Amy’s crazy week

Amy, at her prom last year.

On Monday morning at 12.30 am I was at my computer when I heard a shriek from upstairs, followed by the thundering of hooves as a herd of wild buffalo descended the stairs.

“I got three unconditionals for Napier Uni.!” shrieked Amy.

And sure enough, upon opening her email her three offers of five days previous were laid bare.  Hospitality, Festival management and Events and Hospitality had all accepted her unconditionally.  Two days later a fourth unconditional came through from Strathclyde Hospitality.

And then, yesterday, she was awarded a Wine School Intermediate Award having passed her second stage of exams at Dakota.

It just shows you what effort and hard work achieves (coupled wth genius of course.).

Amy has always set her mind on her goals and has always achieved them.

We’re very proud.

Class act is a class act!

Tonight I went to The Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh to watch an event called Class Act in which14 – 17 yr old schoolkids are invited to write short stage plays which professional writers help them to refine and are then performed by professional actors on a professional stage.

It was bloody marvelous.

And the best thing is that Ria was one of the writers and, even better, she was given a book of all the scripts (56) that were performed over the four nights of the event as a keepsake..

Thank you to the Traverse, The Scottish Arts Council, , City of Edinburgh Council, West Lothian Council, Glasgow City Councl, The Barcapel Foundation, The Moffat Trust and the John Thaw Foundation for their support.

Celtic 1 -2 Hibs

Hibs go to Parkhead.

We get a caning.

Celtic have 95% possesion. (Or so you’d believe listening to the commentary; when in actual fact they have 52%)

They have 16 corners.

We have 2.

They have endless chances.  We have next to none (or so you’d believe listening to the commentary; when in actual fact they have only a few more than us. Well, 9.)

They go one up in 4 minutes then miss and miss and miss.

We break away and score.

We break away and score (again)

In the 92nd minute.

We win.

(The Jambos get murdered 3 – 0 at home.)

Thank you for that.

The Road

The (London) Times’ critics voted this the greatest novel of the 21st century, so far.

I, personally, would go back considerably further because in my opinion there is not a word out of place in Cormac McCarthy’s paean to fatherly love.  As you may recall from my review of the book last year.

The book is defined by the relationship between the unnamed father and son who take to the road upon losing their wife and mother in the wake of an unnamed global catastrophe. (war or environmental catastrophe? You decide, although director, John Hillcoat, strongly leans us in the direction of the latter in his movie.

In fact the movie is also a paean. This time to the novel itself with great tracts of dialogue lifted straight off the page and into the screenplay. This is not laziness. It is common sense.

In most respects I loved this movie; partly because of its stance and conviction in retaining the integrity of a bleak and harrowing novel; so it’s no surprise that the Weinstein’s are behind it.

I won’t remind you of the story, if you don’t know it you’re probably not in the market to see it. If you are and you’ve read the book you have a very difficult decision to make. To fore go it on that basis that perfection in prose cannot be matched on screen or to approach with an open mind assuming that it will fall short of the novel’s greatness but tell a wonderfully simple tale affectingly.

Well, if, like me, you take the latter view you will be in for a treat but one that does indeed fail to reach the novel’s great heights? Why is that? I think it can be explained in one respect. The relationship between father (Viggo Mortenson) and son (Kodi-Smitt McPhee) falls some way short of what was needed to make the film sparkle. and interestingly it’s Mortenson’s fault, not the boy’s. Actually it’s Hillcoat’s. He makes an inexplicable decisions to omit a scene from the book that defined the relationship. When the son runs off to find a little boy he spots in a disused building the father is frantic with fear. Not so in the movie. And actually, although structurally this is a missing link it’s actually in the performance of Mortensson that I felt the whole film fell short.

In the book he is a much more caring and vulnerable soul. On screen Mortenson makes him cold, calculated, hard and emotionally elusive.

It creates a barrier that means the whole movie goes the same way, so much so that I was unmoved at the climax.

There is an astonishing performance in this movie; it’s by Robert Duvall as an aged wanderer that the father and son chance upon. and McPhee is remarkable too. It’s not that Mortenson is not a great actor and fails§ to deliver, it’s just that the direction he receives moves him away from the level of sympathy that I expected and consequently it leaves an emotional hole at the heart of the movie.

I suspect that is why it has failed to garner the critical awards one might expect for such an excellent piece of work overall.

The cinematography is quite beautiful, albeit bleak and Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s score never intrudes. Hats off to them for reigning it in.

I just wish Mortenson had not followed suit.