I started my Xmas shopping and have bought Nan, Dad and Katherine their presents. I may add to Dad’s as I know he loves gadgets and I have seen a remote control helicopter for sale. I started my Xmas cards too and even have decided to write some Xmas based stories which is unusual for me.
I saw the Lady in the Van last week and it was very good. It is a film based on a true story about how writer Alan Bennett ended up having a homeless woman living in a van on his drive for 13 years. It is funny, angry and ultimately sad all at the same time; Maggie Smith excels as the rude but likable Lady in the Van and the guy playing Alan Bennett excels in playing both the effete Alan Bennett the person and the more fiecre Alan Bennett the writer. Now this is me being naive, but I didn’t realise that Bennett is gay, I always thought him abit of a mummy’s boy. Throughout the film we meet his gentleman suitors leaving his home and the lady finally commenting:”I know what those young men are….They’re communists!”
The film has a darker edge as we learn the Lady in the Van is living this way due to being involved in a hit and run accident and running from arrest. The subject matter is handled skillfully with her mental decline due to guilt being emphasised, a fact reinforced when we learn she was put in an institution as a young woman. Ultimately though, despite her rudeness and arrogance when she dies I defy anyone not to moved to tears. Because like Alan Bennett, we are ultimately left in tge side lines and learn of the event through someone else. It is a cold impersonal ending to her story which seems so wrong and get fits perfectly. Jim Broadbent has a good cameo role which ultimately is left rather unexplained, was he blackmailing her or did she assume he was and just hand over money? It’s not really answered but we do have a Pythonesque finale in which a animated God brings the Lady to Heaven. The last scene breaks the fourth wall with Alan Bennett visiting the film set to unveil a British Heritage Blue Plaque alongside the cast.
Big Bang was a little better this week, but ultimately the marriage between Penny and Leonard doesn’t ring true and it seems the production team are afraid of breaking the conventions and getting them out of the flat and developing elsewhere. Why is Penny so ok with Leonard falling to Sheldon’s whims? Are these elements going to be addressed? Or is it going to be forgotten? The main arc appears to be the fall out regarding the break up of ShAmy, which we all know is heavily telegraphed as to the ending. Personally I would break expectation rand set up a Penny/Sheldon relationship. That nay sound odd but I always felt there was something between those two…
Grimm is back on form after a rather unpleasant and upsetting fourth series, I think however this season is going to be darker still.
Talking of dark, after a very dark series of Doctor Who I hope next year will be a bit more tongue in cheek. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed series nine but I think we need a season of ‘The Doctor in the TARDIS having adventures’ and I would like to see a return of the “pure historical”, where there is no sci-fi element aside from the Doctor and the TARDIS.
So what now? The good news is Jazz Club 90 is returning at a new venue next year. Bad news is they are all Sunday Lunch gigs so I will struggle to attend and there is now admission charge. The latter is no biggy, JC90 has spoiled us with free entry for 25 years which is unusual and if it keeps it going all the better. I’m happy to pay £5 to see a live band, who wouldn’t?