Question?

If you had the choice to be anyone for a week, who would you be? It could be anyone male or female at any time.

Hmm I think I would be Marymagdalin to rub Jesus feet with scented oils with my hair. Yup that’s who I would be. 🙁

To Have and To Hold Chapter 56 – Epilogue

Chapter 56

“Introduce?� Henry asked. “What do you mean? We already know everyone here.�

“Papa, Mama,� the three children ran over to them. Henry smiled and scooped up Louis.

“This will have to soon stop, young man,� he scolded playfully. He looked at him. “You are getting much too heavy.�

“Well, he has to come down, now,� Auguste said, taking Louis from him and placing him down.

“Come along, children,� Monique called, “I need your help.�

“Doing what?� Louis asked, but he never got his answer.

“Come on, Louis,� Henri said, herding him over to join his sister. They had to catch up to Francois, Monique and their children

“But I want to go with Mama and Papa,� Louis cried, looking back at them. The only time he stopped was when Monique bent down and whispered in his ear.

“Come on, we have more to see and do,� Auguste said, pushing the two of them forward.

“Papa,� Danielle said, a little annoyed now. We really don’t have to comb every inch of this place.� She looked around. “By the way,� she said to Henry, “I don’t see Gustave anywhere.�

Auguste smiled.

“Come, children, follow me. Gustave is right in the room next door.�

“Danielle, Henry,� a voice called out, “There you are. Almost didn’t recognize you, so grown up.�

“Oh stop, Uncle Antoine,� Danielle frowned. She hugged her uncle and her Aunt Viviane. We saw you two only this morning.�

“And we will see you tomorrow as well,� Auguste said, pushing them into the next room where Gustave was waiting. “Excuse me,� he said, opening the door to the next room. He ushered the two of them through the door.

Danielle and Henry looked around. “Gustave?� they called out. All that was in the room was a covered painting and a long table. It looked as if all the chairs had been removed.

“Gustave?� Danielle called again, but there was no answer. “Papa,� she said turning toward the door, “I think we made a mistake, he’s not in here.�

“Danielle,� Henry said, looking at the covered painting, “your father seems to have disappeared.�

Danielle frowned. “What is going on? Where is everybody?�

Epilogue

Henry walked forward to examine another door. “What is in here?� he said to himself and opened it.

“SURPRISE,� Auguste said, gesturing to the middle of the room. Gustave stood there with another painting. All the guests had moved in here.

“Henry,� Danielle called. She had walked over to the painting that Gustave had uncovered. He couldn’t stop smiling.

“It’s the portrait of your mother,� Gustave said and gestured to the other room. “Come, there’s another in here.�

“He has done a fine job, hasn’t he?� Auguste said, admiring it. An exact likeness if I say so myself. This boy is going to be famous one day.�

Some of the guest stayed in the other room to admire Nicole’s portrait and some of them walked in the other room to see what the new painting.

“Henry, come here, you must see this,� she said, pulling him over. Henry smiled and let her pull him for it wasn’t far. “This is amazing, Gustave,� he said looking at the painting. This is wonderful. Gustave, where did you find the time?�

“I did it from memory, Henry,� Gustave laughed and walked around to admire it.

The three of them were looking at themselves. It was Henry and Danielle in the back, the three children in the front.

“I am glad you like it,� Gustave said.
“Like it?� Danielle smiled and embraced him. She let him go a moment later.

“We love it,� she said. You are a remarkable painter. If I had known how good you were when we were children together, I would have had you working instead of throwing mud at me.�

Gustave smiled. “I am so glad you like it. I wasn’t sure…�

“Come,� Auguste said, “I must show you the rest of the house.�

“Later, Papa,� Danielle said. “Right now I would like to enjoy my own surprise party.�

“Danielle,� Auguste called. She turned at the sound of her name. “Do you like the house?�

Danielle laughed and ran to hug him as she did when she was small. “It is beautiful, Papa,� she whispered in his ear. “We will spend many happy moments in this house. Thank you for this wonderful anniversary present.�

She released him and returned to Henry’s side. They began to mingle with the guests, while Auguste looked on, smiling. So they would receive the rest of their surprises later. Colette’s gold francs, the broaches, the journal and Danielle’s sword along with a last will and testament, leaving everything to Danielle and Henry. They already saw the paintings.

Danielle had been right, they should enjoy their party. This was the reason he had gotten everyone together, wasn’t it? Of course it was to celebrate their anniversary. He knew the two of them were happy together and he knew that they would spend the rest of their lives together. He wanted to do something good for them and he had done that and was overjoyed that he could. He watched them a little longer, then turned to find his brother.

The Majestic DVD

I finally caught The Majestic last night, and what a good movie. Jim Carrey was excellent and I loved Martin Landau, and Laurie Holden.

The DVD however, is total crap, the features are almost non-existent, there’s a cast/crew biography which lists the entire cast, but only contains credits for Martin Landau, the deleted scenes are really lame, and theres a poorly designed text message about the Hollywood Blacklist. I would give this film an A and the DVD Features a D. For an overall grade of B-

The Devil’s Backbone

Recently, director Guillermo del Toro made a name for himself by helming the adequate though successful sequel “Blade II,” a decidedly artsy but still gory vampire fest starring Wesley Snipes. His rabid fans may have expected more, given his notable work in the cult fave “Cronos” and in the spine-chilling ghost story, “The Devil’s Backbone.”

Co-written by del Toro and Antonio Trashorras, “Backbone” takes place largely in one Spanish orphanage and school for wayward boys. Some scenes venture outside the confines, but the action always draws us back to this desolate locale. The young protagonist, Carlos (Fernando Tielve), gets left behind there, where headmaster Carmen and his fellow patrons mentor him. The longer Carlos stays at the orphanage, though, the more he learns about “The One Who Sighs,” the ghost of a child who holds the key to the dark secrets behind his untimely disappearance.In “Backbone,” del Toro successfully uses the cramped confines of the orphanage and some tried-but-true spooks to craft an effectively creepy ghost thriller. His film draws comparisons to the recent “The Others,” more for its use of shadow and spacing to manipulate mood. However, del Toro reveals his cards a bit too soon, showing us his ghost and detailing its back-story. While ruining some of its scarier elements, this tactic doesn’t break del Toro’s “Backbone” but rather place too much emphasis on the film’s thin political subplot, embodied by the marauders who violently storm the orphanage in time. Grade: BTHE EXTRASAs packaged by Columbia TriStar, the “Backbone” DVD offers a few features that accompany a pristine audio and video transfer.Of note, del Toro sits for a screen-specific audio commentary track. His cinematographer, Guillermo Navarro, whose stark color palate adds dimension to “Devil”, joins him. Two Guillermo’s for the price of one, to boot. Who can complain?From a production standpoint, Columbia includes a 130minute “Making Of” featurette, as well as several storyboard-to-screen comparisons. Grade: COVERALL EXPERIENCE: B-While the extras are thin, it’s just nice to have this DVD on hand. When coupled with “The Others” for a creature feature, these films will have your date leaping in your lap – whether that date is male or female!By Sean O’ConnellJuly 16, 2002

Halloween Ressurrection

I just caught it (it wasn’t even screened for critics), and I must say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was actually pretty good for the standard slasher genre flick. And usually I don’t like the genre with the standard exceptions of course (Scream and Elm Street).and usually don’t see slasher films at all. I would probably give this a C+

I’ve never saw the original and the only other Halloween I ever watched was H20, can someone please tell me what is Mike Myers motivation? What drove him to become a killer?

[ Edited by malexandria on 2002/7/12 16:43:32 ]

Gosford Park: The Collector’s Edition

Just how many times can Robert Altman return to form over the course of a career? The legendary director’s extensive resume includes enough “hits” and revered classics to make fledgling filmmakers drool. But for every “Nashville,” Altman’s been known to submit a “Dr. T and the Women” or “Popeye” for our consideration. It’s his art, of course, but it’s also our attention span.

“Gosford Park” belongs in the former category, a true Altman work of finesse that juggles the lifestyles of the rich – and the people who diligently serve them – over the course of a long weekend at an English mansion. Yes, a murder occurs, which triggers a mild whodunit for plot purposes, though it’s highly inconsequential here. It has as much to do with this story as Janet Leigh’s stolen cash had to do with “Psycho.” Instead, we tune in for Altman’s stellar ensemble cast, reciting Julian Fellowes’ playfully biting lines. Upstairs, Maggie Smith, Bob Balaban and Jeremy Northam find the most comfort in their stiff-as-boards characters, while the wonderful Helen Mirren runs the tightest of ships down below. All of it combined makes for one of last year’s most enjoyable cinematic experiences, and a treat for DVD enthusiasts.Grade: A-THE EXTRASAs if “Gosford” didn’t deserve multiple viewings itself, Universal now loads its Collector’s Edition DVD with enough extras to keep you locked up for days. Sounds bad, but it’s actually extremely welcome.The highlight is the two audio tracks, the first by Altman and recorded with production designer Stephen Altman and producer David Levy. While the director delves deeply into costume, casting and the visual aspects, little is mentioned of his technique. I’m beginning to think he lacks technique, which makes him the luckiest filmmaker of all time.Screenwriter Fellowes also records a commentary track, which exceeds Altman’s track in both energy and information. The work of all involved is also covered extensively in two lengthy featurettes: “The Making of Gosford Park” and “The Authenticity of Gosford Park.” One feature I thoroughly enjoyed was the “Q&A Session” with Altman, his production team and several cast members recorded after a screening at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It offers a great deal about the film, and alternates from serious discussion to clever banter. Several production elements conclude the DVD, from deleted scenes (run with or without commentary), filmographies, a trailer and “Coming Attractions.”Grade: A-OVERALL EXPERIENCE: A-A gift, and a contender for last year’s Best Picture Oscar (some, including me, thought it deserved the award over “A Beautiful Mind,” but we don’t vote). “Gosford Park” is a wonderful film that now has a wonderful DVD package, thanks to Universal.By Sean O’ConnellJuly 16, 2002

Charlotte Gray

Playing off an age-old question, I wonder, “If a supreme talent made a WWII drama in the woods and no one was around, would it make a noise?”

The star in question is the phenomenal Cate Blanchett, while the movie is “Charlotte Gray,” a survivor epic of hope and faith that made little noise at the box office and now arrives on DVD in a compact package from Warner Bros. “Gray” cast Blanchett as adventurous Brit Charlotte Gray, whose knowledge of French earns her a role in her country’s war efforts. Her eventual love of a pilot gives her new reason to exist, but when her squeeze goes down behind enemy lines, Gray takes it upon herself to confirm his whereabouts and assist in his rescue.Without Blanchett, “Gray” would be whitewashed. Typically known for distancing her parts by appearing physically transformed from film to film, Blanchett actually tries on several faces in this film alone, each one more radiant than the next. Where Gillian Armstrong’s film goes wrong is in making Gray try on too many hats for too few minutes, never allowing Blanchett or the audience time to flush out either role or coinciding plotline. Charlotte’s quest for her lover gets shuttled the minute she touches down in France, and a “spy games” subplot careens us off in a completely different direction. Gray herself alternates wickedly from spy to lover to mother-figure to hero. None of the personas come off completely convincingly, though some flourish more than others in Blanchett’s capable hands.Grade: C+THE EXTRASArmstrong, herself, sits down for a screen-specific audio commentary on the “Gray” disc, but her comments prove as lackluster as her direction. Her film speaks better for itself, shot beautifully on location with crisp cinematography and proficient portrayals. Let the actors speak. This clearly is their show.Two smaller featurettes also accompany the “Gray” DVD. Both run approximately five minutes long and feature interviews and production clips.Grade: C-OVERALL EXPERIENCE: CA film with promise, “Gray” never chooses a tone or path, though Blanchett does her best with every curve she’s thrown. Her performance alone intrigues, though little else measures up.By Sean O’ConnellJuly 16, 2002

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