Sunday, February 05, 2012
Tim and MiMi had a Daddy-Daughter dance for Friday so I thought CJ might be convinced to give this silent, indie, foreign movie a try. I asked her if she'd be interested, especially since it was at the Rialto, a theater she has been wanting to try. And with her recent turn to being, not only an indie music lover, but indie MOVIE lover (see The Descendants), I thought she might be willing. And she was. I asked if her equally indie-minded friend Delaney would want to join us and she said yes, especially since Delaney was coming over for a sleepover. Perfect.
I briefly entertained taking them to Hayes Barton Cafe & Dessertry for dinner...mainly appetizers, since we were going to pig out on popcorn. But, despite their coolness, they are still teens and CJ is still not into the art of appreciating food. Although she would appreciate the buckhead filet mignon, I decided I would save that for a date with me *and* her dad, since that would be cheating him out of a fantastic meal too.
Instead, we stopped next door at The Point at Glenwood. I was not really looking forward to eating here as we had eaten here years before. But, it was just apps and it's right next door and it's just non-food-aficionados...it can't be that bad, right?
And it wasn't. I guess this place changed hands since the last time we were here because the place was pretty lively with families. It wasn't this worn out, college hang out that it was last time we were here. The menu was decent. We didn't try too much off the map: nachos and the special of the night, fried oysters. You think fried oysters would be difficult to ruin but you're wrong. There can be a lot of fried and no oyster. But not these little suckers. They were plump and juicy. I was in heaven. The accompanying marinara sauce was not welcomed but I generally don't dip my fried stuff in anything. These oysters can come broiled and I will definitely try that next time.
We set off for the theater and got our popcorn and soda. I loved when we entered because the ooohs and ahhhs that the girls breathed when they walked in just put a big smile on my face. I remember how I felt when I walked in to this theater too. It feels like a throwback to the days of The Shining for me. Eerie and grand.
The movie itself was not something I was dying to see. It was mainly out of curiosity and probably being at the Rialto gave it the edge. But man, what a great movie! As I was watching it, I thought, I bet the girls are bored. After all, it is a silent movie. And when I say silent, I mean - it's a movie made to be from 20s and 30s, during the end of the silent movie era and the emergence of talkies. There are random word takes to show what is being said but these are very far and few between the scenes. The rest is that you just get the gist of it from the performances. It's quite amazing, that an entire movie is played out in a way that the audience can get it without a single utterance.
Jean Dujardin plays the biggest silent actor of them all, Georg Valentin. He looks like Clark Gable, or maybe even Valentino. He's a heartthrob and he plays the roles as the stereotypical silent movie start that we may all imagine. He loves himself but has a playful humbleness with his fans. He bumps into the magnificent and most beautiful Peppy Miller, played brilliantly by Bérénice Bejo (see, I told you it's a foreign film :)). She ends up playing a bit part with Valentin in his next movie and, from that point on, is in love with him.
But Valentin is a married man and appears to be faithful, even if in an unhappy union. Years pass and talkies emerge but Valentin refuses to conform to the new era of movie-making, believing his stardom is too powerful. But it isn't and his world collapses while Peppy Miller becomes the most popular movie star ever.
But she follows him throughout his demise. And buys out all his items, as he auctions off his wares as he becomes more destitute. But when he almost dies in an apartment fire, she runs to his side in the hospital and takes him to her house to convalesce and eventually, brings him back to the movies. It's the very last few lines of the movie that we hear John Goodman's character, yes, that John Goodman, say "Cut! Perfect. Beautiful. Could you give me one more?" To which Valentin responds in an extremely strong French accent "With pleasure."
And as I walked out, CJ and Delaney were like "I really liked it!" They both went on about parts of the movie they liked the best. Also concluding that, the end would not end like it did due to the fact that it was an indie flick and they speculated some sort of horrific end to it would happen. But CJ would continue to say 'this is why I like indie movies' and it made me so happy to hear her say that.
I couldn't have asked for a better situation: a great parking spot (right by the theater), a great restaurant spot (right by the theater), a great theater (duh. Rialto), a great movie, and great company.