The fifteenth and sixteenth films I saw this year were, respectively, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol and Moonrise Kingdom. First, for The Muppets’ Christmas Carol. For those of you who have been hiding under a rock since 1992 and have never seen this adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, you should run out and buy a copy or get it over the Internet and keep it in your video collection because it is a classic. It stars Michael Caine as Scrooge, with Kermit the Frog as Bob Crachitt, Miss Piggy as Emily Crachitt, Gonzo as Charles Dickens, and the rest of the Muppets playing most of the other supporting roles (there are a couple of humans here and there but they hardly seem worth mentioning). Michael Caine does a superb job as the cold-hearted Scrooge whose life is changed forever on Christmas Eve by his journey with the three spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. And for scary, wait until you see the two old guys as the ghosts of Jacob and Robert Marley, Scrooge’s dead partners (yes, there were two of them). The music is delightful. The song “One More Sleep “Til Christmas” will warm your heart. The film is dedicated to the late Jim Henson and he would be proud to see what his Muppets have accomplished. It is sure to become a family tradition at your house as it is at mine.
The next film, Moonrise Kingdom, directed by the great Wes Anderson, has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas but is a film I waited all summer to take my granddaughters to see and then missed it when it was in the theaters. So yesterday in my quiet alone day I caught up with it in OnDemand on TimeWarner. Thank you, Cable TV. What a fantastic movie! An orphaned Packy scout and a 12-year-old girl “fall in love” and run away together, which causes havoc in the Packy scout camp and in the girl’s family. The run aways are caught, but not before there is a sweet scene of the young preteen couple dancing on the beach. You will love the things they packed for their adventure. They are brought back; the boy to be picked up by social services because his foster family no longer wants him and the girl to be dealt with by her family, with her father played by Bill Murray. The entire Packy scout camp conspires to get Sam, the orphaned boy, and Suzy, the girl, together again and to that end the entire scout troop disappears with Sam and Suzy and takes them to another camp where an older scout performs an illegal wedding ceremony in the midst of a hurricane. The scout troop and Sam and Suzy and finally found and a police officer offers to foster Sam so he won’t end up in an orphanage. He and Suzy get to see each other and things seem to be working out for Suzy’s parents as well. There are many layers to this film; the music is divine. The child actors are amazing. I simply loved the film.
Now for the books. Where have I been, you ask? Reading, I answer. Reading Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels in the order in which they were written. I had previously read all the mysteries (they are my very favorite; I have pre-ordered her next novel, How the Light Gets In, which is scheduled for release on August 27, 2013 because there was a cliff-hanger at the end of the last mystery involving my favorite character) but I wanted to follow the progression of the character development throughout the books. So I started with Still Life, went through A Fatal Grace, The Cruelest Month, A Rule Against Murder, The Brutal Telling, Bury Your Dead, A Trick of the Light, and am now re-reading The Beautiful Mystery. These are books 102 through 108, respectively. I’m not yet counting The Beautiful Mystery because I have not yet finished re-reading it. It has been a great exercise because I understand the characters so much better now the second time through, especially in their correct order as they are developed by the author and situations occur that are carried through the books.
It looks like I will not make my increased number of books in the challenge (125 from 50) but I far surpassed the original number. I didn’t reach my goal of 25 films, but I’m more of an active learner and reading is more my style. As it was, I knitted through the two movies I saw yesterday. Got to stay busy.