Thursday, October 25, 2007

Film: Away from Her

I watched this movie with my wife. It's a real heartbreaker that examines one couple's tragic experience with Alzheimer's disease. The acting is good, the story is fairly engaging, but I found it to be dissatisfying in the end. While I tried to empathize with the characters, the dark guilts of their pasts and their fatalistic approach to the future didn't leave me with much more than pity.

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Rated PG-13 Language and Adult Situations

Award-winning director Atom Egoyan produced this film by actress Sarah Polley about a long-married but still very much in love couple whose lives are torn asunder when one of them must enter a rest home. Julie Christie plays the wife, and Gordon Pinsent plays the husband desperate to ensure her comfort in the new setting while burdened with guilt over past behavior. Olympia Dukakis co-stars in this film inspired by an Alice Munro story.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Historic Fiction: The Emigrants

I finished book one of the four volume "Emigrants Series" by Vilhelm Moberg, and found it to be very interesting. As a Minnesotan of Scandinavian descent, my interest might be a little higher than the average reader, but I think the 19th century emigrant experience would be interesting for most mid-western Americans. The writing is as "salt of the earth" as the simple people it describes. Short and well-defined chapters made for good bedtime reading.
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From Library Journal

Published between 1951 and 1961, Moberg's four-volume "Emigrant" epic offers the saga of the Swedish immigrant's role in the settling of the American frontier.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
Book One introduces Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson, their 3 young children, and 11 others who make up a resolute party of Swedes fleeing the poverty, religious persecution, and social oppression of Smland in 1850.