Sunday, February 12, 2012

At the top of the circus

The adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a remarkable film, a million miles away from the glib cynical story package that is Hugo, and hence nowhere near the running to win sheafs of Oscars (although Gary Oldman, pictured in this link in a rather disturbingly anodyne series of portraits of the nominees on the Oscars' official website, is nominated as Actor In A Leading Role; it's also up for Music (Original Score) and Writing (Adapted Screenplay). FYI, Transformers (Dark of the Moon), is also up for three).

Recent anecdotal evidence reveals twentysomethings' verdict on Blade Runner, arguably one of the best films ever made, as having been that it's "slow" and "boring". "Tinker Tailor..." stands no chance against this sort of ruthlessness: if you like your excitement packaged and delivered to you in two-minute bursts, go and see "Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol" (itself, particularly in an iMAX cinema, an incredibly enjoyable, albeit ultimately of course completely shallow, experience).

On the other hand, if you want to see beautifully restrained performances, particularly from Gary Oldman, about whom John le Carré apparently said that his whole acting life has been leading up to this role: to being able to play it with such masterful understatement, then you must see this film. You can smell the 1970s emanating from the screen. The music is essential but unobtrusive. And not a single gesture is either wasted or hysterical.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Here comes the fall

For the last week I've been on maternity leave, prefaced by that holiday feeling where I look at my desk and the papers thereon, and feel certain I'm never coming back. I've slipped into it slowly, still feeling that I ought to be paying attention to emails, and still feeling that heartfelt sense of anguish when I hear we've lost business to the competition, as well as being irked by office politics and not being copied in (I still have to run this business when I go back...). I think I may still be in denial about what is about to happen, but now we have a timetable: because of the gestational diabetes, I'm not going over the due date. My mum arrives on Tuesday and I check in to the hospital on Sunday, unless he decides to arrive sooner.

One of the other pitfalls of pregnancy has been visited upon me: falling over in the street. More specifically, it was Sydney Road, on the way back from the IGA supermarket, and without warning, in awful slow motion, I tripped and dived to the pavement. I took most of my weight on the heels of my hands, and apart from scuffing my toenail varnish (Graphite, in case you wondered), the only real injury suffered was to my already-shredded dignity. Falling over is surprisingly common and all the (mostly terrible) baby books mention it: the result of an altered centre of gravity and heightened clumsiness (in my case).

To add to the humiliation, a helpful drunk raced across the road from the pub, dodging the traffic of Sydney Road with scant regard for his own safety, grabbed me by the arm and tried to haul my not inconsiderable frame off the pavement.