Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Ten Commandments of Retirement

I know my blog seems like self promotion much of the time, because I am always showing pictures from my childhood, pictures of myself in "get ups (as my mother used to say)" and talking about my life.


But I always hoped that people realized I was making fun of myself as much as I was making fun of what I was talking about (well, I made fun of Hubby, too, but he's used to it), and that, though much of what I wrote about was tongue-in-cheek, I was also trying to inspire women like myself, impart information about what it's like to be a "woman of a certain age" and to just have some fun with where I was in my life. I was also hoping that Oprah would discover this blog and pull me out of obscurity. Unfortunately, that never happened, but, believe it or not, there were actually people out there who said they enjoyed my pictures and what I had to say.

Before I get into today's topic, I want to say that I have been wrestling with whether or not I should keep pushing myself to publish a Tuesday post. 

If you are a regular reader, you know I publish my movie and book reviews every Friday, but I reserve Tuesday for my "rants," as I call them, but which are really my take on what's going on in my world as a "woman of a certain age" and the world around me. I reminisce, bitch and try to inspire, while also trying to be humorous, but I am thinking that perhaps I don't have that much to say every single week.  If you asked Hubby he would most certainly say I have much to say EVERY DAY, but I want to write things that are at least fresh and funny, if not important. 

In my Tuesday blog post, I have tried to inspire women of a certain age to not give up because they have accumulated a few pounds and a few wrinkles and to let them know they are not alone in their retirement and aging struggles.  I also hoped to help the younger generation understand such people - we retired women of a certain age - and also to be funny, to inform, to get a conversation going, to make you think...but I have also stressed myself out about meeting my self-imposed deadlines.  Even when I went on vacation, I would work extra hours beforehand to have some posts ready to make sure I would publish on my regular schedule so I wouldn't disappoint my regular readers, even if I was in Victoria, B.C. or Timbuktu (I actually have never been to Timbuktu but it made me sound cool, right?). 

In the last three years since I have retired I have published 342 posts - two per week without fail - and there have been over 100,000 page views, though I would sure like to say 1,000,000 page views. 

I started writing this blog a little over three years ago, right before I retired, as an antidote to my fears and anxieties about retirementOne week in, I was losing my mind a little bit and even started wondering whether dogs ever retired or what it would be like to be a retired Real Housewife.  But once I started feeling comfortable, I started sharing what I had learned about myself in retirement in the hope that it would help others who were struggling. About one year in, I finally got it - The joy of retirement - and just recently, I found the ultimate "key" to a happy retirement.  

Likewise, since I was a librarian for over 40 years, I enjoyed talking about libraries and librarians and trying to smash the myths around them with "Why I Love My Library," "Why We Need Librarians," "Interview with a Librarian" and "Things Librarians Hate." Then my blog sort of morphed into my thoughts on aging and what was going on around me and a way to review my life, past and present with an emphasis on TV, my love of pop culture, my trips and activities and my pet peeves, which I called my "rants."

But now I am no longer struggling with retirement (I LOVE it!). I  think I have come a long way and I have certainly documented all of that in my blog over the last three years, so I think I have probably said everything I need to say about what I have learned.  Likewise, about libraries and librarians.  And getting older?  I think I've beaten that horse too. I also think I have exhausted my views on TV, Kim Kardashian and other pop culture topics and ranted my little head off about most of the things that bug me. I even shared my colonoscopy and my menopause, so if I would go there, you can tell I was already stretching my search for topics a couple of years ago! Though, I will say, if you are going to have a colonoscopy, you might want to read that one!   It's funny, if I do say so myself.

I have also tackled a wide variety of other topics:

And those are just a small percentage of the posts I have written over the last three years (and if you are interested in others, there is an archive on the right side of this blog that goes back to the very beginning).

But you can see I have a wide range of interests that I wanted to share, and I shared every Tuesday no matter what.

However, that dedication is starting to take its toll, especially since all of that extra work hasn't resulted in Oprah discovering me which is disappointing.  Even my adult children rarely comment or share my posts. I also find myself writing blog posts in my mind lying in bed at night and when I wake up in the morning.  It has become a lot of pressure and I'm retired.  I'm not supposed to be under pressure anymore!  So I am thinking it is time to re-evaluate. 

So that I don't show signs of dementia and start repeating myself, I think it's probably time to take a breather on Tuesdays and concentrate on my Friday movie and book reviews with the occasional restaurant and concert/theatre review thrown in. 

Now, those of you who are my fans, and I so thank you for your support, that doesn't mean I am done with my editorializing. 

It just means that I might not publish one of my rants every single Tuesday, but when I feel inspired I still will.  Because you see, I really feel that one of my purposes in life is to communicate.  I need to do it and feel that sometimes at least I do it well.  So it's not the end of me, just a regrouping.  So please don't forget about me.  And as the classic C & W song says, "How Can I Miss You if You Won't Go Away?" 

So I am going to go away for awhile and hopefully you will miss me.

(And if you are unfamiliar with the song, here it is.  I always aim to be helpful).

As I said, I will definitely continue to write my movie and book reviews and try to see all 1001 movies I am supposed to see before I die and report back. 

I always wanted to be a movie critic and I don't think there are many of those who speak from, shall we say, a mature point of view - and with a sense of humor - so that fulfills one desire, but the other one is...I don't really have anyone to talk movies with. 

Remember when we were young and would go to the movies to see the latest Antonioni or Bunuel and when it was over go to a bar and emphatically talk about the film?  I don't have that.  Hubby and I watch movies together, but he's a guy and once he says, "That was good," it's over.  So in writing my reviews I was hoping to get responses, and though some of you do respond when I post my blog on FB, I haven't really gotten any community together or a conversation going via my blog. Maybe blogging has become passe and everyone has moved on to vlogging or some other bit of social media. But I am still hoping and you can still find me on IMDB and on my site on Fridays.

Anyway, thank you everyone for your support and I hope you will still look for Rosy the Reviewer on my site on Tuesdays as well as Fridays, even though there might not be a new post every Tuesday anymore.  But I will still be posting my rants, just not every week. But on Friday, you can still expect to see my trenchant, pithy and sometimes humorous movie and book reviews in Rosy the Reviewer's inimitable style!

Now as a sort of farewell and so you won't miss me too much (but remember, this isn't really goodbye) on to a Tuesday rant.

I have been retired now for over three years and though the first year and a half was a bit rocky, I think I have come out of the early retirement shadows and seen the light.

If you compare some of my early posts to recent posts, you can easily see that.  But now I think putting all of that together, I can condense them all down into ten easy "commandments" that I hope will be helpful to the struggling newly retired and those who are uneasily contemplating it.

The Ten Commandments of Retirement


1. Thou shalt no longer have a boss or, if thy can manage it, a landlord, and thou shalt be happy about that.

We are grown-ups.  Who wants someone telling us what we can and cannot do, right? You now no longer have to do anything you don't want to do. So if you are mourning the loss of your job, think about it like that.  And if you are mourning the loss of your job so much that you are thinking about getting another job, don't!  Give it time.  You will come to enjoy your own company.

2. Thou shalt not get up until at least 9:30 (or thou wilt give the rest of us retirees a bad name).

3. Thou shalt not feel guilty about what thee watches on TV or what thee read-ith or what thee enjoy-ith.

There are snobs and haters out there who are meant to bringeth you down but they are probably not retired and pissed off about it. Thou have earned thy guilty pleasures so don't feel guilty.

4. Thou shalt not worry about meaning in thy life now that you are retired, because thy existence is meaning enough. No matter how oldeth you geteth you will always be YOU, that same person you have always been and think you are when you aren't looking in the mirror.

5. Thou shalt enjoy thyself and not feel guilty about doing whatever the hell you want. 

Do what you love.  It's never too late to be a rock star!

6. Thou shalt have wine or champs for lunch if thy wish it.

Why not?  It's not like you have to go back to work or anything, right?

8. Thou shalt always have a sense of humor about thyself!



8. Thou shalt not look old or act old.

Thou shalt stay connected, get out in the world, look trendy, wear make-up and get up front at rock concerts!

And if your find yourself reaching for the Ben Gay, counting out every penny from your coin purse at the grocery store and holding up the line or, worse, going to the store in your pajamas, read "How Not to Look Old" and "How Not to Act Old" for inspiration.

9. Thou shalt loveth thy grandchildren with all thy might.

Even if they live far, far away. 
(I tackled that issue in "Parenting and Grandparenting from a Distance.")

10. Thou shalt never give up or go "gentle into that good night," though you might take a break from time to time.

And that's what I am going to do.

But I will still publish my reviews on Fridays and for my "rants," please check in from time to time on a Tuesday or come see me at my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook page at

Thanks for Reading!
See you Friday

for my review of

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 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

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Joy of Retirement

It has been two years and three months since I said goodbye to my staff, closed the door of my office and left work for the last time.

I retired.

So what has it been like?

It took me about a year to get used to being retired, to not feel guilty for walking away from a job I could keep doing perfectly well, not to mention the money.

But now as I said in my very first blog post, "The Long Goodbye," I appreciate not having a landlord or a boss and the opportunity to do as I please.

What does a typical day look like?

Well, let's see...

6am     Hubby gets up (he's not retired).
           Me?    Zzzzzz  (but I am)

7am     Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

8am     Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

9am    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wait a minute!  Stop the presses!

Hubby just told me I have written this same sort of blog post before.

Have I learned nothing since that first blog post where I extolled the virtues of retirement because I could sleep in and watch TV with my wine-guzzling poodle?

Looking back on what I was writing about when I first started this blog, over two years ago, I see that there was much trepidation and confusion about what my life would look like in retirement.

In "The Long Goodbye, Pt. 2," written four days before I left work for good, I worried about turning into a "little old lady," wearing pants with elastic waistbands and eschewing make-up for good.  I worried about not having that paycheck anymore and missing out on travel, eating out and expensive theatre tickets.  I worried about the end of my shopping career, but most of all, I worried about purpose and meaning in my life, something that my 40 year career as a librarian availed me.

Well, I am happy to report none of those fears came true.

I still wear make-up (well, not every day but when I go out), and I don't think I look like a little old lady.

As for travel, since I retired, Hubby and I have been to Italy, we have visited the grandsons in California several times and I just went on a six day vacation to Santa Fe and Taos with my daughter.

Eating out and theatre tickets - I am still working my way through Seattle restaurants A-Z and, since I retired, we have seen everyone from Lionel Richie to Cher to Robert Plant ("My Summer in Concerts") and had Meet and Greet tickets to see Tony Boudain (and those weren't cheap!).

And I just happened to run into Andie MacDowell at the Cher concertHow do you like my earrings?  Are those the earrings of an old retired lady?

Shopping?  I still sneak the occasional bag from Nordstrom past Hubby, and I have a personal relationship with the UPS guy.

As for that purpose and meaning thing...

I became a Senior Peer Counselor. This is a volunteer position through our local Senior Services.  I took an eight-session training course and then was assigned a "client."  The clients are seniors who are going through some kind of change or bereavement or event where they need support and someone to talk to.  I just completed six months with an 82-year-old woman who had been moved from her home to an assisted-care facility.  I met with her every week for six months and it was an extremely satisfying and meaningful experience for me.  I like to think I helped her - she said she told me things she had never told anyone - but she also helped me.  By helping her, she helped me to realize that my life still has purpose and meaning, even if I am not bringing home a paycheck anymore.

And I actually thought about becoming a therapist at one time.

Since I retired, Hubby and I have also done all 25 stair walks in Seattle, I have discovered meditation and tarot card reading, am on my local library board and a council that works to advocate for seniors and my Fitbit and I try to get at least 10,000 steps in a day.

I have also discovered the joys of 4pm Happy Hour with Hubby.

But I didn't know all of that would happen back when I first retired.

On the first day of my retirement ("Retirement- Day 1") I related a typical day and lamented that it didn't look like I was going to change the world.

But a week later, I was already learning some things and putting together the bones of this blog ("Retirement: First Week in Review and What I've Learned So Far") defining it as

 "A mostly humorous blog of reviews and pop culture observations from a retired Baby Boomer and movie loving librarian who reviews not just films and books, but fashion, food and fun while navigating her new life of leisure."

Looking at those older blog posts, I also see that I was trying to be all things to all people on every post. I was reviewing 4-5 movies, 2-3 books, restaurants, plays, fashion trends all in one post.  They make me tired just re-reading them!

I now realize I was still trying to figure things out.  I was not only feeling my way through the whole blogger thing but through the whole retirement thing.

What I have discovered since is that I don't have to be all things to all people and I don't have to change the world.

I discovered that retirement afforded me the opportunity to change ME, and to reinvent myself.

Since I retired I have written about "Retirement as a Real Housewife," wondered if dogs ever retire ("Do Dogs Ever Retire?"), talked about my good days and bad days ("Retirement: Good Days and Bad Days") and
 my "new job (Me!)."

But I have also written about the Beatles ("Why the Beatles Matter"), Oprah ("Why Oprah Still Matters"), meditation ("A Little Meditation on Meditation..."), travel (Rosy the Reviewer Does Italy...") television ("Confessions of a TV Addict"), literature ("A Christmas Carol"), fashion ("A Baby Boomer's Fashion Show" and "Librarian Fashion"), food ("Cooking in an Empty Nest") and a wealth of other topics that interest me, many of them involving dogs in costumes ("My Life Story by Mildred Pierce").

I am not above exploiting my dogs for cheap laughs.

After over 2 years and 245 blog posts, I guess I can call myself a writer and a blogger.

Some of my blog posts have even been very popular in France and the Ukraine!

I have discovered that I like to communicate and in so doing, I hope I am imparting some information and insights, giving you something to think about and, at the very least from time to time, amusing you.

I always wanted to be an actress and actually studied to be one.  But I also wanted to write, and after discovering Siskel and Ebert back in the 80's, I thought what better way for someone with a penchant for acting and movies to express herself than as a movie critic?  I thought, what a great job.  But I never hoped that I might aspire to that.

But now, in retirement, here I am reviewing movies.  I am a movie critic of sorts with my Friday reviews that are also published on IMDB
(The International Movie Database - look up a movie you are interested in and find me under "External Reviews" for that film).

And working as a Senior Peer Counselor, I am fulfilling an interest in counseling.

So as I look back on the last two plus years since I retired, many of those fears I had were never realized and, I am no longer defined by what I did for a living:  a librarian. 

And I am no longer feeling guilty, confused and worried. Oh, I will always be a librarian and probably a worrier, too, but now I have discovered that I am a blogger, a movie critic, a pop culture reporter, a meditator, a counselor, a foodie, a tarot card reader and a stair climber in addition to what I always was: a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a librarian, a fashionista, a dog lover and a TV addict.

And that's enough. There is joy in that.

Without someone telling you what to do and without obligations that are not of your making, retirement becomes a time of reflection, adventure and reinvention.  Now is the time to do what you have always wanted to do or to find out what that is.  Become the YOU, you have always wanted to be.  Find your joy, even if it's sleeping late and watching TV with your wine-guzzling poodle.

So this is for all of you out there who might be newly retired or just contemplating it.  If you are newly retired, give yourself a break and don't worry too much.  It might take awhile, but the joy will come.  If you are contemplating retirement and you are scared, be brave.  The joy will come.

Retirement is not for the retiring.  Be brave. 

Retirement is a chance for reinvention, discovery, freedom and joy, and, for me, I can't wait to see what the future brings.  Maybe when next you see me I will be giving tarot card readings as Madame Rosy!


Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 

"The Martian" 


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 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

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Sturm und Drang of Writing a Blog: Tapping into the Creative Process

[I review the new movie "Chef" along with DVDs "The Lunchbox," "The Best Offer" and "Enemy" and The Book of the Week is a memoir by Misty Copeland, soloist with the American Ballet Theatre and her struggles as an African American ballerina.]

But First

Molly Wizenberg is a food blogger (Orangette) with a Seattle connection.  I recently read her book "A Homemade Life," and in it she said something about how writing helped her remember. 

And that really resonated with me because I also believe that.

Writing this blog helps me remember.

I remember being this little girl


I remember being this teenager

I remember my friends

I remember my last wedding (and there were more than one)

Here's my first 

I remember raising my children


And all of those first days of school

I remember my parents raising me

I remember my family

My grandparents, my sister, my niece

My Mom

And my Dad, here displaying two of his passions - hot cars and cowboy hats (here he is with his Hemi in red, white and blue, appropriate for today, don't you think?)

It's important to remember where we came from, where we have been in order to understand ourselves and grow into who we are supposed to be.

Serendipitously, there was a line in the film "The Lunchbox," (which I review below) that resonated: 

"I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to."

So thank you, dear readers, for letting me tell you things.

But writing this blog doesn't just help me remember. 

It also helps me express myself and spark my creativity.

But it's not often easy. 

There is a sturm und drang that can go through one's brain that sometimes makes it difficult to create something.

What should I write about?  I don't feel like writing today. How do I get my point across?  What will people think? How do I market my blog so people can find it? How do I maximize my SEO?  How do I get people to comment?  Does anyone really care? 

I have taken to watching Oprah's Super Soul Sundays where she invites deep thinkers to sit with her under her gorgeous tree in her gorgeous yard in Hawaii, and they talk about deep stuff together. I also like her Master Class where celebrities, writers, and more deep thinkers talk about their lives and what they have learned.  I find both of these programs very inspiring.  No matter what you think of Oprah, you cannot deny that she is using her money and power to try to do good.  Yes, her OWN network has some fluff on it, but more than not, she is putting shows out there to try to help people.

And lately several of these programs have been dealing with the creative process. 

She recently spoke with Steven Pressfield, the author of "The War of Art." He talks about "resistance" blocking our being able to do the things we want to do, such as write a book or even go to the gym every day.  He believes that the more resistance you feel about something, that is a sign that you really, really need to do it.  It's the universe talking to you.  And that basically, it's pretty much all about just doing it.  How can you be a writer if you never write?  How can you be an athlete if you never train?  How can you be a painter if you don't paint? When you give in to the resistance, you will feel worse, bad about yourself and it will hang over your head. If you just start, you will be amazed at what you can tap into.

Likewise, in his "Master Class," Lionel Richie talked about writing songs and how he doesn't plan on writing a hit song.  He just sits down at the keyboard and the words come. John Denver said a similar thing about songwriting.  He believed the words were not coming from within him, but from the consciousness of the universe.

I find that to be true in my own small way writing my small little blog.

I worry about it, wondering what I will write, who cares if I write, whether it's important or educational or even amusing.

That "sturm und drang" that gets into your brain, that makes you question yourself, that makes you procrastinate, that makes you not start -- that's "resistance." 

But I have discovered that despite this resistance, it's just a matter of sitting down at the keyboard.

If I don't make myself sit down on Monday and write, there would be no blog published on Tuesday.  And sometimes I am not even sure what I will write about.  But sure enough, once I sit down, I start to remember.  I sometimes start writing and when I finish, I look at what I have written and wonder where it came from.

I write two blog posts per week.  I publish on Tuesdays and Fridays.

For Tuesdays, I usually rant about something that is going on in my life or something that interests me.  For Friday, it's usually a movie related post, but not always. I also review fashion, food and music.  It does, however, always include movie reviews and a book of the week and sometimes restaurant reviews.

So that means I need to go to movies, watch DVDs, eat at restaurants, go to concerts and shop!

On Monday, I concentrate on the Tuesday post and get the bones of the Friday post together and then tweak that one during the week.

I have always enjoyed writing, and I think one of the purposes of my life is to communicate.  That is why I enjoy blogging.  Now that I am retired, I have the time to spend on it (as well as going to movies, watching DVDs, eating at restaurants and shopping!), and I find it creative and fulfilling.

By blogging, I hope to connect with readers and other bloggers, share some things I know, explore ideas and entertain. 

And in doing so, hopefully inspire others, create a spark in them and create something lasting.

Now you, Dear Reader, might think, yeah, but that last post you did wasn't that good.

Though I certainly want my blog posts to resonate, to amuse, to help people even (I mean, didn't my post on how to have a less traumatic yard sale help the collective good?), the creative process is also self-fulfilling.  I enjoy it and feel I am tapping into my creative consciousness.

And yes, subjectively, some posts might be better than others.

But in the end, I am doing it.  I sit down at the computer and write and then put it out there into the universe. I have been doing it consistently for over a year now. 

Right now I think I can call myself a blogger. 

Maybe someday I can call myself a writer.

How do you tap into your creative side?

Now on to

The Week in Reviews

Miami-born chef Carl Casper (John Favreau) is a chef in an LA restaurant who wants to create his own menu but the owner (Dustin Hoffman) forces him to keep doing the same old thing.  When he is raked over the coals by a critic (Oliver Platt), Chef Casper reacts on Twitter, followed by a public meltdown in the restaurant, which is, of course, recorded and goes viral on the Internet.  He finds himself out of a job.
Casper is divorced from his wife, Inez, (Sophia Vergara), who seems awfully supportive for an ex-wife, and when he loses his job, she invites him to return to Miami with her.  The side plot involves his trying to have a better relationship with his ten-year-old son, Percy (Emjay Anthony) who also goes along.  When they dine on Cuban food in Miami, a light bulb goes off for Casper and, in another improbability, Inez' other ex-husband (Robert Downey Jr.) fronts Chef a food truck. 

You don't usually see a chef go from a two star restaurant to a food truck.  It's usually the other way around, but of course, our hero is going to have success selling Cuban sandwiches and, of course, his young son will help him on the food truck. Let the bonding begin. And when his old line cook, Martin (John Leguizamo) shows up out of the blue to help, how can he fail?  Chef, Martin and Percy take the food truck cross country, selling Cuban sandwiches all the way until they arrive to once again take on L.A.

Leguizamo, whose character defies belief by quitting his job in the aforementioned restaurant to join Chef in Miami provides comic relief, but if he hadn't, there wouldn't have been a movie, would there?
Lest you think I didn't like this film, you would be wrong.
Improbabilities and predictabilities aside, this is a charming film. The food preparation is like watching a lusty food porn film and the writing is intelligent, heart-warming and funny.
What Scarlett Johannson is doing in this movie is anyone's guess.  She is on for like 10 minutes as a possible love interest.  And what's with the black hair.  Scarlett?  Trust me.  Blondes have more fun. 
Likewise Dustin Hoffman has a small part as does Downey and Amy SedarisFavreau must have had some markers to call in to get all of these heavy weights to do what amount to nothing more than cameos.
All in all, this is an enjoyable two hours - funny, heartwarming and pornographic (food-wise that is).
Favreau wrote, directed and starred in this.  Though he has acted in other films and had prominent roles, this is the first where he carries the film as an actor and he is engaging and believable.  Young Emjay is an appealing kid and Sophia Vergara...well, is Sophia Vergara, in all of her unbelievably pulchritudinous pulchritude.
Rosy the Reviewer says...for foodies, food porn.  For everyone else, a sweet film with a heart-warming story and lots of laughs.

To see more of my movie reviews you can find me on IMDB.   Here is a quick link to get to all of them.  Click on the movie you are interested in and then scroll down to Rosy the Reviewer.

You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
The Lunchbox (2013)

A lonely wife in Mumbai sends her husband his lunchbox, but it is delivered to a man on the verge of retirement by mistake.

The movie begins with the elaborate lunchbox delivery system employed in Mumbai called "Dabbawalas," a complicated system of lunches being picked up from restaurants or homes and delivered to men at work in what looks to be a corporate ant farm.  This whole system could be a movie unto itself.

Isla (Nimrat Kaur) is a lovely, young housewife with a little daughter and a husband.  But when her husband is at work and her daughter at school, her only company is her "Auntie" upstairs who she calls to through her window throughout the day. 

One day she prepares a special lunch for her husband, but it is delivered to Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a lonely accountant, by mistake.  Saajan is on the verge of retirement and is supposed to train Shaikh, a young employee who will be replacing him.  It becomes clear that Saajan is not happy about his retirement, training his successor or much of anything really.  But when he receives the errant lunchbox, he is intrigued by how delicious it is and soon realizes it is coming from Isla.  They begin a correspondence via the lunchbox and share confessions about dreams, regrets and unhappiness.  Will the older man in the later part of his life and the young, unhappy housewife fall in love and live happily ever after?

Irrfan Kahn is a face you will recognize as the adult Pi in "The Life of Pi" and roles in "The Amazing Spider Man" and other films. Nimrat is a new face I hope we will see more of.  Hawazzuddin Siddiqui as Shaikh is a delight whose exuberance in spite of his incompetence wins Saajan over and starts bringing him out of his hardened shell.

There was outrage when this film was not chosen as India's entry for Best Foreign Film for the 2014 Academy Awards, and I agree.  I am outraged.
Rosy the Reviewer says...this is an utterly charming film about two lonely people who bond over food and mutual loneliness.  If you liked "85 Charing Cross Road" or "Like Water for Chocolate," you will like this film.  Highly recommended.
The Best Offer (2013)

A master auctioneer becomes obsessed with an extremely reclusive heiress who contacts him to sell the contents of her parent's villa.

Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush) is an eccentric, germophobe auctioneer who has surrounded himself with portraits of women.  He spends his time in a vault-like room enjoying his "conquests" gotten in most part by scamming his customers and having old friend Billy (Donald Sutherland) bid for him at auctions.  He is contacted by phone by a mysterious Claire Ibbetson (Sylvia Hoeks), who wants only him to handle her estate but she refuses to appear in person.  Turns out she is agoraphobic and living behind the walls in her villa.  Oldman befriends her and eventually their relationship forms. Oldman has one young, handsome friend, Robert (Jim Sturgess, who you might remember from the wildly romantic "One Day" and "Upside Down," - both films I recommend - and who is a hot commodity right now with six new films in the offing ), who repairs watches and the like, and Oldman confides in him asking his advice on how to woo Claire. They eventually get together only for Oldman to find himself in a gothic web of intrigue and lies.

Directed by Guiseppe Tornatore who gave us "Cinema Paradiso," this is a departure from that film and the critics were divided.  The story takes place in an unspecified European city, but I caught cityscapes of Florence, Milan, Rome and Vienna.  We aren't supposed to know where we are, I guess.

The first half of the film at least is classic film noir with all kinds of moody and intriguing things happening.  It pulls you in.  The controversy happens in the second half.  I liked it despite some stuff that could make you go "Huh?"

And I don't want to be a spoiler, but here is a tip when watching a movie with a major star who appears in what seems to be a supporting, or even worse, very small part.  Just know that that character will have a major part in the plot at some point.  I'm just saying.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a moody film noir piece in the vein of "Body Heat."  If you like Hitchcock films of the 1940's, you will enjoy this film. 

Enemy (2013)

A man spots his exact look-alike in a movie and tries to find him.

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a history teacher living a bland and boring life.  One night he watches a film and spots an extra who is his exact look alike.  He becomes obsessed with finding this doppelganger.  He eventually finds him - Anthony St. Claire (also played by Gyllenhaal -you can't get a more actorry name than that), and each man couldn't be more different.

The idea is interesting but about half way through the film, it all falls apart and you have no idea what's going on.  I should have known I was in trouble when the film started with a fetish scene - men who like to watch women in spike heels stepping and squashing living things.  This time it was a tarantula.  Thank god it wasn't a puppy.  But we were mercifully spared the actual squashing.

The title sequence includes the quote: "Chaos is merely order yet deciphered."

After seeing this film, you will say, "That's for damn sure."  This was definitely chaos that you won't decipher ever.

Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villeneuve teamed up last year for the movie "Prisoners," which was actually a great film.  Here, we have a self-consciously arty film that defies understanding.  Are Adam and Anthony the same person?  Why is there a scene with a huge spider towering over a city?  And the ending?  WTF?

One critic likened this movie to "Only God Forgives."  I hated that one too.

Rosy the Reviewer says...what the hell was this thing about? Jake, what were you thinking?

To see more of my movie reviews you can find me on IMDB.   Here is a quick link to get to all of them.  Click on the movie you are interested in and then scroll down to Rosy the Reviewer.

***Book of the Week***

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland (2014)
Misty Copeland may not be a household name in the mainstream world, but in the world of ballet, she made history as the first African American soloist ballerina dancing with the American Ballet Theatre in two decades.  This is her story.
Misty grew up with a mother who changed husbands frequently and uprooted her family when husbands and finances dictated.  It was a chaotic life that wasn't helped by the fact that Misty was extremely shy and studious.  Her first classes were at her local Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California, but her talent was recognized by a local dance teacher with whom she lived until Misty's attempt to gain emancipation led to a legal struggle between her mother and her teacher. 
Misty was considered a prodigy and despite not starting her training until she was 13, she advanced quickly winning a local dance prize and catching the eye of the professional companies. 
Misty writes of the racial issues she encountered and always felt the pressure as a role model for all of the other "little brown girls."
She has worked with Twyla Tharp, toured with Prince and wowed audiences as "The Firebird."

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you love ballet or are interested in a behind the scenes look at that world, this is for you.  But even if you are just looking for inspiration, this is also an inspiring tale of overcoming odds in a world that was not always welcoming.

That's it for this week.
See you Tuesday for

"How Not to Look Old"


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