OUT of all the people I have conversed with who is either a mother or father, the majority of them believe their children are pretty, beautiful, handsome, intelligent and so on. I firmly believe a parent’s duty is to make their child feel loved, special and instill in them a sense of self-worth. Rarely do I hear a parent say their child is not attractive or is not smart. I actually know a mother though who praises one child over the child’s sibling; you should see what the effect of the mother’s negative comments has done to that child, it is so sad. Now for me the words pretty, handsome or beautiful are subjective. Where one person may think a face is beautiful, another individual will think the person’s facial features are just okay. The way my mind is wired, for me to say someone is beautiful they would need to have a good heart (referring to let us say kindness as opposed to plaque) to go along with whatever their visible, physical features may be. WHEN a student gets straight A’s on their report card, most people will say the student is smart. I agree to a point, but for me there is book smart and street smart; the 2 are very different creatures. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat and listened to a parent go on about how their child is so smart. Here again I wonder how they are defining the word “smart.” I remember there was a time during my schooling where a discussion was in the works about getting away from standardized testing scores. Students were so focused on memorizing statistics and facts; it seems they were not using this limited knowledge to paint a bigger picture of things. There is a teacher I know who had a freshman student who did not fit in with the rest of the class. This student already had an acceptance letter to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The teacher had to teach this special student a different way from the rest of the class without making it appear as if the student was not unusual. It was an important distinction, one that gets addressed in this drama. MARY Adler, played by McKenna Grace (Once upon a Time-TV, Amityville: The Awakening), had a gift for numbers. Her special ability would become a battleground in and out of school. Starring Chris Evans (Captain America franchise, Playing it Cool) as Frank Adler, Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, The Shack) as Roberta Taylor and Lindsay Duncan (About Time, Under the Tuscan Sun) as Evelyn; I have to say McKenna’s acting was pretty special. I fell into this story, enjoying the acting and directing. Sure there were scenes to manipulate the viewer and the script was somewhat predictable; but I did not care because the story was relatable for me. My earlier review of the new Smurfs movie talked about being different and things I said there apply to this film festival winner. Feeling different is such a relatable experience for many of us; I certainly have felt it and because of it I understood what the story was trying to do in this picture. Be prepared because including me, there was not a dry eye in the theater. Along with celebrating the things we all have in common, there is nothing wrong with us including our special gifts in the celebration.
Even though it may have been painful to learn some of these relationship rules, I hold all of them close to my heart: No one can go to bed angry; Never raise your voice; Remember to talk about how you feel; If something is bothering you discuss it immediately, not months later; Realize there will be some things you will have to do that you will not like; Show your love. This is not a complete list and I realize each person has their own rules; but it is safe to say relationships require constant input as they evolve in time. I have seen couples that have grown distant from each other because they did not take into account that each of them was growing at a different pace and they did not talk about it. Communication is vital in my opinion and when I have met someone who never used the words “I” and “feel” in the same sentence, it immediately sent up a red flag for me. If you want to see a couple dealing with their changes in an adult, real and raw way then follow Nick and Meg, played by Jim Broadbent (Another Year, The Iron Lady) and Lindsay Duncan (About Time, Alice in Wonderland), in this award winning comedic drama. For their 30th wedding anniversary Meg and Nick decided to spend it in Paris, the place where it all began for them years ago. The beauty of the city remained the same but things looked different with older eyes. I do not think this movie would have worked if they had used any other actors besides Jim and Lindsay. They blended so well together that I was experiencing a nervous anticipation during some of their conversations. For his small role I thought Jeff Goldblum (The Switch, The Fly) was wonderful as Morgan, one of Nick’s former proteges. When I say this was an adult film, it is meant to express the real issues this couple was experiencing. Though I believe younger adults would find this film boring, I think the movie honestly shows what people go through in their relationships. I did find times where I was becoming bored with some of the bickering; it felt like the same subject was being rehashed. There will be some of you that will find the script too wordy. I know it is early in the season, but I can see Jim Broadbent being nominated for this role. When it comes to relationships, if you want to make them bloom you sometimes have to get your hands dirty.
The conversation seemed to be going well. There was a rhythm established where we started to volley thoughts and questions back and forth. I have always considered the absence of questions being asked as a red flag. In conversations I am a stickler for making eye contact, for I gain added insight when I can look into their eyes while we are talking to each other. The dinner date was going well but there was a voice in the back of my head that was critiquing my performance. There was an onslaught of questions chipping away at my confidence. Why did I immediately say indoors without asking their opinion, when the host asked if we wanted to dine indoors or out? I detest eating outdoors; having to fight bugs, car exhaust and pedestrians walking by. Why didn’t I order a plain entree instead of something that I had to tell the waiter to either remove or exchange parts for something different? If I could have only gone back in time like they did in this comedic drama I know I could have made a better impression. When Tim, played by Domhnall Gleeson (True Grit, Dredd), was told by his father, played by Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Love Actually), that all the men in their family had the ability to travel back in time, he had to find out for himself. Discovering it was true, Tim set out on a journey to find himself a girlfriend. He would also discover things change when one goes back in time. This fantasy film had a sweet and sentimental story; I was thoroughly entertained by it. I thought everyone did a wonderful job with their characters, especially Rachel McAdams (Midnight in Paris, The Vow) as Mary. The role was perfect for her style of acting. Since this film festival winning movie was a fantasy, I was not so concerned with the way Tim traveled in time or if it was hokey. They were easily forgivable because I found the entire story had an easy flow and kept me engaged. Imagine if we could go back and do things over from our past; it would make life easier. But since it is make-believe, I have to remember to embrace and live in the moment.