It’s day 12 of Christmas, the tree was removed this weekend, and this will be the final Christmas movie review. We’re No Angels is a new holiday favorite– set in turn of the century (19th to 20th of course) Devil’s Island, a penal colony off the coast of French Guiana; featuring three escaped convicts played by Humphrey Bogart– nice to see him in a comedic role, Peter Ustinov, and another guy, who’s cute, can’t remember his name. The criminals befriend a family who runs a sundry store, planning to murder them in their sleep on Christmas eve and make away with the supplies and papers needed to flee the island (despite Ustinov’s character’s slight reservations that throat-slitting “might ruin their Christmas” ). Hiccups arise in this brilliant scheme when the convicts find the family charming and extremely likable, and realize that this family might be more in need of help than the criminals themselves! Will the convicts carry out their plans, or will they create the loveliest Christmas Eve dinner in recent memory? Will the shopkeeper be evicted by his terrible cousin (wonderfully played by the hateable Basil Rathbone), or will the convicts prevent it in some hilarious, unforseeable, almost miraculous way? Will the shopkeeper’s daughter fall in love? Is there a snake named Adolf involved in any of this?? Ahhh! I don’t know!! You’ll have to watch to find out! (This is a third grade book report.) Also, I should mention that We’re No Angels is based on a French play. Despite that fact, we enjoyed it immensely, and I know you will go netflix it right now, even though we’re passing Epiphany.
And Basil Rathbone (far right, above)– is this really a name?? Because it’s amazing. First born child. Mr. Rathbone plays another great villain in Court Jester, which is of course highly recommended.
And other Peter Ustinov flicks that shaped my childhood: Blackbeard’s Ghost; One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing.
So, besides replacing your throat-slitting with good-deed-doing, does anyone have any interesting New Year’s resolutions? One of my coworkers espouses “I am going to live life to the fullest”-style resolutions (Oprah), and another embraces the timely, measurable, attainable goals model (I will exercise three to five times a week and read 2.5 books each month). I haven’t made any very specific resolutions yet, but I do think it’s helpful to take the opportunity to reflect on the past year, with its good and bad, and get “mentally prepared” for 2009. For me, 2009 will be the year of hot tea, beginning right now. I believe this to be both a grand idea to embrace with my being, and a concrete goal for which to aim, with specific measurable steps. Actually, now that I think about it, I believe the best goals do have both of these components– one for inspiration and motivation, and the other for the confidence to get there.
Get jazzed for 2009.