Midnight In Paris – A Woody Allen Classic

This one was on my ‘to watch’ list since forever and today was just one of those days that needed a seriously good movie. I haven’t been disappointed by a Woody Allen movie so far, and this was no exception. It was a most satisfying film.

Midnight in Paris was beautiful, I could almost see inside his (Mr. Allen’s) head. The star-studded movie was as sparkling and glamorous as the city itself. I loved everything about it, the plot, the acting, the cinematography, the music. I think it may have even made it to my list of all-time favorite movies.

And oh the stars!

This is possibly one of the things that I love about Woody Allen movies, that they are always multi star-studded affairs. Marion Cotillard – What a beauty! She was the perfect choice for the lovely Adrianna, the muse to Modigliani, Braque and Picasso. Rachel McAdams as Inez, Owen Wilson, Tom Hiddleston, Adrien Brody, Carla Bruni and so many others. When there are so many beautiful people in one movie, what more can you ask for really? Beautiful locations and the wonderfully shot scenes are simply breathtaking. This movie has made my resolve to visit Paris even stronger.

The story itself was fantastic! Can you imagine a world where you, a modern day human are sitting in the company of the great Piccaso, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Fitzgerald? This classic, witty  romantic comedy is one for the ages.  I can just watch this movie over and over again.

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Brooklyn – The Book & The Movie

The Book

Brooklyn starts out with a lot of promise and fizzles somewhere towards the end. Eilis Lacey lives in Enniscorthy, Ireland,  with her mother and older sister Rose. She has a normal unremarkable life and very little prospects. With the help of an Irish priest, Rose arranges to send Eilish to Brooklyn. Once in Brooklyn Eilis gains more independence by getting a job, an education and an Italian boyfriend, and is settling in nicely until tragedy strikes and she returns back home. First time in the story she has somewhat difficult choices to make.

I liked the story overall, it was a nice read even though the ending was a bit of an anticlimax. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing really did. There wasn’t much by way of a plot, and it was more a descriptive narration of  Eilis’s life. I wasn’t too happy with her character either, there was definitely potential to make more of the main protagonists’ character. A tad bit disappointing but still a pleasant read.

The Movie

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I generally prefer books over movies so I make it a point to finish the book before watching the screen adaptation. This one time, I might have to disagree though. I thought the movie was much better than the book. I loved how the story was interpreted on screen. Saoirse Ronan as Eilis is simply perfect, she brought a certain charm and freshness to the story. I thought that she brought a certain strength to the character that was originally missing from the book. Emory Cohen as Tony was very sweet. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful, the contrast between grey and dull Ireland and colorful and vibrant New York is a treat to the eye. Overall I enjoyed the movie, even though at the time it may have fallen a little short of my expectations.

Born a Crime – Trevor Noah

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That a comic should only write a funny book could not be more cliched. In the past year, most of the books I read by famous people of comedy had one thing in common, they were all trying (some very hard) to be funny. While a few succeeded, most failed miserably.

Reading Trevor Noah’s debut ‘Born a crime’ was a pleasant and a wonderful change. It is a brutally honest if at times troubling collection of essays on growing up in South Africa during troubling times, the challenges of being a mixed race child, dealing with domestic abuse and coming out a survivor.

What makes a person who is, what are his roots and convictions? In this book, Noah bares it all. His storytelling is fantastic. I loved how he seamlessly tied topics and organized them chronologically. When you have seen a lot and you have a lot to talk about it can’t be easy to do so in 286 pages and that too structured so beautifully. That’s one of the things that made reading this book a pure joy.

The humor in the book comes very naturally, it does not seem forced. It is what it is. I especially enjoyed reading about the cat and mouse relationship between him and his mother.

Trevor was born a crime because his mother was black (Xhosa), his father a Swiss German and interracial marriage was a crime punishable by five years in prison. A big chunk of the book is about his mother and rightly so. My inner feminist loved reading about a woman boldly defying racially restrictive laws to make a good life for her children. A woman who was strong and independent at a time when it was a crime to be all those things in South Africa. A woman who taught her son that in order to be a man he must respect women. Reading about her was such an inspiration.

Trevor Noah grew up during the time when apartheid was just coming to an end but its remnants were still strong enough to affect poor black and colored families in South Africa. In one of the chapters, Noah mentions that most people think that the Holocaust is the worst thing to have happened to mankind, and that is because the Nazis very meticulously maintained lists and other records of people they killed. There is solid proof of their crime for the world to see. But there is no history of the crimes and atrocities committed against Africans by invaders. Therefore all traces of those heinous acts are lost like the lives of all those black men killed by plundering foreigners.

I loved reading this book and I didn’t want it to end. The only thing that I wish he did was talk about his transition from a poor boy turning tricks to the host of The Daily show. But I guess that is material for his next book. Or at least I hope it is.

For me, this book is a five star all the way!

Happy New Year!

Would you believe it if I told you I haven’t had the time to get started on my New Year’s resolution yet? 🙄

One thing led to another, punctuated by laziness, and I let half a month slip by without doing any of the things I intended to do. (I should probably read a book on time management, recommendations anyone?)

Anyway, just wanted to break the lull with this post and wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. Cheers! 

I copied these sketches (originally done by Silvia Plath)sometime last year.



Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Bernadette is many things but she’s not mentally unstable. 

My dentist strongly recommended this book and insisted that I read it right away. Luckily, nypl as awesome as it is had it available. 

Letters, notes, reciepts, what an unusual way to tell a story. It almost felt like I know Bernadette, I know her at some deep personal level. She is wonderfully eccentric and hugely talented. The insatiable urge to create, to feel useful, to express oneself, I get that. Not being happy with the mundane housewife role. I know her. The only person who seems to understand her is her teenage daughter Bee.

“When “Here Comes the Sun” started, what happened? No, the sun didn’t come out, but Mom opened up like the sun breaking through the clouds. You know how in the first few notes of that song, there’s something about George’s guitar that’s just so hopeful? It was like when Mom sang, she was full of hope, too. She even got the irregular clapping right during the guitar solo. When the song was over, she paused.

“Oh Bee,” she said. “This song reminds me of you.” She had tears in her eyes.”

When Bernadette with her perfect husband and perfect daughter disappears right before a family trip to Antarctica, Bee is the only one who has faith that her mother is well and tries to go searching for her. 

Semple has created a humorous story full of satire with energetically intertwined characters. I especially loved the endearing relationship between mother and daughter. I hope I have a daughter of my own someday, someone who gets me. My little mini me. 😄

On being a free spirit

“You call yourself a free spirit, a ‘wild thing,’ and you’re terrified somebody’s gonna stick you in a cage. Well baby, you’re already in that cage. You built it yourself. And it’s not bounded in the west by Tulip, Texas, or in the east by Somali-land. It’s wherever you go. Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”
― Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Diary of a not so skinny girl

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