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DRAGONS AND GOVERNESSES AND ACTRESSES, OH MY!

April 6, 2010

Reviews:

How To Train Your Dragon — excellent movie, right from the beginning. Great, in your face camera angles taking you right into the heart of the Viking village. Solid voicework, BEAUTIFUL motion. I find over and over again that my favorite movie moments communicate without dialogue. Watching Hiccup and Toothless learn to understand each other and develop their friendship was a joy. It is also the first animated movie I remember where I found myself looking at something (the hair on the older Vikings’ arms) and thinking impressive texture.

I always say CGI does best when it doesn’t try to replicate daylight, when the color palette is darker or fantastical or at least the focus is on character or movement. So the only scene that took me out of it was the crowd scene in broad daylight waiting for Hiccup’s grand chance to slay the dragon.

Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite movies for visuals — I love the watercolor backgrounds and the very same directors have put Dragons higher on my favorite animation list because of the excellence of Toothless. Neither dog nor cat nor human, but a personality all his own. In matte black. Impressive.

Now I want a dragon.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day did finally make its way to the DVD player and it was lovely. Everything was right. Sets, costume, music, performances, directing…EVERYTHING. Amy Adams continues incandescent in everything she does. She’s on my short list of actors I want to see in more movies. Frances McDormand also impresses. Gayle was disappointed to find that director Bharat Nalluri has mainly focused on TV series and not feature films.

Miss Pettigrew is a delicious mix of farce, sentiment, comedy, character and music. Amy Adams continues to just fall (and funny falls they are) into hearts; it’s a gift. Watch it some quiet night on the couch.

Speaking of women who can just fall into your heart (and you laugh at them while they’re stealing it), Kathleen Turner is playing Molly Ivins in Philadelphia this month. I saw Ms. Turner as Tallulah Bankhead in a one women show several years ago. One of the more entertaining nights of theatre I’ve sat in on and not just because Ms. Turner rolled her stockings off. I’m hoping we can swing tickets. I’m sure it’ll be a heck of a night.

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