Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bella

On the subject of films, I thought "Bella" was even better than "Juno". It lacks the wry wit of "Juno" but has real warmth. It is adamant that good things can come from shaky beginnings, and that in no way is the conception of a baby a disaster.

BTW, as a non-American, I'd be interested to know if Sarah Palin's "Bristol situation" affected your opinions of her.

5 comments:

Betty Duffy said...

I thought Bella was very well done, even if some parts felt a little contived. I like your point about the shaky beginnings because I think most conceptions are shaky, even within wedlock. People who wait for the perfect moment seem to wait an awfully long time.

The Bristol situation was a non-issue to me.

Emily said...

On Bella: I loved the scene of the family dinner, and the car crash scene was wrenching - crushing another mother. That mother's grief seemed to speak more about the worth of a child's life than the entire movie put together. But too many close-ups - is this a trend in movies these days, or have I just become more sensitive to it? Really bothered me in the first Harry Potter movie. What, no pimples? And did Eduardo have to go to jail for an accident or was he drinking? But I think/hope it could reach a wider audience than just the prolife community. Did anyone see that 29 weeks movie? Seemed like a number of abortion movies came out about the same time.

On Bristol: I really wanted to believe Sarah Palin was the real deal when she burst on the scene. But she makes all these misteps and seems a puppet for power. Bristol's condition didn't bother me or convict me, but the mess with the boyfriend now is disconcerting. Not sure about the prudence of having him on the stage at the convention.

Pentimento said...

There's been some discussion of Bella and Juno recently on Maclin Horton's site, lightondarkwater.com/blog.

I saw both of them -- in fact, Bella was the last movie I saw in a theater, almost two years ago! I liked Bella a lot. Among the things I liked best about it were the New York setting -- I have a weakness for movies about New York -- and the soundtrack (does anyone remember the striking use of Nina Simone singing a spiritual as the two part outside of Penn Station? I really loved that moment, and the symbolism of coming out of the underworld into the light of a New York morning to a song about, as I recall it, baptism). We got tickets from our parish to go see it, and it was being heavily promoted by a member of our parish who runs 15 emergency pregnancy care centers in the Bronx (I should note that this was our OLD parish in the Bronx -- we moved away from NYC last ear).

I didn't see Bella doing well among conservative Christians who were not New Yorkers, though, for this reason -- and I may be mistaken: the highly sympathetic treatment of Latino immigrants. The movie came out at the end of a year (2007) in which there had been a rather shocking stirring-up of anti-immigrant (read: anti-Mexican immigrant) sentiment throughout America, and Bella set up a dichotomy of the warmth and love of the Latino family against the casual coldness of Anglo culture. I didn't see this playing in Peoria. What do the conservative Christian non-New Yorkers here think about Bella's chances outside of a major urban area with a large Latino population?

On the other hand, I did not like Juno at all. To me it wasn't even a movie, since there was no character development or even basic characterization. The characters were cardboard cut-outs with no inner lives, and watching a teenage girl making sarcastic wisecracks for two hours with the only change being the size of her stomach bugged me.

As for Bristol: it did not affect my opinion of Sarah Palin in the least. The Bristol situation has happened in practically every generation of my family, and it was about Bristol, not Sarah. What did affect my opinion of Sarah Palin was Sarah Palin. I started out liking her but now I think she's drunk the crazy. And besides, as I've mentioned to you, Otepoti, she would never consider someone like me to be her natural ally.

Betty Duffy said...

I think Bella did pretty well in the Midwest with Church screenings. I know that it was sold out at every one of the local sponsored screenings. My husband and I saw it at a theater in San Francisco, however, and we were the only ones there.

The wise cracks in Juno also irritated me. Who talks like that?

Pentimento said...

No one. Why it left me cold.