Tag Archives: ian mcewan

A little celebration with Harry Potter… And Roddy Doyle

I am not into writing blog posts without a clear topic, let alone those diary type of posts, but I guess I have to make an exception here.

My husband and I made a little celebration tonight. It was for my graduation, basically, but since I’m really pissed about it, it was more of a “let’s celebrate the fact you are writing again” sort of a celebration. We didn’t have much money (that’s even less now… and it’s only 11th!), so we just went to see “Harry Potter” and had a dinner at a restaurant.

“Harry Potter” was… Fine, I guess. It had a good beginning (I really liked Bill Nighy), and some scenes were really good (especially the Godric’s Hollow and the animated sequence!) On the other hand, it was a bit slow and confusing. I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but they did stay too close to the book. I am one of those people who hate unnecessary movie changes, but HP 7 book was a bit slow and confusing, especially the first part of the book, so I am not sure if keeping everything (or almost everything, less the Dumbledore story) was the smartest move.

They cut so many great things from the previous books: good plots, good stuff, but they opted to leave everything in this one. And we all know the plot wasn’t of the best quality in the HP 7. (I still like the book, it just felt a bit rushed and unpolished).

But I’m lad we went to see the film in the cinema, even though there were way too many annoying kids who laughed at random places. But they were all really silent during Harry and Hermione (almost pornographic) kiss. All in all, it was good. Rupert Grint is still the only one of the young cast who can act, though (Daniel and Emma are way too distracting and annoying), but the older actors were amazing, as usual, so it sucks that most of them had merely cameos. Oh, well.

The dinner was fine. We were the only people in the non-smoking part of the restaurant. And the other part was almost crowded! Yes, people in Serbia are heavy smokers and I am pretty sure that most of the restaurants and bars will lose profit because of the new smoking ban.

Then, a surprise – my husband got me a present: Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. I’m so happy and can’t wait to read it. I really dig Roddy Doyle’s style, and I like Irish stories a lot. (Like I mentioned elsewhere, Ireland seems surprisingly familiar (in cultural sense), but without the emotional weight that is present every time you read about your own culture or watch a movie about it).

On an unrelated note, I am thinking of doing a series of posts on “best of the decade” lists (movies, songs, etc). It’s December, after all, and the end of the decade (contrary to the popular belief, the present decade didn’t start in 2000, but 2001). There are so many lists I want to create, but I am not sure if I’ll have time for it.

The one I won’t make, I guess, is the best novels of the decade. I read a lot, but most of the books I read in the last couple of years (apart from Ian McEwan’s work) are older and not published in the present decade. But since we’re here, I can tell you that McEwan’s “Atonement” is probably my favourite novel of the decade… And one of my favourite books. So it’s not like I haven’t read anything great written in this decade.

In any case, any list I might create won’t really be “the best of 2001-2010 decade”, but more of “my favourite of the decade”. I want to concentrate on those that made an impact to me as a person, regardless of its quality (though I’ll try to include quality work). What do you think?

Even Keira couldn’t ruin this one

Yes, I know it must be silly to dedicate whole two posts to Atonement, but I hate blogging about personal stuff and daily events anyway, so… here you are.

EDIT to the previous post (After watching the film): Yes, it’s a good adaptation; one of the best I’ve seen (when it comes to adapting a novel to the big screen).

Perhaps it’s because McEwan was there all the time? In any case, Joe Wright did an excellent job, now I’m his true fan. Even Keira could ruin this movie.

Definitely one of the best films of 2007. ***** 1/2 jefflions out of ***** for this (note: 6 out of 5 jefflions is the best mark, reserved only for my favourite films, films that I consider perfect. We’ll see how I’ll feel about this one after a while. Perhaps I’ll add or remove a jefflion).

PS- Saoirse Ronan was brilliant as Briony. Too bad she didn’t have more screen time.

PPS- The idea of adding typewriter sound to the soundtrack was amazing, it really made the point! I believed it was impossible to add THAT side of the story (which is the most important, BTW) to the movie, but I was wrong. :)

PPPS- Even Keira couldn’t ruin this one. Wait… I already said that. Twice.

The power of writing: Atonement

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a really good book. I mean, I read a lot, but finding a quality book is not an easy task. Finding a quality book written in THIS millennium is almost impossible.

You could see why McEwan’s “Atonement” was a refreshing, a wonderful surprise. I read it a few days ago and I’m still under its spell… And impressing me- that’s not an easy task.
By the way, I haven’t seen the film yet (perhaps I will); some people say it stays true to the novel, but I don’t think you could really adapt such a story to movie screen, now can you?

McEwan’s “Atonement” is boring at times, which is one of the best things about it. I have a theory, you see. Some of the greatest works (novels, films) are painfully boring at the beginning. Just think of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. “Atonement” has the same problem, but slow parts are, in fact, the best ones.

I love McEwan’s writing style, it’s really special. It’s… soft and nostalgic, but sharp and precise at the same time. And Briony T. character is well written, realistic and unique. It really touched me, this novel, because I was one of those weird child writers that are sometimes unable to perceive the world outside of their stories. No, wait, this sounds too weird. What I’m saying is, I know what is like to be 12 or 13 years old and lonely, writing your fifth novel, and every exciting moment in the real world around you inspires you to write. I was into mystery novels, and things such as small robbery at school (done by one of the kids, I guess) became inspiration to write a larger story, with detectives and conspiracies. Don’t get me wrong, I could always tell the difference between fiction and reality, yet, I enjoyed writing stories, because in stories, life was more exciting, people were honest and I was not just one of those uncool kids but protagonist of an important story.

What I’m saying is, I could understand the great power that writing could have to a teenager, and I love the way McEwan deal with questions about writing itself, its honesty and dishonesty, its power to affect the author and its strength to, well, messes up with someone’s life.

A great book, brilliant ending, I wish there were more novels like this one.