02 January, 2012

The Duchess Watches . . .

And a very happy new year to you, readers.  2012 starts off quietly, slowly for the Duchess.  It was a tres mellow weekend, the Senator's cold tempering the typical frivolous holiday pace.  We missed seeing beloved friends on New Year's Eve (xxo Hummingbird House), but we made the most of it with a Woody Allen marathon.

First up, Midnight in Paris.  This film was much hyped; the Duchess missed it when it was playing at the cinema and has been desperate to see it for quite some time, being very much a Woody Allen fan.  Though Owen Wilson's performance was delightful and charming, and the overall premise sentimentally sweet, Midnight in Paris failed to stoke the Duchess's fire.  It was fine but not terrific, perfectly Blockbuster-worthy.

Wilson with on-screen fiancee, Rachel McAdams

Wilson with on-screen love interest, Marion Cotillard
Next--the exceptional Crimes and Misdemeanors.  The Duchess had never seen this gem before, which invokes one of the central questions posed in Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment"--whether one may overcome the guilt and knowledge of murdering another--as explicated by Martin Landau (the philandering Dr. Judah Rosenthal) and as punctuated by the moral musings of Mr. Allen (down-on-his-luck documentary filmmaker Clifford Stern).  Five stars!

Messrs. Landau and Allen

And finally, we revisited Manhattan, Mr. Allen's beautifully shot ode of love to the city of New York (with Meryl Streep (as Mr. Allen's lesbian ex-wife), Diane Keaton (his best friend's mistress), Wallace Shawn (Ms. Keaton's ex-husband), and the lovely Mariel Hemingway (as Mr. Allen's love interest)).

Perhaps a special resolution is in order for the new year:  watch all of Woody Allen's movies.  That obligation should take the Duchess well into 2013.  

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