In 2000, I was in the Bronx, NY, when Finding Forrester, directed by Gus Van Sant, appeared on the scene. Then, I was about the same age as the protagonist, Jamal Wallace, played by Rob Brown, and at the time, although undecided, I was studying the sciences at Pace University in Pleasantville.
Looking at this same movie over a decade later, I still get that same awe and inspiration. The only difference now in comparison to then is that its message has sunk deeper into my heart. I am no longer connected to just two aspects of this movie as I was then, but over the years, I have live a little more of its experiences. And this is what I would like to share with you.
Julie & Julia (2009) directed by Nora Ephron
If it weren't for blogging, Julie Powell and the movie Julie & Julia, I would have remained oblivious to the remarkable and driven Julia Child and her classic cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My earliest memories of cookbooks were a plastic covered cookbook about cake decorating and The Joy of Cooking Hurricane Luis left at our doorsteps in 1995. Anyway, I am, today, a firm believer in the 'home cooked meal'.
Although some critics preferred to carve Julie & Julia into just Julia, I think this film about a redeemed writer is good just the way it is. It features the lives of two women in two different periods in their lives; both needs something to do.
Meryl Streep, who played Julia Child, is quiet, tough and nonchalant in the face of opposition while Julia Powell, played by Amy Adams, flops, fusses and throws ‘adult’ tantrums. Powell’s character is more emotional in expression, self-conceited and has more room in the film to change those things about herself, with the help of her grounded and mature inspiration, of course. Her love and devotion [obsession, in my opinion] to her role model, Julia Child, helps reintroduce a culinary icon to a new generation.
The Ghost Writer (2010) by Roman Polanski
Ewan McGregor, in The Ghost Writer (2010), screwed up big in his career and all it took was polishing the memoir of the former Prime Minister, played by Pierce Brosnon, whose previous ghost writer washed up on a beach, dead.
I figure that's not what you are aspiring to become, a ghost writer on the brink of failure just because you made ten small, but career-altering mistakes. Here are ten easy and crucial habits McGregor should have upheld:
The Help (2011) directed by Tate Taylor
Kate Stockett's book turned movie is a gem filled with vital and applicable lessons for young, aspiring and even seasoned writers. And although the story is set in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s, it still managed to strike a cord deep inside of me where St. Martin is concerned.
In the 1960s, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan[Emma Stone], a young, white college graduate, upsets the residents of Jackson, Mississippi and exposes the racist work conditions of many African-American maids, beginning with Abileen Clark [Viola Davis] and Minny Johnson [Octavia Spencer], who are as determined to tell their stories in secret as she is in writing them, breaking the law.