Category Archives: Kate Winslet

Quotable Monday: You’re a miracle

Today’s quote is from the film, Little Children, which is based on a novel (of the same title) by Tom Perrotta.  I read the book a little over a year ago, so I cannot recall if this quote actually appears in the book.  But I was re-watching the movie this past weekend and it really stuck out to me.  Therefore, I am judging that a quote from a film based off a book is close enough to get some air time in my blog.  I hope that you enjoy!

You’re a miracle, Ronnie. We’re all miracles. Know why? Because as humans, every day we go about our business, and all that time we know… we all know… that the things we love… the people we love, at any time now can all be taken away. We live knowing that and we keep going anyway. Animals don’t do that.

Check out the book on Amazon.

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Filed under Kate Winslet, Quotes

The Reader – The Movie

It’s not news that many books are eventually made into films or television shows.  It seems to be a rarity, however, for a viewer who has read the book to also enjoy the movie.  At least as much as they enjoyed the book, if they enjoyed the book.  I rarely have this issue myself and I seem to just enjoy a distraction, but some films just really excel at being amazing pieces of art in and of themselves, only adding another layer of awesome to the novel.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, pretty much any film starring Kate Winslet that is based off a novel automatically tends to mean that I’ll love the book.  What I failed to mention, and maybe I don’t even have to, is that I automatically love the film, as well.  What can I say – I’m a Kate Winslet fan.  One example of a film (and novel) that I loved is The Reader.

I watched the film first and discovered, later on, that there was a book. I watched the film when I was home alone one night and it reduced me to tears.  It probably shouldn’t have, given that one of the characters is an ex-Nazi (and that is the character that you tend to feel sorry for), but, alas, it did.  And instead of my attempting to summarize the plot – since I’ve probably already given away too much detail for anything to be a surprise if you want to read it – view the below trailer from YouTube:

 

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Filed under Favorites, Kate Winslet, Movies/Books

Current Read: Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain

Book Cover - Mildred Pierce

I plucked Mildred Pierce off of the shelf at Borders recently for one reason and one reason only.  Perhaps I should be ashamed to admit this, but I am not.  And I only continue to choose books based off this reasoning (which I will disclose momentarily), because it repeatedly proves true.  What reason is this?  Kate Winslet is on the cover.

In the past it usually happened that I’d watch a film starring Kate Winslet , love the movie, discover that there was a novel the film was adapted from, go and find the book…. totally love the book.  Some examples?  Sense and Sensibility, Little Children, Jude the Obscure…. to name three.  I believe that she just possesses a knack for choosing excellent projects and excellent characters.  And it all typically aligns, quite perfectly, to my personal tastes.  So, when I was recently wandering aimlessly throughout the bookstore, desperately searching for my next read, this seemed like a safe option for me to go with.

So, did my decision to choose a book solely based off the actress on the cover pay off this time?  It certainly did.

The abstract on the back of the novel summarizes the story like this:

Mildred Pierce had gorgeous legs, a way with a skillet, and a bone-deep core of toughness.  She used those attributes to survive a divorce and poverty and to claw her way out of the lower middle class.  But Mildred also had two weaknesses:  a yen for shiftless men and an unreasoning devotion to a monstrous daughter.  Out of these elements, James M. Cain created a novel of acute social observation and devastating emotional violence, with a heroine whose ambitions and sufferings are never less than recognizable.

The above perfectly captures the heart of this book, perhaps better than any other synopsis that I’ve ever read.  Mildred is a character that a reader can easily both love and hate, often all within the expanse of a single sentence.  One’s heart simultaneously melts with pity, swells with excitement at her triumphs, and fights to hold back the urge to sprout arms and give her a good shake.  But the reason that the character of Mildred so easily evokes all of these emotions is because she successfully represents a smattering of traits that anyone can easily find in themselves.  And they’re not all traits that one would necessarily be proud of admitting…

The character who elicits the most rightful rage, however, is the daughter, Veda.  A snob since the womb, she demands that others grovel and beg for her approval and even after you do that (and anything else that she either directly or indirectly demands of you), she’ll despise you for doing it.  Everyone has had a Veda in their life — even if the circumstances and annoyances were different — that one person that you just NEEDED to love and accept you.  You’d do anything to ensure their never-ending approval, including, possibly, degrading yourself and forcing ignorance upon yourself.

Conversely, you can let the irritation go and revel in Mildred’s accomplishments as she works diligently and takes all of the risks necessary to make her dreams come true.  The novel is both inspiring and a hard, cold dose of reality.

Overall, I would give this book three out of four stars (if I were to rate on a four star scale….) and look forward to, hopefully, seeing the HBO miniseries at some point in the near future.

You can purchase Mildred Pierce and/or learn more about the novel on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Mildred-Pierce-Movie-Vintage-Lizard/dp/0307946592/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1312852861&sr=8-2 

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Filed under Books, Kate Winslet, Movies/Books