Tag Archives: Daniel Day Lewis

Resolutions, Annie Hall, and Lincoln

Janet and I have been doing a great job with our resolutions!  I know, I know.  Janet already told me what day it is today.  We’ve gone for a walk three times so far (for a total of 8 miles toward our goal of 500 miles each this year), kept track of our eating on MyFitnessPal, thought about every dollar we’ve spent so far, and have yet to eat out: we are batting a 1000.  Now if only we can keep it up for another 362 days!

When Janet and I are driving around and we see someone out in the cold jogging or walking or something else silly, one of us always comments, ‘damn fit people’.  I always like to make fun of something that scares me or I don’t understand: it makes me feel better about myself.  So, this morning, when we were out in the 30 degree weather with our little ears and noses red and cold, I envied the people driving by in their cars.

Janet looks over at me and says, ‘you realize we are now the annoying people out walking making the drivers feel guilty.’  It was the first time I realized that other people could be having the same thoughts about me and how annoying I am!  Awww…it made me feel good about my little soon-to-be fit self.

Annie Hall

Annie Hall just finished a run at the Grand Illusion Cinema in Seattle.  I first saw Annie Hall many moons ago.  It’s been so long, I can’t even remember much about it.  I do remember one thing:  the scene where Annie and Alvy are talking with their therapists, in a split screen, and they are commenting on their sex lives.  When I saw this scene, many moons ago, it was my very first time with perspective.

In the scene, Annie is asked how often she has sex.  She replies, ‘we have sex all the time…three or four times per week.’  Alvy is asked how often he has sex and he states, ‘we rarely have sex…three or four times per week.’  That scene has delighted me and made me laugh, every time I think about it, for over twenty years.

It had never crossed my mind how two people (especially a man and a woman) can have two entirely different perspectives on the exact same experience.  I thought about that scene for a long time after I saw the movie, it was very mind opening for me, and it has never failed to make me smile.

After watching it this time around, I was reminded how neurotic Woody Allen could be and I wonder if he was really like that…at least to some extent.  I loved the scene where a young Christopher Walken tells Alvy the story of how sometimes, when he’s driving at night, he has an urge to crash his car into oncoming traffic.  Mr. Walken then has the privilege of driving Alvy and Annie back home with Alvy sitting terrified in the passenger seat.

Lincoln

I used to go to the movies all the time when I was a kid.  I actually saw Star Wars several times in the movie theater and, in my teen years, went all the time with friends.  Lately, I find it easier, and definitely cheaper, to watch movies at home either through Redbox or streaming on Netflix.  There are very few movies I want to spend the time and money to actually go see in a theater.  One of these movies I really wanted to see on the big screen was Lincoln.

To say I enjoyed Lincoln is an understatement.  To say Lincoln is one of the best movies I have ever seen is not just hyperbole.  I can’t remember the last time I was so utterly enthralled by a movie, so drawn in I forgot my surroundings, so mesmerized I almost spoke to characters a few times.

Just to clarify: I am not a history major.  I have a degree in BS.  No…wait.  I have a BS in science.  I keep getting those confused.  But even I remember reading about Lincoln and the Civil War (thanks, Ken Burns) and the Emancipation Proclamation.  I went into the movie thinking I wouldn’t learn too much at the theater.  I was wrong.

SPOILER ALERT: if you have not seen the movie, stop reading!  I won’t give away any major plot points, and I can only assume you know how it ends, but I like going into a movie with as little information in my head as possible. 

I had a vague idea how hard it must have been getting the 13th amendment passed but I had no idea how Lincoln sold part of his soul for the deal.  I was shocked and proud of the fact Lincoln did indeed get the amendment passed, what with the House of Representatives as big of a nasty mess then as they are now.

I enjoyed watching the backroom deals and the underhanded shenanigans, all in the name of good mind you.  I loved watching men readjust their moral compasses to say what needed to be said, to do what needed to be done, all for the greater good.

Tommy Lee Jones is great as a piece of gristle Representative from Pennsylvania who will stop at nothing to get the amendment passed.  It’s a wonderful twist of fate how Mr. Jones goes against his own words and beliefs to do something he feels is bigger than just him…even though you can see it eating at him.

Daniel Day-Lewis is, in my opinion, the very best actor we have.  I have admired him since I saw My Left Foot, and he just jumped to the top of my favorite actor list with Lincoln.  I wasn’t just watching Mr. Day-Lewis playing Lincoln: I was watching Lincoln on the big screen.  He was funny, real, and tormented, not only about slavery, but about his own life as well.

And how on earth did Steven Spielberg manage to  tell a story, where I KNEW the ending, in such a way I still had a tremendous amount of tension built up and was relieved with the inevitable outcome?   How does that happen?  No, I’d really like to know, I’d love to write movies.

I cannot advocate for this movie enough.  Please, go see this movie.  Not only is this a vitally important movie for Americans, this is a vitally important movie for everyone.  If Lincoln, and his team of rivals, had not gotten the votes for the passage of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, what would the world look like today?

jenn

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