Quote of the Day: Yes, You Know It

From Matt Zoller Seitz’s review of “Love & Friendship,” Whit Stillman’s new movie, on rogerebert.com, which is self’s current go-to site for reviews of new movies:

(NOTE: Parenthetical comments are self’s adds)

(Lady) Susan is distinguished by her audacity, not just in her wants and desires but in the way she talks to other people (not least of whom is her own daughter, a most woeful waif named Frederica), turning subtext into text in a way most people would not do unless the person they were talking about was in another room, or another state. But they’re standing right there! And they can’t get their minds around how staggeringly rude and entitled Susan is — most of all Reginald, who’s played with great precision by Samuel as a decent man who is so stunned by Susan’s nerve that he can barely bring himself to reprimand her: he’s too busy marveling at her existence.

Yes, in Stillman’s movie, social cruelty is played completely straight by Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny and also by Xavier Samuel. Beckinsale’s Lady Susan utters lines like “Facts are horrid” with such sweetness you don’t even know if that’s what she really said so you go “Facts are WHAT?”

Great job with directing this sly and absolutely wicked Jane Austen work, Whit Stillman!

Stay tuned.

Babysitting: “The Girl on the Train”

This trope has been done before: babysitter develops crush on employer’s husband and it’s all yada yada yada.

Self began reading The Girl on the Train. She likes it, so far, even though the woman she sat next to on the plane said, “Didn’t like that one so much. Disappointed, after all the hype.”

Self was on page 6. The woman raised her book: a paperback by Danielle Silva.

She decided she’d stick with The Girl on the Train. It couldn’t be as bad as the other book she bought in London: Grey. At least, there’s psychological depth to Paula Hawkins’ narrator. She’s no Ruth Rendell but there is no Ruth Rendell except Ruth Rendell. Self would settle for a few nights of cheap thrills.

Here is the babysitter coming to work, on p. 38:

Today she doesn’t open the door, it’s him, the husband, Tom, suited and booted, off to work. He looks handsome in his suit — not Scott handsome, he’s smaller and paler , and his eyes are a little too close together when you see him up close — but he’s not bad. He flashes me his wide, Tom Cruise smile, and then he’s gone, and it’s just me and her and the baby.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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