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SusanSunflower

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Everything posted by SusanSunflower

  1. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    ""A bit more of why Valjean was sentenced to hard labor, """ There were all those escape attempts I gather .... suggesting why Javert knew and had special animosity for the man... I wondered about the victim of Valjean's rock slide ... which might well have killed him ... again, did Valjean have a history of attempted murder of guards? I'm quite looking forward to {tomorrow} Sunday night!
  2. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    That was what I questioned -- would this be an obvious "profound religious experience" to a modern audience or might they need some -- OMG -- exposition or at least a closer camera angle -- or -- were they trying to downplay the religious aspect in this time of P.C.. ? It seems very much a deliberate "road to Damascus" analog. Was the Bishop an idealistic old fool whose housekeeper would consider him unreliable (and maybe silly) 4ever? I thought I had read the book but I'm convinced now I never did -- not even an abridged version. But I grew up in a time when many stories had heros and Jean Valjean, like the Hunchback, and many character were just accepted to be the hero, without having to "earn" it. Like Oliver Stone being shocked that Gordon Gecko became the "hero" of the Wall Street audience; I was shocked to discover Jay Gatsby was being hailed as an all-American go-getter never-say-die entrepreneur hero when that movie came out. Times change. p.s.. I'm not saying - remotely -- that people should recognize archietypes or classic memes .... just that I've found increasingly people just don't ... it's like psychology which died a couple decades ago as an almost universal interest ...
  3. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    I thought that he saw Javert's prediction coming true as his thefts (I deserve this) devolved from the valuable silverware to 60 sous ... that he had lost all proportion and was lashing out irresponsibly -- not the cleric, not the boy -- victimizing the defenseless
  4. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    The problem of the straight-forward chronology is that even at the end of the first episode, I"m not certain that it's self-evident that Jean Valjean is a hero/heroic figure. Two important seeds to his transformation are imho underplayed. He is mocked as a poor criminal to have spent years on hard labor for a "loaf of bread" bit without the context that the Law unjustly punished a desperately man trying to feed his hungry child. Second, his sudden heart-felt repentance at stealing the young minstrel 50 sous (a fast recognition from the incident with the cleric - that he need not continue down the path of vengeance) suggests a deep soul capable of transformation (which the rest of the book covers) I tend to not trust audiences these days to "figure it out" ... As presented, Valjean is a brutish ex-con who steals from a generous clergy man .... but the larger story is arguably more about his healing from those years of being brutalized by poverty and by prison and by an unwelcoming society after serving his time. As presented, "the girls" got equal (or more screen time) and I'm not sure how sympathetic Fantine was ... just a silly girl who ignored warnings, now getting her predicted "fall"? Not long ago, Valjean was automatically a hero having survived years in a brutal prison as a result of a heartless and unjust legal system and Fantine a victim of an unscrupulous liar.
  5. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    Because I don't trust Rebecca Eaton to "take what works and run it into the ground" I am wondering if this is drawing off of the Poldark-aesthetic ... which I have never been able to abide with clenched jaws, awesome cloud formations and cliffs and tears and Aiden Turner's manly chest ... and in this production, many attractive men's manly chests, and beautiful women's lithesome bodies.
  6. SusanSunflower

    Les Misérables (2018)

    It felt "Prince Valiant" cartoonish to me on several occasions and shallow for a book I remember being quite compelling (ages ago) and particularly compared to the Liam Neeson 1998 version (with Uma Thurman as sack-of-potatoes doleful-eyed Fatine and Geoffey Rush as Javert) I also wondered about those who only know the story from the musical -- again if there was enough resonance with this heroic "loser". buit it spent a lot of time on pretty young things so it's probably moot. I didn't hate it just felt it could have been a series of photos or story boards and too much arrived as if predicted. Hope it gets a bit meatier. I thought the acting was okay, even good, but the dialog (what there was of it) was mostly at elementary school level.. The story seemed was told by "actions" .... without explanation ... relying (i think) on the audience to fill in the details)
  7. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    Was that advice Allison got from Callahan who seemed most anxious to shut her up and make her back off her inquiries. It seems highly unlikely that he'd get off scot-free while she'd be charged for a crime she knew nothing about and was arguably an equal victim to. I think it was Callahan (or Allison's boss) who also told Allison that Alec was from a fine family, best schools, even mentioning the family seat .....and married. I don't think that the civil law cares much about divorce other than civil divorce which -- theoretically -- a Catholic could get to untangle financial and legal matters without being divorced in the eyes of the church. There are some instances where religious divorce and civil divorce are reached cooperatively in a sort of mixed court, but that may be a modern thing usually I heard of for orthodox Jews
  8. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    leighdear no, I think your chronology is correct, and any "cover story" for the time the son was conceived and the marriage happened was not going to stand scrutiny ... with Alec disgraced and hardly working (and now of course dead and three families/marriages revealed) ...
  9. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    It just occurred to me that the FOURTH wife was the only one who came AFTER Allison ... and that he was unfaithful to Allison with her ... married and begat a son, a blow to Allison's ego that she had been spared by Gladys and Dorothy being "before Allison" and older. I wondered briefly last week if Alec taking up with Allison after more than a decade of marriage was some sort of mid-life crisis brought on by an end to Gladys' childbearing years and perhaps the closing of her bedroom to him. It doesn't matter -- any excuse will do -- but he did not apparently pursue Dorothy with such ardor, actively seeking for a new wife for the second half of his life. Even worse, he was somehow sending them money, regularly, as Allison soldiered on and Alec "did what he could" .... the horror. (at some point, I think Allison asked Gladys' son if his parents shared a bed when he visited -- he said no). I'd love to hear the fourth wife's tale ... and Alec's explanation ... oh well. It think that was a blow that Allison was not expecting ... he had been plain-old unfaithful to her, gone looking for "it" elsewhere.
  10. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    from: [ https://alexanderwilsonauthorandspy.com/2017/03/19/the-writing-career-of-alexander-wilson/ ] ""Four unpublished manuscripts were handed by Wilson’s third wife, Alison, to Dennis Wilson at his funeral in Portsmouth in 1963. There is no explanation as to why his published writing career ended in 1940 and he was unable to achieve any further publication before his death in Ealing from a heart attack in 1963."" I read (bbc) that the records of the publishing house(s) had been lost. He used many publishers and many pseudonyms. I read elsewhere that Coleman was fictional/composite character.
  11. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    It was revelations of "grueling poverty" in numerous "spoiler" that startled me. There was very little evidence of this poverty -- even if it was made clear that there was a lack of money ... but really I don't remember, we have no food until it appeared in the final segment during prison visitation. Allison's mother said something about not helping out (though I wonder who is paying for son's college and other expenses). The idea that Alec was set up by a rival faction apparently has some credibility and might explain the continuing classification of various records. from the link earlier https://alexanderwilsonauthorandspy.com/2017/05/18/the-mysterious-life-of-alexander-wilson-1893-1963/ ""We know for certain that something went wrong when he was managing the trading of ship’s stores for a surrendered German passenger liner, the SS Prinzessin, and led to his arrest and prosecution in Vancouver in September 1919. He was arrested the day after his father died thousands of miles on the other side of the world while on leave from France at Minster, Isle of Sheppey. He was subsequently sentenced to six months hard labour in one of North America’s most notorious jails, the Oakalla Prison Farm, a veritable and notorious model for the gaol culture represented in the film ‘The Shawshank Redemption.’"" I was most surprised by this mention of the 1919 arrest and conviction after WWI, but before he appears to have engaged in intelligence related daring-do .... but would they have hired him if they knew .... or did they know and hired him anyway and that's their dirty little secret??? also from same source -- before -- ""We know for certain he taught English Literature as a professor at Islamia College, University of Punjab in Lahore between 1925 and 1931, eventually taking over as Principal in 1928.''
  12. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    I was and remain a bit disappointed that Allison's path to conversion and "forgiveness" was not articulated in more detail. First episode or early on, iirc, there was reference to the boys being Catholic and that they'd win her over eventually ... and then nothing. Forgiveness and absolution, confession and penitance are such integral "mysteries" to the Catholic church for non-Catholics... like "til death you do part" in the marriage vows being literal, regardless of the transgressions. I'm not Catholic, but the mysteries of the Catholic faith, confession, communion and the constant devotions (as Alec with his rosary) and reaffirmation of faith are impressive to me raised atheist and sceptic. Allison wrote a religious text, iirc, so it would not have been conjecture. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46456654 (has picture of final scene of extended family)
  13. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    As promised .... this site was down earlier https://alexanderwilsonauthorandspy.com/2017/05/18/the-mysterious-life-of-alexander-wilson-1893-1963/
  14. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    Thank you -- yes, of course Alison came home from work to make Alec lunch. Alison has aged a little bit in the 20 years but I knew my chronology had gotten scattered. I was not inclined to feel sympathy for Dorothy until I realized that part of my own "mythology" of Alec was that he was a good guy who married and took care of the women he got pregnant ... His aggressive courtship of Alison destroyed Dorothy's marriage (which was a fraud) but was pretty in-your-face. Was he besotted by Alison or did he have another reason to complicate his life since his "I can't get a divorce" excuse was pretty iron clad. Mr. Karim seems to consider Alec a hero --- saved thousands of lives -- tell me more.
  15. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    I suspect Alec may have been a bit of a control freak ... the interiors of his homes had similarities, most obviously his spartan writing desk and a lack of ornament or "pretty" except his war years lair which had an exotic air and uncertain about where he and Dorothy resided, but her home was artistic. Everything was "nice enough" but there was no sense of particular ease much less luxury. The sons too --physically and in almost military demeanor -- could be cookie cutter replicas of each other. I'm growing more curious about Gladys' life during his long absences and what Alison and sons will live on if Gladys gets his pension (such as it is assuming there is one --- or two ?) Did Alison stop working with the arrival of sons? (two incomes versus his uncertain income after the disgrace and income from the books?) I wondered too about the person (at HQ maybe) who said he came from a good family, good schools ... did they know or were they just repeating a cover-story, made up by whom for whom?
  16. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    I always think of her as the 2006 Jane Eyre opposite Toby Stephens ... well-cast, she successfully embodied the intelligent and independent (and oh so scarred) Jane Eyre who would fall in love with the equally intelligent and independent (and also quite scarred) Mr. Rodchester... (Fassbender / Wasikowska version is very very good too)
  17. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    I've sort of lost track of time in episode II. It appears that it's only a month or six weeks after Alec's death and yet I found myself wanting Alison to realize that she did have 20 fairly stable comfortable years as his wife and that while Gladys had more years, that may have made the shock of another wife worse .... or perhaps not. These women all dealt with a husband who "accountability" was undermined by the official secrets act and national service and patriotism. I was startled at how quickly Alison's sons leapt into action/investigation with results!!! Did Alec intend to just leave a mess behind, counting on dropping dead and not having to deal with consequences. (He was 30 years older than Alison) In many ways, imho, Alec treated Dorothy with the least respect ... I wonder if that's because she was an actress/escort and he preferred his women conventional and prim ... dumping Dorothy for the prim Alison and holding onto the very prim Gladys. Or was he punishing Dorothy for aggressively stalking/spying on him (and Alison)? She of all three had the spine to get angry and sever the relationship, painful though that was. I've been avoiding reading too much and getting spoiled, but the TV drama departs significantly from the documented reality and "reality" even at this late date has many holes, contradictions and mysteries and timelines. I'll post a great link after the conclusion on Sunday.
  18. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    Watched part I last night. Very impressed how this "small" true story successfully filled the screen and the time alloted without making it a soap opera or history lesson. Well done. Even the sons were distinctly sympathetic in their own way. I did keep wondering who knew what and when given the husband was obviously a valuable asset who likely relied on some logistical support to fulfill his role as stellar husband and father and eventually author. Appreciate the hell out of the period middle-class production values and wardrobe(s) and wondered how well off both families were relatively speaking -- big houses on nice streets, sons in or anticipating college, etc. Looking forward to part II
  19. SusanSunflower

    Mrs Wilson

    don't forget that current Masterpiece and other pbs shows are available streaming ..... without Passport (current shows are also usually available on Roku) https://www.pbs.org/show/mrs-wilson/
  20. SusanSunflower

    The Bletchley Circle

    Guardian: Top-secret Christmas card sent to Bletchley Park codebreakers rediscovered https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/15/top-secret-christmas-card-sent-to-bletchley-park-codebreakers-rediscovered
  21. SusanSunflower

    The Durrells In Corfu

    Delighted to know Spiro survived the Durrells of Corfu --- Checkov's Gun .... Spiro's brakes ... possibly not WWII, which was vicious throughout Greek region. I would have liked a post-arrest check in with Sven .... life without Viggo and the reaction of his neighbors..
  22. SusanSunflower

    The Durrells In Corfu

    In the opening scene, Lucretzia was hilariously freaking out watching Spiro and Luisa advanced in proximity ... I'm pretty sure she tipped off Mrs. Spiros. eta: Did Spiros gets his brakes fixed (after refusing help from Luisa)? It felt like anvil-flinging last eposide and then nothing so I'm hoping that death defying (or not) driving isn't in his future.
  23. SusanSunflower

    The Durrells In Corfu

    Meh, manipulative is not kmowing if Spiro intends to fight for his marriage and access to his children and/or if his wife gave him any reason to hope reconciliation is possible. Not knowing how old they are --- 13 and 14 year old boys are not the same as 4 children under the age of 10. Why ruining Spiro's marriagle (n part, by hid neglect) would greenlight an "affair" is beyond me ... except she knows he.sleeps.alone. (or so we assume). Louisa doesn't seem like a libertine to would leap into bed with a grieving Spiro .... (again, not sympathetic to me) ... the IRL Louisa was much more sympathetic and vulnerable and "likeable".... imho ... and her out of control children were the product of her inability to cope and exert discipline. Obviously, YMMV. Spiro and Louisa could have been carrying on wildly for months (to the shame of Mrs. Spiros). I'm not anti-sex but I'm not sure Louisa isn't something of a prude in these matters and/or that others would have warned her about preserving her "reputation" among the locals.
  24. SusanSunflower

    The Durrells In Corfu

    Such manipulative writing ... they've (MP) have done this before and it's part of why for me they've lost trust There is a wife, there are children, but how many and how old and where they are is a mystery. IME, after a few years association (given holiday cycles and human events) various "statuses" become apparent. The recluse may be a recluse or may have a "secret". Someone may have a spouse but be separated -- but that becomes clearer with holiday invites and presents for children. People can be deliberately deceptive --usually not for purely matters of privacy. I found Spiro oddly boorish and was confused why he was forcing himself on Leslie and then Larry. His wife "changed" or maybe he neglected her or -- just maybe -- she got tired of pitying glances from folks who assumed she was tolerating her husband's affair with Louisa. Did Louisa and Spiro go off unchaparoned by a child or another adult? Given Louisa's rather fragile mental state I'd have expected Larry to check out Spiro's "intentions" and status. I think we're supposed to like him (and maybe think he has boundary issues) for loaning the Ferrari's money he couldn't afford to lose. Where does this money (savings/nest egg) come from that it's even available to be lost? Anyway, where is the Spiro family living and who is buying their groceriees (and why not just kick Spiro out to sleep in the car? ). Strange episode altogether with miserable (inarticulate but brilliant) Gerry at the center. Those mosquitoes were the size of moths. I've never heard of such a thing (but likely a hazard for caged animals who need mosquito proof shelters. So, Spiro and Louisa can have a near-miss (possibly having discovered everyone assumed they were "doin' it" all along -- afternoon delight in the convertible -- oops, too late. With Louisa, one doesn't know if she wants to be enfolded in those big brown arms (who wouldn't?) or to marry him and provide a father for her children (Spiro?) and Larry strupping the young girl in the closet ... If Gerry's 13, how old is Margo?
  25. SusanSunflower

    The Durrells In Corfu

    lots of men are continuously flirtatious and have "work wives" that sometimes stray into infatuation or even romance. I felt in this episode Spiros was flinging anvils at Louisa to put such ideas OUT of her head, realizing how jealous she was of the Ferraris ... typical head-in-clouds self-centered Louisa (as, arguably when was with Sven). Getting to the bottom of the Ferrari's secrets and getting rid of them -- coup (particularly since they were broke and were not enrich Spiros. Still in her magical thinking way, Spiross' affection for her and her brood is earned by their special-ness while the Ferraris were there new -- to be loathed and envied -- rich kids in town .... until they weren't. I couldn't remember if the Ferrari daugthers were aware their brother was actually taking the fall or has also just discovered their father was using him as a cover for his crime. I have expected murky circumstances of their mother's death.
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