Monday, March 08, 2010

What Does a Raven Have in Common with a Writing Desk? Movie Review: Alice in Wonderland

I really appreciate the vision of Tim Burton.  Ever since I saw the first announcement that he was re-making Alice in Wonderland, I have been super excited.  I knew it had potential.  Tim Burton has a reputation for darker, edgier, creative, artistic visions and an amazing talent for making it all beautifully come together.  The story of Alice in Wonderland lends itself to all of these things.  A hookah-smoking caterpillar, talking flowers, a mad hatter, a talking rabbit, a queen who loves to take the heads of unloving, unthankful, unobeying servants, and a young girl who finds herself in the middle of this strange land.

And, you ask, did he succeed?  Yes, most wonderfully.  If I had any disappointment, it was that he didn't take his vision futher, deeper.  He created a beautiful, confusing, mad, mad world, that at the same time helped our young heroine find her own way back in her real life.  I think that is what I appreciated most.  He took Alice and gave her journey through Wonderland meaning.  She wasn't just visiting a strange Wonderland, she was exploring her own values, decision-making capabilities, and her inner strength.  But, you don't have to get bogged down in the deep-thinking aspects if that is not your thing; you can simply appreciate a well-made, funny movie.  Even the approximately four year old beside me was chanting, "Off with her head!"  You will fall in love with the Mad Hatter, and find yourself wishing to return.

I give it an A+ and cannot wait to get it on video.

In keeping with Women's History Month, I must highlight three notable performances: Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Mia Wasikowska as Alice.  Absolutely amazing performances.  Each completely nailed her role.

And of course, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter must be mentioned.  Charming, adorably crazy, perfect. 

Friday, March 05, 2010

Women's History Month

Did you know that March is Women's History Month?  I didn't.  Maybe I did, and it had gotten lost in my brain somewhere.  But, now it knows.  So, what can I offer to honor this month?  A book recommendation, of course.  :-)

Many years ago a dear friend of mine recommended I read 5 books by one of my now-favorite authors, Francine Rivers.  These 5 books comprised the Lineage in Grace series.  Each book tells the story of one of the women listed in the lineage of Christ - Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.  First, if you haven't already, go read each of these women's stories in the KJV Bible.  What better way could you kick off Women's History Month than to read about the amazing women in the Bible?  They are a few of several examples for us, for good and bad, after all.  Then, when you are finished, go buy, borrow, etc. these books.  If I remember correctly, they are written from a 1st person perspective, giving you an idea of what it may have been like to have been each of these women - what they might have been thinking, feeling, circumstances, etc.  These are things we should think about each time we read the Bible, but we rarely do.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What would your thoughts have been?  The Bible isn't outdated.  We are just like each of them.  What a wonderful blessing to be able to learn from them.