April 4th, 2022

Wishful Drinking: Carrie Fisher has done a number of one person shows. In 2010, at 54yo, and 6 years before her untimely death, she wrote and starred in this play/documentary. It was more of a documentary and she walked through her life history and that of her parents. Being born to famous people, and for her this was the pinnacle of fame with Debbie Reynolds, one of the biggest Hollywood stars and Eddie Fisher, a smooth singer and actor in his own right, the spotlight was firmly on them. Especially shortly after Debbie gave birth to their son, that Eddie became closer and closer to good friend, Elizabeth Taylor. After her husband’s, Mike Todd’s early death at the age of 50 in a plane crash. Taylor married eight times, later dumps Eddie for the charismatic Richard Burton, who she later divorced and re-married (and then divorced)! It is complicated chart or relationships that Carrie tries to explain with some humour. Carrie Fisher owns her faults, and readily admits to the drug and alcohol abuse. She knows everyone it seems in Hollywood, and in the New York scene. Not only from her parents but also her own career with Star Wars and all those people (George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill etc). Heck, Meryl Streep played her in Postcards From The Edge, her story. This is entertaining and sheds some light, although filtered, into the life of a young person thrown so early into the spotlight. Mom, Debbie Reynolds, had Carrie on stage and performing with her when she was very young. It shows in a way that isn’t surprising to anyone, that money and fame don’t buy happiness. Carrie had her demons and they took over her life a number of times. She was a good writer, and had a sarcastic wit. This is presently on Crave, and it is surprising to realize that she has already been gone for 5 years. Time when Covid has been around has simply stood still. When one thinks back, you almost have to add two years to any estimation when something happened.

The Martian: I re-watched this Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon this past week, and once enjoyed thoroughly enjoyed it. This was released in 2015, but as noted above it doesn’t feel that long ago. I remember I liked the movie so much that I went out and bought and read the book. It also has the same humour in it as the films, and goes into more detail into a few other things for the character left on Mars by mistake. It is a worthwhile read. This is a very good cast, in an interesting story, with plenty of space and science for those not looking for Star Wars or Aliens. Rather it explores a scenario which could occur one day as humans explore other worlds and moons more regularly. There is a message of global cooperation which is sorely needed in times of war and conflict/sanctions. I really like the humour and how it is not all seriousness and problem solving. I think it also ingenious to show the thought process of how one works the problem to then move on to the next rather than being overcome with the gravity of a situation in its entirety (being on a planet with no communications, limited food and equipment). It would be easy to give up. Character and the human condition shows how we don’t go down without a fight.

CODA: I also re-watched the 2022 Best Picture CODA, and the Best Supporting Actor winner. I had texted Alison about doing so and she reflected that she thinks that this movie can be one like The Green Mile, Or Shawshank or Ferris Bueller that no matter how many times you have seen it, you will pause when you see it on a channel listing. I would agree with that. I liked this again on second viewing. I liked better seeing the subtitles from the beginning, as I hadn’t had them on my first viewing until some minutes into it. I like the growth of the family as a unit and individually. Each of them has to stretch and address their place in the family and how they can interact with each other and the community. Parents learn that children are not clones of themselves, and have their own wishes and aspirations and dreams. These dreams don’t always coincide with the parents had thought. We learn that a young woman, finishing up high school who thought she was destined on the career of fisherman on her Dad’s boat, had a new world opened to her because she had a skill than no one else in her family had. This skill was encouraged by the memorable teacher Berrrrrr-nardo but also because of her interest in a young man in her class, who joined the Choir.

Dad is a hard man, who has isolated himself and doesn’t like people generally. Not his fellow fisherman, and not the town. He loves his wife and his family deeply. The emotional hook for the film for me can be seen with his relationship with his daughter. I also liked how the tie in between the early question from the music teacher of “how does singing make you feel?” is answered then and later not through words, but sign.

If you haven’t seen this yet, seek it out. Maybe bring a tissue along too. Also as the Grammy’s last night celebrated Canadian singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell, you can feel the emotion of her song “Both Sides Now”. Our young actress has an excellent voice, and she is very good in this role. You care about her, and her family.