Losing His Mind (Movie Thoughts: Head Full of Honey)

p16106534_p_v8_aaOne of my company’s clients has advanced Alzheimer’s disease. The situation has gotten so difficult that his partner has now made a decision to put him in a special facility, as the disease has made it impossible for him to continue living at home. This is of course a very sad development as I knew the gentleman from when he was still healthy. I just kept thinking of him while I was watching ‘Head Full Of Honey,’ which is the English language remake done by Til Schweiger from his original film. Nick Nolte is Amadeus, who starts suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Amadeus the character is not given any dignity by the story, and it felt mean-spirited. Of course if we were Amadeus’s family member, we would not have subjected him to what his loved ones did to him here. His son (Matt Dillon) uproots him to England and we get to see Emily Mortimer (as Sarah) treat him so poorly. I got hives just seeing what he had to go through. And then his grand daughter takes him to Venice, and I know we are supposed to suspend disbelief, but where the story goes is just plain ludicrous. All of thi left such a bad taste in my mouth and I couldn’t really enjoy the film.

Reading Unrequited (Film Thoughts: The Bookshop)

a952a61e5e6b29332f8f0bed00b472cf1410ae20In a lot of ways, ‘The Bookshop’ is your Anti-Summer movie. It’s small, kind, genteel that it made me wonder how it was greenlit. But, I am glad it exists. Isabel Coixet’s film is very British – set in a sleepy British seaside town, about dry English characters, set in mid century, and the whole movie revolves around the existence of a book store.

Emily Mortimer stars as Florence, who wants to turn an old moldy home into a book shop. But the village diva (Patricia Clarkson) is in her way – she wants to make the place an arts center – where you can do chamber concerts. That is basically the conflict, and really, I thought – why can’t they have the bookshop the same place where you can do chamber concerts and readings? I mean, the little corner of the place could serve that purpose. But no, this is the 50s, and besides, they couldn’t have chosen a better villain than Clarkson, who sashays her way into every scene, and really, she is so fabulous here I want to take her side anyway.

The film very slowly chugs along, and the Anglophile in me loved a lot of it. But admittedly, it could use a lot more action, even interaction. Bill Nighy plays a small memorable role as a customer who defends Florence, and makes a strong presence, but over all, this film is probably too niche for your average American.