Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I finally watched "Dear Frankie"

I had heard so many good things about this movie (including a hearty endorsement from Dee of ChristianFiction),so I was delighted when I finally snagged an elusive copy at Blockbuster.

The guy at the Blockbuster nearest me ended up calling a Blockbuster further away and having it reserved for us. "I couldn't figure out why everybody wants to watch this movie, until I saw the preview," he told me. "And then I thought, wow, I want to see this movie!"

Let's face it, I was already pre-disposed to like the movie because Gerard Butler is in it. Butler had me at hello when I first saw him in The Phantom of the Opera; I liked him even more when I saw him in Timeline.

Not only ruggedly handsome, Butler is a talented and compelling actor. Whether he's crushing a rose and weeping for the faithless Christine, or being touched by the emotions of a fatherless boy, he makes us feel with him.

But to tell you the truth, Butler isn't the only male competing for our affections in Dear Frankie. Jack McElhone is wonderful as young Frankie. Speaking mostly in voice-over narration, McElhone will win your heart as the boy who writes letters to a father he has never known. From the first phrase he uttered in his enchanting Scottish brogue, my daughter and I were hooked.

A few things you should know if you decide to watch this movie:

~The Scottish accents can be VERY thick at times, and difficult to understand. Liz and I even turned English subtitles on at one point, but we ended up finding it distracting--so if something was said that was indecipherable, we backed up and listened to it with subtitles on. We did find that as the movie went on, we became familiar with the actors' speech rhythms and the dialogue became easier to understand.

~Foreign movies don't always see the need to rush the action along, as we're used to in American movies. There are frequent moments where nothing is really happening on the surface, and you get the chance to observe the characters' actions and emotions at a slow and relaxed pace. Personally, I like that fine. It probably would have driven my husband a little crazy.

~"Dear Frankie" doesn't have as neat, tidy, and all-loose-ends-wrapped up ending as we also tend to expect from American movies. I could have used just a little more closure--but on further thought, it's pretty obvious what's going to happen next in Frankie's life, or at least a bit further down the road.

In my comments section, I'm going to ask a question that will be a spoiler if you haven't seen the movie, so don't read it if you intend to watch the movie. But if you HAVE seen "Dear Frankie," please read it and give me your thoughts!

Overall, this movie is as sweet, charming and heartwarming as I had hoped it would be. My only complaint: Gerard Butler needs to smile more! He has a wonderfully sweet smile that totally changes his countenance, but we just don't see it often enough.

Some follow-ups to yesterday's posts:

Major Danny Davis has gotten such great response to his plea for prayer for the war in Iraq, he's decided to organize a prayer campaign.

Davis, an Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, used his own money to buy an ad in the Washington Times asking people to e-mail him if they're willing to pray.

Now he says he'll launch a prayer campaign running from August 24th through November 24th. He's like you to e-mail him at majordavis3(at), if you'd like to take part in this campaign.

Davis says he's asking people to pray for to pray for "forgiveness
of their own and the nation's sins, to ask God to vanquish
terrorist leaders, and to pray for peace and the safe homecoming
of America's troops."

Heavy hitters not on steroids?

Yesterday I asked: "How far do we have to go back in baseball history to find a heavy hitter that did it all on his own, without any question of using anything but his own muscle and skill?"

I got an answer in an e-mail from my son Jonathan: "Here's a good article in response to that question you asked on your blog about a steroid-less heavy hitter:

In Cubs' star Lee we place our trust

"Also, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez are prolific home run hitters that have never been (to my knowledge) implicated in any steroid controversies."

Thanks, Jonny!

REMINDER: "Dear Frankie" viewers, don't forget to answer my spoiler question in my comments section! I really want your thoughts.

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