Thursday, March 26, 2015


When I was in LA, I went to see Cinderella with my sister and nephew.  I love going to the movies with my sister and I love going to the movies in LA. Cinderella is a beautiful movie to look at, but, unfortunately there's nothing new about the story - it's pretty faithful to the 1950 cartoon.  A major theme is that you should "have courage and be kind." I don't have much beef with the advice to "have courage" but "be kind" is pretty rotten advice to give a girl.  By being "kind", Cinderella allows herself to become a slave to her step-mother and sisters and only gets out of it by being overheard singing sweetly in her attic prison.  Telling girls, especially, to smile through their pain and suffering lest they make someone else uncomfortable is a 1950's attitude and frankly, a horrid message to put out there in friggin' 2015.

I guess one minor improvement was that the prince actually recognizes her at the end of the movie without going through the humiliation of trying on a shoe to prove her identity.  That always bothered me.  I mean, NO OTHER WOMAN IN THE VILLAGE WORE A FUCKING SIZE 8.5?  Also, does anyone else think the act of Cinderella putting on the shoe is a kind of a gross expression of hetero-normative behavior?

I do.  Perfect fit, etc.? An example of Cinderella's purity and virginity? Whereby the phallic symbol slides into the glistening precious vessel thus proving ultimate ownership?  

Anywho, the aside from the just awful representations of gendered behavior, etc, the movie was pretty much straight up Costume Porn, which, I'll admit, I like very much.  There's this very strange bit, however, when Cinderella's homely yet lovingly made dress is discarded/morphed into her gown.  In the 1950's version, it looks like this:

In Branagh's version, the fairy godmother sends her into what my sister aptly called a "dress-gasm" whereby she spun and spun and spun and ooh, she's still spinning because that dress just feels sooo good.

I will only mention that the glass slippers appear to have no less than a four inch heel and then I will slowly shake my head.

My favorite costumes were worn by the great Cate Blanchett and the two stepsisters, hilariously played by Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey) and Holliday Grainger (The Borgias).  
 The fabric in the sister's dresses is slightly sheer.  Blanchett's hat and skirt... I can't even.

I wish we had seen more of these dresses in the movie - they were so crazy fabulous. The scene below was quite funny - the sisters in these bonkers cages and undergarments fighting over lavalieres.

This is the wedding dress, which you just get a glimpse of in the movie.  It's sort of ridiculous and old fashioned but also I can't stop looking at it?  I love it and hate it just like Angelina's wedding dress.

And, finally, this is what Cinderella wore to the ... premiere.  Those pockets!  I mean, you can't put anything in there but your hands, but!

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I had a fantastic trip to California last weekend.  Struggling to get through the tail-end of this winter, I really needed some sunshine and warm air.  I nearly wept just to feel the sun on my bare arms (and not wear socks! or a down jacket! or boots! or gloves!)  Not to mention I got to see my beloved sister and nephew!  Aside from just sitting on my sister's balcony rueing the day I ever left California for the god-forsaken hinterland that is Chicago.  I love California and would really like to move there again, although I also spend a fair amount of time imagining an apocalyptic future where I valiantly cross the country to "save" my sister, only to find her happily nestled in my friend L's backyard in a tent with pit latrine at an appropriate distance.  Supposedly the people who survive "The Big One" will be the ones who know how to dig their own toilets.  Doesn't help that I recently read The Parable of the Sower about just such an apocalyptic future with people painstakingly meandering up the 101 toward the promised land that is, of course: Canada.

I digress.  One day we went on a lovely hike not far from my sister's house where there was that wonderful diversion:  A Rope Swing Over a Gentle Brook.  Beloved Nephew made many valiant efforts and I made one supremely pathetic one.