Remember my enthusiasm when I found out my favorite movie was first a book? Well, it finally came in at the library!
Plot: Laura Hunt’s mysterious death has shocked New York. The ambitious young woman has been found dead, shot in the face in her apartment. Lieutenant Detective Mark McPherson has been assigned to the case. As he uncovers more about Laura, he becomes increasingly obsessed with her. Soon he realizes he’s been seduced by a dead woman—or has he?
Thoughts: I love this movie. I could probably quote most of it. There is something about the scene where McPherson, played by Dana Andrews, is staring at the portrait of Laura and falling in love with her even though he thinks she is dead that wins my heart every time.
I set such high expectations on this book that I don’t think it ever could have lived up to them. It was a really good read and yet not quite what I hoped for. It was wonderfully written. I liked the changing viewpoints. I liked the story. The twists are good. Yet, it wasn’t the movie. The pacing felt off. Lines were delivered in different settings and certain, critical scenes from the movie are non-existent in the book.
However, separating the book from the movie…it was a solid read. It was one of the most enjoyable noir reads I’ve found in a long time. The author uses light and darkness, shadows and storms, flowers and foreshadowing, to highlight scenes and create atmosphere. There were many themes laced throughout the story. The romance was somewhat more believable than the movie (oops, not comparing those two anymore) and I thought the balance of the three suitors and what they represented to Laura was interesting. Laura herself is a very complicated character. We get glimpses of her from a few different perspectives and it is interesting to try and figure out what is false and what is real. Womanhood itself gets examined in this story. Is Laura a doll? Dame? Femme fatale? Society woman? Country girl? Are the women around her grasping, slutty, innocent, or confused? This isn’t so much a whodunnit as a examination of human character. I think that is why there is less “shock value” with the final twist at the end. The point isn’t so much “Who killed Laura?” as “Who was Laura?”
I liked the ending. It was somewhat different than the movie.
Overall, I would give the book a solid 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and might have loved it if I didn’t know the movie so well.
Today Sara and I went to a fabulous tea shop, visited a cute used book shop (where I didn’t buy a single book!), and saw the movie The Case For Christ. I was pleasantly surprised by the movie. Considering it is based off a non-fiction book, the movie does a good job turning it into an interesting story. It was a perfect movie for Easter.
This afternoon, my beautiful, amazing, and wonderful Mother kidnapped me from work and we went and watched Beauty and the Beast (again.) Still a lovely movie. We were both amazed at how quiet the theater was for a Friday afternoon. There were maybe 20 people in the movie theater with us. It was completely different from when I took my youth group girls on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the place was packed. We barely found seats together in the third-to-front row. To our left, there was a Mom with a baby. The baby was very well behaved but tended to gurgle and applaud. She got up and returned 4 or 5 times with the kid during the course of the movie. In front of us, there were two grade school girls. Their Mom was sitting behind us. Any even remotely scary scene had them freaking out and near the end one had to come sit by her Mom because she was sobbing so hard.
However, the most memorable part of the theater experience came during the ballroom scene. This is the iconic, Beauty and the Beast moment. Beast looks up and sees Belle in her yellow ballgown, the music starts, and suddenly…someone started booing! The guy booed on and off throughout the entire scene. It was quite an experience. I thought they danced rather well!
I took my youth group girls to see Beauty and the Beast on Tuesday and it was magical. The costuming, the music, and the characters all came to life. Like Disney’s live action Cinderella adaption, Beauty and the Beast stays true the original cartoon while also fleshing out the story. I particularly liked what they did with the Beast’s character. I think it makes his relationship with Belle more believable. The movie also avoids or answers several inconsistencies from the cartoon.
However, I would rank Cinderella’s adaption higher than Beauty and the Beast’s. A great deal of Cinderella’s charm comes from the fact that the live action adds very little to the overall story. It is simple but beautiful. Beauty and the Beast tries to be more. There are new backstories, new relationships, and new songs. It is a bit overwhelming and left me feeling dissatisfied at times. Simple is definitely not a word for this movie. It is elaborate and stunning but occasionally disjointed.
As for the “homosexuality” in the movie, the reality is so far from the hoopla that I feel ridiculous even mentioning it. I’ve heard some people say LeFou is confused rather than gay, but to be honest, I’m not even sure he is that. There is no homosexual kiss or any other thing that parents need to be worried about. At most, there are two men dancing together at the end for a brief moment and one looks confused.
There is a fantastic post that I highly recommend you read addressing the above issue and other reasons Christians should see this movie – The Bigger Reason You Should Be Worked Up About Beauty and the Beast.
I am glad I got to see this one in theater and I am definitely going to re-watch it many times. Despite my criticisms, I must say it was beautifully done and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Do not let the hype keep you from enjoying this latest Disney classic.
My siblings and I have long been firm believers in the theory that if a parent walks in the room, whatever you are watching on the TV will suddenly take a turn for the worse. As children watching PBS programming, we would enjoy a show for weeks without the slightest qualms, but the moment our Mom watched the show with us, there would be an episode full of dark magic and death. She would then ban us from watching the show, and we would feel justifiably wronged.
As we have gotten older, this problem has persisted. Perfectly clean movies will suddenly get sketchy when Mom comes home. It doesn’t matter if we are watching DramaFever, Netflix, or a movie from the library. Something gets inappropriate the minute she walks in.
Last night my sisters and I started a new Korean drama while my Mom was out. Bethany insisted that we watch only until Mom got home, because the minute she entered the house it would get weird. I laughed at her superstition. She grew more frantic. The drama was upbeat, bubbly, and extremely funny. I told her there was no reason to worry. Our Mom came home and walked in the room…and out of NOWHERE a creepy, evil guy kidnaps a girl and chains her to a bed in his basement. I kid you not.
Murphy’s Law isn’t quite the phrase for this, but there must be one like it. Something like, The Parental Programming Law: no matter what you are watching, it will get inappropriate the minute your parent walks in the room.
I have made an amazing discovery. My favorite movie, Laura (1944), was first…A BOOK!
I know! I am so excited. From what I can tell on Goodreads, the book is even better than the movie! Which isn’t too surprising, but you can never be too careful with your favorite movie.
I currently have so many books checked out from the library that I’ve banned myself from getting more, otherwise I would have had this book on hold in seconds. As it is, this news has got me like..
My Jane Austen kick continues. I watched the 2005 Pride and Prejudice and have moved on to the 1995 version with Colin Firth. I don’t recall ever watching this one straight through, but according to my sister we already watched the whole thing together. At any rate, it is better remember, or more accurately, don’t remember. If this lasts, I might try Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (because we own it and I actually really enjoy that one!) or look up the 1940s version. Maybe I will rewatch the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! I draw the line at Bride and Prejudice, however. Once was enough!
Austen is my weakness. I am an eternally recovering Janeite. I feel like I could very easily become one of those people who dress up and attend Regency balls, and that might be my fate in the end, but for now, I resist! I love the story but I will not become a cliche! Now excuse me while I go sip my Jane Austen tea, wear my Jane Austen socks, and read Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Claire Harman.