To My American Friends

    It’s not for me to tell you what to do, but . . . 

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Where In The Tree Is Vivien?

My favourite actress would have been 105 years old today.

City Jackdaw

I recently finished reading a biography about possibly my country’s greatest actress: Vivien Leigh. Triumphant and tragic, always lovely, ever fragile, her most difficult part was that of her own life.

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My post on an old movies site on Facebook provoked a conversation about her being England’s greatest actress. I was asked what it was about her that made me of this opinion, and how she faired in comparison to the likes of Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren. (The question was asked in all innocence, purely out of curiosity, as it was posed by a fan of Vivien’s who was curious as to why I hold her in such similar esteem.)

I replied that both Judi Dench and Helen Mirren are fine actresses, (Elizabeth Taylor too), but to me there seems a certain gravitas in both Leigh’s performances and in her attitude towards her craft. Most of her…

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They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next! You’re next!

I’ve just started reading Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers. 

Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing From Another World are my favourite 50’s sci-fi films, and though I’ve watched Invasion many times over the years it’s taken me this long to read the book. I’m not sure why. The same thing happened with Jaws.

Jaws is one of the few instances, possibly the only instance, where I’ve preferred the movie adaptation to the book itself, and as I love the Body Snatchers film perhaps the same thing will happen now. My expectations are, though, that I’ll at least be checking the garden shed and beneath the decking for pods. Anything less and I’ll be disappointed.

The title of this post is, of course, taken from the movie, and there’s another line which, if you substitute the name Becky for Andy, I’m sure my wife could relate to:

I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life. But I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.

For Oscar Night, The Morning After

As it was Oscar night last night, I thought I’d post these photographs of my favourite actress’ two Oscar wins: Vivien Leigh in 1940 for Gone With The Wind and in 1952 for A Streetcar Named Desire.

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I was going to stay up and watch the awards live (last night’s I mean, not Vivien’s, as it’s kinda hard if you’re not yet born), but the flesh was weak and I recorded it instead to watch later.

But as always it’s difficult to avoid spoilers. I was pleased that Gary Oldman won Best Actor for Darkest Hour and Frances McDormand won Best Actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I saw both of these films and predicted both stars for the honours after enjoying both movies. I got Best Film wrong though, tipping Three Billboards which was my favourite. But two out of three ain’t bad.