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Mother and Child was quite good, Mac. I thought that I had seen it, but wasn't sure, so ended up watching it again. Like so much that I might have watched a few years ago, I don't remember much but generally start to remember major plot points as we approach them. What struck me during this second viewing was that I could not remember a dramatic film that I have seen with so many prickly characters: the Annette Bening one, the Naomi Watts one, and the girl who is going to give her baby to Kerry Washington. All three are sort of played to be unlikable, and yet in the movie people seem to like them. Nonetheless it is an enjoyable and compelling two hours.

I watched M&C over the weekend as well and liked it very much. Like you said though, it could've done without the sex scenes. I thought the second one was especially off-putting. But the acting was excellent, and I liked the way it cut back and forth between the three stories without set-ups or explanations.

I think the first film I watched where the subtlety of the acting really struck me was the French movie Time Out. The lead performance by Aurelien Recoing has been a sort of touchstone for me in terms of male acting that features that understated approach.

I'm traveling and can only comment by laborious tapping on my phone. So just to say: glad y'all liked it.

You know, Mac, if you had time enough at last you'd probably break your glasses or something. And then you wouldn't be able to consume any content.

That sounds like a book only worth skimming. I'm glad you did not waste what little time we have.

I acted in high school. And lost interest in college because of the culture surrounding theater. But I have always appreciated the art. I have only in recent years become aware than when I watch a movie one of the things I am doing which probably a lot of people don't do is appreciate the art of the people in the film.

Sometimes that goes a bit too far with me: I become too conscious that I'm watching someone playing a very elaborate game of pretend.

Don: :-). That's a very painful episode, but those glasses seemed unusually fragile.

Before I went on the camino I was reading Making It by Norman Podhoretz. Its dreadfully boring

Not even on my maybe-someday list.

In reference to the two sex scenes in the movie. If I remember the correct order, the first is where the couple is interrupted by someone (perhaps her mother?) calling and continuing to speak into the answering machine. The second is Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson, and while there is less nudity it is a more uncomfortable scene. I thought this one was necessary to the plot because it shows us much more about the Naomi Watts character. The first scene seemed silly and not needed, and as a matter of fact right after it did I said aloud to the room (my dog, I guess), "What was that all about?"

"I thought this one was necessary to the plot because it shows us much more about the Naomi Watts character."

Yes, that part I get, but I don't think it needed to be as lengthy as it is, or as graphic. I agree that the first one was largely unnecessary.

What did the dog think?


He turned away from the screen in embarrassment!

I always feel like a voyeur when I watch sex scenes in movies. I really don't think they're there to do anything but titillate. Older movies were able to get the point across about the kind of person a character was without doing those.

I actually think they're both justifiable for what they reveal about the characters. But they could have been considerably less explicit.

When I saw Craig's 10 year program for reading about Rome, it really bowled me over because I realized how far I from being able to contemplate something like that. Of course, I never would have been disciplined enough to follow through on something like that.

When I took a class at the seminary, it really surprised me when I found I was about the only person in the class who read the assignments.

Now I'm thinking skimming will definitely be the best treatment for A Pope and a President.


Sounds right to me. :-)

This looks interesting.


Yes. It does.


I've been tempted to take a look at it, but I generally avoid "light" fiction and I wonder whether for me it would be a bit of a waste of time. I guess I could start it then put it down if it doesn't appeal, but I've got so much other stuff that I sincerely want to read...

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