Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Chalk & Cheese?

We managed our planed cinema marathon at FACT in Liverpool yesterday, taking in Paddy Considine's Tyrannosaur at 2 pm and, after winding down with a bottle of wine and some snacks at Salt House Tapas, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris at 6.15 pm. Tyrannosaur was mentioned in a discussion on Radio 4's Today programme this morning when it was described by one contributor as 'misery porn for the middle classes'. He felt that films like this stereotype the working class as mindless and violent morons but, for me, he totally missed the point. The impoverished characters in Tyrannosaur could not be described in any way as 'working class' being, instead, the feral underclass of recent Tory speeches who don't work and are unlikely ever to do so. The film is brutal and violent but the violence is not confined to the work shy but seeps into cosy suburbia where much worse than bar brawling goes on behind net curtains. The actors in Tyrannosaur have been widely praised and there are powerful performances from leads Peter Mullan and Olivia Coleman whilst Eddie Marsan was convincing as an evil wife beater, Paul Popplewell was the hardest of hard men and newcomer Samuel Bottomley as the child mature beyond his years was outstanding. Although the film bristles with violence, anger and rage, it still had an underlying compassion that came through in the closing scenes.

In fact, in honesty, the ending of Midnight in Paris was not that far removed from that of Tyrannosaur. The tale of amiable American Gil, a successful movie screenwriter who yearns to be a serious novelist, the film takes place in the French capital where, each night,  at the stroke of midnight, Gil is transported to another Paris occupied by famous literary and artistic characters from the twenties. It's a charming film, full of fun, a glossy travelogue for that beautiful city and perfect for a romantic like me. It's totally daft but what's wrong with that if it makes you smile. 

I had a bit of a go at Salt House Tapas on here last time we went. it was just before the Dolly Parton concert and the place was crammed and, although we booked well in advance, we were stuck on a poky table upstairs away from any atmosphere - the sort of table used as a last resort in an emergency rather than for regulars who had booked. The meal then was very poor but they redeemed themselves yesterday with standards back to the level that I have praised here several times before. We shared half a dozen tapas. All were very good as too were the excellent olives and anchovies. The desserts were ok and the bill for two including wine came to a reasonable £54.

While we were sitting back at the cinema, our great friends David and Jane Haworth were joining us as Grandparents. Their daughter Louise presented everyone with an early surprise when little Poppy Amelia arrived unexpectedly at around 7 o'clock. We are delighted that everything went well and both mum and baby are doing fine. Congratulations to Jane, Dave, Louise and, of course, proud dad Lance who, I'm sure will be nicknaming the baby Poopy Amelia before very long.

More cinema tomorrow. My suggestion of a VUE token for my birthday did not fall on stony ground and as we're back in with Orange, tomorrow we're off to Southport for "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" . Don't say we haven't got a wide taste in films.