Fear in Writing: Sunday Foreign Post Roundup

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Foreign Post Roundup

Sorry for the late start, but I got to sleep in today.  And then my husband made a smoked salmon, mushroom & broccoli fritatta...Actually, I'm not that sorry. :P

Also, a bit different today on the Sunday Foreign Post Roundup--a movie review!  Let it be known: I am not a reviewer, merely a person with an opinion.  Therefore, there will be no score given, just my recommendation.

Last night, on the occasion of my birthday celebration, my husband took me to see Sherlock Holmes.  From the opening frame we were entranced.  As my hubby later pointed out, director Guy Ritchie never once showed us a tree or sign of nature outside that used in chemistry.  Industry was the setting, with London as the background. 
Holmes was not the quiet, professorial detective of old, but a masochistic, needy soul quite attached to his friend Watson, rather than the other way around.  (Downy, Jr. was, of course, perfect, and less predictable than usual, but with some of his usual body quirks--holding his arms in, mouth slack, head cocked, etc.)  Speaking of Watson--we were surprised at our pleasure with Jude Law.  This is the first maturity we had seen in the actor.  No more Alfie in Law.  He played the responsible uptight to Downey, Jr.'s scuffle-prone alcoholic.  But they both have their addictions.  I'll leave it at that.
As to direction, Ritchie definitely takes a more mainstream approach with this movie.  If you have seen Rock'n'Rolla or Snatch you will know he loves to play with time and narrative.  He does that a bit here and it is brilliant as it displays Holmes' brilliance.  But he does it minimally and it doesn't feel pushed upon the audience.
In my opinion, the only weak point of the movie was Rachel McAdams.  Her acting is far below the bar set by Downey, Jr. and Law, and this may just be because of her maturity.  However, I think they could have done better in casting.  I will say she looks the part to perfection and I do not dislike her in general (loved Wedding Crashers and enjoyed State of Play).  But I will say no more.
If you are one to leave as soon as the credits roll, don't!  Watch these credits not only because you should (those people deserve your attention as much as the actors), but because the graphic artist worked wonders.
My recommendation?  Mystery Lovers should not miss this one!
On to the links of the week...
1.  Find a new read and stretch your comfort zone to the PLO, Beirut in 1982 and a debut author at It's a Crime! (Or a Mystery...).
2.  You won't believe this: Kittling Books' Truth in a Pack of Lies, and that's all I'll say!

3.  Shannon O'Donnell gives us the lesson of The Runaway Tree.

4.  Tiffany Neal has finished her MS!!!  And now I give her the award I created for just such an occasion!  Our writing group (and I include all of you writing readers in this) knows how hard it is to get to this point, so I call the award the "Writers Know" Award.  Here you go, Tiffany.  I know awards can seem to lose their meaning when given randomly, but this one is truly for your accomplishment.
Congratulations, Tiffany!
5.  Jan Morrison of Crazy Jane has started an interesting weekly blog called Challenge Friday.  This week she challenged us all to be inspired by a walk--whether it was through writing or another form of art.  I like this idea and hope to return to this post weekly.

6.  The most hilarious video ever is at Kimberly Franklin's blog.  She's always posting funny videos so keep checking, but this one wins, in my opinion!
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  1. I loved Sherlock Holmes! Of course, I'm a bit Downey, Jr. fan, so perhaps I was a bit biased. My husband and I were also a bit iffy about Jude Law, but we were pleasantly surprised. I agree with your opinion about Rachel McAdams--I've liked her in other roles, but she was terrible for this one. Like you said, she looked the part well, but when put up against RDJ, you really need someone with acting chops... Great music, too!

  2. You know, I noticed the music as perfect during, but didn't think about it afterward! You're right--it was great! There were certain scenes in which I was especially frustrated by McAdams' reactions. Glad you saw it and liked it.

  3. Thanks for the mention, Michele. I have now belatedly added your blog to my blog list for crime. ;)

  4. Oh no, if you're going to start doing movie reviews I'm gonna get out while I still can. I wonder if there's anyone writing up reviews on panda bears?

  5. Alex- ditto. I thought it would be up your alley. A bit scifi with the steampunk edge.

    Crimeficreader- Thank you! I appreciate making the list!

    Univarn- What? As if I'm any good! I RARELY make it to movies. You are too sweet. I'd rather know if you agree with me...

  6. I really, really want to go see Sherlock Holmes but haven't gotten the chance yet. : (

    Thank you so much for posting my blog on yours today. You are so incredibly sweet! ; )

  7. Oh I agree pretty much. Your post echos what I find a lot of people have been saying about it. I still prefer my Holmes with "Elementary, my dear Watson" and a magnifying glass, but this was a refreshing spin. I think a lot of what held down Rachel McAdams character wasn't so much her, just a bad character. More of a series springboard character than a self sustained film one. She just feels out of place with the pack, and forced as a sort of "sequel promise" to the viewer.

  8. I haven't seen Sherlock Holmes yet - but I can't wait!

    Thanks for all of the great links, too :)

  9. Kimberly- You're welcome, but it's really because of your great post, not mine!

    Univarn- Ah, true point. One I hadn't thought of.

    Jemi- YOU of all people should see this movie! I actually thought of you during it last night. :)

  10. I loved this movie when I saw it last night and I think the some of the portrayal was closer to the books then it has been in the past. Watson was a smart guy and not always bumbling around. I really enjoyed it!

    I wasn't impressed with either of the female characters though. They all felt a little cardboard-like.

    Great review!

  11. Yay! Thanks for the finished MS award!! :) It's so exciting to be done but so nerve racking at the same time!! Time for the querying to begin...

  12. Congratulations Tiffany!

    Thanks for all the links Michele, some of these are new for me.

  13. Wow! Thanks for the shout-out, Michele. I'm absolutely thrilled you liked the post. :-)