Netflix has been very good to me lately.
First, I stumbled upon the movie, The Whole Wide World (1996). I’m not quite sure how. Just some of my browsing around in Netflix. This is the story of Robert E. Howard, who wrote, among other things, Conan the Barbarian. It’s a bittersweet story, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Rene Zellweger. I recommended it to author Angie Hunt. She rented it immediately and then beat me to posting about it. I like her review so much, I’ll let you read her comments instead of writing my own:
The movie is the true story of pulp writer Robert E. Howard, who was at his peak in the mid 1930’s. The story is not a romance, though it feels like one at first, and the ending is not happy. It’s one of those “acceptance” endings, where the main character doesn’t get what she wants, but accepts the way things turn out.
As I always do with “true” movies, I was Googling Howard even before the final credits rolled and found out that he was an even bigger success than the movie implied. His books are still in print, he’s hailed as a master, and he didn’t write past age thirty! You’ve probably heard of one of his most famous characters: Conan the Barbarian.
Writers have a reputation for weirdness, but this guy was really eccentric. I’d have said he was bi-polar or something, but apparently a psychiatrist friend of the family said he was as mentally sound as anyone else . . . just eccentric. Really.
In any case, if you enjoy stories about writers, this is an interesting tale. But keep the tissues handy.
Next, I rented a movie that Angie Hunt recommended to me. Tit-for-tat, right? Ushpizin (2005) is a film from Israel with English subtitles. I sometimes struggle with watching movies where I must read the bottom of the screen because I feel like I often miss some of the important action (facial expressions, etc.) that add to a movie. But this held my interest from start to finish. It is a beautiful story of devotion to God, answered prayers, and living ones faith. I highly recommend it.
Finally, I watched a 2001 two-DVD TV series from A&E called Victoria & Albert. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed in an A&E movie. I am a huge fan of British costume dramas, and I love both Regency and Victorian settings. This particular mini-series tells the love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. This isn’t terribly deep, but it’s good.
Speaking of movies, have you decided what movie — instead of DaVinci Code — that you will go see on the weekend of May 19-21? I’m still trying to decide. I may even try to see two movies, just to cast a stronger vote to Hollywood.