, how my dreams were shattered! How my heroes could be idols with feet of clay (see

Corkscrew

Corkscrew

above)! And I can’t watch the ITV weather girlies instead because their hand movements are so theatrical, daaahlings – one wonders if they are practising for a part in a Bollywood dance film. What is a girl to do? There is only one answer – turn to drink!

And with that thought, I shall go and pour myself a comforting glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watch something soothing like ‘Titanic’ – at least I know THAT is real (although I sometimes wonder how the cameramen survived to bring back all that footage).
Enjoy the rest of your evening!

Living Life To The Full

 

Happy girl jumping on beach

Live Life to the Full

Good evening, one and all! As the Lifestyle Support Guru, I like to think that I have a broad range of interests to match the interests of you, my adoring followers. It is with this in mind that I spent last week ‘researching’ a variety of events, all with the purpose of helping us to live in harmony – WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, you know! I have plumbed the depths of sorrow and risen to the dizzy heights of near-hysteria, with just one point in mind: LIVING LIFE TO THE FULL!!!

So, how do you go about this? As always with the LSG, there are just a few simple rules:

1. Go and see a screening of Hamlet with that fabulous actress, Maxine Peake, playing the title

Hamlet actor

Hamlet actor

role. Whilst you will be AMAZED by the acting, I can guarantee that you will not come away feeling full of the joys of spring – indeed, as one friend (a Sunderland supporter, but I suppose someone has to be, and that may go some way to explaining her state of mind) who accompanied the LSG said: “A grand performance, but you feel like saying, ‘Get a grip, Hamlet.’” I couldn’t have put it better myself!

2. Invite a sibling to stay and ask him to have a look at your (new) dishwasher, which hasn’t drained properly of water, because he knows about these things. (The LSG doesn’t need to concern herself with such mundane subjects because she has siblings to do that for her!) You also ask him to look at your new vacuum cleaner, which has already had to have a replacement part, but you have been unable to take the screw out of the ‘old’ part to replace it with the new part. Of course, he sorts everything because a) you had opened the dishwasher door before the cycle had finished and b) you had been using a ‘cheap’ Phillips screwdriver rather than a ‘proper’ one.

screws and screwdriver tips

Screwdriver

To the LSG, one screwdriver is much the same as another. However, this is not the case, I was told, and nor is it the case with screws themselves (we are talking ‘proper’ metal screws here; none of this smutty ‘Benny Hill double entendre’ stuff, of course!), as is evidenced by a subsequent conversation that said sibling had with a friend – how can you have a 20-minute chat about the relative properties of Phillips versus flathead screwdrivers on a Saturday afternoon (or at any time, come to that)?

3. Go and see the Lady Boys of Bangkok, who do a tour of the UK every year. Make sure that

dancing octopus

dancing octopus

you book a table right at the front, which will ensure that the aforementioned sibling gets his comeuppance for being so practical and good at everything (see 2. above) when he gets dragged up on stage by the lead Lady Boy for a rendition of ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him’ and the presentation of a giant box of Viagra at the end of the song!
I nearly choked on my glass of Prosecco, dear devotees!

So there you have it – from the Prince of Denmark to Bangkok, there is something for everyone if you just know where to look for it. LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL!!! You know it makes sense.

PS I have the whole Lady Boy song on video – I’m saving that for the future when I may need other practical things doing!