Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Make-Up 101 for the Woman of a Certain Age

From time to time I have talked about how not to look old, how not to act old, personal style for women of a certain age, how to look chic even though you are retired, and not just how to look chic, but how to look fabulous from A-Z, even though you are old, er, a woman of a certain age.  In fact, in that last post, for the letter "M" I listed "Make-up" and here is what I said about that:

"Now I am not one of those women who won't let her husband see her without makeup so she jumps out of bed first thing and paints her face.  We all know I never jump out of bed.  When I am at home, I look like hell, but if I am going out, you won't catch me without mascara and lipstick at the very least.  Well, maybe at the gym or running to the grocery store, I let it slip a bit, but my point is, just because we are old, doesn't mean we have to accept the wrinkles and the flab and the little hairs on our chinny chin chins.  We should do what we can to still look good."

But as I look back on those earlier posts, I am surprised that I didn't talk more about make-up, because if there is one thing that seems to go by the wayside when a woman retires and/or gets old, it is using make-up. And yet a little brightening of the face will take years off of it. But I know, at our age, we might think, why bother?  It might be one of those things that now that you don't have to go to work anymore, who cares how you look?  Or you've been married for 50 years and Hubby doesn't pay that much attention any more so who cares how you look?


No matter how old you are, most women look better with a little mascara (those eyelashes start getting thinner when you get older) and some lippy.  Anything else you want to do in addition to that is up to you but DO SOMETHING.  We want the world to be a more beautiful place, right?  Well, we can add some beauty to it.

But I get it.  It is a pain in the butt to have to spend those few minutes touching up the old face when you really want to get to the Lifetime Channel or off for some wine with the girls. And I know we will never be 18 again. 

I am not going for that.

What I am going for is not giving up just because we have a few wrinkles and have become practically invisible to the opposite sex. I am here to say, you can take ten years off your face with just about ten minutes of you and the mirror having a little face time and make yourself more visible.


Say it with me!!!


So with that said, if you have given up on make-up, I am going to try to inspire you by sharing with you my go-to make-up products that get me party-ready in just minutes (and every day is a party, right)?  I have tried many, many beauty products.  I have been on the lookout for the best easy-to-use products for years.  Let's just say they know me by name at Sephora!

Oops!  You weren't supposed to see that!

Anyway, if I promise to keep it simple will you promise to try to not give up on your looks and not give in to aging? 

(And by the way, this is all so simple, you will have few products to take on the plane when you travel.  I have a grab and go baggie with everything I need). 

Now I know the exact product you will want to use will vary by your coloring, your skin type and other factors, but I am going to share what I think are the basic TYPES of things you should have on hand and the ones I feel are the easiest, cheapest and work best.

So here are what I think should be in your basic collection of beauty products: 

(These are all mostly available at the drugstore, are inexpensive and easy to use.  But you don't have to use these. Whether you use these products or something else, all I can say is, don't give up on yourself)!

Eyebrow shaper and color

You have heard of the Wonder Bra, right?  Well, this is the Wonder Bra for your brows! It's Wunderbrow.  It's practically a miracleAs we get older, our brows start to get more sparse. With this product, you paint the color onto your brows with the little wand and it has little particles that adhere to your brows -  voila!  You have brows again.  Andt he color lasts for days.  I don't even wax my brows as much as I used to because you can shape your brows with this.

Eye shadow

I know there are all kinds of rules about eye shadow for women of a certain age, but screw them!  Go nuts if you want to!  It's your face and your life!

Eye liner

I really like this eyeliner because it is very easy to use.  I find that some eyeliner just won't do what I want it to do, but this is practically foolproof and it is an inexpensive drugstore item.  Unfortunately, I have had trouble finding it recently so not sure if it's been discontinued but find one that has a sort of crayon tip rather than a wand.  Those types are much easier to manage.

Now eyeliner is one of those things that isn't mandatory, but since I think that my eyes are one of my better features, I like to highlight them and have a more dramatic eye, but if you have dark eyelashes already and dark eyes, then perhaps you can forego the eyeliner.  It's up to you.


But unless you already have really full, dark eyelashes, mascara is a must.

I don't really have a favorite.  I think Diorshow is one of the most popular but it is expensive.  There are other mascaras that are just as good and cheaper so choose the brand and style of applicator that works best for you. 

I like Lash Accelerator by Rimmel because it has a thin applicator,

but why not have a little fun with it too?

This one by Urban Decay has a very lush wand.  I use both depending on my mood.

But I don't feel strongly about which product you use. Choose whatever product works best for you. The point is to use something.

What I DO feel strongly about is using black mascara.

When I think about that, I have to laugh about a memory from my 30's.  I was at the cosmetic counter of a very upscale department store asking for black mascara and the woman at the counter WOULD NOT SELL ME BLACK MASCARA!  She gave me a little lecture about how fair my coloring and eyes were, and I should never wear black mascara, only brown.  Well, this was the 80's and I wanted to highlight my eyes, so I just went somewhere else and bought black mascara.  My point here is that mascara doesn't necessarily have to match your skin tone or anything else for that matter.  It highlights your eyes and black does the best job. Women in countries all over the world use kohl around their eyes for a reason.  It highlights them.

And if you feel like it, don't be afraid to experiment with color.  Why not try navy blue or green?


Age spots, you know?  Just when you have grown out of pimples, later in life something worse comes along.  And I have always had freckles which were a huge annoyance as a child and they still torment me. So it's nice to have an easy to use concealer that you can dab over those annoying little dark spots.  I like a concealer that is like a crayon so you can pretend your face is a little coloring book instead of an old lady's face.  That's what I tell myself anyway!

This is Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer by Maybelline.

Light foundation

I don't always use a foundation, but if I am really dolling myself up, I will dab some on. This isn't actually foundation makeup, either.  It's more of a sponge on make-up to even out your skin tone.  This is NOT the old days where you would see women with foundation on their face but they had neglected to do their necks so you could see the delineating line between the foundation on their faces and the real skin on their necks. That's a no no.  So I don't like liquid foundation.  You just need a little something to smooth out the concealer and give your face a little color so this kind of sponge-on finish works great.

TIP:  We women of the certain age should NOT use powder, ever, ever, ever.  It gets caught in those damn wrinkles on our faces.  No, always always use sponge-on cream and NO POWDER!  Powder will make you look like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"  And you don't want that, do you?

But I rather like the beauty mark!


The same goes for blush.  No powder, always the stick.  And the absolute best is Nars the Multiple, and the color that fits everyone's skin tone is - now if you are squeamish about sex, cover your eyes now before I give you the name of this blush - ready?



The color and style of lipstick is totally up to you as long you wear SOMETHING.

However, I have just discovered this Cover Girl Outlast lipstick that you apply with a little stick applicator.  I am experimenting with red but it comes in several colors and it really does last better than most lipsticks I have tried.

So there you have it.

Eight basics that you can slap on in less than 10 minutes.

I haven't included moisturizer here, because I am not a big moisturizer person.  I use it from time to time but I have quite sensitive skin and actually I read once that Katharine Hepburn scrubbed her face with a rough washcloth every day and that's all she ever did and look how good she looked all of her 90+ years.  Moisturizer is basically trying to hold in water so why not just put water on your face? 

I may believe in make-up, but I don't believe in putting all kinds of extra stuff on my face so when I get up in the morning, basically all I do is wash my face with a warm, wet washcloth, (no soap) and that's it.  If it was good enough for Katharine Hepburn, it's good enough for me. Remember, water is the best moisturizer and that is what those commercial products are trying to replicate so why not just use water?  So that's what I do and at the few facials I have had in my life, I was told I had good skin, so that works for me.  But I am not going to get into moisturizer vs. no moisturizer.  That's up to you.

I also remove any mascara that has dripped off my eye lashes in the night using what I think is the absolute best eye makeup remover (in the morning, I usually have black bags under my eyes that make me look like a zombie). I have to admit that I am terrible about removing make-up before bed.  My bad. 

(The eye makeup remover has little pads that make it very easy to wipe off your eye makeup and these travel really well too).

As I said, I have good skin but just good skin does not a glam girl make.

Sometimes we ladies of a certain age need a little help and that's where a little make-up comes in.

Why look like this?

(And most of those are freckles, NOT age spots, just so you know)!!!

When I can look like this?

And a crown doesn't hurt! 

Anyway, I hope I have done what I set out to do for you women of a certain age: renewed your interest in looking your best and made it easy and inexpensive to do so.

Now I can rest easy.  I have done my bit to make the world a better place.

How about you?

Thanks for reading!
See you next Friday 

for my review of

"Personal Shopper"


The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

 and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before 

 I Die Project." 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Friday, March 24, 2017

"Beauty and the Beast" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast" as well as DVDs "Elle" and "Priceless."  The Book of the Week is singer Judy Collins' take on conquering food, "Cravings."  I also bring you up-to-date with "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die" with Luchino Visconti's "Ossessione."]

Beauty and the Beast

The tale of what us girls have to do to get out of our provincial towns: move in with a beast!

Who doesn't know the story of "Beauty and the Beast?"

A spoiled young prince lives in splendor in a castle.  When an old crone offers him a single rose for shelter for the night, he cruelly rejects her, not realizing that she is an enchantress who will retaliate by turning him into a beast, his servants into household objects and erasing the memory of the castle from the nearby villagers. Which she does. The Enchantress then gives the Beast a rose before warning him that he will remain cursed unless he learns to love another and earn her love in return before the last petal falls.

Then there is Belle (Emma Watson), a beautiful young girl who lives with her father, Maurice (Kevin Kline).  Belle is believed to be odd by the townsfolk because she is bookish. Librarians get that every day. But Belle realizes that books can transport her out of her provincial life and expand her world.  Again, librarians have been trying to tell you all that for years and years.  Belle is courted by the handsome Gaston (Luke Evans), who is not only NOT bookish, he is boorish. 

One day, when Maurice heads off to market with his horse Philippe, he is attacked by wolves and seeks help at a nearby castle.  Well, it just so happens this is the same castle where The Beast lives and he imprisons Maurice after Maurice tries to take a single rose from The Beast's garden. The Beast doesn't look kindly on thieves.

When Belle comes looking for her Dad, The Beast says he will free Maurice but she will have to take his place, which Belle does. Belle is that kind of daughter.  A good one.  She takes Maurice's place and over time, the two bond a bit, especially when The Beast shares his library with Belle.  Remember?  She is bookish. But even though she and The Beast have settled into an uneasy relationship, when she gets the opportunity to escape she does but on her way to freedom she is attacked by wolves. The Beast saves her but not before he is injured. Belle could run away, but once again, Belle shows her goodness and returns to the castle to take care of The Beast and their relationship deepens.  Everything comes to an end when Gaston and the villagers storm the castle to save Belle and the true identity of The Beast is revealed.

And wouldn't you know?  Sigh...  The Beast is that hunky Dan Stevens who played Matthew Crowley on "Downton Abbey."

Moral:  Stick with your beast of a guy long enough, and he will start looking better and better to you.

Most of us grew up with this story and saw the 1991 Disney animated classic, so remaking this film was risky.  And you know how I feel about remakes. 

But this film is utterly beautiful and charming and benefits from the live action.

I love musicals and am so glad this year we have had two wonderful musicals: "La La Land" and now "Beauty and the Beast."

Though "La La Land" paid homage to musicals of the past, it also pushed the movie musical to a new level.  However, that doesn't mean we don't still enjoy the old classical musicals like "The Sound of Music," "Oklahoma" and "West Side Story."

And with this new live action rendition of "Beauty and the Beast," we are back to those days of the old style musical with lush orchestration, lavish costumes and gorgeous set decoration.  And in case we didn't notice that it's an old style musical, we are reminded in a scene where Belle sings while doing a 360 degree turn on the top of a beautiful hill a la Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music," and there is also a full-blown Busby Berkeley dance number as the dishes, candelabra and the rest of the household furniture sing "Be My Guest" to Belle. 

But while it takes us back to the musicals of the past, it's also a new take on the old style musical with today's special effects and the actors singing in their own voices.  Like "La La Land," we don't have the operatic voice of the animated Belle but rather Emma Watson's real voice, reminiscent of Emma Stone in "La La Land," who sang all of her own songs, and Emma Thompson sings the iconic "Beauty and the Beast" song, though Angela Lansbury's rendition will always be in my head. 

So this new version of "Beauty and the Beast" feels like the wonderful, lush musicals of old that some of us may miss but updated by modern special effects and advancements.

Emma Watson is not a classic beauty, but she has a warmth and loveliness that comes off the screen and is just right for Belle.  Luke Evans as Gaston is appropriately narcissistic and evil, and Kevin Kline as Maurice is appropriately good and kind as Belle's father. I have already gushed over Dan Stevens.  I love him in anything even when he is covered with hair.  Emma Thompson is fine as Mrs. Potts, though one can't help but remember Angela Lansbury's version of the part and the song, and she is joined by the rest of the all-star cast: Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe and Josh Gad as LeFeu, Gaston's sidekick, all of whom do not disappoint.

Speaking of Josh Gad, his characterization of LeFeu caused a controversy as it was judged to be a gay character. Russia gave it a stricter rating at its theatres and it was banned in Kuwait, Malaysia and a drive-in in Alabama.  Alabama doesn't surprise me but entire countries?  The funny thing is that if he was supposed to be gay, I didn't notice...and trust me, your kids won't either.  I think it's all much ado about nothing.

I would say that this movie is not for the very little children as there are some scary scenes involving some wolves.  However, these days, who knows?  Maybe three year olds are a lot more sophisticated than they used to be.  But let's just say I have a six-year-old grandson who leaves the room whenever something scary happens or seems to be imminent, and I know he wouldn't like some of the scenes in this movie.

But you don't need to take a little kid to this movie to enjoy it.  It stands alone as a great film for young and old.

The direction by Bill Condon, the script by Evan Spiliotopoulos and Stephen Chbosky (which actually ties up some loose ends from the original story), the set decoration, the special effects, the costumes, all wonderful.

"Tale as old as time,
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Now I can't get that tune out of my head.  

And now you won't be able to either!

Rosy the Reviewer says...The film is enchanting!  You won't want to miss it.

***Some Movies You Might Have Missed***
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)!


Elle (2016)

A tough businesswoman is raped in her home by a masked man...and then raped again by the same guy.  As she tries to track the man down, she finds out some unsettling things about herself.

Have you ever watched a movie and really liked it but realized after it was over that you didn't have the slightest idea what just happened?  This movie is a bit like that.

Isabelle Huppert, who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for this role, plays Michelle LeBlanc, a successful owner of a video gaming company.  She is so successful in fact that she can afford a sprawling house and grounds in Paris, one of the most expensive cities in the world.  If you have ever seen "House Hunters International," you know that you can't buy an apartment in Paris big enough to swing a cat for less than a million.  This is the kind of thing I think about when I am watching movies.  I miss nothing. Anyway, let's just say she is very, very successful.  And from what I've seen in this film, kind of kinky.

The film begins with a rape.  A man all in black wearing a black ski mask breaks into Michelle's house and violently rapes her.  However, she doesn't report it to the police but rather matter-of-factly cleans up the mess, take a bath, and tells her friends about it over dinner.  We later learn that Michelle doesn't have a very good relationship with the police because of a heinous crime her father committed and for which suspicion also surrounded her.

Then Michelle starts getting texts from the rapist and she becomes suspicious of everyone.  She decides to find out who the rapist is on her own.  But what starts out looking like a "rape/revenge" movie, turns into something very different.

Michelle has a difficult job running a video gaming company where the men seem to resent working for a woman. In fact the men in this film are all rather difficult or ineffectual. But everyone is this film has their issues, including Michelle herself, who doesn't always come off as a very nice person.

Let's just say "C'est complique!"

Michelle is having an affair with her best friend's husband, Robert (Christian Berkel); she doesn't approve of her son's girlfriend (Alice Isaaz) or her son,  Vincent (Jonas Bloquet), for that matter; her mother (Judith Magre) is romancing a young gigelot of which Michelle also doesn't approve; and Michelle has a thing for Patrick (Laurent Lafitte), her neighbor across the street who, along with his wife, seems to be very religious. Michelle is one strong cookie, but her life is difficult. She has a difficult job, a difficult son, a difficult mother, a difficult ex-husband, and a cat. (Not sure if the cat is also difficult).  And Michelle also appears to be subsidizing everyone, including the cat. Is she a feminist or a victim or both?

Director Paul Verhoeven directed some straight forward blockbuster films with "Robocop," "Total Recall" and "Basic Instinct," but here he has taken on a very strange story (screenplay by David Birke based on the novel by Phillippe Djian) that is anything but straight forward, though it does fall into the Hitchcockian psychological thriller category along with "Basic Instinct" and other films like "The Jagged Edge" and "The Secret in Their Eyes," which is probably why I liked the film even though I didn't really get it.  But perhaps that is the point.  We don't always understand our own lives, let alone those of others.

Like I said, I really liked this film. This was a tour de force for Huppert, who is very believable in the role and, despite the fact that the story was strange and difficult to understand, it inexplicably held my interest. It was also dark and sexually edgy which are some Verhoeven trademarks, especially if you remember "that scene" with Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct." One thing I didn't get at all, though, was the black cat, who always seemed to be a witness to the rapes and other dramatic moments.  He played some kind of symbolic role, I think, but not sure what.  Bad luck?

Rosy the Reviewer says...a gripping story with a wonderful performance by Huppert, and if you figure out what it was really about, let me know.
(In French with English subtitles)

Priceless (2016)

A man whose life has fallen apart takes a sketchy job driving a truck across the country, no questions asked but when he finds out what his cargo is, his life takes a different turn.

James (Joel Smallbone) has had a rough time.  His wife has died and he didn't handle that well.  He drank, lost his job and eventually lost custody of his young daughter who now lives with his mother. So he makes his living driving a truck and hauling mysterious cargo.  He is paid well and doesn't ask any questions.  However, one night when he is having trouble staying awake, he drives the truck into a ditch.  When surveying the damage he hears sounds coming from inside the truck, and after hacking off the lock, discovers two young Mexican girls huddled in the back of the truck.

He takes pity on the girls (James is really a good guy at heart), and lets them ride up front with him, and when they stop for gas, he buys them a couple of dresses and tells them to go clean themselves up.  As they continue their journey, the girls, Antonia (Bianca Santos) and Maria (Amber Midthunder), tell James that he is taking them to a place where they will be working as waitresses to pay off some mysterious debt they owe.  And at that point, I'm thinking, "C'mon, James, two girls locked in the back of a truck and you weren't supposed to know that?  Uh...do the words sex trafficking mean anything to you?"  It isn't until he delivers the girls to a guy all pimped up in classic pimp fashion driving a truck filled with girls that James gets the picture. Unfortunately our young girls suddenly get the picture too.

During the trip, James notices the cross that Antonia is wearing around her neck and a discussion about God ensues.  James tells Antonia that God doesn't hear him - remember, James has had a rough life.  Antonia replies that James is never alone.  She tells him she will pray for him because he has clearly lost his faith.  What do you want to bet that James is going to find both God and redemption?

At this point as I am watching, I am now cocking my head and, like James, getting the picture.  This is a faith-based film.

When I realized this was a Christian film or one of those faith-based films, I wondered how it got in my Netflix queue.  Those kinds of films are not usually my cup of tea, but then I realized it was about sex trafficking, and I do have a fondness for movies about the seedy underbelly of life - those are more my cup of tea - so I must have seen a preview for this and put it in my queue, not realizing I was going to get a sermon with my cup of sex trafficking.

Anyway, now James is on a mission to rescue the girls. He joins forces with Dale (David Koechner), the owner of the motel where he is staying. Dale seems to know an awful lot about the sex trafficking going on in his town, and you can probably figure out why.  At one point, James gets a heart-tugging call from his little girl who misses him, and James tells Dale he has to go home to which Dale replies,

"Being a father is the most important job in the world.  All of these girls have a father who loves them. If you hear a voice that tells you to stay, there is a larger voice at play here."

James tells Dale that he doesn't hear the voice and Dale says,

"Then you're just not listening."

Later, as the film progresses and James makes the decision to save the girls, Dale says to James: 

"Sounds like that little voice just got louder.  Welcome to the other side."


Though I am not a fan of this kind of beating me over the head with religion type of filmmaking, I know that I need to get out of my movie watching comfort zone from time to time, and I find it interesting to see other genres aimed at a specific audience. And actually, other than the very black and white stereotypes that abound in these kinds of films - the bad guys are very bad and the good guys (and women) are very good - this film actually wasn't too preachy and held my interest.  It was also fairly "G' rated considering the subject matter. However, despite the fact that I know these kinds of films are supposed to be inspiring and promote Christian values, why does Dale, the guy who is trying to get James to listen to God, have to be so smug? 

Dale says things like:

"We were put here to learn on this journey. The pages of our story are still being written. Here's the good news. We're not the author. HE has bigger plans."

And when James says to Dale about Antonia,

"With everything she's been through, do you think she still believes?"

Dale replies,

"I know she does.  That's faith." 

And with that, Dale pats James on the back and they walk off to save those two girls -- and James' faith.  It's a done deal.

I think that's why some people are turned off by a film that is obviously a Christian faith-based film. Too easy with the answers. Too pat. Too smug.

And then...James ends up marrying one of the young girls he saves from sex traffickers?  Don't you find that kind of creepy? I know I do.

However, I want my fans to know that I am an equal opportunity reviewer.  I go into all movies with an open mind because, hey, that's what I do.  I watch movies - all of 'em!  I have nothing against faith-based films, but I just wish they weren't so damn righteous about it all.  Excuse my French.

Here's a funny aside that says something about me: When Dale told James to get rid of the truck he had transported the girls in, he told him he had some bikes and he could use a bike to get around.  That's how much I know.  I thought Dale meant BIKE bikes, as in the kind you pedal.  I didn't realize he meant motorcycles.  Before I figured that out, I had this mental image of James and Dale pedaling bicycles to go save the girls. I was wondering how that would work.  Sometimes I am not very smart.

I have to say, though, that I learned some things from this film: First, I learned what a "God shot" was.  It's that last bit of strength you need to carry on when everything looks bleak. Second, if you really want the police to come fast, wave a gun around in a playground full of mothers and children.

Joel Smallbone is one half of the Grammy-winning Christian pop duo For King and Country, who often use their celebrity to crusade against sex trafficking, so this film is a natural progression and, I have to say that for a singer with few acting roles to his credit, he does a credible job here. 

Directed by Ben Smallbone (Joel's brother) with a screenplay by Chris Dowling and Tyler Poelle, the film ends with a plea for everyone to continue to fight against sex trafficking and points the audience to their website - www.pricelessmovement.com with the reminder that every life is priceless.

Well, who wouldn't agree with that?

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like faith-based films or Lifetime movies, you will probably like this one.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

209 to go!

Have YOU seen this classic film?

Ossessione (1943)

A drifter starts an affair with the wife of the owner of an inn and the two plot to get rid of her husband.

Gino (Massimo Girotti) is a handsome drifter who arrives in town on the back of a truck.  He heads to the local trattoria where he encounters Giovanna (Clara Calamai), the wife of the innkeeper who immediately gives him googly eyes and seems hot to trot.  Giovanna's husband, Giuseppe (Juan De Landa), is an older, fat man who Giovanna admits she married to get off the streets and to feel safe, but now all she does is cook and clean and her life has been reduced to that of a scullery maid, so she is resentful and sees Gino as a way to escape.

When Giuseppe leaves to go into town, Gino and Giovanna have sex and Giovanna is clearly enraptured and already asking Gino to never leave her. He hasn't been with a woman for awhile so he is enraptured too and what do you do when you are in love with a married woman and she is in love with you?  She gets a divorce?  Hell, no.  Way too easy. If you have seen enough film noir or episodes of "Dateline," then you know that you plot the murder of the husband, of course.

But even after getting what you want, there is guilt, drinking, jealousy, fighting.  Film noir never ends well and this film is no exception.

Though at times, there is some over-acting at work here, Calamai has an expressive face that reminds me of Marion Cotillard and Girotti looks like a young William Holden .

This was the first feature film directed by Italian auteur Luchino Visconti, who went on to direct such classics as "The Leopard" and "Death in Venice." It stands as a classic example of Italian Neorealism and also film noir as here you will recognize the movie "The Postman Always Rings Twice," originally a novel and one of the great film noirs.

Why it's a Must See: "...Visconti's screenplay was clearly lifted from James M. Cain's The Postman Always Rings Twice. Cain and his publishers kept it off American screens until 1976, when it had its much belated premiere at the New York Film Festival.  Cain had jut died and probably never saw it -- a pity, because he would have discovered the best cinematic adaption of his work."
---"1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you loved "The Postman Always Rings Twice" or you just appreciate great film noir, you will love this.
(In Italian with English subtitles)

***Book of the Week***

Cravings: How I Conquered Food by Judy Collins (2017)

Singer Judy Collins shares the story of her unhealthy relationship with food and how she conquered it.  But will it work for the rest of us who wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds or 20?

Not to be confused with Chrissy Teigen's cookbook "Cravings" which I loved and reviewed last year and which is all about surrendering to food, this one is about conquering food by basically denying yourself practically everything.

Judy has written about her life before - "Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music" (2011) and "Sanity and Grace: A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength (2003) - but this volume, though it also touches on her life story, focuses on her struggles with alcohol and food.

Judy is a recovering alcoholic and according to her, also a recovering food addict.  Admitting an almost irrational fear of becoming fat, she tried every famous diet under the sun. She alternates chapters between talking about her life and all of the various famous diets most of us have tried: Weight Watchers, Atkins, Gayelord Hauser's Celebrity Diet, The Stillman Diet, Andrew Weil, The Scarsdale Diet while also giving credit to the various "Anonymous" step programs.

This is what she has discovered:

"For me exercise along with a diet free from sugar, grains, flour and junk is the secret and my fountain of youth. I am told that I look at least twenty years younger than my actual age. You can too.. . I also drink a ton of water, probably sixty ounces or more a day..."

"I bought digital scales and use them to eat three weighed and measured meals  a day...I eat only three meals a day, and I do not snack -- not on holidays, not at night, not between meals, not when it is Saturday..."

"I do not take chances when I go out to eat but ask for an extra plate to weigh my food when I need it...I always try to bring my digital scale when I go out to dinner.  I have one scale for my kitchen, one for my purse, one for the car, two for long trips."

"I think my food plan is as close to the organic life of my ancient ancestors as I am likely to have.  A clarity has come over me since I have started eating what is basically the cuisine of the wild hunter-gatherers.  It works for me. And perhaps it will work for you."

Really?  I guess the question for me is whether I want it to work for me or not.

I love you Judy.  I have been to many of your concerts and think you do look wonderful, so whatever is working for you is fantastic.  But if this is a book for the rest of us, I don't think so.  I can't see myself carrying a scale in my purse and weighing my food at a restaurant, though I will say with all of that water you recommend we drink, we would certainly get exercise running to the toilet.

I don't in any way mean to make fun of something that has changed someone's life and that is what this book is about.  And I don't in any way mean to minimize addiction either - to alcohol or food or anything else.  And I know that Judy has had some terrible things happen to her, the suicide of her son being the most horrific, so I am happy she has found her health and her Fountain of Youth, that this plan works for her, and that she has been sober for over 30 years. 

And this book just might be the inspiration you need to solve some of your addiction issues, food or otherwise.

However, I also feel that someone who had the fortitude and discipline necessary to become a concert level pianist, and then one of the most famous singers in the world, giving up wheat, grains and sugar and weighing all of her meals was probably not the hardest thing in her life, though eschewing any kind of snacking at all, period... Wow.  I am impressed.  But for the rest of us who have toiled in our little lives and don't have the discipline she has shown in her life to get where she is today nor the perks of celebrity and fame, some mac and cheese and a piece of chocolate can be life changing.

Rosy the Reviewer says...an inspiring and candid look into the insecurities and struggles of a superstar, and no matter what you think of her diet advice, she DOES look really good at 77 years old.!

Thanks for reading!


Hey, can you believe it?

I am back once again on Tuesday, but this time it's

"Make-up 101 For the Woman of a Certain Age."

Hope to see you Tuesday!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to copy and paste or click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 

Go to IMDB.com, find the movie you are interested in.  Once there, click on the link that says "Explore More" on the right side of the screen.  Scroll down to External Reviews and when you get to that page, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list.

NOTE:  On some entries, this has changed.  If you don't see "Explore More" on the right side of the screen, scroll down just below the description of the film in the middle of the page. Click where it says "Critics." Look for "Rosy the Reviewer" on the list.

Or if you are using a mobile device, look for "Critics Reviews." Click on that and you will find me alphabetically under "Rosy the Reviewer."