So this weekend I had a chance to watch Freedom Writers. I had only intended on starting the movie, but I ended up finishing it. I enjoyed it. It has some clichés like all the movies of this type (Stand and Deliver being better I think) but it had some interesting wrinkles. I found it interesting that all the books are mothballed by the Dept Head and only given out to other ‘better students’. The argument used by the same Dept Head that you can’t teach this way to every group and that the teachers are there to move the students through. The Color Purple comment made by the junior level teacher was just amazing – tell me about the black perspective in this story….huh?! Did you actually say that?! I do find it interesting that they try and reach inner city kids with stories of the holocaust. How about apartheid? How about segregation in the south? They hint on that, but they didn’t fly in members of the Black Panthers or anything like that to speak to them, as opposed to the woman who housed Anne Frank. The Patrick Dempsey character did not come off well, since he couldn’t get away from watching football every time you saw him. His Wife may not have to take on three jobs if he could add more to household income no? Anyway, it was worthwhile watching. I like Hilary Swank, and think that she is very genuine.
I also watched the beginning of A Good Year, since I had previously missed it. Reminded me of Trading Places and the orange futures when he holds on to the price and then dumps it only it buy it back. You’d think the securities commission would look into that further. Upon second watching they do try to make Crowe appear more ‘geeky’ and it really doesn’t work. In many ways that offscreen perception of him hurts him for this. The female lead, though, (Marion Cotillard) still glows in the scenes that she is in and I am going to get that Edith Piaf story.