November 28th, 2010

The Half-Blood Prince

The earlier movies are too reverential towards the books- and move too fast (at the expense of pacing and texture) because they feel bound to cram in as much of the plot and incidental detail as they possibly can. Half-Blood Prince doesn't make these mistakes. It takes a strimmer to what is possibly the weakest book in the series, foregrounds a handful of its huge cast, makes good use of Jim Broadbent, handles the theme of burgeonng sexuality better than Rowling does, gives Ginny Weasely something interesting to do and establishes a glooming atmosphere of suspense.  Considered simply as a piece of movie-making, it's  the best so far. It doesn't overdo the CGI. And if you narrowed your eyes and overlooked the silly costumes you might even think you were watching a straightforward (or not so straightforward) romantic thriller in the vein of Hitchcock's Rebecca.

Larkinesque

I don't really enjoy going round in my pyjamas all day; I find it dispiriting and disempowering, so this morning I got dressed, though I didn't have to and- because I was dressed- I've got some housework done- shifting furniture and bags of dirty washing out of our bedroom in advance of the workmen- and cleaning the bathroom floor and walls of splashes of dried plaster. My father-in-law is still in hospital. He may have had a minor heart attack. The ward sister has said she won't let him out until he's fixed because she doesn't want him back.  I assume she said it with a smile. I've just been listening to David Walliams and Andrew Motion discussing Larkin on Radio 4. Motion said he thinks Larkin chose a life that would serve his poetry. Most people who make that sort of choice choose travel and adventure, but in Larkin's case it was the drab and everyday he needed.