Monday, November 13, 2023

Taketh thyself to the theater

IYKYK. If you don't, this is a copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The book has been around  for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. My familiarity with ancient Roman History is only slightly less than my deep encyclopedic knowledge of British Royalty. Or the chronology of American Presidents.

All of which have conspired to keep me from ever becoming a contestant on Jeopardy.

I do know that Marc was one of the original Stoics. And that a 14th century copy of this book sits in the Vatican library. And now one sits on my nightstand, next to a 600 page tome by Maggie Haberman on the life and misdeeds of substantially less informed modern leader.

The book, a collection of notes to himself regarding character and self improvement plays a key role in Alexander Payne's new movie The Holdovers. Maybe you've seen the trailers. I suggest you treat yourself and see the movie.

That is, assuming you like movies with: 

No superheroes.

No Marvel characters.

No car chases.

No bloody fistfights.

No guns.

No iPhones.

There are, however, a myriad linguistic gems, finely hewn insults and enough literary and latin references to make even George Tannenbaum blush. Of course, most of those went over this Vulgarian Visogoth's head, but I got the gist.

Turns out, and I did not know this, that I am a big fan of Alexander Payne, who also wrote and directed Election. I caught that charmer recently during a bout of insomnia and laughed all the way to the end. He also wrote and directed The Descendants which takes place in Kauai, where my family had many vacations. And made many memories.

Having now stepped into the flips flops of George Clooney's character, I would have awarded him an Academy Award for a performance that uncaps the valve on the waterworks.

The Holdovers manages to strike a measured balance between the absurdities of life as well as the vector-altering gut punches.

This coming of age film takes place in 1970, ironically enough when films too were just coming of age.

I give it a Yodel and Ding Dong up.

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