nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,

What I have been watching recently

Cinderella, Scottish Ballet. So it turns out that what I really like in ballet is plot. There were fewer dance pyrotechnics in Scottish Ballet's production than in my recent cinematic Nutcracker, but I know very little about dance technicalities, and all I can say is that the choreography was charming, dancing looked very good to me, the orchestra was excellent, and Cinderella actually has a proper story*. As is the mark of a good ballet, I spent the next couple of days balancing on one leg and pirouetting around the place. The dancer playing the Prince had an extraordinarily young face that looked about 16, though the internet tells me he is about 26, which worked really well in terms of plot and characterisation.

All that plus the fantastic Edinburgh Festival Theatre, which has stalls the price of a London upper balcony containing comfy seats, ample legroom, good sightlines, and in the foyer a large bar and decent lavatories (the latter not actually in the foyer).

Carol, dir. Todd Haynes. I strategically skipped this in Oxford as it was on later in Edinburgh, which meant I got to go with my father and youngest sister (Mum being under the weather stayed at home). It was terrific, beautifully acted, and shot with enormous sympathy for the complex characters. While obviously the main focus of the film and its critical attention is the central love story, it also has quite a lot to say about class and how this relates to Carol and Therese's specific situations and options. I shall definitely be seeing it on DVD and will be going back to look again at Haynes' earlier Far from Heaven, to which it feels something of a companion piece.

Star Wars A good straightforward fun space adventure film, it does what it sets out to do, and it entertains the audience while doing it. Characters aren't deep, but they are deftly sketched by the story and feel plausible, and the plot moves at a good clip while remaining comprehensible, and it was blessedly free from stopping the action for pointless thumping. It looks good, the music is stirring, and it has Harriet Walter flirting with Chewbacca**. In short, it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and I look forwards to the next one.

And Then There Were None What with one thing and another we didn't end up watching a lot of Christmas TV, but this was terrific. Gripping throughout, growing more and more tense as it progressed, and though I've not read the book the fairly minor alterations seem to have been neatly done. Performances were strong all round, but Maeve Dermody should be particularly recognised as an utterly convincing Vera. Personally, I like to think that were I trapped on the island with a serial killer I'd consider setting fire to the house, but on the other hand I would not be hampered in my actions by worrying about being exposed as a murderer.

All Aboard! The Sleigh Ride Christmas Eve on BBC4 ventured into Slow TV territory with this delightful two-hour film of a couple of women driving reindeer sleighs through northern Norway. It looks very cold, and very snowy, and there is no soundtrack beyond the ambient noise, and we taped it and it was perfect to watch on Boxing Day morning.

*Though I note the Wikipedia summary "After travelling across the world and meeting princesses with no success, the Prince begins to search his own kingdom, trying the slipper on every maiden who attended the ball. Back at Cinderella's home, love has allowed the Prince to defy the laws of time and space; though it is only the morning after the ball, he has already travelled the world and back again in search of his love."

**I'm wondering how that casting conversation went.

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Tags: ballet, christmas, cinema, television
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