I don’t know where this clip is from and that’s vaguely annoying because someone’s art is going to be shared without any credits. In any case it was perfect to share after last night’s DVD marathon. There was some Natalie-Ashton, Amy-Matthew and Anne Marie-James action to keep idle thoughts at bay but in the end it was the Tolstoy-Sofya story that got my attention. I have to say though that there’s little redeeming value in No Strings Attached. Natalie and Asthon had zero chemistry and for a seemingly sexy flick that would have otherwise awakened my fourteen-year old self into blossoming, well, I could have wilted in the amount of time it took for the movie to hit climax and end. Guh. As for the Amy-Matthew movie, now you’re talking. Matthew Goode is sex on a stick but you’ll watch Leap Year for the hills of Ireland and the sparks that fly between him and Amy Adams‘ character. Here’s the irony, the film is premised ona crazier idea that one man could find “the one” and want to marry her after two and a half days of traveling cross-country to hit Dublin but in the end it’s still more believable than the Natalie-Ashton movie. Did I mention that it was also funny? They had decent laugh out loud moments that weren’t at all contrived. Plus, there’s something about Amy Adams that’s rare and very much antithetical to her sluttier counterparts. She’s not the prettiest tool in the shed but she’s an actor’s actor and she has onscreen personality. You’ll hate to see Leap Year end and you’ll want to book tickets to Ireland immediately despite the climate and the cuisine.
But this is the gem that kept me up until the wee hours. The Last Station is the film adaptation of Jay Parini‘s historical novel that covers the last year of Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy‘s life. It’s a story of ideals, youth, revolution, family, marriage–all sorts of themes commonly taken under the single umbrella of life but most of all, here’s a story of love that’s so moving and deeply compelling. My heart goes out to beautiful Helen Mirren who portrays Tolstoy’s wife Sofya Andreyevna Bers. It takes great chops as an actor to fulfil this role. She is both mad and sensible and in the end the two characters I loved the most are hers and Valentin Bulgakov’s (whom James McAvoy plays to an awkardly adorable tone) because they’re the only real ones left. But wow,it was an incredible feat on the part of Parini to read the diaries of all those closest to Tolstoy and re-imagine this story to life.
This Russian love affair also sent me shuffling through the shelves to find that I owned no Tolstoy save for anthologized works which would simply not do. So, I set off to find a good translation of both Anna Karenina and War & Peace because it’s about time I finished both. Interestingly enough, my viewing trajectory aptly resembles my own feelings. I began with insatiable lust and longing (hence the Natalie-Ashton flick) that’s amplified by the company I keep. All of them (by which I mean the males) seem to be viable candidates for snogging but older, preachier Tolstoy calmly objects making me a wiser, happier woman.
I’ll wait, I won’t settle. But maybe we’ll kiss after some Anna Karenina? Nabokov says it’s a great love story and it’d be a shame not to manifest this love, no?