The French Lieutenant’s Woman

I was looking forward to finishing up with my classes.  It seems that my paydays do not arrive fast enough.  I saw the baseball scores, that the Toronto were continuing to win, while the Indians got off to a good start.  A few weeks ago, the Red Sox looked almost unbeatable.  When I returned home, I watched the Criterion Collection Blu-ray edition of “The French Lieutenant’s Woman.”  I don’t think I gained much insight seeing it again after all these years.  It’s rather shocking how 35 years have passed since I first saw this film.  Meryl Streep looks so young and energetic in her performance.  I never liked the modern part of the movie, which made me want to forget what 1981 was like.  Watching Jeremy Irons, I wondered why he didn’t become a bigger star, although he did go on to win an Oscar.  I couldn’t help comparing him to Kevin Kline.  The Mike character seemed like a jackass.  It seemed like he was doing what he could to get caught in the affair with his obvious glances and his phone calls and his grabbing.  I had forgotten that Leo McKern was in this movie.  I couldn’t get over how beautiful that last shot of the rowboat and background scenery was.  Seeing this movie in high definition made a difference at times.  I like to see the images of the forest in their sharpness.  Meryl Streep was a special movie star during the 1970s and 1980s, from “Manhattan” and “Kramer vs. Kramer” to “Sophie’s Choice” and “Plenty.”  Charles was something of a foolish character, wrapped up in himself.  He made me think of Angel in “Tess.”  He did make one good decision, though, in not going through with the marriage.  The settlement was worth it because he would have been desirable for the rest of his life with that girl.  The special features of the disc included interviews which might have been informative, but I was getting tired and didn’t feel like sitting through any of it.  The director was Karel Reisz, and the screenwriter was Harold Pinter.  Mozart was on the soundtrack.  The cinematographer was Freddie Francis.  One complaint I have is with the artwork on the cover, which has typewritten words made to look like Meryl Streep.  It certainly doesn’t look great, and I’ve always thought of this movie in color with its beautiful photography.  It was almost exciting to see this movie again.  I don’t think that I was all that enthusiastic when I first saw it in the movie theatre, but it brings back the feeling I had in 1981 when I really loved the movies, when I saw movies other than sequels and superheroes and CGI.  This movie showed people and their behavior, and I cared.  I awoke in the middle of the night and watched an hour of Family Feud.  When asked for a measurement of time, one contestant’s reply was a watch.  I wondered about those last unaired episodes of Match Game from 1979.  It was a shame that they put a limit on the contestant’s winnings so that nobody could win a million dollars.  Nobody even made it to forty thousand dollars with those rules.  The Columbo episode “Death Lends a Hand,” with Robert Culp and Ray Milland, was on Me TV at three o’clock.  I kind of miss watching the interaction between Culp and Peter Falk.  Culp’s characters always seemed to deserve what was coming from Columbo.  The woman was foolish to confront Culp and his temper.  She should have just done it over the phone, and from long distance at that.  I also liked watching Patrick McGoohan, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Robert Conrad, Eddie Albert, Jack Cassidy, and Janet Leigh.  Some of the people who died on October 7 include Edgar Allan Poe (1849), Mario Lanza (1959), and Johnny Kidd (1966).  Today is a birthday for Simon Cowell (57), Yo-Yo Ma (61), John Mellencamp (65), and Bishop Desmond Tutu (85).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 7, the syndicated television version of “How to Marry a Millionaire” with Barbara Eden debuted in 1957.  In 1960, the Stanley Kubrick film “Spartacus,” with Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, and Tony Curtis, was released in 1960.  In 2005, Boy George was arrested after he reported a break-in and police found cocaine community, with the result of service and rehab for George.

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