Mardi Gras? No, thanks. Women's Day? No, thanks. I've been working, as usual. I hate celebrations. I love the  table- for- two -with- candles type , the just- a –bunch- of- good-friends type, even family reunions,  but hate loud, crowded celebrations. Why is that? I just don't know. This is what I am. What I have always been , actually. A misanthrope?  I ‘m sure  I’m not, honestly.  I love people. But never too many at a time. 

Jane Austen and Women
I’ve never been fond of Women’s Day,  as I’ve already said. I usually get disappointed or angry watching all the merry-go-round and start wondering how it is possible  that so many women accept the fact  that they are  celebrated as … idols, dolls, men’s toys, as well as sisters, mothers, girlfriends or wives  when,  after so many struggles,  in 2011,  they are still second and secondary:  financially, socially,  politically . 
Someone I’ve always admired for her atypical “feminism” (this word didn’t exist at her time) ,  masqueraded behind her irony and a light touch,  is Jane Austen. My beloved Jane. She couldn’t accept the many discriminations women were subjected to at her time and found a brave way to react. Her sharp observation of reality, her wit, her talent with words... We are still here admiring her work, loving her stories and suffering/rejoicing  with her and her heroines. We should learn from her not to accept any compromise: she wanted to live on her pen and her wit. A fake marriage? Just for convenience? No, thanks.

Incendiary (2008)

This has nothing to do with Women’s Day. Though, it is the story of a woman, directed by a woman ... It  happens to be the latest movie I saw on TV. (sky  cinema 1)  Last night.   It was touching, tragic,  but so full of hope and faith in mankind.  And love, too. Plenty of love!  I felt it deeply. As usual, with tears in my eyes. I started watching it because I read in the opening titles that it starred Ewan  Mac Gregor ,  Matthew MacFadyen and Michelle Williams.
I was  curious to see how Sharon Maguire,  director of the Bridget Jones movies,  coped with a dramatic story. And the answer is: decently. I can add, " She could have done better ", but the story was so gripping  that I had to  forgive the flaws.  
 The film is beautifully shot and well acted but at times confusing.  Grief, guilt, quest for truth and the road to healing,  not only a film about terrorism. I must warn you: I’ve read very negative reviews of this film and some of them are really wicked , only  I can’t accept them.  Because I liked it, actually. If not 5 stars out of 5, I’d give it at least 4. 
“An adulterous woman's life is torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing at a soccer match” . This  is how they present the plot of this movie on many sites,  but there is so much more. Maybe too much and that is what made it confused at times.

MacGregor’s (blond Frank Churchill in Emma 1996 with Gwyneth Paltrow) and MacFadyen’s (Mr Darcy 2005) characters have no relevant features, they are actually playing rather dull men. The story is almost exclusively focused on  this young mother, her infinite pain and her path to healing through a series of shocking events and revelations after the first huge stroke. 

I also liked her letters to Osama Bin Laden, the ones she writes for therapeutic reasons, while many reviewers thought them useless or rather melodramatic. Well, that’s it, I’m not a professional critic and not an expert.  Maybe they 're right . But I liked them to  ..tears. This is just my humble, very personal, opinion. 

This is instead what Sharon Maguire said about the movie in this interview  .
“Mainly the book and the film are about this mother’s love for her child and the loss of that child. There is also a policeman, who is essentially a good man who wants to do the right thing but can’t because he’s got an unseen enemy and he has to make decisions that he wouldn’t normally make and it gets him into trouble. Then there’s a journalist who kind of represents the liberal thinkers in society. All liberal thinkers have had to reassess that attitude since 9/11 because the results of free association, free movement and free expression have put us all in danger in many ways, so everybody’s had to rethink their position. They represent the world before 9/11 and 7/7 and then what happened afterwards, so that’s what it’s about”.

Have you seen this film? Liked it? Hated it? If you have no idea  just
What makes me feel better when I'm depressed or blue, sad or confused, disappointed or even lost ? Friends and family , a good film, music, a long walk in the wilderness and ...

YES! Richard Armitage , of course! Meaning,  listening to his voice or watching him in my favourite scenes . I'm an open book for you,  my friends!  But there is something else I find rather therapeutic: buying/receiving new books! I never have enough. I've just got a lovely "The Jane Austen Handbook" by Margaret C. Sullivan from Quirk Books and "Jane's Fame" by Claire Harman from Picador to be read and reviewed on My Jane Austen Book Club. Then,  I received the just released Mr Darcy's Secret from Jane Odiwe, the author herself , and bought "Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad" by Bee Rowlatt and May Witwit. Last Sunday,  I also brought home from  a few  different bookshops, Togliamo il disturbo by Paola Mastrocola, M (a biography of Caravaggio) by Peter Robb and Bill Bryson's "Shakespeare". I've  finished reading "The Three Weissmanns of Westport"by Cathleen Shine and I'm on the first pages of a  new one, The Children's Book, by A. S Byatt.  Good night, then! It's time to read  a bit! 


Regina Jeffers said...

I own Incendiary. It is not the best film I have ever seen, but it does have MM, which made it a must for me.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, MG: your TBR pile is growing higher and higher! :-O
Looks like you should avoid bookshops (and friends' bookshelves) while in Roma ;)
Enjoy the play tonight,
xx K/V